What were ranches in the past?

Nowadays we use ranches as recreation centers and escapes from our daily life and contact with nature. But what were the estancias before? What were they used for? The estancias were concessions of enormous lands located on the Isla Grande of Tierra del Fuego made by the Argentine government at the end of the 19th century in order to promote sovereignty through the exploitation of livestock in the area.

The estancias were rural settlements with a town, sections, posts, roads and small berths, built to allow the commercial breeding of sheep for the production of wool, meat and its by-products. The largest ones came to house, during the sheep shearing season, more than a hundred workers.

The estancias were the characteristic agricultural exploitations of the current Argentine territory. Those located in the surroundings of Buenos Aires were relatively small, while in the Banda Oriental (now Uruguay), on the coast of Corrientes and Entre Rios, and in Cordoba, where the Jesuit order owned ranches, the farms were larger.

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