The foundation of “Archivo de indianos”. The Latin American Archive.

The foundation of “Archivo de indianos”. The Latin American Archive.

Por 721Ast
Oct 19, 2015

The foundation of the Latin Americans Archive-Museum of Emigration is located in the locality of Colombres.

Colombres is in the council of Ribadedeva, just it´s natural border with province of Cantabria.

This incredible historical site place is a sign of the migratory past, where the visitor will find several reasons behind the understanding of numerous buildings, social acts and part of the present folklore of Asturias.

That are the result of those families who crossed the Atlantic Ocean.

The house in which the archive-museum is located, was built by Iñigo Noriega Laso, a person who emigrated to Mexico and came back as a wealthy man with the intention of building a stately home in honour of his fortunes.

Indianos is a name given to those who emigrated to America at the turn of the 19/20thC, seeking fortune. Many of them contributed to the development of those countries & made great fortunes. Some returned to their Spanish villages & built the impressive ‘Indiano’ mansions which are unique. The museum of the Indianos is in one of these mansions & shows part of their history through different pictures & instruments.

This building was build in 1906 and it is named Quinta Guadalupe in honour of the founder’s wife. This small palace is a clear example of Latin American architecture, but it had several uses before the current one. First of all, it was a Rest House and a blood hospital after the death of its first owner in Mexico. Later on, it would have been acquired by the Spanish state that converted it into a centre for Social Assistance up until 1986. The following year, the Principado of Asturias, Caja de Asturias and the University of Oviedo, finally turned the house into the central office for the Latin Americans Archive Foundation.

The building’s interior says a lot about this culture with its unique aesthetic, the Latin American culture characterised by the solidity of its materials, that are considered to be the best for this kind of construction. The Latin Americans used to cross the Atlantic Ocean in big ships loaded with the best types of wood in order to build houses in Asturias, the youngest of the wood coming from the Tropics. In the museum are reconstructions in which some of the furniture in the room is similar to the furniture of that time.

The rest of the building shows a permanent exposition of the different aspects of the emigration: for instance tickets that show the emigrants departures and arrivals to the new ports. The Spanish social centres nowadays show signs of vivid activity, and these new social centres arose thanks to the great efforts of the Asturian peasants. In this sense all of the memories and objects of their departure together with the nostalgia of the emigrants for their country, marked the Asturian emigrant character during decades.

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