Wednesday, 23 October, Bethan Sian Hale and Alwen Messamah from Ysgol y Creuddyn and Erin Gwyn Rossington from Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy will be packing their bags and joining 18 other young people from north Wales for a trip of a lifetime to the other side of the world, to Patagonia, with Urdd Gobaith Cymru and Mentrau Iaith Cymru.
They will be visiting Patagonia for 10 days, and as well as experiencing the unique Welsh-Argentinean culture, they will be doing voluntary work such as helping in the Welsh nursery school, holding team building activities at Coleg Camwy and visiting elderly citizens that speak Welsh.
As part of the visit they had to raise £2,250 each, and all three of them have reached their target. Among the fundraising activities organised by them were a coffee morning, a craft fair in the local village and a concert in Nant Conwy Rugby Club.
Bethan said, “One of the reasons I wanted to visit Patagonia with the Urdd is because I have family out there in the towns of Trelew and Gaiman. They moved out to Patagonia about 10 years ago, and I hope I’ll get a chance to meet them while I’m out there.”
Erin added, “I look forward to meeting the young people that speak Welsh like us in Patagonia. It is hard to believe that the language is alive the other side of the world, and I think that it will be a great experience.”
There will be three members of staff on the visit with the young people – Eryl Williams, Urdd Development Officer for Anglesey, Branwen Haf, Urdd National Second Language Co-ordinator and Ceri Phillips from Menter Iaith Conwy.
Eryl Williams, who’s leading the visit, said, “This is a brilliant opportunity for a group of young people to get a unique and memorable experience. It is great that we are working with the Mentrau Iaith organising this visit as their contribution and advice in Patagonia is priceless.”
Meirion Davies, Menter Iaith Conwy Development Director, added, “This annual visit to Patagonia is a brilliant opportunity for young people to see how precious the Welsh language is and give them a taste of the unique culture of Patagonia. Following the visit and back home in Wales we find that the young people are much more willing to speak Welsh socially which is great to see.”
For more information, please contact Angharad Prys on 01248 672 107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.