The initiative seeks to “promote cultural exchange” between South America and the South Atlantic archipelago.
The United Kingdom once again held the controversial competition to take university students from Argentina and countries in the region to the Falkland Islands, with the goal of “getting to know the neighbors of the Falkland Islands.”
The initiative was promoted by the Foreign Office through its embassies in Buenos Aires and in this edition Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay also participated.
“Why do I want to meet my neighbors in the Falkland Islands?” is the title of the competition, which aims to “promote cultural exchange” between the South Atlantic archipelago – illegally occupied since 1833 by the United Kingdom – and the countries of the South. America, to increase “the knowledge of Argentine, Chilean, Paraguayan and Uruguayan students about the Islands and their people,” according to the initiative’s guidelines.
The three selected university students will win a trip to the Malvinas, where they will stay “for a week in the home of a local family, learning about the history, culture and society” of the islands between on January 13 and 20, 2024.
One of the requirements set by the United Kingdom is that the participants have “interest in social networks and be active in them”, to increase the dissemination of the activities they carry out in the territory of the island.
At the beginning of this year, Braian Espinoza, 24, from San Juan, traveled to the Malvinas as part of the previous edition of the contest sponsored by the British Embassy in Argentina.
“Being in the Malvinas is painful, but it also makes you think about the importance of loving and appreciating what belongs to us. I am Latin American and Argentine, for me they are called ‘Malvinas Islands’ and that will never change. This that exchange left me a great tool, the importance of dialogue. Dialogue does not mean accepting, justifying or forgiving, but trying to listen and reduce the gap that separates us because ignorance creates fear, but the knowing each other creates trust,” the young man emphasized.
Espinoza has a particular connection to the islands: one of his uncles was among the workers who traveled to South Georgia to dismantle abandoned whaling facilities just 15 days before the April 2 landing, 1982, which caused the War.