Genealogical research in Argentina #latinamerica

Alberto Guido Chester

From time to time people ask me for help or directions on research in Argentina.
This is my updated suggestion:
Eighty percent of Argentine Jews live or lived in Buenos Aires (city) or Greater Buenos Aires (city plus part of the province of the same name).
So concentrating in BA is a good choice, unless you know for certain they lived somewhere else in the interior of the country.
Immigration records for Buenos Aires can be found at "Cemla buscador". Note the records are incomplete (due mainly to book losses)and to not have Soundex capability so try different spellings.
The Buenos Aires Kehila at has a cemetery database for Jewish individuals. Again, no Soundex capability. Only burials for the Greater Buenos Aires.
I know they sometimes answer specific questions through their email.
The Argentine Jewish Genealogy Association is not working any more. But some members (including myself) are on this list and usually answer questions.
In Argentina, naturalization is a judicial (as opposed to administrative) process. For this reason, naturalization cases are scattered in many federal courts around the country. It is not impossible, but I do not recommend this venue of research.
If you are looking for relatives, use for mail address and landline phone number (in steep use decline in Argentina)
It has no Soundex capability, so try different spellings. If you try a phone call from abroad, engage someone who can speak Spanish. Most Argentinians studied English at school but find it very difficult to speak it. 
My suggestion is to try to get an email address from the conversation and communicate this way. People can google translate.
Argentinians are VERY suspicious of scam phone calls and do not feel comfortable answering cold calls (I have been told this happens in the USA also).
So you have to be patient.
I have been doing this kind of calls on behalf of Jewsihgenners since 1994 and seldom do them now because it requires a lot of patience and energy to prove you are not scamming.
A note on the agricultural colonies founded by Baron de Hirsch in Argentina: 
Baron de Hirsch, a Jewish philanthropist, financed the well being of thousands of Jews from Europe by establishing agricultural colonies around the world. From 1891 he did so in Argentina with several colonies. The villages where these colonies were established still exist however most (but not all) of its Jewish inhabitants left them to look for a better future in urban centres.
I understand a small number of colonists´s lists are available online at present time. This can be searched in Jewishgen. I do know that an immense archive of the Jewish Colonization Association is held at the Central Archives of the history of the Jewish people at but not catalogued or digitized.
Hope this helps 

Alberto Guido Chester
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Libre de virus.

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