The Mennonite Colony

Colonists come from a Dutch area bordering Germany. They are followers of Simons Mennon (1496 - 1561). By following their leader’s ideas, they reject any kind of violence and war. The settled in Holland between the 17th and 18th centuries, and emigrated to Russia between 1847 and 1848. In Russia, at first they settled far from the Volga River because its margins were occupied by German catholics and protestants.
Afterward, they settled in Wiessenseite, on the slopes of Ural Mountains, and later some groups went to Ukraine and the Caucasus region. Although they were near to other groups of German origin, they completely isolated themselves. They are mostly concentrated in the Ural Mountains, where they created one of the largest commercial emporium in Russia. The Mennonites who emigrated to the American continent settled in Canada, Mexico, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina.
The Mennonites in Guatraché: they come from Mexico and Bolivia, where they had lived for a long time, and then settled in La Pampa (1988), 40 km far from Guatraché, in an area that formerly belonged to the Remecó farm.
After a decade, they constitute an important colony, engaged in the farming operation as main activity. They also run general stores, produce cheese, make up garments, manufacture furniture and typical carriages, among others. They carry out artisanal works, applying the most rudimentary techniques, which provide particular features. The church is the social meeting place, where the profess their religion, read the Bible, sing religious hymns, and then meet to eat and talk.
They celebrate Easter, Christmas, the New year and the Epiphany. Sundays are reserved to rest and receive visitors. Their life is austere and plain, isolated from the most basic signs of modernity, and they observe their Holland customs and traditions.
Visits to the colony: only escorted by a guide authorized by the colonists. There are excursions with visits to different areas of the colony, where you can buy artisanal products.

Information: Mrs. Claudia - telephone +54 (02923) 1564-4559 - Guatraché.

Lihué Calel National Park

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Lihue Calel is the name that the mapuches gave to the sierras, which means “Sierras of Life”. The name that the prototehuelches that walked their valleys gave to this region is ignored. There are reasons to think that it might have any linkage with magic or the religion they professed, as many of the rocky porches of valleys are covered with mysterious cave paints. Too little do we know about them. They are signs whose age is measured in thousands of years. They are indelible through the years and are represented by lines, circles and dots. The sierras are six hundred meters high, and their original height has been eroded for the over two hundred million years that elapse since they emerged. It is a biological isle in the middle of a dessert. Its sheltered valleys concentrate a rich flora and fauna. The landscape becomes colorful in spring. It is the domain of thistles, lichens, Spanish mosses, jasmines, chilladoras (“screecher”), zampas, arums, the yellow daisy, the opuntia (Opunctia puelchiana), caldenes, carobe trees... also guanacos, rheas, pumas, hares and an exquisite variety of birds.
What to do: the places invites to camp, listen to the silence, see the starry sky, walk through the paths, discover springs, observe and recognize birds, locate some of the shifting rocks that are set in the slopes of the Cerro la Sociedad, discover human-shaped rocks (“the chelcuras”), so feared by the mapuches because -they said- at night the stone turned into a shooting star, or you can walk through the long Valley of Paints, climb up the highest peak and have the same vision of twenty leguas the ancient settlors had thousands of years ago, near the lagoons of the Chadileuvú River.

Editor’s note: the park is open all year long and the admittance is free. The camping is well equipped: fireplaces, grills, shadow, rest rooms in good condition. There is no public telephone. The national park ranger’s telephone is (02952) 43-6595 and the summer timetable is 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., whereas in winter is 9 p.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Near the entrance there is a motel, restaurant and public telephone (no gas station). The nearest health center is located in Puelches, 33 km from the park; the telephone is (02952) 49-0142.

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Fishing Game


Fishing game season starts on December 1 and finishes on August 31 each year. Quotas per fisher per day:

Specie - Specie Quota - Minimum length
Mackerel - 20 - 25 cm
Bagre sapo (“toad catfish”) - No limit - No limit
Tararira (var. of fish) - No limit - No limit
Dientudo (var. of fish) - No limit - No limit

Fishing game season starts on December 1 and finishes on July 31 each year.

Quotas per day and fisher:

Specie - Specie Quota - Minimum length
Trouts - 2 - 35 cm
Mackerels - 20 - 25 cm
Perches - 2 - 35 cm

Please ask in-force regulation to: Natural Resources Direction located at Government’s House, 3rd floor. Telephone: (02954) 43-3010/20, inter-office number 306 or 328. Fax: 42-3610 / 43-3282. Santa Rosa, La Pampa, Postal Code (6300).

Health and Recreational Tourism


Health and recreational tourism

• Bernardo Larroudé: pampean town located toward the north of La Pampa Province on National Highway Nº 188. Situated in the core of the town itself, vast and densely populated with trees, it is the enclave for the Thermal Center. The chemical quality of water is similar to that of marine algae, with relaxing and beneficial effects for contractions and the rehabilitation of patients with rehumatism, degenerative osteoarthritis and arthirtis, as well as skin deseases like psoriasis, eczemas, and postoperative pains; it is also good for the respiratory tract, traumatic injuries and orthopaedic treatments.
How to arrive at Bernardo Larroudé Bus Terminal: there are different lines: • Dumas: daily departures from Santa Rosa and General Pico to Larroudé. • Estrella - General Belgrano: daily departures from Buenos Aires to Larroudé.
Health service and beauty sessions: all year long.
• Immersion baths, hydromassage, sauna, body massage. • Mud applications (marine algae): facial masks and hair massage (scalp revitalization). • Professional service. Medical care.
Lodging: • Municipal hotel: capacity 20 people, 10 double beds. • 6 shacks: prepared to lodge 4 people each. • 1 house (municipal management): lodge for 6 people. • 3 houses: can lodge up to 16 people.
Other services: • Storehouse. Restaurant. Table games, etc. • Camping: Summer ¤ Camping area for 60 tents; tables, benches, grills, electricity, water, rest rooms, and sinks. • Swimming pool - funfair.
What to do: • Walks and guided visits to the location, calling at the Museum of Natural Sciences and History. • Excursions to General Pico and visits to Maracó Regional Museum. • Excursions to Intendente Alvear. A day in the country, visit to a farm, participation in rural tasks, rides, typical and home made dishes.• Other optional activities.
What to buy: • Handicrafts, carved wood pieces, regional products, souvenirs.
Information: • Thermal Center: telephone (02302) 49-2200 • Municipality: telephone (02302) 49-2113

• Guatraché: a location situated in the southwest of La Pampa Province, on Provincial Highway Nº 1. It is an important center of services linked to the homonymous lagoon and the Thermal Center through 11 km of paved road. Thermal waters emerge at 32ºC, with a high proportion of minerals sulfates sodium chloride, and potassium providing beneficial effects to patients suffering from degenerative osteoarthritis, arthritis, lumbago, contractions, and skin deseases, among others. The water surface (Guatraché Lagoon) has a high concentration of salts combined with chlorine, sulfur, calcium, magnesium and the presence of marine algae.
Thermal baths are available on summer.
How to get the Guatraché Bus Terminal: • Special daily departures from Santa Rosa and Bahía Blanca to Guatraché. • Andesmar-Tac, from Santa Rosa and Bahía Blanca to Guatraché. Daily departures.
Health and beauty services: all year long • Cabins for: immersion baths, reductive and relaxing massages, hydromassages, face masks and cosmetic line (with mud taken from the lagoon). • Professional service. Medical care.

Where to lodge: • In the Thermal Center: rooms for 28 people. • Downtown Hotel: 12 rooms. • 2 Touristic Farms.
Other services: • In the Thermal Center: Restaurant. • In the Guatraché Lagoon: the camping area is open all year long, and can accommodate 100 tents; tables, benches, grills, water, electricity, rest rooms, showers, sinks, car washing, telephone, storehouse, restaurant, sports.
What to do: • Walks, visits and excursions. • Historical circuit through location. Productive circuit includes visits to a diary and the sodium sulphate purification plant. • Excursions to the Mennonite Colony helped by a Guide authorized by the colonists. Some stops: cheese factory, silos, church, cedar and oak furniture factory, traditional store. • A day/lunch in the country in a Touristic Farm (1889): walks, rural tasks, criollo lunch, afternoon tea with home made pastry. • Excursions to General Campo: visits to different factories of cheese, caramel spread and blended food.
What to buy: • Regional products: cheese, caramel spread, home made jams, handicrafts, souvenirs, and cosmetic lines.
Information: telephone (02923) 1564-4559 (from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.).

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