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Ushuaia, town of 64,000 inhabitants (2005) located in a well-protected bay on the northern shore of the Beagle Channel in Argentine Tierra Del Fuego and capital of the homonymous territory. Founded in 1868 by the British missionary Thomas Bridges in his efforts to christianize and protect the Fuegino Indians in their contacts with whalers, seal hunters, and gold prospectors, it was named after the small boat with which Charles Darwin visited the bay in 1832. In 1884 the Argentine government built a village near the mission station, and in 1886 a penal colony was established to supply labor for the exploitation of the adjacent rain forest. Expansion of sheep-raising estancias on the flat plains of the island of Tierra del Fuego intensified the functions of Ushuaia as the main Argentine service center of the region. A strong naval detachment was established there in the early 1900s. Ushuaia, the southernmost urban area of Latin America, has been a duty-free port since 1976, enhancing its attraction for tourists who come to enjoy the alpine scenery.

See alsoArgentina, Geography .


Ernesto J. Fitte, Crónicas del Atlántico Sur (Buenos Aires, 1974); Arnoldo Canclini, Tomas Bridges: Pionero en Ushuaia (Buenos Aires, 1980); and E. Lucas Bridges, Uttermost Part of the Earth: Indians of Tierra del Fuego (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Bertotto, Alejandro H. La Ciudad de Ushuaia y su ubicación geoestratégica como "puerto de entrada a la Antárdida." Buenos Aires: Comisión de Geopolítica del Centro de Estudios Estratégicos de la Escuela Superior de Guerra, 2001.

Lupiano, Leonardo L. Ushuaia: Algunos aspectos del patrimonio arquitecto'nico urbano. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Dunken, 1997.

                                   CÉsar N. Caviedes