Isaias Grandis (left, b.1982) and Eluned Grandis (right, b.1981), photographed in their cabaña in Trevelin. They married in 2014 and were expecting their first child in May 2015. They are a perfect example of the strong links that exist between the Patagonian Welsh speaking community, and Welsh people from the UK.
Isaias has no Welsh lineage, but moved to Trevelin as a child. He grew up in a Protestant family. He showed an interest in the Welsh language from the age of 15, but only followed this up when he returned to Patagonia at age 23, after studying Protestant Theology in Buenos Aires. He showed a flair for learning Welsh, and also enjoyed being part of the community in Trevelin. In 2012, he was named Welsh Learner of The Year at the National Eistedfodd in Wales. He works as a teacher of Welsh, and was the driving force behind the trilingual signs that can be found in Trevelin.
Eluned first came to Trevelin in 2010 as part of a British Council funded programme that brings Welsh Language teachers to Patagonia. She met Isaias on her first trip and they became good friends. Their romance blossomed in 2012 when Isaias stayed with Eluned’s family in Llanddarog, near Carmarthen.
They now live in Trelew and both work as Welsh language teachers. In addition to her teaching, Eluned also helps to organise the annual Urdd Gobaith Trips, which enable 23 Patagonian youth learners to visit Wales each year to further their language skills and to find out about the country.