A Wrexham fan from Argentina’s Welsh-speaking Patagonia region is yearning to go to Racecourse next season.
The red dragons are flying high again after winning promotion back to the Football League after a 15-year absence.
David’s only problem? He will have to travel more than 7,000 miles (11,265 km) to get to a game.
The process that led to David becoming a Wrexham fan began in 1865, a year after the club’s founding, when 153 Welsh pioneers set off for South America on a tugboat called the “Wrexham” Mimosas.
The then-founded Welsh-speaking community – Y Wladfa – was long-lived, with between 2,000 and 5,000 Welsh-speaking Argentinians to this day.
David is very proud to be one of them.
“My connection to Wales stems from my mother, who passed on to me the Welsh traditions,” he said.
“Language is something I learn every day, here in Patagonia we are committed to expanding both the culture and the language and preserving it.
“My grandparents’ last name is Jones. One of them lives in the Patagonian Mountains at 16 de Octubre.”
The 16 de Octubre Valley – or Cwm Hyfryd – was the name given by Welsh settlers to the area of Trevelin and its vicinity in Patagonia.
Now, David is looking to the future, as he passes his passion for Wales to the next generation.
“My daughter is two years old. She has a Welsh name – Aderyn Bryn. She will be the one who continues to celebrate Welsh culture in Patagonia,” he said.
David was contacted by several Wrexham locals after posting the photo to the Welsh Pride Facebook group.
“One of them – like my brother – is Tudur Dylan Jones. Talking to him quite a long time ago around 2019, he said to me, ‘I’m a fan of Wrexham, you have to be a fan too. , the first in Patagonia’,” he said.
“I was very excited about the idea and when we formed the Y Wladfa Wrexham fan group, we started to have relationships with many people.
“My dream is to go to Wrexham and be at the Racecourse celebrating goals surrounded by fans. I think about that every day.
“There were difficult seasons, last season we almost came close, this time finished, I’m happy to tears.”
“I watched the match minute by minute on Google and via Facebook on the official page. I really had a lot of anticipation and expectations,” he added.
David is currently fundraising in his community for a trip to Wrexham.
Cefyn Burgess is a textile designer and artist from Bethesda, Gwynedd.
He was in Patagonia to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Mimosa’s landing in 2015 to explore the relationship between the Welsh, Argentinian and indigenous peoples.
“The connection with the Mimosa is an element of their origin and identity, and an expression of their pride in their fathers achievement in transforming the desert into the promised land,” he said.
“They are Argentinians first and foremost, but proudly Welsh.”
He added that the association with the descendants of people from Mimosa gave the people of Y Wladfa a strong sense of belonging.
He added: “This is evident in the strength of the eisteddfods, the chapel, the gymanfa ganu and the thriving Welsh schools.
“Today, the Welsh community is a major tourist destination to experience the Welsh teahouses with their own version of Bara Brith (Torte Negra) and listen to Welsh choirs.”
But how does an eisteddfod Patagonia compare?
“A very different experience, sometimes vibrant and chaotic, enthusiastic and wonderful blend of Argentinian and Welsh music, dance and poetry,” says Cefyn.
Beth Owen was part of the first team to arrive in post-Covid Patagonia as part of the British Council’s Welsh project.
The adult Welsh tutor from Bridgend was there from August to December last year.
“I joined three eisteddfods there,” she said.
“They recited Spanish and Welsh very lovely.
“They still have a strong Hispanic identity but they are also very proud of their Welsh identity.
“Even if they don’t speak Welsh, they will talk about their Welsh bloodline.”
The biggest shock – and proud moment – for Beth came at the end of the school day.
“Children sing the Welsh national anthem at the end of each day,” she said.
“I had to pinch myself when that happened. If you think we sing well at the stadium, you should listen to them.”
A record inflation rate of more than 100% means a high cost of living for the Welsh-speaking community and Argentinians in general.
However, Beth is hoping she can return one day, adding: “It’s been an honor to be involved and I’m so grateful to the entire Welsh community.
“I’ll be back in a heartbeat – I’ve made friends all my life.”