Scene: Small parade of gauchos
Some say that the word "gaucho," referring to the
Argentine cowboy, came from an indigenous word that means orphan, a
descriptive name for these independent cowboys that were neither loved
nor ruled by anyone.
Scene: Big parade - gauchos walking, riding
Today the gaucho is a cultural symbol of Argentina featured in
parades and famous for exotic dress and fierce competition but seemingly
without any real influence in modern Argentina.
Scene: Gauchos dancing -gaucho on horse
Their colorful dress, well-groomed horses and legendary skills on
horseback keep this symbol alive. Much like the cowboy of the North
American West, the popularity and legends have grown larger than life.
Scene: Bucking bronco - crowd
Their free lifestyle and fun-loving nature make them an object of
emulation by many.
Scene: Small rodeo - breaking horses - hanging around corral
Rodeos - both large and small - are occasions for celebrating and
renewing gaucho tradition and culture. Rodeos provide an important
opportunity for the gaucho to display his most prized
attribute-unflinching courage in any circumstance.
Scene: Horse roundup
In early times, the gauchos refused to do any work unless they were
riding a horse. They saw common labor as the ultimate degradation and
did not value home and family. They spent as much time as possible away
from home, fighting as guerrilla soldiers against early attempts to
unite Argentina's provinces under one central government.
Scene: Cattle in field
But the wars were lost, barbed wire fences were erected, new breeds
of cattle introduced, and management practices changed. The waves of
European immigration into Argentina pushed aside the gauchos, who in
turn rejected immigrant culture. They became orphans in the very
territory they had fought for.
Scene: Scenes in Fernandez, sheep, cattle roundup
In order to survive, they settled in small towns such as Fernandez
in the rural areas of the provinces. They struggled to find work - even
caring for sheep --- and became the hired hands working for large
landowners where their skills were employed to round up, brand, and
maintain the cattle herds. Here they also were required to fix fences
and perform other manual labor tasks. Wages, however, were very low.
Even so, they still play a vital role in Argentina's livestock industry.
INTRO GAUCHO GIL
Scene: GG shrine - barbecue - hats, boots, mate cups,
With the feeling of empty opportunities for the future, it is
understandable that these orphans would seek to cling to past
greatness. The most famous gaucho of them all was Antonio Gil, known as
Gaucho Gil. He is worshipped by many not as a skilled horseman but as
a martyr who has the power to intervene and persuade God to grant
favors. Gaucho Gil takes the place of Jesus for his followers because
his death in 1875 was believed to represent the shedding of innocent
blood. Even though he was hung on a tree that once stood here for
deserting military duties and caught living with an unmarried girl,
these followers are rapidly growing in number. People believe that many
miraculous happenings have occurred related to Gaucho Gil.
This shrine located outside Mercedes in Corrientes Province was set up
to honor this folk hero. People come here to pay their respects and
pray to this patron saint. This also serves as an economic enterprise
marketing various Gaucho Gil memorabilia. Every eighth of January, over
100,000 people flood this area to honor him on the anniversary of his
death. Many of them camp out in the fields nearby.
Since most gauchos cling fiercely to tradition, reaching them with
anything new is difficult. They continue to exude a macho air and
reject most opportunities for change. They simply are not interested in
the effeminate, weak Jesus they have always seen in pictures and church
Scene: at the small rodeo
Recently, some North American cowboys showed them that horses could
be broken without violent treatment. This provided an opportunity to
introduce the most macho person they knew, Jesus Christ.
Scene: Jamey riding bull
The Argentine cowboys do not believe that bulls can be ridden. This
also was an opportunity to demonstrate that one can be brave and
skillful and still believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. When the time
came for the North American bull rider to demonstrate his skill, many
were skeptical but excited about seeing an attempt to ride the most
aggressive bull to be found in the neighborhood. The expected outcome
was that the young rider would be immediately bucked off the bull,
greatly embarrassed and probably injured.
Closing Scene: volunteer horsemen working with gauchos
Who is going to show the gauchos that they do not have be orphans in
God's eyes? Who is going to tell them that they can be adopted as sons
and become children of the King? Will YOU?
Will you GO?
Will you GIVE?
Will you PRAY?
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