ts name comes from the combination of two words that originate from the yamán or yagán: ush and waia. The meaning: deep bay. Raised above the grounds ancestrally occupied by the selknam ethnicities, commonly known as the “onas”, and yamán, Usuahia comes from a series of Anglican settlements that began to expand after the arrival, during the half of the XIX century, of european expeditionaries searching for gold and silver.
Founded on October 12th 1884 , the truth is that the city had already been operational at least one decade before. Precisely that year, the settlement of the first Army bases gave the area a range of strategic range that strengthened the survival of Ususahia even to these days.
In its surroundings water sources, like Laguna del Diablo (Devil’s lagoon),the Olivia and Pipo rivers or glaciers such as the Martial and the Viciguerra, multiply. Surrounded by highlands, Usuahia has a climate which averages the 10 degrees below zero in winter meanwhile during the summer it reaches 13 degrees. Stretching across, and only 12 kilometers away , is the National Park Tierra del Fuego.
Close to the 60.000 inhabitants, its population is integrated mainly by Argentinians and Chileans, even though during the last decades the city thrives with a growing number of north american and european immigrants. Thus, besides Spanish, words and conversations in English, German or Portuguese can be heard in its streets.