Urbieta María Matilde, more than 80 years being a pioneer neighbor

In the route that the mobile of the Multimedia Time, is on this occasion with the story of Maria Urbieta, neighbor of our city of Rio gallegos, that, on this occasion, he kindly welcomed us into his home respecting a certain protocol, to remember his life, his family, his values ​​and his work since he was twelve years old. Today, in Tales of Life, we know a part of María Urbieta.


Here begins the story of Mary’s life, we meet her father, mother and the steps they took to live in the eternal fifth of Urbieta.

“My father, Domingo Urbieta, was born on March 13, 1906 in Tolosa, province of Guipuzcoa, in the Basque country, Spain. There his parents, José María Urbieta and Gregoria Muñobe, were engaged in farming and had a dairy ”.

“There were four brothers who went to school and also helped with homework.”

“At the age of eighteen, Dad showed up at an office of the Spanish Navy and enlisted as a sailor, but he had the bad

lucky to be drawn with the number 38 and was free. He was then left with the desire to go to sea and travel the world. Not satisfied with that, the following year, on November 30, 1926, he entered as a volunteer, but to embark he had to learn a trade, so he became a hairdresser ”. “Authorized by the Navy, he embarked to France where he stayed until July 6, 1928, which was when he requested to travel to Argentina.”

“He came to Rosario, Santa Fe province, where he worked in dairy farms and met many more Basques. In 1932, with two of them, Landa and Cazado, he went to work in a company that built the regiment in Comodoro Rivadavia. Cazado was a carpenter and cabinetmaker, Landa was a weaver and Dad worked with him as a helper ”.

“After having worked in Comodoro Rivadavia They continued their trip to Río Gallegos, Dad stayed at the hotel in London, which was on the beach and belonged to Manuel Alvarellos ”.

“Once he finished his work in the Army, Juan Antonio Méndez employed him as a delivery man in his business and then continued as such in the Fadul house and in Francisco Calo’s warehouse. He also worked in the Swift refrigerator, as a grabber when the animals came in and then went on to be slaughtered ”.

“Mom, Berta Neira, was an employee in the house of Mary Fadul and Dr. Agustín Gallina. His parents, Manuel Neira and Carmen Silva, got married in Gallegos at the beginning of the century and in 1910 they traveled to Punta Arenas for my mother to be born. When my mother was one month old, my grandmother Carmen died, so her uncles, Jerez Neira, raised her until her aunt died and the uncle who worked in the post office was transferred to Mendoza ”.


Continuing the story, we go through a childhood a little more raw but determined and marked by the very Maria Urbieta:

“In 1939 is where my parents met and by the time Grandfather Manuel met his son-in-law he thought he was an Austrian because of how the Yugoslavs nicknamed him because he was never 100% understood what he wanted to say.”

“I was born on May 25, 1940, being a very patriotic date, they gave my mother a trousseau or, as it were, very beautiful clothes and accessories. By 1946 my brother, Domingo, was born and he always says that he was treated by Dr. Zumalacarregui ”.

“If I have to talk about my childhood, I can say that I always wanted to work, my parents always pushed me to lead a normal life, study, and then be able to work, I didn’t want to, since I was six years old I already had tantrums of not wanting to study.”

“All my mother did was understand me, but she put a limit on me, you either study or work. I was happy to decide to stay with the second option and, from the age of twelve, I began to work in the fields with my father ”.


Continuing with the life story, our neighbor remembers an anecdote below zero, where with laughter she told what it was like to work in very extended winters:

“We had to beat the wind and the cold, intense days that started from very early until long hours in the afternoon. We left the land well prepared in the afternoon and the next morning, 06:00 upstairs, the weather was calm and took advantage of sowing the light seeds without everything blowing up and losing the harvest ”.

“An anecdote that I also remember with all my senses is one from 1976: Frost ourselves with cold with the snow of the time, taking snow everywhere with the father of my daughters, to be able to sow the seeds and advance the harvest, the first ones were spinach. Frozen, giant red hands about to explode ”.

“Chilblains were very common to happen to you if you worked with low temperatures, an itch, pain and sensation throughout your body, thus hurting you from scratching that sensation. Warming up suddenly was a protocol, because if you hurried it it would consume you whole ”.

Villarino Award

“This recognition or award was very beautiful for me, a surprise because I didn’t know they were going to do it. Los Urbieta or Erbieta, we are a pioneer family from our south, from Río Gallegos, a history rich in history and a lot of sacrifice. It always had values, work and responsibility at its base, so it was very important and satisfying to receive this recognition ”.

“I feel like they should give a little more recognition to the homes of the pioneer families of Rio gallegos.

I worked many years on the farm with my parents and I think that was the remarkable thing in my life as for the rest, working from twelve years to more or less my thirty-five years ”.

Memory of the farm.


As the note progresses, it is inevitable to observe the chinstraps, the alcohol gel on the table and the distance between me and the neighbor, here is a brief analysis of María about how her life was pandemic to the present:

“To tell the truth, I got along pretty well, since last year I have been taking care of myself and with all precautions I never relapsed with any illness. I am 81 years old and I stand up very well. I would like to circulate calmly on the street again, I drive myself alone, but two years ago I suffered a fall and broke my hip, otherwise, I was walking everywhere ”.

“I don’t stop moving, but very carefully, I cook, wash the house, clean everything, make homemade bread and so on.”

“With my vaccines in place and without adverse effects, they gave me the Covishield”.

“My expectations are that we can return to normal as soon as possible and that we can be together, in health, if there is no health there is nothing. My whole family has always been taking care of this terrible virus and it has not happened to adults ”.


“We must encourage our young people much more, we must understand them and not go against their will. I think they lack tools to be able to be guided and know what they want for their life, I notice that they go around everywhere and do not know what to do ”.

“The values ​​are not the same as before, you worked and chose what you wanted to do in your own way. I, for example, did not want to go to school, it is not because of my parents, because they tried to get me to attend the nuns’ school, for example, but I couldn’t help asking to leave school, I was happy and I continued working ”.

“What I learned, I did already in a big way, read, write and know about history. My mother was also the one who helped me to study a little, to know what writing was, to cook, to clean and to knit ”.

Maria today.

Dreaming and becoming a child again

“Many times, I dream often with my parents, more with Mom and others with Dad, because I always remember the fifth time, remembering how we put together a whole schedule of job I wrote down on a blackboard and he was telling me what I had to do in many cases with his absence, he went to the city as a supplier of vegetables and I stayed with my mother in the fifth, but to work. He had to irrigate the wells with the water motor, he took out the pipes and did all the work ”.

“From them, if I have to get a characteristic that I repeated, it was work, without a doubt.”

“My father passed away at the age of 73, always standing on the fifth floor, he didn’t want to leave his place and home, he got sick and left us. My mother, for her part, passed away at the age of 78 ”.

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