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HISTORY

The region has been a magnet for all those who have –throughout the centuries– ventured into its immensity.

The first traces of inhabitants in the area date back to the 9th century. The Cara-Caras, a tribe of the Caingang ethnic group, arrived from the south of Brazil as a result of the continuous expansion of the Guarani people.
The discovery of America brought new pressures to the territory, both from the Guarani and the Spaniards. People withdrew progressively into the marshlands, where they alone knew how to move and act.
In colonial times, the occupation of the territory started with the foundation of the city of Corrientes in 1588. Historically, the province was linked to the cattle-raising activity, which was first characterized by vaquerías or cow roundups, and later on progressively gave way to cattle-raising estancias or ranches.
With the arrival of the Jesuits, in the 17th and 18th centuries, major cattle-raising farms were established in the western and northeastern borders of the Iberá marshlands in order to meet the nourishment needs of the Jesuit missions.
The Society of Jesus thrived in the region and was a driver of territorial organization until this religious order was expelled from the Americas in 1767, and abandoned the territory.
In the early 19th century, the Iberá Wetlands were considered inaccessible and barren land, a haven for beasts and outlaws.
This mysticism prevailed for years, until finally in 1828 French naturalist Alcide D’Orbigny ventured on an exploration trip commissioned by the Museum of Natural History of Paris, in which he described, for the first time in a systematic way, its scenic and biological value.
In the 1930s, the National Park Administration presented to Congress the first bill to create the Iberá National Park. This first bill and the two bills that followed it in subsequent decades were dismissed.
Finally, on April 15, 1983 provincial law No. 3771 was passed. It created the Iberá Nature Reserve, with the aim to ensure the preservation and recovery of the territory.