The Gaucho is to be found in Argentina. The Cowboy is to be found in the North American West. Both these characters have permeated the social history of the regions and both are surrounded in mythology which perpetuates their existence.
As we drive the tracks and trails through Argentina, we meet up with Gauchos in the most remote areas. Often driving cattle or horses, the Gaucho is rarely alone, travelling together is safer in the wide open parries and they are usually accompanied by dogs.
The Gaucho arose to hunt and capture the huge herds of horses and cattle that roamed the plains of the pampas.
The Gauchos of the Chaco region have to contend with dense thorny scrub so they and their horses are heavily protected with thick leathery hides.
Originally of mixed European and Indian ancestry the Gauchos were know as mestizos.
Tools of their trade always included a knife and a steel sharpener tucked into their wide leather belt.
In the 21st century modern industrialized cattle rearing means the once extensive estancias now require people who understand computers, DNA blood-lines and genetics, not the bolas and lasso.
The Gauchos life on the windswept plains, rounding-up and driving cattle, of night-time fires and drinking mate is coming to a close. The Gaucho will soon be a shadow.