Every year in November a procession is held in the port of Ingeniero White in honor of Saint Silverio, the patron saint of fishermen.
The statue of the saint, brought from the Italian island of Ponza by the first immigrants, is transported from the village church to the port and then embarked on a journey through the estuary accompanied by a procession of fishing boats.
The highlight of the ceremony is when a wreath of flowers is thrown overboard from the boat. If it falls into the water facing the sky it augurs a new year of good fishing and prosperity. Upon returning to the port an outdoor mass is celebrated before returning to the parish. The ceremony concludes with the distribution of blessed red carnations among all the faithful.
The history of the fishermen is inseparable from the worship of Saint Silverio. While various civil, ecclesiastical, and military authorities also participate in the procession, it is the fishermen who carry the saint, just as they entrust themselves to him every time they go out to sea.
The first statue of the saint arrived at the port in 1926 thanks to the efforts of one of the immigrants who contacted the priest of Ponza. In 1927 the San Silverio Society was formed, and in 1928 the annual procession began, originally taking place in June.
These pictures are part of an ongoing project documenting the activities and traditions of artisanal fishermen in the Bahía Blanca estuary before their way of life disappears.