Many Irish immigrated to South America in the mid 19th century. A major drive took place at this time to colonize Argentina, and many rural Irish were specifically recruited for their ability to dig ditches, handle sheep and cattle and tolerate hard work and conditions. In 1889, the City of Dresden arrived in Buenos Aires, carrying over 1,700 Irish passengers and several hundred other nationalities. This was the largest number of passengers ever to arrive in Argentina from any one destination on any one vessel, and many had been recruited from Wexford, the Irish midlands, Westmeath, Longford and north Offaly (www.irlandeses.org). The Irish also comprised sizable communities within the armed forces of various other South American states.