Jujuy Exodus

August 22-23 in San Salvador de Jujuy

Few tourists know about the event commemorated in this celebration, but for the residents of the capital of the northern province of Jujuy, August 23, 1812 was the turning point of the War of Independence. After losing a battle in the northern part of the Humahuaca Valley with a large royalist army coming from Peru, General Manuel Belgrano ordered the population of San Salvador de Jujuy to burn their houses and crops to leave the enemy without provisions and move south with his army. His order issued on August 22 specified that those who did not obey would be shot. Ignoring the order of the Buenos Aires Triumvirate that he retreat all the way to Córdoba, Belgrano began the march to Tucumán with his army and the townspeople on August 23.
On the way, his army defeated the royalists in two important battles. The people from Jujuy were able to return home only a year later. Many decided to remain in Tucumán. The city’s residents commemorate the traumatic exodus with a symbolic burning of miniature huts on the banks of the Chico River the night of August 22, and a parade of carts and people dressed in period attire the night of August 23.