A RARE opportunity to explore Welsh heritage in South America is once again being offered to Ffestiniog residents.

Following the twinning with Rawson in 2015, Blaenau Ffestiniog Town Council is offering a scholarship to a young person aged 16 to 30 who lives within the boundaries of Ffestiniog Town Council to visit Welsh Patagonia.

The purpose of the scholarship is to support and strengthen the relationship between the two towns, especially among the young.

By offering the £1,500 scholarship, it is hoped the younger generation will be encouraged to foster a long-term relationship with the Wladfa and its people, which will in turn lead to the wider community benefiting from the relationship.

To be in a chance with winning, applicants are asked to write a 1,500-word essay, in either English or Welsh, on the reasons why you want to visit Patagonia, what you intend to do there and how you plan to share your experiences with the community on your return home.

Entries are required by 12 January and the winner will be announced on St David’s Day.

Cllr Bedwyr Gwilym said: “I’m pleased that Ffestiniog Town Council is once again offering a scholarship to visit Rawson, our twin town in Patagonia.

“This will be the third consecutive-year that the council has offered the scholarship, following our twinning in 2015 – exactly 150 years since the first Welsh settlers sailed on the Mimosa in 1865.

“For the last two years, St David’s Day has been marked in diary, and I’m looking forward to the 2018 awarding ceremony when the winner will be announced and we will hear what projects are planned for the benefit of young people here and in Rawson.”

Earlier this year, cousins Maia Jones and Gwennan Mair Jones headed out to South America after winning the inaugural scholarship. Elin Roberts, the second winner is due to leave this week.

Application forms and further details are available by sending an email to clerc@cyngortrefffestiniog.­cymru