Rolling Stones

Isabella Colon

A look into Argentina

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An overview on Argentina

Argentina is a beautiful country in South America, bordered by chile on it's western side, Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, and BrazIl and Uruguay to the east. The capital of Argentina is Buenos Aires, located in the "Pampas", which is an area of lowland plains in the eastern side of the country. Argentina is known for it's beautiful natural landmarks like the Iguazu Falls and The Andes mountains that run through the country. Argentina is also known for "gauchos" who were essentially the same as american cowboys in the 1800s and 1900s in Argentina, but are now just argentinian ranchers. On the southern end of Argentina you can find Patagonia, an area of mostly uninhabited land, it's known for it's environmental diversity. There are mountains, steppes, deserts, end grasslands that cover over 400,000 square miles. One of argentina's greatest cultural symbols is tango. Tango is both a type of music and an intricate, social dance. The official language in Argentina is Spanish. Although, Argentina uses voseo which is the use of the pronoun vos instead of tu (you), which changes verb forms as well. Due to how large Argentina is, Spanish varies from region to region.

History of Argentina

The history of Argentina, is a rich, but very chaotic one.The past few 100 years in Argentina have proven to be very violent ones. In 1516, Explorer Juan Dìaz de Solis discovered Rio de la Plata. Spain later claimed it and the surrounding area. Later, in 1776 Spain created a large colony called the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata. It covers present-day Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Bolivia. Buenos Aires was its capital. Argentina sayed under Spanish control until 1810. On May 25, armed citizens of Buenos Aires kicked out the Spanish Viceroy and established their own government. Six years later in 1816 Argentina officially declared its independence from Spain. José de San Martín, a famous Argentinian general, defeated Spanish forces in Chile. Afterwards, Argentina is relatively peaceful and in 1946 Colonel Juan Perón is elected president. He promised higher wages and better working conditions. His wife, Eva "Evita" Perón, was in charge of labor relations. She became a powerful political figure, and worked for women's and workers rights. When he died, his wife, Eva, took over, this resulted in what was called the "dirty war." The "dirty war" was an overthrow of the government by the Argentinian military. It lasted from 1976 to 1983. The military went after anyone who they thought tested their authority. The even kidnapped people during the night to take to detention centres where they were often tortured, these people were called "the disappeared", or los desaparecidos. About 30,000 to 30,000 people were either killed or sent to over 300 detention facilities. The torture was often barbaric; children were tortured in front of their parents and vice versa. In 1982, the military took over british controlled Falkland Islands. This resulted in a three month war with Great Britain. The loss that Argentina suffered here was the last straw for the people who began to protest the military controlled government. The military dictatorship eventually collapsed in 1983, when president Raul Alfonsin was elected. The military commanders in charge were put on trial and all served life sentences, this was called the "Trial of the Juntas." Things seemed to be going well, then Raul Alfonsin passed two very controversial laws in 1990. The bills essentially stated that the officers in charge of torturing could not be charged fro their crimes because they were only following orders, and some of the military officials were even freed, for what Alfonsin claimed to be "national reconciliation." They didn't have to pay for their crimes until 2003, when Nestor Kirchner was elected, the pardon laws were repealed. After his presidency ended his wife took office and Argentina has been working past the dirty war since.

Buenos Aires

As stated earlier, the capital of Argentina is Buenos Aires, this is the largest city in Argentina with a population of 13,076,300, and it is also where I will be starting my journey in Argentina. I arrived in Ministro Pistarini International Airport and was immediately greeted very warm weather while I was making my commute to my hotel in the famous La Boca neighborhood. La Boca is a popular spot for tourists coming to Argentina to visit. It's famous for its colourful houses and the Caminito, where tango artists perform regularly and tango-related memorabilia is sold. Other attractions include the al Ribera a renowned theatre in the area, and many other many tango clubs and taverns. I spent the first day at the Caminito where I watched a number of dances, participated in a few, and learned a lot about the history of tango dancing from the locals (called portentos in Buenos Aires). I learned of Carlos Gardel, often referred to as the "king of tango." He was very influential in the history of tango music and dancing and is one of Argentina's most influential celebrities. Afterwards on of the portenos, named Santiago, after I explained that I was a reporter, offered to show me around for the day. He took me to Patagonia Sur where he introduced me to many classic argentinian dishes like empanadas, which are small puff pastries that can be filled with whatever you want, but ours had beef in it. We also had Locro, a popular corn stew. For dessert we had Sopaipilla, a fried pastry and Facturas, an argentinian danish filled with jam. Afterwards, Santiago had to return home but he gave me a list of interesting spots I should visit while I was here. The next day I went to visit the first place on my list, la Casa Rosada (The Pink House.) The mansion is officially called Casa de Gobierno, (House of Government) and is very similar to the white house in the Unites States as it is where the president of Argentina lives and runs the country. It also houses a museum, which contains objects from former presidents of Argentina. It's famous for its baby pink color. Here I learned about Eva Peron. She was the first lady to Juan Perón, the president of Argentina Eva Perón used her position as first lady to fight for women's rights and improving the lives of the poor, and became a legendary person in Argentina. I then visited Estadio Antonio Vespucio Liberti, also called River Plate Stadium or El Monumental. It's where Argentina's national futbol team plays. Argentina's football team is a very successful team, they've won 2 world cups and 14 Pan American Games. One of their most famous players is Diego Maradona. He used to play for Argentina's national team and many prominent football clubs. Many in the sport, say that Maradona one of the greatest football player of all time. He was the FIFA player of the year along with Pele. Afterwards I took a cab to avenida 6 de julio, the widest street in the world, where I saw the Obelisco de Buenos Aires. t was erected in 1936 to commemorate the 400 year anniversary of the city. It's an obelisk so it looks similar to the Washington Monument in the U.S. After that my visit was well over and I had to head back to the airport to catch a bus to Iguazu Falls. Overall, Buenos Aires was a rich and vibrant city ad a very good representation of the Argentine people and their culture. I would recommend the city to anyone who wants an interesting and exciting trip into latin culture.

Iguazú Falls

Iguazú Falls is one of Argentina's most beautiful and well known natural landmarks. After my trip in Buenos Aires, I took a trip to the falls to see the 5th largest waterfall in the world. With more than 275 falls, the Iguazu are some the most amazing waterfalls in the world. The most infamous is the "devil's throat" that has 14 falls that drop over 350 feet. The waterfall was so impressive that Eleanor Roosevelt, when she saw the Iguazu Waterfalls felt pity on the American Niagara Falls, and said, "Poor Niagara". While I was on the bus, I decided to do a little research on the falls. I found that there is a very interesting tale about the origin of the falls. It is said that God wanted to marry Naipí, a native girl against her wish. She escaped on a canoe with her lover, Tarobá. When god realized this, he got very angry and separated the Iguazu River by creating deep falls so that the two will be forever separated by he falls. I found that there is a point in the water falls that I can stand and get enveloped by 260 degrees of waterfall. The woman sitting next to me said that I chose the perfect time to see them, and that they are most beautiful in the spring. The summers are extremely humid and hot and during the winters, the water recedes. The first day that I arrived I hired a tour guide to guide me on the different paths around the falls. The falls were one of the most majestic things that I'd ever seen in my life. The massive scale of it all was amazing to see, especially the massive "devil's throat." While we walked my tour guide listed various facts and trivia. The falls run along 1.67 miles of the Iguazu River. I also found it interesting that some of the falls are in Argentina, the upper and lower Iguazu are split by the Brazil and Argentina border. He also stated that The first European to find the falls was the Spanish Conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1541, and one of the falls in the Argentine side is named after him. After my tour my tour guide gave me some tips on where to go while I was there. The first place I went the next day was Parque das Aves. It's a very popular zoo near the falls. . Its exhibits mainly birds as well as other animals and butterflies. You are able to get very close to some of the friendlier birds and the tucans were so beautiful. Afterwards, I decided to head to the

Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam. It's a hydroelectric dam on the Paraná River located right on the border between Brazil. It was an interesting tour and I got to see how the dam works and where Foz do Iguacu got most of it's power. The next day was the last before I had to leave home, so I wanted to do something more laid back. I first went to visit the Iguacu National Park. It was so beautiful and the trails were very easy to walk. I also got to see the falls from a much higher vantage point than before. To wrap up my trip, I went to visit the Astronomy Polo Casimiro Montenegro Filho. It's an observatory near the dam. I learned a lot about the galaxy and constellations. The shows were interesting and interactive, I really enjoyed learning. Overall, the falls are magnificent and I'd recomend seeing them to anyone who loves nature or just wants to see a beautiful sight.

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