Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Interupting argentina for a link

I just wanted to chime in with this link to The Where Blog: A blog about urban places, placemaking and the concept of place.

I was stoked to find this blog because I am infatuated with Urban place and because they link to amazing pictures and I like visuals.

Take a look-see!

Do you recognize any of the pictures from your city?

Do you have any blogs to share?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Holidays in Argentina

There are several national holidays in Argentina, this country knows how to embrace culture and how to throw a fiesta!

Here are a few examples:

March/April: Carnaval de Pais!
This is celebrated two weeks prior to the start of Lent- similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnavale in Brazil.

It is widely celebrated throughout the country with parades, parties and merry-making. The biggest festivale is held in Gualeguichu where they have a 38,000 seat venue with a stage that holds 700 dancers.

They really know how to make plan a parade!

May 8th: Día de la Virgen de Luján
Our Lady of Lujan is the patron saint of Argentina. On this day Catholics in the country celebrate their patron saint with Mass, processions and festivals.

Tradition says that an ox-drawn wagon was taking a statue of The Virgin from Buenos Aires to Santiago del Estero. The animals stopped at the Luján River and refused to cross. Through trial and error the teamsters discovered that if the box with the Virgin was in the wagon, the oxen would not move; if it was removed, then away they went. After testing this several times, the people realized that Our Lady wanted to stay in Luján, and so she is there today.

October 12th: Día de la Raza:
This holiday started in 1917 as a celebration of the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus.

The holiday is still observed throughout South America and North America. In Argentina it has evolved into a celebration of cultural origin and diversity in the community.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Argentina: How to Tango

The controversial dance of the Tango originated in Argentina amongst poor immigrants from Africa, Italy and Spain. The exact history of the dance is greatly debated.

Rather than sort that out, here is a quick pictorial on how to Tango!

Dont' for get these key elements:

Tango music:
The accordion player in the Mandrágora Tango Orchestra played at my wedding.

Dancing Shoes:

The Steps:

The Rose:

The sexual tension:

And a partner, because it takes two to Tango!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fast forward Argentina

Ok, I have to zip ahead for a bit. Here are some facts about Argentina today!

The country elected a female President in December 2007:

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

She is a lawyer and she was a senator from the Buenos Aires Province. Oh and her husband was formerly the President of Argentina, Nestor Kirchner.

Huh, how about that?

Here she is talking energy with her cohorts from Bolivia and Brazil:

By the way, there are 23 provinces and 1 autonomous city in Argentina. The country is a Federal Presidential Republic.

The official language is Spanish for the 40,301,927 people who live in Argentina.

The currency is the Argentine Peso, there are just over 3 pesos in 1 US dollar.

The country is rich in natural resource and was one of the richest countries in the world 100 years ago. The economy hit rock bottom around 2001 and they are now on an economic upswing.

Their resources and industries include oil, fisheries, natural gas, various silver mines (gold, magnesium, silver, etc, forestry, tourism, and agriculture.

Of course we cannot forget their greatest export:


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Argentina: Post-Europeans

Spain established Buenos Aires around 1580. Buenos Aires remians the capitol of Argentina and is also the largest city.

Buenos Aires Planning Map 1880

Buenos Aires Today
The descendants of Spanish immigrants/colonists in Argentina are called criollo. The Spanish brought in slaves from Africa to help make their new colony fruitful.

In 1806 the British tried and failed to overtake Argentina from Spanish rule. The people of Buenos Aires took the opportunity to fight for their independence from Spain. Independence was officially declared on July 9th, 1816.

More on modern Argentina to come....please stay tuned!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Before the Europeans came along in the 1500's, Argentina was inhabited by indigenous tribes like the Diaguita, the Mapuche and the Guaraní.

The MapucheThe Diaguita

Diaguita woman today

The Inca Empire invaded Northwest Argentina in 1480, under the guidance of Pachacutec, whose name means "He who remakes the world". (He is believed to have been a contemporary during the rise of Manchu Picchu in Peru.)

Battle against the Incas

The native peoples of the land were able to resist Spanish settlement n Buenos Aires until 1580, even then Argentina remained rugged for 200 year.

This delay is due to the unification of indigenous people. They avoided being used for European labor by developing large cattle ranches in Pantagonia, know as Haciendas, where they lived and worked together.

Modern ranchers in Pantagonia

Gauchos, a South American version of the North American cowboy, came to be as these ranchlands needed protection and workers to thrive.

Gaucho- 1800s

Monday, May 5, 2008

Don't cry for me, Argentina!

The truth is I was not quite sure exactly where you were located!!!!!

I know Evita and all the lyrics, but those were the limits
of my knowledge

Very embarrassing.

Argentina: the second biggest country in South America, eighth largest country in the world!

The span of Argentina includes the mainland land and also portions of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Islands and the South Sandwich Islands.

And I did not know exactly where it was on a globe-OUCH.....hence this blog!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Oh San Marino

The Three Towers of San Marino are three towers perched on 3 peaks overlooking Monte Titano, the capitol of San Marino.




You can find them depicted on the national flag and the coat of arms.

A famous cake from San Marino, La Torta Di Tre Monti, is named for the towers, it is traditional cake made of layers of wafers cemented together by chocolate or hazelnut creme. The final product is covered in chocolate fondant.

There are six state run museums in San Marino centering on art and history. There is also of Museum of Torture!

Love Orchestra is a new-age music project from San Marino, led by native son Gian Luca "Luke" Mazza.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

More San Marino!

In San Marino they use the Euro, though they are not a member of the European Union.

The San Marino Lira, which was the previous currency, is rare and is valuable to coin collectors.

50% of the economy is based on tourism, other industries include banking, pottery, and electronics. They also make wine and cheese there.
Postage stamps from San Marino are only valid for shipping within San Marino. Itallian postage is used for shipping elsewhere.

Apparently they have Boy Scouts too!