By: Alyssa Tempel, Macie Kite, Chelsey Knutzen, Rianne Lang

General Information
Argentina contains some of the worlds, largest mountains, widespread deserts and awe-inspiring waterfalls but also has the diversity ranging from one of the most exotic waterfall to the civilized sophistication of Buenos Aires. Argentina is located in the southern half of the South America and is the eighth largest country. ("An Introduction to Argentina") It has a population of about 37 million and covers over 3,761,274 sq. km giving it a great variety of scenery. ("Argentina General Information") Argentina has five different regions give it a huge flexion in climate and weather depends on where you are. The first region is Mesopotamia, which means ‘between rivers’ and is in the northeastern part of Argentina. (Streissguth 9) subtropical climate and jungle areas; in the south the climatic conditions are more temperate that allowed farming. This is also home to the Iguazu Falls that are ranked fifth nationally in the world height ranking. Chaco is the second of the different regions it is located in north central part of Argentina. (Streissguth 9) It contains a tropical rainforest and also has a drier savanna that includes grassland with a few trees. The word Chaco means hunting ground. (Streissguth 9) Then there is the pampas is the most fertile apart of Argentina and one of the three of the largest fertile plains in the world. (“Background information on Argentina”) The pampas also known as the breadbasket which provides the country with grains, beef and other valuable products. (Streissguth 11) Next the Cuyo is in the northwestern part closest to the Andes Mountains which is 22,834 feet above sea level. (Streissguth 11) The highest point in the Western Hemisphere is the Cerro Aconcagua. And lastly there is the Patagonia has two different portions; the south, which has lakes, forest and glaciers. ("Argentina General Information.") It has a cool and damp climate. Where as in the central part there is the continuation of the Cuyo and the Andes mountain range. ("Argentina General Information.") In general the climate is pretty temperate but has extreme heat in the Chaco area, mild in the pampas region and the sub-Antarctic cold in the Patagonia region. ("Argentina - Climate.") Some major land formations and cities in Argentina are world known. To start there is the Jorge Basin is the lowest point in Argentina and supplies a lot of resources. Then there is the Parana River that is in northern Argentina and is about 1,800 miles long. (“Argentina the land of silver”) The capital is Buenos Aires which is located sort of in the middle of the country and is home about 12 million people. There is also Cordoba that is the second largest city in Argentina and is about 700 miles from Buenos Aires. (“Argentina the land of silver”)
Government, religion, currency, and imports and exports are four very important topics when it comes to Argentinean lifestyle and economy. For as many types of governments that there is in the world the Argentina has picked Republic
("Argentina.”) This is a representative democracy, in which the peoples elected deputies not the people themselves vote on legislation. ("Argentina.") One benefit to living in Argentina is that you are allowed to choose your own religion. Argentina is deeply catholic and has influenced Argentineans culture immensely. The catholic religion has been in Argentina for centuries from the first Spanish colonist to recent European immigrants, and about 90% of Argentina’s people have been raised as catholic. (Streissguth 39) There are over 75 currencies in the world, and probably a lot more coming in the future. ("Identifying your foreign money.”) One of those currencies would be a peso, which would be the dollar to every Spanish country there is, one of those beings Argentina. The peso is linked to the US dollar in an exchange rate; it’s 3.8 to the US dollar. ("Argentina.") Argentina suffered a trade deficit during the twentieth century, but when they did an export trade with Mercosur it helped compensates the deficits with North America. Then in the late 1990’s Argentina’s exports were machinery, crude oil, chemicals, agricultural goods including grain, beef, and animal feed. They imported vehicles, office machines such as computers, paper products, and telecommunications equipment. ("Argentina."- Today they have exported $55.78 billion dollar and imported $42.53 billion dollars. ("Argentina.")

History of Argentina

The Explorers of Argentina
In 1516, a Portuguese explorer named Juan de Soliz became the first man to establish the land of Argentina. While he was there he tried to claim the land for Spain but was killed by indigenous people (Lewis). During the year 1527, a man by the name Sebastian Cabot founded the first European settlement near Rosario. This man named the Rio de la Plata meaning river of silver and this silver was made into jewelry, which the Indians wore often (Gofen).


The Colonization Period:
In the year 1532, Francisco Pizarro found the Incan Empire, which helped the colonists on their way. When the settlers finally showed up, the people who mainly settled in Argentina came from Peru and Chili (Gofen). After traveling by sea they crossed over the Andes Mountains and founded Argentina’s oldest cities. These cities were Mendoza, Tucuman, Cordoba, Salta and Jujuy (Gofen).

Argentina's Independence:
As time went on, wealthy business and landowners began to dislike their government. They did not like the fact that whatever they were making in profit, some of it had to go to the government. Instead of sending it to Spain in the form of taxes, people who owned the land wanted to keep the wealth and control the trade (Gofen). During the years 1807 – 1808 France declared war on Spain and during that time Argentina took advantage of Spain’s military for independence. Rather than go along with the declaration, King Ferdinand decided to ignore it (Gofen). As 1812 came along, General Jose de San Martin led the fight against Spain and won Argentina’s independence in the year July 9, 1816 (Lewis).


The Constitution of 1853:
This constitution was set up like the U.S. constitution. A gentleman by the name General Justo Jose de Urquiza became president around that same year. He was president of the new confederation of provinces (Gofen). As years went on Buenos Aires became the capital of Argentina and a man named Bartolome Mitre took over as President of the 14 provinces (Gofen). In the year 1811 – 1888 another President was elected named Faustino Sarmiento and he really promoted education. Now “the country has one of the highest literacy rates in the world” (Gofen)”. Finally, as time went on after the constitution in 1880, the city of Buenos Aires became a federal district just like the District of Columbia in the United States (Gofen).

Argentina Under The Power of Peron:
During the year 1946, Juan Domingo Peron became President. He was the one who founded the Peronist party, also known as the Justicialist party, which is still around today (Lewis). Peron helped the working class with higher wages and took control of many of Argentina’s industries (Gofen). As time passed on, people started to become suspicious of Peron. No one could trust him, especially the military. He “ suspended freedom of speech and altered the constitution to increase his powers, and permitted a second term of office for himself ”(Gofen). So finally, he was taken out of power and the navy and army banned him from Argentina. (Gofen). In 1973, he returned and was re-elected but died the next year in 1974. (Lewis).

Argentina Under The Power of Evita Peron
Soon after the death of her husband, Evita Peron became President. She was the third wife to Juan Domingo Peron and also his Vice President (Gofen). Once she took over, everything came crashing down. Terrorist acts started happening by the Guerrilla Group and inflation began to rise to about 300 percent (Lewis). This group fled the whole country. Because Argentina’s problems increased she was taken out of office and a member of the guerrilla group or junta military named General Leopoldo Galtieri, lead the government (Crooker). He set up an organization called the el proceso meaning the process (Lewis). It basically shut the whole government down and no one was allowed to do anything. It was also said to believe that this organization tortured, killed, and imprisoned people without going to court (Gofen). These victims were known as the los desaparecidos or the disappeared. This was the start of the “Dirty War” (Lewis).

Evita Peron

Today in Argentina:
In addition to all of these leaders, the current President of Argentina is Christina Fernandez de Kirchner. She took over presidency in 2007 after her husband Nester Kirchner was elected in 2003 (Holzagel). In Argentina their election is just like the United States. The president and Vice President have a four-year contract and once it is up they can choose to run again for office, or let someone else take over. She is now the second first lady in the history of Argentina and was also named one of the 100 most powerful women in the world (Holznagel). In conclusion, even today she continues to make Argentina an excellent and well-rounded country.

Although known mostly as the birthplace of the tango, Argentina is home to a diverse selection of music and dance styles from its various geographic regions. Largely a mixture of European and indigenous influences (referred to as mestizo), many of Argentina's musical genres can be divided into two primary categories: folklore and popular music (CountryReports.org). Some of Argentina's most popular forms are the zamba, a slow dance in 3/4 time played primarily on guitar and bombo legüero (the Indigenous Argentine bass drum). Once considered Argentina's national dance, the zamba originated in Perú in the Creole genre known as the zamacueca (CountryReports.org).

Painting. Painting did not develop much before the late 1800’s in Argentina. During the 1800’s, rural life and gaucho legends inspired such Argentine painters as Carlos Morel and Prilidiano Pueyrredón. (Jokisch) During the 1900’s, the painter Benito Quinquela Martin portrayed the lives of workers and immigrants in Buenos Aires. In the 1920’s Emilio Pettoruti and Alfredo Guttero introduced European avant-garde painting to Argentina. Since then, various regional and international trends have caught on. Today, Argentina is a major center for Latin American painting. Artists thrive especially in Buenos Aires and the other provincial capitals. (Jokisch)

Literature. Unlike many former Spanish colonies, Argentina lacks a significant amount of colonial literature. Around 1776, Alonso Carrió de la Vandera’s published a travel guide called The Guide for Blind Wayfarers. Filled with details about everyday colonial life, it is a rare and important historical source. Gauchesca poetry, which developed in the mid-1800’s, describes gaucho life and satirizes politics of that time (Jokisch). José Hernández’s El gaucho Martín Fierro (1872) and La vuelta de Martín Fierro (The Return of Martín Fierro, 1879), and Estanislao del Campo’s Fausto are the most famous examples of gauchesca poetry (Crooker). A genre known as criollismo, which originated in the 1800’s and continued into the early 1900’s, describes the lives of rural criollos, people of Spanish descent born in Latin America (Jokisch) Important authors of criollo literature include Benito Lynch and Roberto Jorge Payró. Much Argentine literature from the middle and late 1800’s was characterized by historical and political writing. Important writers of this period included Bartolomé Mitre and Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (Jokisch).
Benito Lynch

Theater and Film. Buenos Aires is very famous for its theater performances, those of which rival the theaters of New York, London, and Paris. In the early 20th century, theatergoers called the city “Paris of Latin America” the name still applies today. In the winter months, theater-going is the most popular (Crocker). Argentina’s most famous opera house is the Colon Theater in Buenos Aires which is modeled after the Paris Opera House. The world famous acoustics have drawn many opera singers. Such as, Luciano Pavorotti, Julio Bocca, and Placido Domingo. Movies are another popular past time in Argentina. Buenos Aires has more then 250 movie theaters alone that show Argentine and international films. The Argentine film directors have gained praise from all over the world. Several movies have earned Oscars for best foreign film (Crocker). Argentine composer Lalo Schifrin wrote many themes for American movies. Such as, Mission Impossible, Rush Hour, Cool Hand Luke, and Dirty Harry (Crocker).
Colon Theater

Recreation. Soccer is the most popular sport in Argentina. Other popular sports include basketball, rugby, and automobile and horse racing. The Atlantic coast south of Buenos Aires and the hilly country around Córdoba province are popular vacation spots. The southern Andes attract hikers, hunters, and skiers.

. Argentines observe a number of regional festivals. In January, along with celebrating New Years Day, the Argentines also celebrate the National Festival of Folklore. Not only does the festival attract those who live in Argentina, but those from across the world. In July, Independence Day is celebrated on the 9th. It commemorates the day when their leader San Miguel de Tucuman declared their complete independence from Spain (Shields).


Food and Cuisine

Popular Food and Drink

Culinary customs in Argentina are very important to the people living there, and through the years their tastes have evolved to incorporate a variety of world cuisines (Eyewitness Travel). One of their main customs is having popular parillas all along the , country, with their main dishes incorporating a variety of meats. Steak, pork, sausage, and lamb are all very popular through Argentina, and although they have an extensive coastline, fish is unpopular (Eyewitness Travel). The average Argentine consumes approximately 190lbs of beef per year because it is believed by the people that eating this beef will give the people the animal’s vitality and they believe it will make them strong (Cultures of the World). The result of all the meat consumed is, that most Argentines have high cholesterol and low health levels.
Popular drinks in Argentina consist of Yerba Mate, alcohol, tea, coffee, fruit juice, and red wine (Kwintessential). They incorporate these drinks into their meals, which typically consists of grilled beef, French fries, salad, and red wine. They have two ways to make their salad. One just being tomato and lettuce, while the other is tossed with either olive oil , vinegar, or lemon juice (Cultures of the World). However, on the colder days, the Argentine’s like to eat a popular stew called locro.
Then after the main dish, they have dessert. Popular desserts are fresh fruit and cheese, dulche de leche, Alfajores con dulche de leche, Almandrado (rice pudding), and ice cream. Dulche de leche is a filling used in many desserts, like the pastry alfajore. However, it is also spread on toast, eaten plain by the spoonful, served on ice cream, used in cakes, and often times eaten with cheese (Cultures of the World).

Food Customs

In Argentina a strong tradition is getting together on Sundays and having an asado. Many hold them in their back gardens and it is a great social outlet for friends. Some traditions of this “barbecue” are cooking the meat of the animals over a brasero, which is a coal heated platter (Eyewitness Travel), or they cook the whole animal on an iron cross in a crucifix type position (Kwintessential). Drinking yerba mate at these asados is a traditional custom because you are with close friends and family.

The food of Argentina is a mix of Jewish, Italian, Spanish, Polish, and German foods. Many of their dishes have been influenced by the northewest, for example, Humanita en chala, which is a midly spicy cornmeal talmale cooked in corn husks (Cultures of the World)

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