The experience and knowledge I gained in the past week are too much to fit into a single blog. For this reason, I will list, the top six things any traveler should know before going to Buenos Aires. I encourage you to further explore the topics.
1.Let’s Tango: In Argentina, tango is a popular and traditional dance practiced by Porteños (natives). Our itinerary included lessons at a non-touristy tango club, followed by a performance from the tango orchestra at Fervor de Buenos Aires. Reservations can be made in advance and the cover charge is $10 pesos ($3 dollars). Also, as pointed out by a classmate, it must be acknowledged that Argentinean dance is more than just tango; there is also chamame, cuarteto, and Argentine Folk.
2. Performances: Buenos Aires has some impressive shows and I recommend reserving tickets online. We saw Circus – “Milagro”, an acrobatic program 5 minutes from the B.A.U.E.N.
3. Visit recovered factories. We explored three: El Global, (a Balloon Factory), Chilavert Gráfica (a printing press), and Crometel, (a metal factory). We were able to visit these factories through the Argentine Autonomista Project (AAP), an organization, in Buenos Aires offering technical and financial assistance to recovered factories. AAP offers internships and organizes trips like ours.
4. Taking transportation: In Buenos Aires, it is really common to take the Subte, or metro. However, if you get intimidated by big crowds or are claustrophobic, take a Radio taxi (avoid non-radio cabs if possible, they don’t pertain to an organization, thus there is no number to call for problems). My teacher Gloria got separated from her husband on the Subte. It was peak time and crowded; she pushed and yelled to get out but nobody let her off. By the time she got to the door, her only choice was to jump out of a moving train (some trains are old and have wooden doors).
5. Dollars for Peso: Argentina is one country that will not burn a hole in the pockets of Americans; the exchange rate is 3: 1. Argentina uses the American dollar sign to price its items, thus if you see some crazy figure, divide it by three to get the real price in dollars. Also, whenever you get money back, hold it up to the light and look for a man’s face, this will assure that it is not counterfeit.
6. Participate or watch Las Madres de La Plaza de Mayo: In 1976, the last military coup took over Argentina’s government. One result of this was the Dirty War (referred to by Argentineans as The Genocide). The mothers still march every Thursday in protest, trying to find their missing sons and daughters, abducted by Argentine government during that time.
I hope you enjoyed taking the journey with us to Buenos Aires, it was the ultimate learning experience and I hope to return soon.