South American culture is extremely rich and fascinating. During my travels in Argentina, I noticed that there weren’t very many Afro-Argentines, upholding the stereotype that Argentina is the “whitest county in South America.” Depending on who you ask, Afro-Argentines either died fighting the 1865 war against Paraguay, while the remaining fled to Brazil or that President Domingo Fasustion Sameiento attempted to kill all remaining slaves and/or non-European natives. Regardless of what really happened, Afro-Argentines heavily influenced country culture and cuisine. Most unknown? Tango, originally known as Creole Tango.
Argentine culture is most pervasive in Buenos Aires. This city is known as the Paris of South America due to the European architectural influence on buildings and roads. As in most major cities, Buenos Aires has very eclectic boroughs. If you want to see live tango, La Boca is the place for you, although because this is a high crime area, I advise you take heed. If you’re feelin’ a nice cafe and some shopping, Palermo, Soho and Belgrano have extremely trendy vibes. Interested in seeing a traditional South American grave yard combined with the most amazing outside market? Check out Recoleta. Not the city type? Hop on a train to Le Tigre, a town on the river with a local amusement park overlooking the water. On your way back to town, stop by the Posh borough of San Isidro. Beverly Hills 2.0!
Despite Argentina’s unfriendly past, you will find that the locals are quite friendly. I can still remember the man at a local bakery calling out “Nagrita,” a term of endearment meaning little black girl. The people of Argentina, with their complex tapestry, appear to have moved on from past beliefs, learning to embrace difficult cultures. Go and see for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.
This story was curated by Coco Franklin.