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    South by South America Tour – Argentina Part 2

    Wednesday, July 31, 2019
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Pole position at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    Pole position at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    I took it easy today to rest up after my long flight yesterday from Los Angeles, California to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Enjoy a few photos I snapped when I took a short stroll down to the Plaza de Mayo. “Argentina is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 kilometers (1,073,500 square miles), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, and the largest Spanish-speaking nation. The sovereign state is subdivided into 23 provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation.

    “The earliest recorded human presence in modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The Inca Empire expanded to the northwest of the country in Pre-Columbian times. The country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century. Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. The declaration and fight for independence (1810–1818) was followed by an extended civil war that lasted until 1861, culminating in the country’s reorganization as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city.

    Read between the lines, I mean walk between the buildings at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    Read between the lines, I mean walk between the buildings at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    “The country thereafter enjoyed relative peace and stability, with several waves of European immigration, mainly Italians and Spaniards, radically reshaping its cultural and demographic outlook; 62.5% of the population has full or partial Italian ancestry, and the Argentine culture has significant connections to the Italian culture. The almost-unparalleled increase in prosperity led to Argentina becoming the seventh wealthiest nation in the world by the early 20th century.

    “Following the Great Depression in the 1930s, Argentina descended into political instability and economic decline that pushed it back into underdevelopment, though it remained among the 15 richest countries for several decades. Following the death of President Juan Perón in 1974, his widow, Isabel Martínez de Perón, ascended to the presidency. She was overthrown in 1976 by a U.S.-backed coup which installed a right-wing military dictatorship. The military government persecuted and murdered numerous political critics, activists, and leftists in the Dirty War, a period of state terrorism that lasted until the election of Raúl Alfonsín as President in 1983. Several of the junta’s leaders were later convicted of their crimes and sentenced to imprisonment.

    Some buildings around the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    Some buildings around the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    “Argentina is a prominent regional power in the Southern Cone and Latin America, and retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs. Argentina has the second largest economy in South America, the third-largest in Latin America, and membership in the G-15 and G-20 major economies. Despite its history of economic instability, it ranks second highest in the Human Development Index in Latin America and it is classified as a World Bank middle income economy by the World Bank. Argentina is a federal constitutional republic and representative democracy.

    “Argentina is a mega-diverse country, hosting one of the greatest ecosystem varieties in the world: 15 continental zones, 3 oceanic zones, and the Antarctic region are all represented in its territory. This huge ecosystem variety has led to a biological diversity that is among the world’s largest. In general, Argentina has four main climate types: warm, moderate, arid, and cold, all determined by the expanse across latitude, range in altitude, and relief features.

    A palm tree echoes a light pole at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    A palm tree echoes a light pole at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    “Tourism in Argentina is characterized by its cultural offerings and its ample and varied natural assets. The country had 5.57 million visitors in 2013, ranking in terms of the international tourist arrivals as the top destination in South America, and second in Latin America after Mexico. Revenues from international tourists reached US$4.41 billion in 2013, down from US$4.89 billion in 2012. The country’s capital city, Buenos Aires, is the most visited city in South America. There are 30 National Parks in Argentina including many World Heritage Sites.

    “According to a CONICET poll in 2008, at the time of polling, Argentines were 76.5% Catholic, 11.3% agnostics and atheists, 9% Evangelical Protestants, 1.2% Jehovah’s Witnesses, 0.9% Mormons; while 1.2% followed other religions, including Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. These figures appear to have changed quite significantly in recent years. Data recorded in 2017 indicated that Catholics made up 66% of the population, indicating a drop of 10.5% in nine years, and the non-religious in the country standing at 21% of the population, indicating an almost doubling over nine years.”—Wikipedia

    A mural in front of a shop on Avenue de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    A mural in front of a shop on Avenue de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Words and photos ©2019 Arcane Candy.

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