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ARGENTINA,  COUNTRY AND PEOPLE

 

      

Location, area and frontiers : Argentina (from the Latin argentum,  since 1860 Republica Argentina, is a continental area covering almost 3 million sq km. Its frontier with Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile has a perimeter of 9.376 kms and the coast on the Atlantic Ocean is 4.725 kms long.)

Geography and other features : Argentina offers a variety of landscapes and climate;   Aconcagua is our recognized highest peak (6.959mts).  Argentina is a land of contrasts, varied geography, geology and natural resources,  with immense central plains, a majestic mountain range, plateaus in the northwest, lakes, forests and glaciers in the south,  and waters in the northeast.   Fresh water,  clean air (out of big towns), open spaces (pampas,  patagonia), uncontaminated beef (grass grazed animals),  green forests  (northeast  and southwest),   fresh fruit  and vegetables  of all sorts all the year round,  plenty of sun and good weather  are  generous with us (not equally  with everybody).  

Currency: The official Argentine currency is the Peso and there are notes of 5,10,20,50 and 100 pesos and coins of 1,2 and 5 pesos and 5,10, 25 and 50 centavos. 

Government and  Constitution: The country is a federal  and democratic republic (executive, legislative and judicial powers).  We are a "federal" country, but sometimes it would seem everything is happening in the city of Buenos Aires (capital of Argentina). Spanish is our official language and English is becoming our second (globalization pushing). Historically, Argentina was closely connected to Europe,  opening to the rest of the world only after  WWII, and lately looking elsewhere    trying to join forces  with other South American countries to gain economic strength.

Population and cities:   Almost half of our  38 million population,   live in the Federal Capital (those who can,  are trying to move to the suburbs, just like in any other big city) and the province of Buenos Aires.  Density is 13 inh/km2, 85% of population lives in cities, 12 million in Buenos Aires, followed by Cordoba 1,2 million, industrial Rosario close behind, Mendoza 851.000 people and good wines;  San Miguel de Tucuman, "the garden city of Argentina", with 626.143,  La Plata, capital of the Province of Buenos Aires 520.647,  Mar del Plata, "queen" of the coast  519.797 and Salta,  "the beautiful"  367.099.  Pure indigenous population (Mapuches, Collas, Tobas, Matacos,Guaranies, Huarpes, Ranqueles, Pampa, Diaguita and Chiriguanos) amount to an approx 0.5% of total.  

Neighbors :  We  are still learning to accept our neighbors and call them names.    Paraguayans mostly work in the construction industry;  Bolivians produce and sell green grocery.   Uruguayans are our "nearest". We like their beaches and choose their banks to evade local  taxes when we have no access to more remote havens,   or need relative security in times of crisis.  Chileans,  across the Andes,  are doing a great  job, their economy  has been flourishing for years now (despite their political problems, they are consistent, love their country and respect their rules and policies,   have diversified their economy and are pushing exports)  but they have been "underming" our own markets and we secretly disdain them for their success.    Brazil is our big expansionist brother,  with huge  forest reserves (irrational use of their land - not always their own fault - has caused great harm), beautiful coast and friendly people, who keep their smile in times of crisis.   

Argentina and Argentines :   Argentina is  populated by people who have come from all parts of the world.   Lifestyle in cities is markedly more European than any other in South America. Our greatest enemies are two : corruption  and  our incapability of finding wise intellectual and political leaders.   On the other hand,  Argentina is  a  young country (discovered 300 after the opening of the  first university in Europe!)  We simply cannot expect to  have it all at once. Can we?  Nevertheless we  should be doing something to avoid our young people from emigrating to countries where their elders have come from in search for peace or prosperity,  and convince them that it is not gold all that glitters.  

Further search to know us: When preparing this website I have come across lots of valuable links on Argentina, (some only in Spanish). There is  a selection under General Links or links are attached to corresponding pages. Search well,  enjoy it and come down here to visit us. YouŽll never forget it.