Buenos Aires Stories and Tips

The Argentine Psyche

I found Argentina to be a culturally fascinating place. I had grown up in Latin American countries and Buenos Aires was the most different South American experience I have ever had. The European favor is very strong there and it was nice to go to a South American country where people were not begging in the streets and crowding around you because you were an American. I was tired of going to "Third World Countries" but this was not the case with Argentina.

It was very interesting to see that most Argentinians look American but that is because their families all come from Europe and there were very few "native" Argentinians. Native Indian Agentinians only make up about 1% of the Argentinian population. This is because when the Europeans came over they "exterminated" a good amount of the population to tame the country so in Argentina you will see very little "Indian" influence.

Almost all of Argentinians' families hail from Europe. Italy being first, Spain second, England third, and Germany fourth. The Italian influence is so strong that it has influenced the way Spanish is spoken there. In fact, if you speak Italian, you can get along fabulously there.

Argentinians are very educated which is so refreshing compared to the rest of South America. You would think that they would be leading the rest of their continent in so many areas but their major obstacle has been corruption. You see the way business is done in Argentina is that everyone who owns a business has two sets of books. The one that the officials see and the one that is factual. Payoffs are still the way business is done there. The Argentinians do not like the way things are done there but they can not seem to get anyone in power who has the strength to effect real change. Argentinians are very conservative people. They are cautious of change because they have been promised change in the past and have gotten screwed. Argentina is such a big country and has many natural resources but they also have a very xenophobic way of viewing business outside of their country. They are very guarded about money because their country has had such wealth in the past and it was all taken away by the people in power.

Everything in Argentina is made in Argentina. Very few items are made outside of their country except maybe chocolate. If they tried to export more of their products their economy would only benefit. They certainly do not have a shortage of people who want to work. In fact, since all of the problems that they have been having lately, many Argentinians are trying to immigrate to the U.S. and once here they are here they try to bring the rest of their family. They have been exporting their wines but the problem is that the wines they export are not their best wines. They keep those in Argentina for their consumption. While I was there I found that their best wines rivaled those of France and were very inexpensive compared to French wine. It was easy to find a ten year bottle of Bourdeaux there whereas in this country those bottles are a premium a can go for hundreds of dollars.

Argentines are not used to being very open when it comes to talking to foreigners about their politics. This is because of the Peron era where if you spoke up you disappeared and also later when people started to disappear. In private they are very opinionated but discussing governmental issues in a restaurant out in public is just not done. Argentinians are made up of quite a few "political" refugees. Quite a few Spaniards fled to there when Spain was going through their revolution with the Communists at the beginning of the 20th Century. Then during WWII Jews fled there to escape the Nazis and then the Nazies came there fleeing the Allies. In the sixties the government started persecuting Jews and many fled to Israel and the U.S. I know this because I have a family member who married into my family who's family came to the U.S. this way.

Lastly, Argentina is a great place to vist if you want adventure in your life without any danger. They save their aggressiveness for the soccer and polo fields.

Been to this destination?

Share Your Story or Tip