“Como andas, che?” The everyday “how are you, dude?” phrase tossed around the streets of Argentina quickly will become familiar to you as you walk along the tree-lined boulevard past jovial Argentines enjoying a café in the sun.
In the capital city of Cordoba, streets intersect with grand palms, stray dogs, and street performers. The chaos of a big city seems lost in this idyllic haven, where you can always find a peaceful plaza, a conversant stranger, or a nearby river to escape. With the National University of Argentina located in Cordoba, the city thrives with student’s fresh ideas, vibrant nightlife, and artesanal markets.
Argentina is a bright and joyous international destination, with some of the richest food and wine, enchanting landscapes, and optimistic people you may find. With inflation rates over 50% in 2019, Argentina has suffered economic turmoil. Though the financial difficulties are undoubtedly frustrating, Argentines find happiness with what they have. They are resourceful, adaptive, and creative in the wake of difficulty. Argentina welcomes you with open arms.
1. Argentina is the Europe of South America
Argentina is almost like being in Europe, yet uniquely South American. Almost 97% of Argentines are of European and mixed ancestry, with Argentina being the second-most immigrant populated country in the Americas after the United States. From blonde to brunette to redhead, the people are uniquely exotic, as is the city.
You may recognize the French-inspired architecture, the Spanish-inspired plazas, the Italian-inspired accent, or the German-inspired pastries. The country exudes a generous mix where international beauty meets South American hospitality.
2. Latin American Flavor - from Sweet to Salty
Argentina is famous for its incredible varied landscapes, from jungled Iguazu Falls in the north to rugged Patagonia in the south, and its flavor is just as diverse as the landscape.
No trip to Argentina is complete without meat. Asado, or barbecue, is a weekend tradition, with endless amounts of meat until you can’t eat, followed by a glass of local vino. Argentina boasts the fifth largest production of wine, with certain varieties only found here.
Breakfast starts at the bakery. Medialunas, croissants, are found on nearly every corner. Dulce de leche is added for extra sweetness. The sweet breakfast complements the savory afternoon snacks. Empanadas are stuffed with varying delights, from meat to cheese to vegetables. With each province having its own specialty empanada, you’re destined to find the one you love.
No ideal afternoon is Argentina is complete without siesta, when many suburban shops close from 3-6PM. Dinner won’t be served until after 9PM and the nightlife begins even later, so embracing siesta is key to embracing the Argentine way of life.
3. A Generous and Friendly Good Vibe
Cordoba is the heart of Argentina, and Cordobeses, people from Cordoba, exude that warmth and compassion. As a foreigner you’ll quickly notice their incredible curiosity and kindness. Nearly every conversation starts with "todo bien?" or all good? and quickly results in “de donde sos?” or where are you from? If you greet everyone with the customary hug and kiss on the cheek, you’ll soon find that although they may be distant strangers, they quickly welcome you in as their own.
Nothing represents Argentine generosity quite like the sharing of mate in the park. Yerba mate is a typical Argentine tea and a tradition you’ll see celebrated all times of the day as groups gather together to pass around glass after glass and chat. Drink to your heart’s content because once you say “gracias” you are saying you’ve had enough. ¡Salud!
4. Spanish Like You’ve Never Heard Before
Argentines love to be unique, and their Spanish accent is a perfect example of their uniqueness. Not only do Argentines speak with a strong, animated accent, they also change the pronoun you, “tu” into “vos” and the verb are “eres” into “sos”. For example, “tu eres inteligente” would be “vos sos inteligente!”
Don’t fear however, because their patience to teach you their ways and their curiosity to learn from you makes this a great place to learn Spanish. Try one of our Spanish Language Courses and before long you’ll quickly realize you’ll be speaking Argentino, che.
5. No Evolution Without Revolution
Argentines have a history of fighting for what they believe in. Ernesto “Che” Guevara, is one of Argentina’s most popular figures of revolution. Evita Perón, the wife of President Juan Perón, fought for women’s voting rights and improving the lives of poor communities.
“Los desaparecidos” or “the disappeared”, refers to the thousands of people that disappeared during the “Dirty War” military dictatorship from 1976-1983. Memorials around the city are devoted to those who stood up to their government and dared to stand up for what is right.
Advocacy is an integral part of Argentine history. Our Human Rights Project will give you access to the continuing fight for equality in the country, where you will firsthand embrace what it means to stand up for what you believe. Argentina teaches you that your life is precious and you have a voice that deserves to be heard.
What Makes Argentina Beautiful
When you think of “quality of life”, how do you measure it? Is it economic growth, educational opportunity, equality? Or is it something intangible like joy, harmony, compassion, unity? Nowhere is perfect and everywhere you travel will come with an element of uncertainty. But one thing you may come to recognize traveling the world is that things don’t make people happy.
Walking the streets of Argentina you might see what you perceive as poverty, but you’ll also see a pleasant and compassionate society. You’ll see joy and laughter, friends in the park, families walking hand-in-hand, and for a moment you may reconsider what brings joy to your life.
Traveling to Argentina shows you that we’re not so different at all and we have a shared mission to be happy. All it takes is “hola” to break the ice. From there it's all yours to discover. ¡Buen viaje, che!
"If you have the opportunity to travel to Argentina with Projects Abroad, do it. Take the risk. Take the risk, because, my experience was everything I could have asked for and more. My experience in Argentina changed my life forever." -Lucy J, Childcare & Spanish in Argentina
Learn More About Our Argentina Volunteer Programs
We offer the gold standard in international volunteer programs. Check out our volunteer projects in Argentina:
- Medical Internship in Hospitals for pre-med (and high school students)
- Human Rights Internship & Spanish Classes
- Teaching English to children
- Radio Journalism Internship
- Dentistry Internship
- Sports Coaching
- Work at an Animal Shelter as a pre-veterinarian
- Animal Therapy Internship with horses