Northern Argentina

Last weekend I had the amazing opportunity to visit one of the 7 natural wonders of the world: Iguazú Falls. The falls are located on the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. The word ‘iguazú’ comes from the native Guarani language and it means ‘big water’. Spanish Conquistador Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca discovered the falls in 1541. It is possible that Iguazú was formed millions of years ago by a volcanic eruption that created a giant crack in the earth. The falls are absolutely amazing and are the longest stretch of waterfalls in the world (about 1.7 miles long); there are almost 200 different waterfalls total. The largest and most impressive of the falls is called ‘Garganta del Diablo’ (The Devil’s Throat). Here the falls form a giant, circular 270ft chasm that seems like it will never end. It is said that when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited Iguazú she said ‘Poor Niagara’ because there really is no comparison between the two. About 1.3 million cubic feet of water flow over the falls every second; while only 600,000 cubic feet of water flow over Niagara per second. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip:

While we were in the north of Argentina we also went to Oberá to visit the ruins of a Spanish Mission called Missión de San Ignacio. The Jesuits founded this mission around the year 1630 in order to convert the native Guarani people to Catholicism.

The final part of our trip was a visit to an estancia (ranch) where they cultivate leaves for the traditional South American drink, Mate. The drink is similar to a tea but has a slightly more bitter taste. Argentines drink Mate everyday and it is always shared with friends.

The estancia was beautiful…It was nice to get out of the busy city of Buenos Aires for a day.

At the estancia we also had a traditional Argentine meal: an asado. The meal usually consists of salad and an enormous variety of beef. The meat is cooked in a pit over an open flame and shared around the table.

This weekend I am heading to my first fútbol game: Argentina vs. Ecuador. Argentines are VERY serious about soccer so it should be a crazy experience. The next weekend I am heading to Mendoza, Argentina: wine country!

Sara Smoter
Classmates Connecting Cultures
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Spring 2012

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