¡Hola! ¡Bienvenidos a Argentina!
We’re so happy to have all of our students here in Tigre, a tranquil town in the north suburb of Buenos Aires.
After we settled into the hotel Villa Victoria, we enjoyed the sunshine and played a few “rompehielos” (ice breakers) to get to know all 22 students, 3 US staff, and the local Argentine team. Following snack time (and tea time) we looked over the schedule of the fun filled two weeks in Argentina, and completed orientation.
A delicious pasta dinner with Neapolitan ice cream followed and early to bed, ready for a full day tomorrow of kayaking and an introduction to our service project!
Andrea, Kumbi, and Lexi
July 3, 2017
Hello we had a fantastic first full day in Argentina! The people here are amazing, y fantastico. The way of life is fascinating and captivating. Today, we starting off the bright and beautiful day with a breakfast in the Hotel Villa Victoria de Tigre. Afterwards Andrea and her friend Pablo from our service site at the CAEC school. They came to show us what our service site would be like and what we would be doing. For the afternoon we met with Diego and Patricio to kayak down some of the waterways in Tigre. As we stopped for a drink we interviewed Diego and asked him a couple questions about Argentine culture, surprisingly most of his answers dealt with kayaking! We’ve had an awesome first day in Argentina and can’t wait to see and do more!
Your First Leaders of the Day,
Andrew M. and Parker J.
July 4, 2017
¡Hola y bienvenidos a nuestra aventura en Argentina! Today we all began our first day of service through Chacras at Buenos Aires. We were all super excited to get our hands dirty and start working. At CAEC, our service site, the students and volunteer faculty surprised us by taking us to the beach of Rio Tigre,which was just a short walk from the school. We are going to be building a small structure for CAEC out of adobe and eco-ladrillos, giving the school more space to provide for the special needs students. As leaders of the day, we had conducted an interview with one of the faculty members at CAEC named Fabian. He told us that he believes working with special needs children was his calling and that he will continue it for as long as he can. We asked him what the most important thing he had learned from the children was and he said, “Before we can talk about and confront issues surrounding diversity, we must first discuss inclusion and opportunities within society.” Fabian is a judo instructor for disabled children and is also a track and field coach for the deaf and blind. He mentioned how he uses different methods of judo for different disabilities as well, and for those who can’t move as easily as others, he’s taught them how to fall in a way that would hurt less. When we went back to home base, we all enjoyed trying Argentine food, such as empanadas for lunch and blood sausage for dinner! We’ve been loving our time here in Argentina! Don’t miss us too much because we’re having a baller time. ¡Ciao!
~Aritri and Hannah
July 5, 2017
After breakfast we began the day by playing telephone and a fun icebreaker called name tag. We then made our way to our service site to begin our second day of work. We braved the rain and sticky mud, making good progress on our construction project. We dug many holes. After returning from service and having a nice snack, we met Giselle and Georgia- our tango instructors. For the next hour, they taught us the art of Argentine tango! After tango we had dinner and then split into our mentor groups with Kumbi and Lexi. We discussed cultural stereotypes and where they come from, along with T Hall’s Iceberg Culture Theory. We also did rose, bud, and thorn from the day. Finally, we went back to our rooms to get some rest after a long, busy day!
-Alex and Isabel
July 6, 2017
After breakfast at 8 am, the GLA students participated in an intense game of capture the flag, in which one of the participants, Aritri, ended up jumping into the pool to help her team win the game. Afterwards, we started working on constructing “ecoladrillos”, or ecobricks, that we would later use in our work site. While constructing these bricks, we watched a documentary called “Plasitc Ocean”, in order to learn more about the effects of plastic on our environment, and how to actively get involved in the prevention of plastic ending up in our oceans. We learned different methods to cut plastic out of our lives, and help save many aquatic animals and most importantly, protect our future health. For lunch, we had lentil stew along with Argentinian bread cake. In the afternoon, we headed out to the city to explore el Museo de Arte de Tigre, or art museum of Tigre, where we saw paintings by multiple Argentinian artists including Quinquela Martin. We later continued walking around the heart of the city, buying some local foods on our way. When we got home, we did an activity where we watched a ted talk video about “big talk”, or the opposite of “small talk”, where we would skip small talk, and directly have a personal conversation in order to know them better. To continue getting to know the students, we played “speed-friending”, where we spent 2 minutes explaining something personal about ourselves to different people. For dinner, we enjoyed incredible lasagna and ice cream for dessert. Our night time activity was watching a movie called “inside out”, about people’s different emotions. After an activity packed day, we ended our evening in our beds!!
-Afsaneh and Danny
July 9, 2017
We woke up to a chilly, foggy morning at the estancia today. We were served a filling breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, cereal, breads, and lots of fruit! The first group set out for horseback riding and got rained on… A LOT. Luckily it stopped raining for the second group to ride horses, but because the saddles were wet, we ended up looking as if we all peed our pants! After drying off we had another super filling meal: asado lunch. There were empanadas, salads, french fries, and a very LARGE assortment of meats. After lunch it was time to say goodbye to the dogs, horses, gauchos, and estancia. :'((
After our trip to the Estancia, we took the bus to a small town, San Antonio de Areco, with historical sites. We spent 10 minutes there in the rain and then left for the Puerto de Frutos. The Puerto de Frutos market had a variety of Argentine souvenirs. Unfortunately, we went as the stores began to close and had to pick another location. We decided to go to Chinatown and found small stores to shop at. There were super unique souvenirs and weird foods to try. After a long day of horseback riding and shopping, we went back to home base and ended the night with a delicious meal of shepherds pie.
Overall, today was a lovely adventure that we enjoyed leading the group through 🙂
Alaina and Sonia (the best leaders of the day)
July 10th, 2017
I’m guessing I should start this blog with an introduction of myself. My name is Amanda Harvey, and I’m from Lubbock, Texas. When you ask your child/ relative/ friend that is on this trip about me, they’ll probably describe me as the dog girl (I have 3 dogs who I talk about nonstop). I was the leader of the day on July 10th. On this day, we got the honor of speaking to a lady about her experience during the Argentina Revolution. Lucía described an unforgettable story about getting taken away from her mother, and her grandfather’s quest to find her. Most importantly, she came to our home base with the intention of spreading a message of love. Lucía stated, “I don’t like war, I like peace.” I think this stuck with us all for the following days to come. In addition to speaking with Lucía, we also made an immense amount of progress on our building. We began constructing our first wall and put up our four poles that would outline the structure. All in all, this was a fairly productive and important day. I’d like to end my blog with a shout out to my mother, Emma Coronado (she insisted I wrote about her in my blog, so here I am). Thank you, mom, for always being so amazing and supporting me on this mission trip!
July 11, 2017
¡Hola! Today was another great day in Argentina! For the majority of our day we worked at CAEC. Today was highly progressive for building because the sky was clear and we did not have to deal with the rainy, cold conditions of the past week. Using the adobe mud and ecoladrillas we made in previous days, we began to build the first wall of the building. As leaders, we were allowed the opportunity to interview young workers at the school. These interviews offered a unique, interesting perspective about the school that differed from the people who founded it. They described their passion for the kids at CAEC and how they love helping them discover their different abilities. After service, we were allowed to use wifi for a couple of hours. Most of us contacted family and friends during the rare opportunity to talk to people outside of Argentina. After dinner, we discussed strategies to share our experiences when we return home. The day ended in a big jam session with everyone singing along. It was another great day in Argentina and we all look forward to the last few days of the journey and the future opportunities to bond with the CAEC students, locals, and each other.
-CATIE AND MARIE
GLA Blog: July 13th, 2017
Today we went to the capital, Buenos Aires! After taking an hour train ride to the city, we walked a couple blocks down to an small, authentic Argentine store, Arandu. Here, there were many leather products (i.e. wallets, boots, bracelets, etc.), gaucho hats, and “alparagatas” (shoes that resemble ‘Toms’) which Argentina is very well known for.
After, we continued to walk the busy streets and were surrounded by exquisite architecture influenced by the French. We walked aside the widest streets in South America; it consisted of 5 lanes on both sides.
Next, we headed to La Boca by bus. All of us sat on the second floor of the double decker bus and got to see the city in a different point of view. We passed the Pink House, Obelisk, and many other local landmarks. As we got closer, there were many colorful buildings and murals.
For lunch, we left La Boca and headed toward Buenos Aires again. We ate at an all you can eat buffet that included an asado (Argentine barbecue).
Towards the end of the tour, we walked all the way back to the train station, allowing us to see even more of the bustling city!
Leaders of the Day,
Paige and Bella