Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Travel the World - Argentina

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world. By the end of 2021, I'd virtually traveled to 145 countries and plan to complete my journey to all 195 countries by visiting the last 50 this year.

This week's country is...


Argentina is located in southern South America and borders Chile to the west, Bolivia, and Paraguay to the north, and Brazil and Uruguay to the northeast.

Argentina has a diverse landscape that includes glaciers, deserts, rainforests, and mountains.

Argentina is huge over 1 million square miles.

Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, and the second-largest in South America.

Argentina covers about one third as much land area compared with the size of the USA or is similar in size as the African countries of Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique combined!

Flat grassy plains that cover most of central and northern Argentina. Most of the pampas is used to heard cattle and sheep which there are more than humans. The pampas in Argentina are generally just flat fertile plains. The word 'pampas' is a word from the Quechua Indians language and means 'flat surface'.

To the south is the Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia with a very cold climate. The Tierra del Fuego is a group of islands at the southern tip of Argentina. The biggest island of the Tierra del Fuego is Isla Grande which is also the biggest island in South America. The Tierra del Fuego has high mountains and very cold weather as it is quite close to Antarctica. The Tierra del Fuego is split between Chile and Argentina.

Patagonia is northern part of the Tierra del Fuego and consists of dry pampas vegetation and also has high mountains and huge glaciers such as the world famous Perito Moreno Glacier.

The Andes are a huge mountain range, the longest in the world, that also mark the natural border between Chile and Argentina.The official language of Argentina is Spanish.

Argentina's longest river is the Paraná River, which forms a natural border between Paraguay and Argentina

The name Argentina, derives from the Latin word for silver. Argentum is the Latin word for silver and it is from this, that the country adopted its name. It is believed that this name was chosen due to the history of the European conquerors coming to South America in order to mine the precious metal that they had heard so much about.

The vast majority of Argentinians (97% in fact) have European roots. The vast majority of them descend from Spaniards or Italians.

Argentina is a land of immigrants. Over 60% of the population has some form of Italian descent, and there are also significant populations of Spanish, German, French, and British ancestry.

Buenos Aires is the capital city and most populous city (2.8 million people live there) of Argentina. Places to see in Buenos Aires include the la Boca district with its colorful buildings, or the city centre. 

Avenida 9 De Julio in Buenos Aires is said to be the widest avenue in the world. It has 14 lanes of traffic.

The Argentine city of Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world.

Argentina is home to both the highest and lowest points of the Southern Hemisphere. The highest mountain in Argentina is Aconcagua, which has an elevation of 22,840 feet. Aconcagua is also the tallest mountain in all of the Southern and Western Hemispheres. The lowest point in Argentina is Laguna del Carbon, located in southwestern Argentina near the Chilean border. The Laguna del Carbon has an elevation of -344 feet.

Beef is an integral part of Argentinian cuisine and the country is littered with steakhouses (locally known as parrillas) just waiting to serve you up a juicy slab of meat. Argentine beef has become so famous that it is served the world over, known for its tenderness. 

Asado, or Argentinean barbecue, is an iconic dish in Argentina that typically features beef or lamb that is cooked over an open fire. It is as much of a social gathering event as a meal.

Argentina is one of the world’s leading producers of quinoa, a type of grain that is high in protein and nutrients.

When you think back to Argentina in the 18th and 19th centuries, romanticized images of rugged horsemen are likely to spring to mind. These nomadic cowboys (known as gauchos) have become a symbol of the country and stories about their escapades have long been woven into literature and folklore. Gauchos are known for their bravery and also their distinctive dress which is still worn today. Perhaps the most notable part of this costume is the woolen poncho which makes a great travel souvenir! 

Argentines greet each other with a kiss on the cheek.

In Argentina, kids go to either free public schools or attend private schools which can be really expensive. In private schools pupils wear a uniform, often complete with tie and blazer, whereas at public schools the pupils all have to wear a white lab coat over their dress so they look alike. Children either attend school during the morning shift from 8am-1pm, afternoon from 1pm-6pm or some might even be required to sit in school during a night shift.

It is traditional in Argentina to pull a person’s earlobes on their birthday. One pull is done for each year that the person has been alive.

Argentina produced the world’s first animated feature film in 1917. The 70-minute film El Apóstol told the story of high levels of corruption and immorality in Argentina at the time. Cristiani said he was inspired to make the movie after a meeting with Walt Disney himself during his tour of Latin America. The movie was made using cutout animation and it was generally well-received. However, its time in the world was short-lived because it was lost in an apartment fire in 1928. 

Argentines spend more time listening to the radio than any other country in the world. They also watch more movies than anywhere else in the world.

Arguably one of the most famous Latin American dances, the tango is known for its passion and intensity. The dance originated in the capital Buenos Aires during the 19th century and was originally performed in the poor areas of the docklands. 

Pato became the national sport of Argentina in 1953. Upon first glance, this sport looks a little bourgeoisie… it is played on horseback after all! However, it actually has a long history in the gaucho community. It combines a combination of skills, taken from polo and basketball. Although a ball is used in games today, originally, this would have been a live duck placed inside a basket. This is how the game got its name because, in Spanish, duck translates to pato. The game has been banned several times, both because of its barbaric nature (as you can imagine, the ducks didn’t have a great time) and also because many gauchos were injured or even trampled to death.

Yerba Mate is the most popular drink in Argentina. Mate is a black herbal tea made from the yerba mate herb, grown in the Northeast provinces of Misiones and Corrientes. The herb is placed in a gourd (the mate pot), hot water added, then served from a metal straw called a bombilla.

Argentinians eat super late - dinner doesn't get going until well after 9 p.m. and goes on until the early hours of the next day. Lunch is served around 2 p.m. so in order to stave off their hunger until suppertime, Argentinians enjoy merienda daily, which is similar to British tea time.

Argentina is one of the world’s largest exporters of soybeans, commonly on the top of the list with countries such as Brazil, the United States, and Canada.

Argentina is home to the largest population of Magellanic penguins in the world.

The first-ever pope to be born in the Americas was Pope Francis, a Porteño born to Italian parents. After his appointment to the highest position within the Catholic Church, interest in his personal life started to grow which led to the revelation that he had previously worked as a nightclub bouncer in his home city of Buenos Aires. 

Argentina went through five Presidents in just ten days. During the Argentine economic crisis in 2001, the country experienced one of its darkest times. Bank accounts needed to be frozen and the Argentine peso plummeted in value. As a result, the people of Argentina went into revolt. Violent protests took place all over the country and sadly, numerous people were killed. In response to this unrest, the president at the time resigned.  From this point onwards, there was much political instability and a further four presidents took over the role in the subsequent 10 days following the resignation of President Fernando de la Rua. 

Argentina has more psychologists per capita than any other country in the world.

Argentina has the second-highest rate of anorexia in the world. Japan has the highest rate of anorexia.

It is estimated that 30% of women in Argentina have had plastic surgery. It has the second largest number of plastic surgeries per capita in the world after Brazil.

The first-ever use of fingerprinting for identification occurred in Argentina in 1892. When the children of Argentine Francesca Rojas’ were found stabbed to death in their home, their mother told police she thought the murderer may be a man whose advances she had earlier rejected. The man in question was arrested and continually tortured for his confession, however, he maintained his innocence. Juan Vucetich, who was in charge of criminal identification, proposed using a radical new technique to source more information from the crime scene. After discovering that a bloody fingerprint could not have belonged to the accused man and looked instead to be from Rojas herself, the police returned to interrogate her and she shortly confessed. She had murdered her children in an attempt to facilitate marriage with her lover, who hated them. This early use of fingerprinting was the catalyst for a period of rapid forensic discovery which still aids investigators to this day.

There are over 30 national parks in Argentina.

Argentina’s Iguazu Falls are one of the world’s 7 Natural Wonders. They are located on the border between Argentina and Brazil, about ⅔ of the waterfalls belong to Argentina. These waterfalls are among the largest waterfalls in the world and stretch over 1.6 miles. The falls are actually a series of 275 falls.

Argentina's Ibera Wetlands is the second biggest wetland in the world (after the Pantanal in Brazil). It is a huge swampland with lots of mammals and birds such as capybaras and alligators. 

Argentina is home to the world’s loudest land animal. Howler monkeys are found in Argentina’s rain forests. It is said that they can be heard from over 3 miles away.

Many animals can be found in Argentina. Alpacas, llamas, guanacos and vicunas are all found in the Andean mountain regions with deer, pumas, foxes, tapirs, monkeys, armadillos, opossums, sloths, porcupines, squirrels, hares, bats, anteaters and the occasional jaguar being found both in the mountains and at lower elevations. Argentina is also home to rodents such as capybaras, coypu and chinchillas. Sea lions, seals, whales and dolphins are found off the coast.

There are huge numbers of sheep and cattle in the pampas regions and also horses are common. In Argentina there are also native snakes such as the tropical rattle snake or the crossed pit viper, both of them are very poisonous.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Argentina... Argentina produces more lemons than any other country in the Southern Hemisphere, accounting for over 20% of the world’s lemon production.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Stamplorations Large Lemon stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Hammermill 110# White and SU Summer Sun CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: Gina K Master Layouts 2 and MFT Stitched Rectangles

Embellishments: Amazon Rhinestones

1 comment:

kiwimeskreations said...

That is one fascinating country Jeanette - so much diversity in it's people, land and creatures!
Love your card - that is stunning!