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08/06/2015

Summer 2015, Summer Spanish Language Newsletter

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Greetings from Buenos Aires!

It has been an educational and fun-filled eight weeks for our Summer Spanish Language students here at CIEE Buenos Aires. With our students returning, we would like to share with you some of the activities we have participated in. 

Introduction 

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After two days of orientation and Spanish language testing, students began their classes. While students started at various Spanish-speaking levels, everyone worked hard to make significant advancements. On the second day of orientation, we participated in a traditional Argentine tango class where we learned the basic steps and enjoyed live music. CIEE intensified the cultural immersion course, adding more enriching activities in diverse settings across the city. 

City tour by bike 

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We spent an enjoyable afternoon bike riding through the city during one of our cultural excursions. We visited the old port, Puerto Madero and the ecological reserve, Reserva Ecologica. Riding through the reserve we stopped and relaxed on Rio de la Plata´s coastline. The reserve is centrally located in the city, with beautiful views of the financial district, yet still retains a tranquil environment. We took a break to eat in the old part of the city, San Telmo, located near the famous Casa Rosada and other government buildings. 

Group trip to Uruguay

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We took a trip across Rio de la Plata where we spent time in Montevideo and Colonia, Uruguay. The trip provided students with the opportunity to explore Afro-decent culture in Montevideo and discover the cobblestone streets of Spanish and Portuguese colonial city, Colonia.

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We had the exciting opportunity to visit a local music school in Montevideo where we learned how to play Candombe drums. 

Student´s thoughts

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¨I couldn´t stop smiling… At first when we played together we sounded terrible, but then we started to really feel the music. It started to sound good…For me this was without doubt the highlight of the trip¨ (Summer Spanish Language student Totyana from SpelmanCollege).

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On Sunday we bused north and visited the beautiful city of Colonia. Colonia, once colonized by the Portuguese and later by the Spanish, continues to maintain its antiquity. Students had free time to explore the cobblestone streets, historical buildings, coastline and shops.

Last days

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During the final week, students finished classes and ate a tasty farewell dinner in Puerto Madero where they had a chance to say goodbye to each other and CIEE staff. 

Student´s thoughts 

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¨My group quickly became a family. We laughed like one, fought like one, shared mate like one, and taught each other so much. Group 1 is number 1¨ (Summer Spanish Language student Madison from StetsonUniversity).

To view more photos from our cultural outings this summer please visit our Facebook page:  Parque de la MemoriaTango nightTeatro ColónWalking tour in Recoletas

 

 

 

 

 

 

07/13/2015

Summer 2015, Community Public Health Program, Issue I

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Practicas en Olavarria

Greetings from Buenos Aires!

The Community Public Health Program has come and gone quickly! With only two weeks left, we would like to share with you some of the activities we have done.

First steps

The students arrived in late May. One of their first academic activities was to complete a Spanish assessment and participate in a COPI (Computerized Oral Proficiency Instrument) exam. Buenos Aires Study Center students participate in the COPI exam at the start and conclusion of the program in order to measure their linguistic evolution.

During the first three weeks, students took introductory classes on Argentina´s primary health care system, working on social and legal issues related to health, and studied the health system in Argentina. The course compared sanitary conditions between Argentina, US and Canada.

To better understand the local reality and apply the studied material, students participated in various health field activities. They visited health centers, took a sanitary tour and visited the national program, Argentina Sonrie (Smile), where students were able to talk with health specialists.

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The program also offered cultural activities including a city tour, a patriotic potluck (celebrating the beginning of the May revolution and Argentina independence), a tango class and a tango show.

Cabildo Tango

Excursion to the city of Merlo

We took an academic and tourist trip to the city of Merlo, located in the province of San Luis.

The academic goal was to discover the social and sanitary health conditions of central Argentina by speaking with health care workers, visiting a primary health care center, learning about the traditional use of medicinal plants, visiting a rural school and taking the opportunity to meet a midwife.

The tour allowed us to discover part of the Argentine mountains, cross rivers, and abandoned mines. This was a wonderful experience for students, especially because it is not a destination students usually visit by themselves.

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Notably, the program collaborated with the rural school we visited. We brought an important number of school supplies that were distributed amongst the matriculating students.  

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Fieldwork sites

The program offers tour fieldwork sites in Argentina and Uruguay in which students spend four weeks. The site options are: Mendoza, Olvarria and Concepción del Uruguay (in Argentina), and Montevideo in Uruguay. 

These are the specializations we offer at each site:

-       Environmental quality and quality of life

-       Health Education and Social Development,

-       Healthcare in rural settings

-       Health promotion of children, adolescents and people with disabilities.

Returning from the trip to Merlo, based on their academic preferences and academic background, and after having talked with the director of the program, students were divided into small groups in order to travel to their fieldwork destinations.

They are currently working at their respective fieldwork headquarters.

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12/16/2014

Fall 2014, Issue III

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We said goodbye to our semester students, as they finished up their last finals and returned to their families outside of Argentina. It has been a very eventful semester, and this term’s group was very engaged, curious, and intrepid travelers, as well! In the last month or so of the semester, they continued to learn about Buenos Aires’ history, proved their knowledge of new words and phrases, danced to their hearts’ content, and reflected upon their experiences.

Palacio Paz - Oct 30

The students from our Cultural Issues Course paid a visit to Palacio Paz, a huge mansion in the heart of the city that took 12 years to build, and that features a wide range of decorative styles. While our guide walked us through the history of the French architecture and the motives behind the construction of the mansion, the students were able to try out the music room by singing and they even got a chance to sit on the throne-like chairs in the hallway.

They took notes and asked questions, and we all marveled at how grandiose the mansion is. It was a great opportunity to see a tangible example of Argentine history and culture.

Jalapeña - Nov 13

To give the students a mental break from studying for finals, we took a dancing lesson at LaPeña, a bar in the city that celebrates folkloric music and dance. First, we learned the basic steps for three different folkloric dances (Chacarera, Zamba, and Gato), and our instructor made sure to change up the dances and test our steps.  R0000745

Then, we settled in for a meal of empanadas and tamales, while listening to folkloric music, including a recital of students who were building their music skills. Dancing was a good opportunity for the students to get their blood flowing and let all their studying sink in - we know the students did well on their final exams!

 Visit to the US Embassy - Nov 21

Due to steady rain outside and strict security inside, we couldn't get a picture of the students! You'll just have to believe us that the students had the opportunity to meet with the new US Cultural Attaché in Buenos Aires at the US Embassy building. A number of US students studying in Buenos Aires, as well as Argentinean students recently returned from their studies in the US, were invited to speak about their experiences and exchange ideas.

Student Videos

Spanish language students made videos defining words and phrases they learned right here in Buenos Aires to include in their very own Porteño Dictionary!

 

Spanish language students also made videos explaining their Argentinian experiences through images.

 

Farewell Party - Dec 2

Students, faculty, and staff members gathered together for a night of celebration for a completed semester. We chatted and danced and toasted to a lovely semester together. We wish our students the best of luck in their future endeavors!  UN ABRAZO GRANDE PARA TODOS!

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11/21/2014

Cinema Class Visit to UNDAV

Extra! Read All About It!

The New Argentine Cinema class took a trip to National University of Avellaneda.

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Forward by Hernán Sassi, Professor

The students in the Program, along with taking classes with CIEE, can go to local public (UBA, IUNA) and private (UCA) universities. But in these spaces, contact with native students is just that, contact; mostly circumstantial and fleeting, in some cases merely visual, and in others a pleasant chat, book recommendation or suggestion of a well-known cultural outing.

As professor for the seminar “New Argentine Cinema in the Latin American Context,” for CIEE, and as professor of “Argentine Social History” in the Journalism track at the National University of Avellaneda (UNDAV), I wanted to give students who come from different university cultures an opportunity that would allow them to connect with one another as true peers, and would open the door for the most sincere exchange possible. From this idea came the visits to UNDAV in general, and, most recently, the exchange between my CIEE film students and my UNDAV journalism students.

On November 14, 16 students from the New Argentine Cinema course visited UNDAV, a public university located in the suburbs. The most important thing about this visit, aside from giving students a chance to experience an alternative geography than the urban ecosystem they are used to, is that the students not only shared cultural and academic experiences, but they could also build understanding among themselves, as they worked in groups on bibliographic and audiovisual materials that had been prepared ad hoc in both syllabi.

Dividing up students into small groups from the start (with 2-3 US students and 2-3 native students per group) created a very intimate, natural exchange. That was the secret to success in this trip. Such enthusiasm was produced by this initial intimate interaction, that even once time was up for the class, and even after they all ate lunch together for more than an hour, the groups continued to chat in various spaces in the university for two more hours.

Hernán Sassi

Doctoral Professor of Literature (UBA).

Faculty Member, Culture and Communication (UBA).

 

Anya Rose, Swarthmore College, Class of 2016 

I really enjoyed the opportunity to speak with UNDAV students about their experiences in university and living in and around Buenos Aires. They were incredibly friendly and nice. They also were very patient with our Spanish. I really like discussing the differences in our university experiences. In addition to comparing university in the US and Argentina, our group discussion helped me to understand the cultural differences between different universities within Argentina because we were able to compare UNDAV to UCA, IUNA, and UBA.

Anya

 

Devin Malone, Allegheny College, Class of 2016

The visit to UNDAV last Friday was a great experience in which I learned a lot about a totally different university. I loved talking with the students about their loves and seeing the differences between our lives. In my group, we talked a lot about school and the different lifestyles, those de the students at UNDAV and those of Exchange students from the U.S. Even more, UNDAV is very different than UBA where I attend a class, therefore I had the opportunity to experience another option for students in Argentina. Journalism is a subject that I do not know much about, and I really enjoyed listening about the work in the university.

  Devin

 

Ariella Wolfe, University of Oregon, Class of 2015

Our visit to the National University of Avellaneda was fun, engaging, and opened my mind quite a bit in general. The opportunity to visit another university outside of the city and also get the chance to talk and make friends was great, and I feel fortunate to have been able to participate in the visit. Above all, it surprised me how easy it was to talk freely with our new classmates and how genuinely interested both groups seemed in asking questions and listening to the responses. I thought it was productive that we had the time to talk about our everyday lives and our experiences in the university as well as to have a section of time to learn more theoretically about access to higher education and our studies in film and history. I only would have like to have learned more about the topics that the other students focused on their history class, because I find that period of history interesting. During the break, some of the students took our little group on a tour of the building, which was nice. At the end of the exchange, I left with some new friends (we found each other on Facebook) and it would be awesome to take the opportunity to stay in contact with them. I also had a proud moment when some of the students told me that they thought I spoke almost perfect Spanish (even though I know I still have a lot of practicing to do). When we finally got to the Audiovisual Arts building I think we all were pretty sleepy since we had woken up at 7am. In any case, for how small the building was in general the studios that the students used to practice their work were very impressive. I would have liked the opportunity to talk with some of the Audiovisual Arts students as well, but I guess that we will just have to save that for next time.

  Ariella

 

Jasper Miller-Patterson, Wesleyan University, Class of 2016

It was a fascinating experience, to witness firsthand the functioning of an Argentine school distinct from any other I have seen thus far. With a more engaged and intimate setting—the students, you can see, are all familiar and friendly with one another, and comfortable in the classroom—it was easy to feel at ease, even as a visitor. When we chatted together, the students were particularly sociable and helped guide the conversations (something which, at a school in the United States, would have failed awkwardly), and struck upon some interesting perspectives. There were distinct overlaps in certain areas between the UNDAV students and ourselves, in terms of pop culture, sports, the arts, etc.; while our own knowledge of many of these aspects of Argentine culture was absent until our arrival in Buenos Aires, their knowledge of the United States was much deeper in comparison. Another thing that struck me was when one UNDAV student said he considered English to be a “beautiful language”. I myself have never thought of English as a particularly attractive language, and as my grasp of Spanish has improved I’ve even begun to find it a bit ugly. This difference of opinion, I suppose, speaks to how much a difference of linguistic backgrounds can shape the perceptions and perspectives of the mind, even in regards to the aesthetics of language itself. It was, as a whole, interesting to see the difference of composure, in the students and in the school, in contrast with my own university.

  Todos

 

10/30/2014

Fall 2014, Issue II

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The students had settled in and hunkered down for midterms, so  it was time to shake things up a bit with a trip away from the city!

 

TILCARA, JUJUY, SEPT 18-21, OCT 1-5, 2014

In late September and early October, the students spent 4 days and 3 nights in Tilcara, Jujuy Province, at an altitude of 2,400 meters, immersing themselves in the past and present of the Andean world and discovering a culture completely distinct from that of Buenos Aires.

Jujuy Province is located in the north of the country, where Argentina borders both Bolivia and Chile. Within the town of Tilcara, one can encounter the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a dry and narrow mountain valley representative of southern Andean valleys. It has an extraordinary set of routes, which serve as the most important physical link between the Andean highlands and the large plains of southeastern South America.

The Quebrada de Humahuaca, which was recently declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, conserves its natural environment; boasts hundreds of archaeological and architectural sites; and, has a culture that maintains its unique traditional customs.

The Past and Present of the Andean World is a seminar developed in conjunction with the Tilcara Interdisciplinary Institute under the umbrella of the University of Buenos Aires. Accompanied by anthropologists and archaeologists from UBA, the students visited different archeological sites and historic towns, where they were given onsite lectures. The seminar was a great opportunity to learn about the history of the Andean world and the lifestyles of the inhabitants.

The first locale we visited after arrival was the  Pucará de Tilcara, one of the most important archaeological sites in the Quebrada de Humahuaca. Students learned about the reconstruction of the town, the lifestyles of its residents, construction methods and ceremonial rituals.

As the days progressed, the students traveled to higher altitudes. The visit to the Pucará was followed by the historic city of Humahuaca. Humahuaca is characterized by its charming colonial architecture and is located at an altitude of 2,800 meters. There, the students learned about the Spanish influence in the area and past artistic movements.

The final day of activities included an excursion to Salinas Grandes and Purmamarca.  At one point, the students reached 4,000 meters of height (approximately 13,000 feet)! Salinas Grandes was a vast lake that, over the years, has become an endless sea of salt, providing for an excellent backdrop to take breathtaking photos.

On their return to the city, the students stopped by the picturesque village of Purmamarca, known for its Cerro de los Siete Colores.

 After one last dinner in Tilcara, the students departed for Buenos Aires!

 

WORKSHOP WITH MARAÑA GESTUAL

Maraña Gestual is an Argentinean teaching artist who works with ordinary objects to create extraordinary works of art. She paid a visit to our Oral Production and Comprehension class to conduct a workshop and help the students make art of their own. Maraña’s pieces are often puns and plays on words, such as her work entitled “La Bandita Elastica [The Elastic Band],” which features three musicians sculpted using elastic bands. In the workshop, the students made statuettes that played on words, flexing their Spanish muscles as well as their creativity.

 

 

CONVERSATION CLUB

We gather to meet and practice Spanish every Wed at 7.30 pm in a bar in Recoleta. Through different games and a relaxed environment, we  chat during an hour and a half, in Spanish and in English. Also we organize dinner, going out and tournaments to keep in touch and practice language in a relaxed way. So if you like talking and doing social activities with locals, this is your group.

Recently, we went to the famous cafe El Gato Negro with students in the Oral Spanish 1 class to enjoy the best coffees, teas, and medialunas in Buenos Aires. The cafe has a very inviting atmosphere, and we felt like we were transported to the beginning of the 20th century. We read the paper like real porteños and we even spoke with the owner - a real privilege! What a lovely afternoon!

CINEMA CLASS INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR,  OCT 8

Every semester, the Argentine Cinema course has the opportunity to interview an Argentine director. In previous semesters, we have hosted Mauro Andrizzi, Juan Villegas, Federico León, Diego Lerman and Alejo Moguillansky, among others. This term, we were paid a visit by Hernán Rosselli, director of the film Mauro (2014), his directorial debut, which won the Jury Prize at the Latin American Sundance Festival, the Festival de Cine Independiente de Buenos Aires (BAFICI). With him, we not only spoke about his film, but also about the current state of Argentine Cinema, and specifically about the movement that changed the medium more than fifteen years ago, New Argentine Cinema.

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SHAKESPEARE'S RICHARD III, OCT 19

We took the students to the Shakespeare Theatre here in Buenos Aires to see Richard III. The theatre itself is a mobile tent-like structure made in the style of traditional Shakespearean theatres, and we sat on the grass in front of the stage to watch the actors perform.

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 CYCLING IN THE CITY, OCT 21

The Spanish Oral Performance Class took a ride around the city, guided by a local who told us stories, jokes, and anecdotes about the different sites.  Riding around San Telmo, Puerto Madero and the Ecological Reserve on tour bikes was a new, fun way to see the city, and it was a beautiful day for a ride. It was an academic as well as an athletic exercise, to be sure!

 

 

09/18/2014

Fall 2014, Issue I

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Casa rosada

Welcome to Buenos Aires!

We cannot believe how quickly time has passed with our fall 2014 students! Upon arriving, they felt a combination of excitement, anxiousness, curiosity and complete openness to the vast possibilities that Buenos Aires provides. Over the past couple of months, we have watched them explore, question and leave their comfort zones to settle into their active porteño lifestyles.

In July, we celebrated our 20th Anniversary in both fancy and fun ways - to read more about it, check out the CIEE post!

ACADEMIC ORIENTATION

Students visited different university campuses and had a very busy period of choosing courses. Finally, they have all settled into their regular schedules and they are taking a wide range of classes at FLACSO, UBA, UCA and IUNA; many have even taken the opportunity to participate in volunteerism and internships with several prestigious organizations across the city.

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

Students threw themselves into a number of cultural activities during orientation, ranging from workshops and scavenger hunts to learning the tango and visiting a traditional folkloric restaurant. Read on for more details!

WORKSHOPS

We understand how difficult it may be for students to enter a new culture in a new country. Our workshops made the transition a bit easier as they allowed the students to openly ask questions and manage their expectations about various issues. We held workshops on housing and cultural situations; public transportation and safety; the particular style of Spanish spoken in this area; reflections on gender relations in the local culture; and, held a chat with former students that have come back to live in Argentina.

SCAVENGER HUNT REMIX (AUG 30)

As in any great city, one must learn to master public transportation to be able to get around independently. And in our program, a bit of independence is strongly encouraged! During orientation, we walked the students through how to use the Guia T, a local pocket-sized transportation guide, and we put their knowledge to the test in a scavenger hunt race.

Groups of students scrambled around the city, stopping and taking pictures at main attraction points. At the final stop, they met with the staff at some of the yummiest pizza places in the city for lunch!

TANGO CLASS AT LA VIRUTA (July 31)

Tango is known worldwide as the passionate signature dance of Buenos Aires, and any day of the week you can find couples dancing in abrazo on the streets of San Telmo or in dimly-lit milongas. Students met up with staff members at La Viruta to give it a try and see what all the fuss is about.la viruta corto.jpg

They learned different pasos, or steps, and the instructors had everyone change partners every few minutes. Dancing tango necessarily brings people together, and this was a great opportunity for students to bond and meet locals.

SOCCER / MUSEUM / TOUR (AUG 7)

The students chose to participate in one of three recreational activities to share with the staff. Some students chose to get their game on in soccer, undoubtedly the most popular sport in Argentina and some chose to reflect at the Buenos Aires Holocaust Museum. And, finally, others chose to observe the city’s history through a walking tour in downtown Buenos Aires and San Telmo neighborhood. Each experience was unique in its own way.

 

Estancia La Alameda (AUG 8)

The first trip of the semester was to a traditional Estancia or Ranch. The students and staff took a bus ride just outside of Buenos Aires city limits to the lovely country property. First, we took a tour in a tractor-drawn cart and made a stop at the dock. Later, students had the opportunity to ride horse-back and try out traditional gaucho activities.caballo.jpg

All of the country activity made the students hungry; fortunately, we had plans to share a delicious asado and were treated to a traditional folkloric dance demonstration. To close the evening, the students learned about the tradition of drinking mate, among other cultural intricacies in Argentina. We had a chat about housing and intercultural communication, fittingly ending the trip by sharing and bonding with one another.

 

FUERZABRUTA (AUG 13)

After a 2-year tour around Brazil, New York, London, Moscow, Greece, Belgium, Holland, Israel, Spain, Taiwan and Manila, Fuerzabruta came back to where their incredible trip started: right here in Buenos Aires.We took the students to the Cultural Center of Recoleta to experience an incredible spectacle made up of acrobats, aerialists, swimming and music.

 

ORQUESTA TIPICA FERNANDEZ FIERRO (SEPT 3)

Founded in 2001, the Orquesta Tipica Ferdandez Fierro has toured Europe and Latin America, producing their own music and introducing the world to their heavy style of Tango. The students met up with staff at the Orquesta’s club, Club Atlético Fernandez Fierro, to see the impressive show, which ended up being part of a live recording for their next album!

 

STAY TUNED...

We’re going to be traveling to Jujuy soon - check back in to hear about our trips!

09/05/2014

Cultural Correspondent: "Teatro Colón" by Jaysel Shah, Georgetown University

Teatro vista

I have a confession. I only really wanted to go to Teatro Colón to see the spectacular interior of the building. I had seen some pictures, but they weren't sufficient to demonstrate the huge size of the theater with its gilded balconies. I would have thought that this dream of seeing the Teatro Colón would never be fulfilled because the inhibitively high cost of tickets if it wasn't for the Corresponsales Culturales program with CIEE. When I found out about this option to take advantage of cultural events that would normally be inaccessible to students, I decided to go ahead and buy tickets to the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra. My cousin was coming to visit me in a few weeks, and I wanted to show her this building that was supposed to be the most beautiful in the city.

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I think that I have never been in a building as amazing as the Teatro Colon in my entire life. Our seats were in the High Tertulia, a little bit to the left of direct center. From this vantage point, were were able to fully appreciate the massive, semi-circular structure of the theater, as well as see the stage. At first, it was a little hard to concentrate on the music because the building itself was so beautiful. The detail of the paintings on the ceiling and the intricately carved balconies were spectacular. Returning to the music, this was my first experience at the orchestra, and I honestly enjoyed it immensely. Everyone aroudn me had their eyes closed, as to not be bothered by visual distractions around them and just focus on the music. Others used the soothing sounds to coaxe themselves to sleep. At the end, the program lasted for more than two hours, which for my cousin and I, was a little too long. Nonetheless, I loved the entire experience, including the music and the beauty of the theater, and I plan to return at least one more time to see the opera.

07/24/2014

Spring & Summer 2014, Issue II

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As the Spring and Summer sessions come to an end, we’d like to close with a few highlights of some of the programs we have hosted for the last few weeks and months. Students from the Liberal Arts program had the chance to travel to three unique destinations around the country. The Community Public Health students went to distinct points in Argentina and Uruguay to do field work, and we share testimonials straight from them. And the Summer Spanish Language students immersed themselves deeply into the culture and language of Buenos Aires. 

Liberal Arts – Trips trips trips!

Tilcara, Jujuy, April 3-6, 2014

In early April, the students spent 4 days and 3 nights in Tilcara, Jujuy Province, at an altitude of 2,400 meters, immersing themselves in the past and present of the Andean world and discovering a culture completely distinct from that of Buenos Aires.

Jujuy Province is located in the north of the country, where Argentina borders both Bolivia and Chile. Within the town of Tilcara, one can encounter the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a dry and narrow mountain valley representative of southern Andean valleys. It has an extraordinary set of routes, which serve as the most important physical link between the Andean highlands and the large plains of southeastern South America. 

The Quebrada de Humahuaca, which was recently declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, conserves its natural environment; boasts hundreds of archaeological and architectural sites; and, has a culture that maintains its unique traditional customs.

The Past and Present of the Andean World is a seminar developed in conjunction with the Tilcara Interdisciplinary Institute under the umbrella of the University of Buenos Aires. Accompanied by anthropologists and archaeologists from UBA, the students visited different archeological sites and historic towns, where they were given onsite discussions. The seminar was a great opportunity to learn about the history of the Andean world and the lifestyles of the inhabitants.

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On their arrival, the students visited the Museo Arquelógico Dr. Eduardo Casanova, where they viewed temporary exhibitions and permanent exhibitions demonstrating the objects found during archaeologists’ excavations. The museum prepared them for their visit the next day to the Pucará de Tilcara, one of the most important archaeological sites in the Quebrada de Humahuaca. Students learned about the reconstruction of the town, the lifestyles of its residents, construction methods and ceremonial rituals.

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As the days progressed, the students traveled to higher altitudes. The visit to the Pucará was followed by the historic city of Humahuaca. Humahuaca is characterized by its charming colonial architecture and is located at an altitude of 2,800 meters. There, the students learned about the Spanish influence in the area and past artistic movements.

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The final day of activities included an excursion to Salinas Grandes and Purmamarca.  At one point, the students reached 4,000 meters of height! Salinas Grandes was a vast lake that, over the years, has become an endless sea of salt, providing for an excellent backdrop to take breathtaking photos.

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On their return to the city, the students stopped by the picturesque village of Purmamarca, known for its Cerro de los Siete Colores.

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After one last dinner in Tilcara, the students departed for Buenos Aires!

El Palmar, Entre Ríos, April 9-11, 2014

In Spring 2014, the field trip funded entirely by the program was to the Province of Entre Ríos, located north of the City of Buenos Aires. In Entre Ríos, students enjoyed the nature and had the chance to visit distinct cultural and historic locations nearby.

Desayuno

We started off the first day of the trip with adventurous excursions. As soon as the students reached their hostel, La Aurora del Palmar, they settled down to have lunch and then went kayaking and horseback riding through the vast fields that surround the hostel. 

Horseback

The second day, the students visited Palacio San José, the residence of deceased Justo José de Urquiza, Provisional Director of the Argentine Confederation and Governor of the Province of Entre Ríos. The palace’s architecture combines an Italian style with that of the classical Argentine derived from Spanish colonial times. 

Palacio

The palace took nine years to construct and was finished in 1857. The work was carried out by an architect, sculptors, carvers, blacksmiths, painters and gardeners, whom were all brought from overseas to work on this construction. The main floor has 38 large rooms, surrounded by two beautiful courtyards. It also has a chapel and a pigeon house that can hold up to 650 pigeons. The palace even has an artificial lake where past residents could do light sailing.

The palace also serves as a historic site for several events that occurred in Argentina’s history, including the assassination of General Urquiza. Students were able to walk into the bedroom where the murder occurred and observed the bullet holes in the walls. The park of the palace is also where the new National Constitution was sworn in.

Abrazo

After shopping for souvenirs, the students headed back to the hostel for a warm dinner and a lovely bonfire, where they played games, sang, danced and looked at the stars.

On their way back to Buenos Aires the next day, the students took a stop in Colonia Hocker to have lunch at Almacén Don Leandro. Colonia Hocker is a small Jewish gaucho town with a population of about 80 residents. At Almacén Don Leandro, the students enjoyed a delicious parrilla, enjoying every kind of meat, and accompanied by live regional music.

Parrilla

Grupo

La Ciudad de Mendoza, Mendoza, May 29-June 2, 2014

Mendoza Province borders Chile and is world renowned for its production of wines and for its panoramic mountain landscapes. We decided to include it as an optional trip for being one of the most popular destinations for the students that visit Argentina.

After landing, having lunch and settling into their hotel, the students got up on horses and went riding into the sunset with a beautiful view of the mountains surrounding them. They were able to get in touch with the nature that the west of the country boasts. After horseback riding, the students enjoyed an asado (barbeque) and a toasty bonfire.      

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The students spent the next day taking tours of the wineries at the foot of the Andes Mountains and enjoyed their share of delicatessen, including a picnic in the gardens of the Lagarde winery. Mendoza boasts over 1,200 wineries that produce almost 10 million hectoliters of wine per year, making it the wine capital of South America.

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It produces and exports wine to several countries, particularly its distinctive variety, Malbec. Thus, apart from wine tasting, students learned about the processes of planting, harvesting and processing grapes. They enjoyed the countryside aromas of the grapes, cherries, peaches and other vegetables and fruits.

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On their last day in Mendoza, the students trekked through the Andes, visiting the Cerro Aconcagua, about 15 kilometers from the border of Chile. Aconcagua, one of the Seven Summits, is the highest mountain in the Western and Southern Hemispheres and it reaches almost 7,000 meters.

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To sum it all up, the students got to experience a little bit of everything on their trip. Most of all, they enjoyed the heart of Mendoza, a land that provides a truly unique experience.

Community Public Health – Field Work

The Summer Community Public Health students had the wonderful opportunity to fulfill about a month’s worth of field work at several sites in both Argentina and Uruguay, including Olavarría in the Province of Buenos Aires; Concepción de Uruguay in Entre Ríos; and, Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. The students visited health centers in each of the locations and worked on their distinct public health issues, such as social health determinants, infrastructure, health systems, pollution, use of tobacco, access to medication, reproductive health, water quality, and nutrition, among others. working conditions of undocumented migrant workers, etc.

Below we share pictures and a few testimonials and pictures from students!

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“My fieldwork experience in Olavarría was one of the most valuable and rewarding experiences of my life. We had the unique opportunity to work closely with the health teams as they offered primary care to the residents of the community. It was amazing to witness how the medical team truly knew the patients and understood their individual contexts to provide the best care, rather than only focusing on the biological aspects of sickness. I am looking forward to being able to apply what I've learned from this experience and these incredible individuals to my work in the future.” –Lena Law

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During our field work we worked in the local health centers learning about the rights and  options for care offered to women before during and after pregnancy. We also assisted the faculty of these health centres in educating local school children about sexual health and nutrition, creating presentations and getting them actively involved in learning how to care for themselves and lead more healthy lives. Overall it was a wonderful experience, really rewarding and eye opening for me. -John Davison

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“Through my fieldwork experience I was able to catch a glimpse of Argentina's system of public healthcare, the good and the bad. I was also able to meet some wonderful individuals and friends who truly enriched my experience in Argentina, and I certainly hope that some of them will visit the U.S. in the future. Without the fieldwork in Concepción, I never would have been able to see the public healthcare system working in the context of a small town.” –Christine Donat

"For my field work I went to Montevideo to learn about politics related to public health in a few areas: sexual diversity, accessibility for the disabled, and the recent legalization of marijuana in Uruguay. Having previously had vey little experience with politics or law, this field work was particularly eye-opening for me. I particularly loved learning about the creative ways to create a more inclusive society for the disabled population, which makes up 10% of Uruguay's total population. I look forward to sharing everything I learned in Uruguay with my parents, professors, and friends back in the U.S." –Danielle Melgar

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Summer Spanish Language – Immersion

Apart from studying the language intensively, the Summer Spanish Language students have been participating in a number of cultural activities. In fact, on July 4-6, they took an overnight trip to Montevideo, Uruguay and Colonia, Uruguay. Check out the pictures below!

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Come back soon to read our special edition newsletter with highlights on our 20th Anniversary!

07/21/2014

"Tour of Palacio Barolo" by Richelle Jurasek, Occidental College

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On one of the rainiest days that we have seen thus far in Buenos Aires, Karlyn, Katie and I caught a misty glimpse of the city from the 22nd floor of the famous Palacio Barolo on Avenida de Mayo. We were guided up the palace by a sweet Argentine tour guide, making frequent stops to learn about the history of this historic building located in the city center. Designed by Luis Barolo and built by Mario Palanti between 1919 and 1923, the Palacio Barolo was built as a tribute to Palanti’s Italian compatriot, Dante Alighieri and his Divine Comedy.  Through both decorative and functional design traits, the building conveys the union between Dante and Beatriche, the two protagonists of the work. 

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The design of the building is incredibly complex and detailed. Architecturally, it is a confluence of Venetian Gothic design and religious images from India. The colors of the tiles that form circles on the ground floor are red, white, and green, the colors of the Italian flag. The 22 floors of the building are divided into three sections that reference the Divine Comedy, the ground floor representing el Infierno (hell), the first 14 floors, el Purgatorio (purgatory), and the following floors that lead to the top, el Paraíso (paradise). At the very top of the left-side tower, is the great faro light that holds 300,000 bujías (light power) and represents God. This enormous revolving searchlight is a beacon to Palacio Salvo in Montevideo, Uruguay, also constructed by Palanti. With their faro lights, the two palaces welcome travelers entering the Rio de la Plata by the sea, almost serving as concrete lighthouses. Back inside the building, the black and white tiles on the many floors represent the duality between good and evil, another recurring theme in the Comedy.

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The highlight of our tour were the incredible views that we saw from the both the 14th floor and the faro room. At 100 meters, Palacio Barolo held the title of the tallest building in the city until the construction of the Kavanaugh in 1935. Gazing out towards the left, el Congreso Nacional and its surrounding parks light up the skyline, encircled by the many recent skyscrapers that now give the palace a run for its money. To the right, the glowing pink lights of the Casa Rosada demand attention, and a little farther away is the building that depicts the face of Evita Peron. Despite the wind and the rain, we stepped out onto the balconies to take in this incredible sight, snapping pictures and standing in amazement at the beautiful night sky.

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At the top of the tower, our tour guide turned on the faro, and we were instantly blinded by the powerful light. We learned that every 25th day of each month, the light is turned on to honor the patria and the independence of the country. It can be seen circling from miles around, reflecting in the night sky and the clouds. As usually is the case, our pictures do not do this magnificent palace justice, and we are very thankful to have had the opportunity to see the city from this unique perspective, especially being in a place filled with so much history.

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07/18/2014

"Tango Show at Esquina Homero Manzi" by Karlyn Gehring, Oberlin College

Being in the land of Tango, we had been dying to see a professional show since arriving in Buenos Aires.  However, we were glad that we waited until we had a better grasp of the history of the dance and its music, as well as some experience engaging with tango in the city.  Richelle attended several tango dance lessons at la Viruta, and I took weekly dance lessons at Rojas Cultural Center, plus played violin in the Tango orchestra at IUNA musicales, the local art university.  Furthermore, tango was consistently referenced in our classes, which allowed us to further appreciate the magnificent show we saw at Esquina Homero Manzi, a famous tango café in San Telmo.

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Homero Manzi was an influential composer and poet of tango and milonga.  In fact, he composed “Barrio de Tango,” which I played with my orchestra at IUNA in my most recent concert.  The café represented the barrio San Telmo perfectly, complete with the feeling of tradition and antiquity.  Inside, the walls were covered in photos of past guests, such as Evita Peron, and the tables were set immaculately, suggesting the prestige of the café.  With a friendly welcome, we were sat at a table directly in front of the stage and given the fixed menu of the night, which consisted of an “aperitivo de bienvenido” (sherry and a baby empanada) and choices of entradas, platos principales, and yummy helado for dessert.

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The show alternated between dancing and singing, with a live tango orchestra to accompany.  All of the dances were beautifully choreographed, although some appeared more improvised than others and more like how we were taught to tango. It was interesting to compare the different styles of music and dance—milongas, tangos, and waltzes, and because we now had some background after living in Buenos Aires for several months, we were able to distinguish these components during the show.

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We also enjoyed the variety of duets, solo dances and group choreography, as well as the elaborate costumes and the use of props.  I was also able to recognize many of the songs from my repertoire at IUNA and compare the differences in how they were performed and improvised, which greatly enhanced the experience.  All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves celebrating the 4th of July Argentina style, empanadas and all!

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