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3 posts from May 2013

05/13/2013

SPRING 2013, ISSUE II

NewsletterBannerBuenosAires686x101 _DSC1408GREETINGS FROM EXCITING BUENOS AIRES!

At the Buenos Aires Study Center we want to share with you the second newsletter of the fall 2013 semester. Here you’ll find interesting news from both Liberal Arts, and Undergraduate Research Globalization and Development programs. Therefore, we want to share with you the outcomes of many engaging activities in Buenos Aires that we’ve done with the students over the past few weeks.  We hope you’ll enjoy it!

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

SOCCER MATCH: Argentina vs. Venezuela

DSC08295At the end of March, we invited the students to experience “first hand” one of the Argentine national passions: fútbol (soccer). This time, we enjoyed a vibrant match for the classifications for the next FIFA World Cup, to be held in 2014 in Brazil. The Argentine National Team defeated Venezuelan team by scoring 3 goals during the 90 minutes of the game, where Lio Messi (do we need to explain who this world famous player is?) delighted the attendants with his magic game.  Following, we’ll share a testimony from Alex Cantrell –Wesleyan University  Liberal Arts Program:

388488_10151573135747209_1651019574_n“In this picture, the beloved Messi is scoring the second goal of the game. After his success, the stadium erupted with fans screaming and jumping, crazy with the energy of the moment; and in this moment, all of the (Argentinian) fans were united, and in this moment, no one had a single problem. This is the magic of the moment. Olé, olé, Messi, Messi!”

BAFICI

The Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente –BAFICI- is probably the most important independent movie film festival in Latin America. After 15 years, it still gathers the most renowned directors, actors, actresses, producers, and general public interested in the independent movie scene.

We invited the students to a special exhibition for the Argentine movie “El Amor Primera Parte”, originally released in 2004. This masterpiece of the new Latin American and Argentine cinema was worldwide recognized and awarded, delighting not only the audience but the critics as well.  

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CULTURAL CORRESPONDENTS

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Nick Santangelo and Jeremy Lebow, from Tufts University, submitted the most interesting proposals to experience by themselves the local culture. Nick experienced one of the best-kept secrets of the city: Casa Félix, a closed-door restaurant. Jeremy, an opera fan, had the pleasure to enjoy the perfect acoustic of the Colon Opera house, watching a worldwide known play: Carmen.

EXCURSIONS

Seminar Field Trip: Past and Present of the Andino world

_DSC1187 Like every semester, students from the Liberal Arts program had the opportunity to visit Tilcara and the huge ravines of the Humahuaca region, one of the most beautiful places in the country. A gorgeous villa located in northern Argentina, in the Jujuy Province, Tilcara is surrounded by colorful mountains and close to ancient native populations and salt flats. During the trip, organized under a cooperative agreement between the CIEE Study Center in Buenos Aires, and the University of Buenos Aires -UBA–, Anthropology Institute of the Liberal Arts Department, academics from different disciplines (archaeologists, anthropologists, historians) guided students and staff through the colourful sceneries and the history of Quebrada de Humahuaca.

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Uruguay: living the Candombe culture

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This field trip to the Uruguayan side of the Rio de la Plata was specially designed for the Undergraduate Research Globalization and Development program students, and also participated all year Liberal Arts program (AYP) students.  The objective is to learn about the Afro-Uruguayan heritage and its traces, where past and present merges in this particular country.   

This 3 day field trip included visits to the cities of Montevideo and Colonia. During their time in Montevideo, the students visited the Old Town, rich in architecture, shops Center, the Independence Square and Parliament Palace. Then they walked around its beautiful green parks and Residential neighborhoods such as Carrasco, Punta Gorda and Pocitos, to end their tour in the exceptional "Rambla" which follows a path of beautiful beaches. At night they enjoyed dinner in a classic venue of Montevideo’s nightlife, “El Milongón”, that offered different shows and folkloric dances such as tango and candombe, part of their African heritage. During the second day, students participated in a “candombe tour”, following the traces of the African heritage, and learning how to perform this indigenous music and dance.  Afterwards, students visited Colonia, declared a World Heritage Site. A place where they enjoyed its colonial architecture, courtyards, artesian wells, churches, monasteries and ruins of the city, museums and even its unique stone sidewalks.  IMG_0426Some words about the trip by Allison Yates - Indiana University:

We had a great time in Uruguay during the trip organized by CIEE. My favorite part of the weekend was the Candombe Tour we took Saturday afternoon in Montevideo. Candombe is music from the region of El Rio de la Plata that has roots from the African popular that came to Uruguay. Our guide took us first to the Candombe Museum, where we saw the old costumes and videos of Carnival en Uruguay and learned about the history of Candombe and the "Murga," which is traditional music of carnival where the singers sing songs where the lyrics make jokes about events that had happened the previous year. Then, we had a Candombe drum lesson and saw a drum line in the street. I really enjoyed the music, and we had a great time learning about the history and learning how to play, although we didn't do as well as the professionals we saw! I had been to Montevideo already several times, but this tour was something different that I would never have gotten the opportunity to do. It was overall a wonderful weekend and a great time spend getting to know the other people in the group

 

BARRIO MITRE

Donaciones en inglésDuring the last week of March, the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires suffered intense storms, producing heavy rains and flooding. As a result of this, the city collapsed and many neighborhoods were seriously damaged. One of the critical areas was the Barrio Mitre neighborhood, on the north side of the city, where Barrio Mitre Community Center, a partner-institution of the Study Center for almost 20 years, is located. Usually, students have the opportunity to develop service learning and volunteer projects there, as one of their most enriching cultural and exchange experiences abroad.

This time, we want to share a special visit to the center: We carried the donations we've received for this center that was seriously damaged by the recent flooding. The campaign was truly a success! We collected tons of food, clothes, and school supplies. Additionally, we donated some musical instruments, on behalf of the whole CIEE community, to replace the ones destroyed by the flooding. Thanks to the efforts of everybody involved, we were able to buy 3 guitars and 2 piano-keyboards.  We know for sure they will make them very happy!

Here, you can read Jackson Monzon's testimony about the visit.IMG_0020

REGIONAL MEETING

IMG_1037_1Last April 8 –10, the CIEE Study Center at FLACSO hosted the Latin American Regional Conference.Twenty-five people closely tied to the organization participated, traveling all the way to Buenos Aires for intensive workshops focused on the strategic role that CIEE plays, on a global level, in international student exchange. In attendance were all the resident directors from the countries where the CIEE has exchange programs in Latin America, including: Bonaire, Brazil (Sao Paulo, Salvador de Bahía and Río de Janeiro), Chile (Santiago and Valparaíso), Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, and the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo and Santiago). Joining the resident directors were those from the highest echelons of the CIEE, whose central headquarters is in Portland, ME, including the CEO and President, Dr. James Pillow, along with Vice Presidents and Regional Operations Directors. Highlighting this important event reaffirms the leadership role that the CIEE Study Center in Buenos Aires (the largest in the region) holds. After more than 12 years, these types of regional meetings are now being re-launched and will be held on a regular basis once again.

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05/09/2013

Cultural Correspondent: "Opera Carmen"

Jeremy LebowBy Jeremy Lebow, Tufts University

On Wednesday, April 17th, we went to the Teatro Colón to see the opera Carmen as cultural correspondents for CIEE Buenos Aires. The number of people, the elegant atmosphere, and the size of the theater immediately surprised us. The architecture and design of the theater are old and detailed, making the theater itself a work of art. With our seats off to the side we were forced to lean over the railing to see most of the stage. This didn’t bother us so much as it added to the night’s traditional, romantic-European feel. And with respect to the performance – obviously the voices and the acting were incredible. The opera was in French, but we could follow the plot closely with subtitles in Spanish above the stage.  Though recognizing that the dialogue in Carmen is not difficult to understand in the first place (“Do you love me?” “No I don´t love you!” “I don’t care! I love you!” “Then, yes, I love you!”).

Carmen is a 19th-century opera by the French composer Georges Bizet that tells of a love story between a gypsy and a soldier in Seville, Spain.  Carmen, the gypsy, works in a cigarette factory and wins the love of a soldier named Don Jose, who is already promised to another girl named Micaela. When Carmen is sent to jail for starting a fight Don Jose is ordered to make the arrest. Predictably, she seduces him to set her free and he spends a month in jail in her place. Carmen waits for him faithfully, despite taunts from the champion bullfighter Escamilio. As soon as Don Jose is released from jail his commander orders him to go home, but, jealous in the face of the commander’s advances on Carmen, he refuses to do so and he and Carmen flee with the other gypsies to a cave in the mountains. At the beginning of the final act, Carmen has decided that she no longer loves Don Jose, yet he refuses to leave until Micaela comes and convinces him to return home to his mother. When Don Jose and Carmen see each other again, she explains to him that her love has changed and she is with Escamilio. Don Jose, furious and desperate, stabs her amid the cheers of Escamilio’s victorious bullfight in the background. The audience, in tears, proceeded with an extensive and enthusiastic standing ovation.

Teatro colonThe musical performance was equally impressive. A beautiful orchestra accompanied the opera, and it was interesting for us to listen to the historic songs of Carmen in real life, and to hear Bizet accompany the plot with his compositions. Another great surprise was the flamenco dancing, which we had never seen before. In the end going to the Teatro Colón was an incredible experience for us, to witness an aging fragment of Buenos Aires’ culture and to spend a beautiful night with Buenos Aires’ most elegant people, dressed to their finest. We will definitely be returning, be it to see another opera, a ballet, or just to listen to an orchestra. With the beauty of the Teatro Colón, you cannot go wrong.

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05/06/2013

Cultural Correspondent: "Casa Felix, a closed door restaurant"

Nick Santangelo

by Nick Santangelo, Tufts University

Last Friday, on a night with a full moon and great weather, three friends and I went to the Chacarita neighborhood to have dinner at the “closed door” restaurant called “Casa Felix”.  The chef, Diego Felix, met us at 9:30 p.m. at the door to his private home and showed us the rooms and garden.  Diego chatted with us about the plants and herbs that he grows in the garden and uses in his cocktails and food.  He then served us a cocktail made of sage from the garden while we talked with the other guests who numbered no more than ten people.  Then we went to the patio, which was semi-covered with trees and vines, to eat dinner. 

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The first dish was a warm fontina cheese, wrapped in chayote leaves and coated with chañar syrup.  The crispy leaves and sweet sauce combined with the warm cheese to make an incredible flavor.  Per the chef’s suggestion, we ordered a bottle of white wine that is typical of the Salta region and was a perfect accompaniment to the botana and salad that followed the cheese. 

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The botana was a sugarcane-syrup glazed shrimp over mbeyú, which were topped with a green apple and burrito guacamole, yellow chile aioli, and fennel.  Diego explained that the mbeyú, a starchy cake, is very typical of Paraguay and that a lot of the inspiration for his food comes from that country.  He also told me that Mexico and Peru are two other very important sources of inspiration for his cooking, as they both have rich, pre-Columbian culinary histories.  The salad was made of fresh greens with Brazil nuts and herbs. To cleanse the palate for the main course, the chef served us a cold lemon and pear beverage. 

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The main course was a tamal with mole sauce, green beans, and mushroom confit.  Inside my tamal was fresh fish while my friends had ordered duck.  Following Diego’s suggestion, we ordered a bottle of red wine from Mendoza to accompany this course.  The cornmeal interior of the tamal absorbed the mole sauce and combined with the fish to create a distinct and complex flavor.  The dessert was a filo pastry filled with warm squash accompanied by a mandarin slice and topped with cream of jasmine flower.   

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The whole dinner experience lasted about three hours and had a very intimate ambience.  Diego was very nice and spent a lot of time talking with guests about the food, his personal history, and his sources of inspiration.  After dinner he talked with us about our studies and experiences in Buenos Aires so far.  The whole night was incredible and one that I know we will never forget.

Felix 9