The city of Buenos Aires is a mixture of old, historical buildings mixed with new, contemporary buildings. The city was established in 1536, yet only one building remains because in 1880 everything was torn down and the city was planned. About 3 million people live in the city, and 10 million reside in the suburbs.
The May Square is one of many plazas throughout the city, often the plaza has a statue and a park. The Pink House sits on the May Square, which is where the president's office is. It is crazy to think that I have been inside the Argentine capitol and have never been allowed inside of the United State White House. All I had to go through was a simple metal detector!
The Pink House is pink because when it was built, the material was a mix of clay and ox fat, which the blood turned the walls pink. Argentina has had two women presidents, one which is in power currently. Christina took over after her husband died during his presidency and we quickly learned that she is not well liked. The Pink House is open to the public and just has a metal detector as security.
Also on the May Square is a Cathedral, where the pope was the Arch Bishop. This is also where San Martin's remains are located. It was beautiful and I was surprised to hear that most people in the city do not practice their faith and not many people attend mass in this beautiful cathedral. He is compared to the United States's George Washington.
Next we visited Boca, a place where culture thrives. Tango dancing originated in Argentina and is a very difficult dance (trust me, we took lessons). We were able to see tango dancers and a large soccer field. Soccer (there it is football) is the most common sport. The Boca neighborhood is made of wood houses, where fires usually occur 6 times per day. Shanty towns are also common, where low income families live. It was crazy to see so many unsteady houses, but the constitution states every citizen has the right to a home.
In one neighborhood, you will find an old cemetery. This cemetery does not have gravestones, but large, elaborate buildings for each family. It is currently full and plots are no longer sold, but families burry their loved ones there in buildings that have basements. It is up to each family to design their plot and take care of the upkeep. Multiple coffins may be piled on top of eachother. Each plot was different yet elaborate, and the whole place was interesting and a little creepy.
The night ended with tango lessons and a tango show. The dancers are amazing and it is safe to say none of these Iowa State students have a future in tango dancing.