If you’re anything like me, (uninformed of the nuances of South American history), you don’t know who Evita was. Throughout the whole trip, I’ve heard her name mentioned and alluded to. However, today, in a day full of Argentina and culture, I was finally enlightened.
Evita Perón was the First Lady of one of the most famous presidents of Argentina during the 1950s. She and her husband worked together to bring equality, labor rights, education, woman suffrage, and industrialization to Argentina. Needless to say, she was beloved by the poor people and working class of Argentina. However, because of Evita and her husband’s work, they made many enemies in the rich upper class. She died of cancer at only 33 years of age, and then shortly afterwards, a military golpe de estado (coup d’etat) removed Perón from power. They outlawed the government party of Peronismo and tried to wipe all traces of Evita and Perón out of Argentinian life.
We visited the Recoleta Cemetery earlier in the day, and actually got to see where Evita is buried. The whole cemetery is quite impressive, as entire families are buried in house-like structures.
Later in the day we were able to visit another market, this one also very close to our hotel, and buy more souvenirs. In the evening we then returned to Tango Porteño to have our tango lesson. It was a blast and easier to learn (in my humble opinion) than the salsa. We did not look nearly as good as the professionals did last night, but that was expected.
Argentina, like any other country, has been shaped by their history. Seeing the history and art that represents Argentina gave us an insight into what it means to be an Argentinian that I don’t think we could have learned any other way.
Finally we rounded out the evening by eating dinner at a restaurant together. A couple of my friends and I ended up at a table with people that we didn’t really know that well. However, we all got a real South American experience by having sobremesa. This is a word that has no direct English translation. It is the time you spend with friends after you have finished eating, just talking. It was a long but good day, and hearing from other people and just relaxing in each other’s company was truly a wonderful way to end our last full day in Buenos Aires.