Last country in Latin America, Argentina. Argentina is different compared to Mexico and Peru, or at least different from the places I visited. Córdoba feels, and is, modern. The city has skyscrapers, perhaps not as big as ones you will find in New York City or San Francisco, but quite tall nonetheless.

Transportation is like any of the big cities in the USA. There are other similarities between Córdoba and metropolises in USA, but there are also differences. One difference is the abundance of cafés. On almost every corner there is a café. Sitting down at a café, drinking coffee and eating a medialuna, a type of croissant, is the norm. This is usually done during the timespan of lunch and dinner. This time is a special meal for Argentinians called Merienda. A Merienda is not common in other South American countries, because Europeans introduced this meal to Argentina but not to other countries. In the early 1900s, there was a massive wave of immigrants from Europe. The immigrants introduced different customs and altered the spoken language, Spanish, to a different dialect. The Spanish here is still Spanish, but the tenses are different compared to other Latin American countries. Because of the wave of European immigrants, culture in Córdoba is different compared to Peru and Mexico. In Peru and Mexico, indigenous culture is more evident in everyday life. In Argentina, the culture is more mestizo (mixed).

I’ve noticed less tourists here in Córdoba. Most people I have met from other countries are here for school or volunteer opportunities. Tourism is not big here, especially compared to Cusco in Peru.

My purpose here in Argentina, is volunteering at a government funded community house. There is a daycare, tutoring center, and a kitchen. I am in the kitchen. So far, I have been trying to work my way into the system. I have been able to help, but not nearly as much as I can. For the first 30 minutes, the women force me to sit down, drink tea, and eat bread. It doesn’t matter if I don’t want any tea or bread, I still must eat and drink. After I finish, I normally dry and put away dishes or cut vegetables and meats. Probably, over the course of the upcoming weeks, I will be given more things to do, but for now, I will be cutting and drying.

I have about 35 more days until I am back in the USA. I have met a variety of people and experienced different cultures. This trip has certainly flown by and I am learning a great deal about other cultures – and myself – more on that in future posts.

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