My South America Trip #14 -“Don’t cry for me, Argentina”, Eva Peron and more…Buenos Aires City Tour

How can we visit Argentina without talking and learning about the famous and most respected woman in Argentina, Eva Peron?  During the short stay in Buenos Aires, we were able to visit a few sites in the city, which are historically important for Argentina.  As it was a very short stay, the half-day city tour included many sites where the bus only stopped for a few minutes.  The guide was the best among all that we had met. We learned a lot from her about the history of Argentina, about Eva Peron, and more…

On this post, I would like to highlight the Recoleta Cemetery where Eva Peron is buried and the Plaza de Mayo, which is significant in the political and social history of Argentina.

Eva Peron is considered the Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina.
Eva Peron is considered the Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina.

Photo Credit of Eva Peron:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eva_Peron

According to wikipedia, Recoleta Cemetery contains the graves of notable people, including Eva Perónpresidents of Argentina,Nobel Prize winners, the founder of the Argentine Navy and a granddaughter of Napoleon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Recoleta_Cemetery

It is a beautiful place.  We were introduced particularly to the tomb of Eva Peron, the Spiritual Leader of the Nation.

Eva Peron

María Eva Duarte de Perón (Spanish: [maˈɾi.a ˈeβa ˈðwarte ðe peˈɾon]; 7 May 1919 – 26 July 1952) was the second wife of President Juan Perón (1895–1974) and served as the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. She is usually referred to as Eva Perón, or by the affectionate Spanish language diminutive Evita.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eva_Peron

I am sure most of you have seen or known this movie “Evita” which is a 1996 musical drama film of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s musical of the same name based on the life of Eva Perón.

References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evita_(film)

The song “Don”t cry for me Argentina” is especially unforgetable.  Here, I clipped the song from You-Tube:

When we attended the Tango Show which is a “must” for most tourist, it also showed a good portion about their respect for Eva Peron.  The song “Don’t cry for me Argentina” was performed by a singer who was quite good.  There was also a short performance with the flags of Argentina, paying respect to Eva Peron.  It was a touching moment.  I bought the DVD afterwards,  to give support to the community.

I  read a book before my trip:  “Argentina Inside Out” by Claudia Z Nelson.  Her opinion that Argentina is a socialist country may not be agreed upon by Argentinians (the guide did not agree when I asked her), but I really like her conclusion in her book:

“This is what attracted me the most about Argentina, the people’s  true and honest concern for one another, their ability to look past their difference of opinion or statue to help each other”.

Each country has its history of joy and sorrow.  I know too little about Argentina to comment on its political and social structure.  Whatever I’ve learned from this trip, is most valuable to me, because I love the people.

Let me share with you a video I created from a few video clips of the Plaza de Mayo and some pictures of the historical downtown area of Buenos Aires.  I am lucky to be able to use the song “Don’t cry for me Argentina” by Tango Friends, a selection in You-Tube.  I hope you will like it.

Plaza de Mayo

Plaza de Mayo is the main square in the Monserrat barrio of central Buenos Aires,Argentina.

It has always been the focal point of political life in Buenos Aires. Its current name commemorates the May Revolution of 1810, which started the process towards the country’s independence from Spain in 1816.

Today, Plaza de Mayo continues to be an indispensable tourist attraction for those who visit Buenos Aires.

Several of the city’s major landmarks are located around the Plaza: the Cabildo (the city council during the colonial era), the Casa Rosada (home of the executive branch of the federal government), the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, the  May Pyramid, the Equestrian monument to General Manuel Belgrano, the current city hall or municipalidad, and the headquarters of the Nación Bank. The Buenos Aires financial district (microcentro), affectionately known as la City (sic) also lies besides the Plaza.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plaza_de_Mayo)

Finally, I don’t want to forget this important piece of information about the Plaza.  It is about the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo.

The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo

It is an association of Argentine mothers whose children “disappeared” during the Dirty War of the military dictatorship, between 1976-1983.

The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo is an Argentine organization of human rights activist women who have, for over three decades, fought for the right to re-unite with their abducted children.

In protests, they wear white head scarves with their children’s names embroidered, to symbolize the blankets of the lost children. The name of the organization comes from the Plaza de Mayo in central Buenos Aires, where the bereaved mothers and grandmothers first gathered. They have continued to convene there every Thursday afternoon for a decade.  When the guide told us this story, I was very touched.

Here’s a photo gallery of my pictures taken in this area.  They my not be the greatest photos but I do find them meaningful to me.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for sharing, the incident of the Mother of the Plaza de Mayo is really heartbreaking. I remember seeing their gathering when I visited there…. How tragic.

    Buenos Aires is very cosmopolitan, but I find it quite noisy, the big boulevards, the cars, etc., quite an unrest city, but of course with a lot of charms as well. I in fact lived in the Recoleta area, interesting. Did you visit ‘El Ateneo Grand Splendid’, the very classic bookstore?

    1. friendlytm says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments. You saw so much …how many days were you in Argentina? Recoleta is in an affluent neighborhood. We live close by but not in Recoleta. Our hotel is nice too. but we did not have the chance to walk around. we had a very tight schedule. We didn’t have the chance to visit bookstore. The visit is so short. I think if you go by yourself and not in a big group like mine, you will be able to see more in- depth into everything. We went to many places within a short period of time. Let me know more about the bookstore.

      1. In fact I went to S America (basically covered Argentina, Chile and Brazil) in both 2010 and 2011, staying in Buenos Aires perhaps 5-6 days altogether in two trips, all privately done and therefore I could go freely to certain places which are in my personal favour.

        Regarding the bookstore El Ateneo, I will write a post (specially for you) perhaps tomorrow (and add a few photos taken personally). Your S A posts stimulate my wish to write a few posts too …. in addition to what I’ve posted last year. That’s fun!

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