2017-06-27

An Image of Buenos Aires Tourists Consume

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Volunteers around Buenos Aires Volunteers around Buenos Aires

The very first Argentinian food that I had after I arrived in Buenos Aires was an empanada, a hand-size pastry filled with steaming minced meat and chopped onions. Even tough it was from a small shop in a corner, the taste was amazing.

Happily strolling down the street of Buenos Aires with a bag of empanada in my hand, I imagined my experiences in the next two months here would be somewhat like that--stumbling upon an unexpected surprise at the corner of an antique barrio, having an authentic Argentinian experience that I can take away like a souvenir to keep in my memory.

I spent a few hours on my first days looking at Google images of Buenos Aires and numerous tourist web pages: online comments said how Buenos Aires is a beautiful historic city, full of artistic statues and European styled buildings, the Paris of Latin America. I made a checklist of places I should visit to say by the end of my journey that I had been to Buenos Aires and experienced everything that there is to do. Just like other tourists, I took numerous photos—including shameful selfies—in an angle that presents the landscape in the most fascinating way just like the ones I saw on others’ instagrams. The photos I collected looked almost like the ones from fantasy movies: creamy buildings with beautiful curves, yet another majestic statue at every corner of the city, and colorful fairs that people call “exotic.”

The Buenos Aires I saw through the lense of tourism was beautiful. But the truth is, it was not the full picture. Tourism paints Buenos Aires as a few historic sites rated in five stars and materializes one’s experience in the city as a miniature Obelisco magnet and a few postcards of tango dancers. But I have learned that the city is not a ready-made product to be consumed by tourists who want a package filled with extraordinary and exotic experiences. In fact, my daily life consists of learning different parts of pork in Spanish at a grocery store, occasionally complaining with another Argentine student in a library about the slow wifi, and squeezing my way into a crowded subway.

During weekdays, I see a different scenery of Buenos Aires with other communication volunteers. Even a twenty minute bus ride from the center takes me away from the crowded tourist areas. There is no tourist guide to this place, nor any marble monuments to celebrate the history it carries. These outskirts nonetheless are the parts of Buenos Aires. People in different community service centers we visit work together to help address the problems the residents face everyday. The soup kitchen provides children and adults a space to eat together, the kindergarten teaches children that they have rights to be happy, and the Pacheco Community Center helps the local adolescents learn teamwork and farming skills to see a better future. Buenos Aires is not a mere travel deal for tourists: it is a home to people who live here.

What I found at the corner of an old barrio was not an exotic scenery with two passionate tango dancers or a local artist with flashy portraits of the area. They simply were ordinary people, helping each other and working together to improve the future path--building a home.

Read 13214 times

Related items

Let’s talk about soft skills: Stress Management

Learning to manage stress may be one of the most difficult soft skills to develop. Other soft skills can have a positive effect and help to take over stressful situations, such as flexibility or time management. 

Let’s talk about soft skills: Open-Mindedness

Open-mindedness involves the ability to be open to new ideas, experiences, theories, people, and ways of living. It is also about adopting a fair and respectful attitude towards opinions, beliefs, and practices that differ from one's own. One of the main factors in this skill is tolerance: being well disposed implies accepting others without judging, negatively criticizing or being unpleasant. 

THE KEY ROLE OF RESPONSIBLE TOURISM

This pandemic has shown us the strong negative impact that human actions have on the planet without a sustainable perspective. We are acquiring new habits, restructuring our way of life to take care of each other, but are we really thinking about the future and the environment?

Let’s talk about soft skills: Conflict management and problem solving

 Two of the skills related to how to handle difficult situations are conflict management and problem-solving. They might seem similar, so we should start by defining both of them.

Let’s talk about soft skills: Initiative

The initiative involves the ability to proactively propose ideas or solutions and act consequently. This soft skill is highly appreciated in the professional environment, but it is also very helpful for personal growth.

Let’s talk about soft skills: Ethics and Commitment

Ethics and commitment are soft skills strongly related to the work environment, but they also take place in our involvement with any kind of institution. How is that ethics is a skill?

Let’s talk about soft skills: Public Speaking

Public speaking is the ability to communicate clearly and effectively in front of both familiar and unfamiliar people. Even though you may think it's not a volunteering-related skill, public speaking will be involved.

Let’s talk about soft skills: Responsibility

 Why is responsibility a soft skill? What does it mean? To be responsible is actually an ability. It's the ability to assume one’s own actions and to be accountable for them.

Login to post comments

VOLUNTARIO GLOBAL

Voluntario Global helps local communities by being available to discuss anything that local organizations need, and offering ideas for further change and development.
Read more...

CONTACT

Location: General Pacheco. Buenos Aires. Argentina
Email: jfranco@voluntarioglobal.org

© Copyright 2016 luppino.com.ar