The hard-working crew of Voluntario Global took a break from work, to take part in an educational trip to Maciel Island, in La Boca, an extension of the so called “Villa Miserias”. We were greeted by the Valdoco Foundation, an organization from the island with the sole purpose of educational anyone about the island’s culture and history. Since many people think the place is for the poor and uneducated, criminals, drug dealers and addicts, truth is that the island has many good things.
The tour started with the guides passing out mugs and napkins for the tea and delicious bread. As the volunteers were eating, the tour guides talked about the island. One of the many interesting things explained, was that murals all around the streets have become quite renown in Argentina; images of Messi and Maradona are found. The island was a center of imports and exports at the old port back in the 1900’s. Back in those days, tango was danced between men only, as it was taboo to dance with a woman. They also talked about how people lived there and how they benefit with the huge bridge crossing every day [before, they had to take a 45 minute bus ride all the way around to get to the city]. Now even the children cross the bridge connecting La Boca and Marciel Island to go to school.
We saw the island from far away, but what the tour guides information it was good enough to get the idea. The organization doesn’t charge a fee for the tour. They want to show the world where they come from and how people are getting the wrong message of the place.