Walking along Calle Córdoba, one may stumble upon a surprise!

Calle Córdoba is not some ordinary city street, but rather a bustling commercial and cultural thoroughfare that connects the Monumento Nacional a la Bandera to the westernmost limits of Rosario city. Calle Córdoba is the location of the monument, the Plaza de 25 de Mayo, Rosario’s cathedral, the Palacio Vasallo (the legislative building of Rosario). Also, Calle Córdoba is the heart of Rosario’s banking center (in Spanish).

C/ Córdoba is marked by the red line connecting the Monument and the river on the east side and Avda. Oroño to the west

Walking west along Calle Córdoba the Nacional Flag Monument, Calle Córdoba is a pedestrian street that is full of different forms of entertainment and diversion. It is the ideal place to sit down at a café or bar for a coffee or mate; it is a meeting place; and, as some of the Study Tour alumni found, it is perfect for epic purchases of quality argentinian leather. The amount of activity on Calle Córdoba is tremendous.

Walking along Córdoba, Matt, Katie, Amanda, Elyssa, Kevin, Joe, and Tyler joined a large crowd on Calle Córdoba (next to the principle financial center) and watched on while a local group played tango. They stayed to see two songs performing before continuing on to find a bite to eat. The video (below) is of one of the songs that the band played.

Contestants… On your marks…

Dra. Flores: ¿Qué es eso?

Profa. Rivero: Es ceso… ¡Buen provecho!

If you’re familiar with the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods®” and Chef Andrew Zimmerman then you might have an idea as to what’s coming. On the first Wednesday of the trip, by recommendation of Profesora Sylvia Rivero, the Study Tour took its talents to Parrilla La Estancia for some highly touted argentine asado. First, asado is the name of barbecue a la Argentina! On this night, we had our beef, and we ate it too!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For a whopping $20 per person we enjoyed each other’s company as we stretched our culinary limits. The asado completo that we ordered included short ribs, beef spare ribs, and strip steaks among other meat products (muwhahaha)! Also, neither our pescatarians nor vegetarians were sold short; the menu included a plethera of options, like: tortilla de patatas and a poached salmon to die for! For the rest of us carnivores, we dug into the typical, labeled above.

This was the first group dinner and, trust us, we made it a good one. It was at this grand restaurant where we tested our group chemistry and our humor too. Sayings and jokes that defined our group identity were created at that very table. For example: the last syllable in “chinchulin” forced us to smile when saying… Great for when we took photos; “Qué es eso… Es ceso!” to remind us of an exciting yet revolting experience; and, “Evidencia, evidencia” for – well, I guess you had to have been there in order to understand its context (see: slideshow photos of Dra. Flores). Further, it was on this night when we created the group’s hierarchy of elite eaters.

So, what else was included in this asado completo? Well, before we go into that, the hierarchy depends on two things: the level of “adventure” eaters were willing to achieve and then the amount ingested. Use a bilingual dictionary to translate the following.

**Note of Discretion**: If you -the reader- have a weak stomach, a faint heart, are a steadfast vegan, or if you do not understand our group’s collective humor, please do not continue to read; turn back now, while you still have a chance!

The C-Team made it to chinchulin, but didn’t dare to continue to the next level; the B-Team tried the chinchulin and regardless if they liked it or not they went as far as eating riñon; and the A-Team reached Andrew Zimmerman status with ceso. Noteworthy, not all of the challengers knew what it is that they were eating prior to taking their first chomp.

There were only a few that opted not to enter the challenge; they are the D-teamers and were relegated to shoe polishing, laundry washing, and backpack carrying for the A-teamers for the duration of the study tour. (*there is absolutely no truth to the previous statement.) Our vegetarians and pescatarians were exempt. Lastly, like the rowdy group we were, we barked “¡EVIDENCIA!”
and pounded the tables during each level of the first annual asado eating challengers! (**There’s no truth behind that statement either.)

In conclusion, the first annual Argentina Study Tour group is full of some excellent eaters, ready to step out of their boxes!

Cruisin’ Rosario, Seein’ the Sights

Early on in the trip – on the second day actually – the group received a VIP  guided tour of the city. We started the tour at what would become a very familiar location for us on Avda. Pellegrini – UCEL –  and headed straight to the Río Paraná to see la Cuna de la Bandera, el Monumento Nacional a la Bandera, la Plaza de mayo, and – further up – the barrio la florida and the relatively new Puente Nuestra Señora del Rosario, which spans the Río Paraná with a total length of nearly 60 km or about 37 mi. The bridge connects Rosario to Victoria, the provinces Santa Fé and Entre Ríos since 2003. We learned so much from our guide Fabiana! Here are some fotos, ¡disfruten!

In the Plaza de Mayo in Rosario, where las Madres march every thursday at 5 pm, you find starkly contrasting architecture, the museo “Firma y Odilio Estevez”, la Catedral de Rosario, el Consulado de España and a fantastic view of the monumento de la bandera, Fabiana begins the tour.

El Monumento Nacional a la Bandera (pics to follow), standing at a towering 230 feet, is located adjacent to the Plaza Belgrano and was built in remembrance of the Lawyer/General Manuel Belgrano, who rededicated his life to fighting for the patria on February 27, 1812 against Napoleon’s forces. The Plaza Belgrano is very attractive to the eye: spacious and full of shallow pools and statues. Before entering the Plaza Belgrano (coming from the Plaza de mayo) you pass an eternal flame, said to house the ashes of the men that died defending their country and their independence. Inside the actual monument is a dome-shaped room dedicated to the general with superb acoustic effects that could blow your ears and your mind! For a small fee you can ride the elevator to the top for a supreme view of the area.  

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After leaving the monumento de la bandera we took the scenic route to the Puente Nuestra Señora del Rosario, riding up the barrancas (or the banks) del Paraná through the barrio la florida. We stopped for some photos at the foot of the bridge.


To anyone following this blog site:

Argentina occupies the southern cone of South America, predominantly on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Bordering to the west, Chile separates Argentina from the Pacific Ocean. Just a few days ago Volcán Puyehue or Puyehue Volcano in Chile erupted, sending volcanic ash into the atmosphere, disturbing all flights from Argentina’s primary international airport, Ezeiza. Because of this circumstance the Argentina Study Tour’s return flight, originally scheduled to depart Ezeiza yesterday July 8, 2011 was also canceled. However, we have re-scheduled to depart this evening on July 9, 2011 at approximately 8:35 pm local time in Buenos Aires and arriving in Newark at approximately 1:18 pm EST on Sunday July 10, 2011. Please follow our flights on Continental Airlines, flight numbers 1950 and 1587. We will be going through customs in Houston.

Study Tour Alumni have been urged to contact family and friends. Also, the Argentina Study Tour sent out a mass email to anyone that students felt would be most interested: parents and spouses, for example. So far, some students have called home while others used email. Most importantly, everyone on the tour is safe.

As the story goes, before the group departed for their bus tour of Buenos Aires, at approximately 8:30 am the indications of flight status were a-go. On our way to the airport we received a noticed that the flight was canceled, but continued on to the airport anyhow. There was a technicality that we had to fulfill and – in case Ezeiza re-opened – we wanted to be on that plane! However, after some time managing the situation with the assistance of Continental representatives at Ezeiza, we realized that the airport was closed for the night and our only option was to return to Buenos Aires. After some shuffling, though, we were fortunate to have confirmed our seats and attendance on another flight. We returned to the hotel where we spent the previous night, the Waldorf Hotel in Buenos Aires.

After coming back, we went for a brief dinner and then straight to bed. Now, today, students are out on the town trying to fit in any last stops on their agendas before finally heading back to Ezeiza at 4pm for our redeye. At this very moment, barring any changes to air space conditions, our flight for tonight is on time.

When we receive any notifications or indications of changes in schedule, Dr. Flores and the group will seek internet access and/or phones so that we can continue communications. This blog site will act as a secondary mode of communication, while email and phones will serve as the primary. Please continue to observe this blog site for any further notifications.

– The Argentina Study Tour

Un día de espectáculo

July 1, 2011 –

Today is quite an exciting day, yet it also represents the last time the Argentina Study Tour group will participate with the Comunidad Educativa La Paz as a group. So as to keep spirits high, the school held a fiesta de despedida for the students with which we helped to organize and realize.

Friday was the last day before the school had their winter vacation; remember, when it’s Summer in NJ, Rosario is in their winter. The school had organized for a clown to come to put on a show for the school. The Study Tour group was not able to see the show because the show started when we were leaving. However, the group – led by Iron Chef Flores – prepared popcorn for the La Paz alumni and staff.

Fun and Games at La Paz

29,30 July 2011

Here at la Comunidad Educativo La Paz it is easy to have fun and share good times with others. Whether during class or recess, the Argentina Study Tour group has integrated well with the students, faculty, and administration at the school. Here are a few videos to show how the group has jumped right in at La Paz! The efforts of the Study Tour group has been greatly appreciated by the community and the school. We hope you enjoy!

Here, Joe uses his time to share with the students at La Paz a game that he used to play as a child. The students hounded him to play this game at recess every day thereafter!

In this video, Katie, who has done an excellent job integrating with her Pre-schoolers and Kindergarten classes, plays “Pato, Ñato” or “Duck, Duck, Goose.”

On the third day of service, Cailla used her talents to engage students in a dancing game that included numbers, kinesthetics, and -most importantly- fun! The girls seemed to have a lot of fun!

Rosario, our new home… for a while

26 June 2011

We arrived in Rosario, Argentina on Sunday at approximately 3:30pm or 15:30 as counted in military hours, a norm for Rosarinos. Rosario lies nearly 300km NNW of Buenos Aires or Capital Federal (en castellano argentino). Since our arrival the group has endured a whirlwind of events, experiences and emotions.

Upon arrival to UCEL, we kicked off our time in the city with a brief orientation, in which, standing (nervously) in a neat line in front of a group of new faces, the Argentina Study Tour group introduced itself one by one, and one by one we exited UCEL with our newest family members. Sunday night was spent with our families. That night, some went on leisurely with their families and others spent their nights at home watching an epic loss by el club de fútbol Río Plata, sharing “yerba mate” or simply talking to get to know one another. Each of the group’s members, however, shared the same overall experience: orienting themselves to their new families and their new lives in Rosario.

More to come…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Above a sea of clouds…

June 25-26, 2011

In the distance, as far as the eye can see, shades of red, orange, and yellow of the sun’s cast starkly contrast the shades of blues and grays below. A fine yet distinguishable line: the horizon, separates the sky.

We recently entered Argentina’s airspace. The sun is rising and our estimated time of arrival isn’t for another two hours. For the majority group, the trek to Argentina began approximately 20 hours ago. Coasting at 35,000 feet at an estimated 550 miles per hour and with an estimated 3 C°/ 39 F°, we currently find ourselves hovering above an endless sea of clouds.

Motionless, apparently. Blues and grays define the texture of the surface below, which could be mistaken for a view of the ocean; the contours of the clouds share a striking resemblance with the ripples and waves of a choppy ocean surface. However, oceans move and -from this point of view- the clouds do not. After the sun has climbed high enough above the horizon, these beautiful colors and textures will begin to blend.

Fast forward 4 hours… The group is en route to Rosario city from Ezeiza Airport in Buenos Aires, on a chartered bus by Manuel Tienda León. The drive from Buenos Aires to Rosario is a nice one, quiet and scenic and unlike any highway in New Jersey. The billboards, the roadside parillas de asado argentino, the compost fires, the wide, wide expanses of land along side the highway and upon which we’ve already spotted the iconic Argentine gaucho. With all this input, this is set to be a very interesting trip.

Press this

On your homepage, in your welcome post from WordPress, titled: Hello world!, you can find some suggestions made for customizing your blog. In that, you will find a suggestion for a web tool called “PressThis,” which, when you save to your web browser’s bookmarks bar, allows you to connect to your blog – to post newly found info, links, etc. – while surfing the web.

Also, you can hyperlink from the internet. A hyperlink is an in-text link to an external source. In order to hyperlink, you should highlight the text that you would like to “activate”, at which point you will see an icon in the toolbar of your blog post. The icon looks like a pair of chain links. Then, you will be able to copy/paste the URL of the source site. These directions are applicable to hyperlinking in your blogs posts as well as those through PressThis, which is definitely a useful tool!

Hasta la próxima…

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
  2. Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting  page you read on the web.
  3. Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can alway preview any post or edit you before you share it to the world.