General Facts about Argentina

Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world. It is located in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of 2,780,400 km2  (1,073,500 Sq. mi ), making it the largest Spanish-speaking nation in the world by area. It is the second-largest country in South America after Brazil and the fourth-largest country in the Americas. It shares the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, and is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. Argentina claims sovereignty over a part of Antarctica called Antártida Argentina (Argentine Antarctica), the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. (1)

Cr. Wiki Commons

In English, the name “Argentina” comes from the Spanish language; however, the naming itself is not Spanish, but Italian. Argentina (masculine argentino) means in Italian “(made) of silver, silver coloured”, derived from the Latin “argentum” for silver. The origin of the name goes back to the widespread legend about a mountain rich in silver known among the first European explorers of the La Plata Basin. (2)

LAND

Argentina is shaped like an inverted triangle with its base at the top; it is some 880 miles (1,420 km) across at its widest from east to West and stretches South to its narrowest point of 2,360 miles (3,800 km). (3)

Argentina’s varied landscapes can be grouped into four major regions: the Eastern plains of the Pampas, the Andes all along its Western border, Patagonia to the South and the area of the North including Gran Chaco.

The highest point not only in Argentina but in the Western Hemisphere is Cerro Aconcagua at 22,831 feet (6,959 m), in the Andes.

Cr. Pintarest

The biggest city and the capital of Argentina is Buenos Aires. The city is located on the western shore of the Río de la Plata, on South America’s southeastern coast. “Buenos Aires” can be translated as “fair winds” or “good airs”, but the former was the meaning intended by the founders in the 16th century, by the use of the original name “Real de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre”, named after the Madonna of Bonaria in Sardinia, Italy.

Buenos Aires is the most European influenced city in South America.

Cr. Fodor Travel Guide
Cr. Context Travel

PEOPLE

Heavy immigration, particularly from Spain and Italy, has produced in Argentina a people who are almost all of European ancestry. In the colonial period, though, the Spanish explorers and settlers encountered a number of native peoples. Among these were the Diaguita of the Andean Northwest, a town-dwelling agricultural people who were forced into labour after they were conquered. They were divided by the Spanish into small groups and were sent to work in Peru and the Río de la Plata area. In the Mesopotamian region the semi-agricultural Guaraní also were forced into labour. (3)

The population of Argentina has increased 20-fold since 1869, when 1.8 million people were recorded there by the first census. Population growth was rapid through the early part of the 20th century, but it declined thereafter as both the birth rate and immigration began to drop off; the proportion of young people also declined. In spite of this most people in Argentina are young with about 17% being over 60:

Cr. Mt. Airy Newa
Cr. Blog Going Global 2014

Flag

This is the flag of Argentina:

The flag of Argentina is a triband, composed of three equally wide horizontal bands colored light blue and white. There are multiple interpretations on the reasons for those colors. The flag was created by Manuel Belgrano, in line with the creation of the Cockade of Argentina, and was first raised at the city of Rosario on February 27, 1812, during the Argentine War of Independence. He chose this color when he noticed that the patriots were using the same colors as Spain (red and yellow). The sun called “sol de Mayo” (May sun) was added later in February 25th of 1818 in reference to the events of 1810 when the sun shone through the clouds.

Coat of Arms

This is the coat of arms of Argentina:

In the coat of arms one can see the same sun of May rising as the the one in the flag. There is an oval with same celestial colors blue and white. There are two hands shaking meaning the unity of the provinces coming together to hold a spear that ends in a  Phrygian cap. The spear symbolizes the willingness of fighting for freeedom. The end of the spear s covered by a red Phrygian cap that was widely use as a symbol during the French and American revolutions for liberty. Two laurel branches symbolizing glory and victory surround the central oval.

Sources:

(1) Wikipedia

(2) Book cultures of the world. Argentina. By Marshall Cavendish 2012 (Third Edition)

(3) Encyclopedia Britannica

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s