A ray of hope: the lapacho trees have bloomed

With one of the longest and most restrictive Covid-19 lockdowns in the world, people in Argentina, and specially those in Buenos Aires and other major cities, have been forced to stay inside closed doors for more than 6 months now. 

Of course I also tried to stay at home as much as possible and have only left home for essential necessities. For this reason I thought that I wouldn't have the chance to see my dear Lapacho tree announcing Spring for the first time in many years. But for some unexpected circumstances I happened to be just a couple of blocks away yesterday, so I took the chance to take a glance and take some photos of this wonderful tree, which was just starting to bloom.

The quality of the photos is not very good but I wanted to share this sign of hope and the joy of Spring with all of you.

2020 Virtual World Tango Festival and World Tango Dance Competition

The highly anticipated World Tango Festival and World Tango Dance Competition adapt their formats this year to the current Covid-19 situation, so all of those who wish to participate can do it from their own homes and from anywhere in the world. The events will take place online from August 26th to August 30th through the Festival's website and social media. 

The call for the World Tango Dance Competition is open to dancers (single or in couples) over 18 years of age, of any nationality, for the categories Estilo Tango de Pista and Estilo Tango Escenario. The participation will be through a video recorded in the context of their homes and respecting the legal regulations in force for the pandemic at their respective cities. 

Submissions will be received between August 15th and August 22nd, 2020. In the category Estilo Tango de Pista, the Participants must dance to "Paciencia", by Juan D’ Arienzo and his orchestra with Alberto Echagüe. Only the version of the son on this link will be accepted. 
In the category Estilo Tango Escenario, the dancer or the couple can choose the theme to dance, which duration must not exceed four (4) minutes. 
All the terms and conditions for the Dance Championship can be accessed here.

The registration is free for all, for both amateur and professional dancers, through this link.

A panel of experts will select the best 10 participants in Estilo Tango de Pista and the best 5 in Estilo Tango Escenario. On August 26th all the finalist will be announced on the Festival's website, and the public will be able to vote for their favorites until August 30th. The participants with more votes will be the winners of the Dance Championship.

The World Tango Festival will feature more than 200 online contents by renowned local artists, like Amelita Baltar, Juan Carlos Copes, José Colangelo, Walter Ríos, María Nieves and Nicolás Ledesma. The Opening will honor the Women of Tango. The Festival will also pay tribute to Astor Piazzolla, Mariano Mores, Aníbal Troilo and Osvaldo Pugliese, and to dancers such as Juan Carlos Copes, Los Dinzel, María Nieves, and Gloria Arquimbau. It will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of Argentine radio.

The classic Milongas and Dance Lessons will be offered in virtual format.

For more information on the complete program and social media links, visit the Festival's portal: https://www.buenosaires.gob.ar/tangoba

Monuments of Buenos Aires: Monument of the Two Congresses

One of the largest sculptural monuments and the largest fountain in the city of Buenos Aires are located at Plaza del Congreso, opposite the National Congress (Av. Callao & Av. Rivadavia).

This imposing monument, inaugurated in 1914, is called Monumento de los Dos Congresos (Monument of the Two Congresses), in commemoration of the  Constitutional Assembly of 1813, and the Congress of Tucuman of 1816, which declared the Independence of Argentina from the Spanish Empire.

The Monument is the work of Belgian sculptor Jules Lagae, who created the figures, and  Eugenio D’Huicque, the Belgian architect who designed the basement, entirely constructed in stone from the French city of Nancy. It consists of a large fountain and an elevated platform surrounded by three flights of stairs. 

The main allegory in the center represents the Argentine Republic, holding a branch of laurel in one hand, and the other hand resting on a plough. At its feet, the snakes of evil and a figure representing labor. Below on each the sides, two female figures represent the 1813 Assembly, and the Congress of Tucuman. 

The fountain, which is oriented towards the East, represents the Rio de la Plata, and two allegoric figures represent its tributaries, the Uruguay and Parana rivers. The fountain is surrounded by bronze sculptures of animals representing the national fauna, a group of horses, condors, and rounds of cherubs representing Peace.

The Monument to the Two Congresses and the three  plazas where it is located, were designated a National Historic Monument in 1997.

Online cultural activities from Argentina

Teatro Colón

One of the things that have always characterized the city of Buenos Aires, which draws millions of people from all around the world, is its endless offer of cultural activities.

Unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping us all at home and international travelers can't have the chance to visit our beautiful country for now, but we can still enjoy the Argentine culture from home. I have complied a few of the available options below:

Every Sunday at 8:00 PM (Buenos Aires time) the prestigious Teatro Colón broadcasts some of its past fantastic productions for free to the world through its website and social media:

2. COMPARTIR CULTURA (Sharing Culture)
This platform, created by the National Ministry of Culture, presents the full audio and visual content produced by this Ministry, offering in one single site the best of the cultural and artistic expressions in our country: movies, theater, music, visual arts, literature, all in one easy access platform:

3. CULTURA EN CASA (Culture at home)
This initiative of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires presents all the digital contents from the Ministry of Culture of the city, from theater plays, to workshops, virtual tours, music shows, concerts, audiobooks, movies, series and tutorials. All the contents are updated every day:

Explore the digital collection of the The Fine Arts Museum, with more than 2500 works, with high definition images, audios, and suggested tours.
Through its YouTube channel, the Museum presents a series of interviews to great artists that have had a great impact in the visual history of our country:  Julio Le Parc, Juan Carlos Distéfano, Norberto Gómez, Sara Facio, Marie Orensanz, César Paternosto, Eduardo Stupía, Delia Cancela, Manuela Rasjido and Roberto Jacoby.

6. MALBA Virtual
While we stay at home, Malba Museum offers a series of online proposals to bring the Museum to your own home, including virtual guided visits, movies, talks, classes, interviews:

Proa Foundation offers a wide variety of virtual tours, activities, conferences, and multimedia content available online:
You can tour numerous exhibitions through a very comprehensive section of Audio guides
At their YouTube channel you can see their historical exhibitions, accompanied by the orientation of their art guides:

Discover some astonishing videos featuring some of the wonderful landscapes Argentina has to offer:

French Market in Recoleta - March 2020


The first edition of the year of the authentic French Market "Le Marché" will be installed in Plaza Francia, on Av. Del Libertador between Dr. Luis Agote & Av. Pueyrredón on Saturday, March 14th and Sunday, March 15th, 2020, from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Over 25 gastronomic stalls run by some of the most renowned French chefs and restaurants in Argentina will be offering their special dishes characteristic of the French cuisine, such as boeuf bourguignon, carbonade flamande, crêpes, raclette, quiches, onion soup. Visitors will have the chance to taste and purchase French bakeries and different specialties, like macarons, croissants, éclairs, croque-monsieur, pains au chocolat, crème brûlée, tarte Tatin, Paris-Brest, and much more!

There will be a sector dedicated to French produce, like artisan cheese, cold cuts, bread, mustard, jams, among many other delicacies.

Live French music shows, talks, tastings and activities for kids will be presented during the weekend.

Free entrance
May be suspended in case of rain