Arrival in Latin America & intro to Mar del Plata
Trip Start Mar 04, 2013
4Trip End May 27, 2013
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The border crossing at the airport always has been hassle free, either this time we have had no problems. The visa is not required, neither any certificate of vaccination. Most of EU travellers are given a 90 day touristic visa. Our fingerprints and pictures have been taken, which is a standard procedure in here.
Nota bene - the fingerprint reader has been invented in Argentina, as well as a ballpoint pen!
Latin America...the New World..
Our first long term destination (and the only long-term) in Latin America is Mar del Plata. We are going to live in the Province of Buenos Aires in the biggest city on the Atlantic Coast, 400 km south from Buenos Aires. It receives a plague of tourists during the summertime, which happens to be in January and February, we are looking forward to both the summer and the movement.
Mar del Plata outnumbers Buenos Aires in the hotel rooms by 4,000, however the tourists who visit here are in 95% Argentines. Inbound tourism rules on the Atlantic Coast.
A little bit of local history...
It is believed that the first mention of Mar del Plata was made by Ferdinand Magellan 1519, who sailed the Latin East Coast in search of strait to make it to the other side of the continent
From the first mention to the arrival and settling of the Europeans, many years have passed.
The indigenous peoples of Las Pampas, were indians who led a nomadic life-style.
Spanish Jesuits were sent on a mission in 1746 to convert and teach Indians, and eventually convince them to settle-down. It didn't work. Jesuits had to escape after being attacked by the Tehuelches, and in a battle led by Jose Hernandez in 1770 Indians were fought, and majority of them was killed.
The area again remained unexplored until a Portuguese - Coelho de Meirelles in 1856 builds a meat-salting facility, and people start settling down. The salted meat was produced for export to Brasil and was a staple food of slaves. The business didn't last for long...the slavery abolishment laws started to be imposed slowly in Brazil in 1871.
Coelho dies and most of his land goes under governance of Patricio Peralta Ramos. On the 10th of February 1874 Mar del Plata, with its current name, has been founded.
Since then it has taken a different turn... but about that in the next blog.