ARGENTINIAN Facts & Figures

Size: 1,068,302 square miles

Population: 40,091,359.00

Capital: Buenos Aires

Currency: Peso

Weather / Climate:

The generally temperate Argentinean climate ranges from subtropical in the north to subpolar in the far south. The north is characterized by very hot, humid summers with mild drier winters, and is subject to periodic droughts. Central Argentina has hot summers with thunderstorms (western Argentina produces some of the world's largest hail), and cool winters. The southern regions have warm summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall, especially in mountainous zones. Higher elevations at all latitudes experience cooler conditions.

The hottest and coldest temperature extremes recorded in South America have occurred in Argentina. A record high temperature of 49.1 °C (120.4 °F), was recorded at Villa María, Córdoba, on 2 January 1920. The lowest temperature recorded was −39 °C (−38.2 °F) at Valle de los Patos Superior, San Juan, on 17 July 1972.[52]

Major wind currents include the cool Pampero Winds blowing on the flat plains of Patagonia and the Pampas; following the cold front, warm currents blow from the north in middle and late winter, creating mild conditions. The Zonda, a hot dry wind, affects west-central Argentina. Squeezed of all moisture during the 6,000 m (19,685 ft) descent from the Andes, Zonda winds can blow for hours with gusts up to 120 km/h (75 mph), fueling wildfires and causing damage; when the Zonda blows (June–November), snowstorms and blizzard (viento blanco) conditions usually affect higher elevations.

The Sudestada ("southeasterlies") could be considered similar to the Nor'easter, though snowfall is rare but not unprecedented. Both are associated with a deep winter low pressure system. The sudestada usually moderates cold temperatures but brings very heavy rains, rough seas and coastal flooding. It is most common in late autumn and winter along the central coast and in the Río de la Plata estuary.

The southern regions, particularly the far south, experience long periods of daylight from November to February (up to nineteen hours) and extended nights from May to August.

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The de facto official language of Argentina is Spanish, usually called castellano (Castilian) by Argentines. Argentina is the largest Spanish-speaking society that universally employs voseo (the use of the pronoun vos instead of (you), which occasions the use of alternate verb forms as well). The most prevalent dialect is Rioplatense, whose speakers are primarily located in the Río de la Plata basin. Italian and other European immigrants influenced Lunfardo, the slang spoken in the Río de la Plata region, permeating the vernacular vocabulary of other regions as well. A phonetic study conducted by the Laboratory for Sensory Investigations of CONICET and the University of Toronto showed that the accent of the inhabitants of Buenos Aires (known as porteños) is closer to the Neapolitan language, spoken in Southern Italy, than any other spoken language.[110]

According to Ethnologue there are around 1.5 million Italian speakers (making it the second most spoken language in the country) and 1 million speakers of the North Levantine dialect of Arabic (spoken in Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus).[3] Standard German is spoken by 400,000—500,000 Argentines of German ancestry,[3] making it the fourth most spoken language.

Some indigenous communities have retained their original languages. Guaraní is spoken by some in the north east, especially in Corrientes (where it enjoys official status) and Misiones. Quechua is spoken by some in the north west and has a local variant in Santiago del Estero. Aymara is spoken by members of the Bolivian immigrant community. In Patagonia there are Welsh-speaking communities with around 25,000 using it as their second-language.[3] Recent immigrants have brought Chinese and Korean (mostly to Buenos Aires). English, Brazilian Portuguese and French are also spoken. English is commonly taught at schools as a second language with Portuguese and French to a lesser extent.

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Argentinian identity may seem very confused and multifaceted. Argentina’s culture is hugely influenced by the Europeans. It is highly visible in their literature which is known worldwide thanks to names such as Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortazar or Manuel Puig. Most of the population is Roman Catholic and lives in urban areas. The country’s literacy levels are very high, which is reflected in the vibrant art scene, which includes music, dance, cinema and theatre, but also folklore, which is a fusion of modern and indigenous cultures. Tango is now a very popular and complex dance but its roots go back to the poor suburbs of Buenos Aires and the times of influx of European immigrants who very often faced extreme poverty and moral corruption.

Sport is another very important aspect of life in Argentina. Football is almost an obsession like in most other countries on the continent, however, rugby is becoming more and more popular as well as tennis, polo, golf, basketball, skiing and cycling.

The society seems to be divided into theporteños(inhabitants of Buenos Aires), gauchos (Argentina’s horseman who tend the cattle on the plains) and the indigenous population even though all of them are very often interlinked.

The population feels very strongly about the national symbols: the Argentine flag, the national anthem, and the escarapela (a small ribbon or bow worn on patriotic occasions).


·        01 January - New Year's Day

·        March/April – Holy Thursday

·        March/April – Good Friday

·        March/April – Carnival Monday

·        March/April – Carnival Tuesday

·        24-25 March – Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice, anniversary of the coup d’état (1976-1983)

·        02 April – Day of the veterans and the fallen in Falklands War, tribute to the fallen in the Falklands War (1982)

·        01 May – Labour Day

·        25 May – Day of the First National Government, anniversary of the May Revolution (1810)

·        20 June – national Flag Day, tribute to Manuel Belgrano

·        09 July- Independence Day, anniversary of declaration of independence (1816)

·        17 August – Anniversary of the death of General Jose de San Martin

·        12 October – Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity

·        20 November - Day of National Sovereignty

·        8 December – Immaculate Conception Day

·        24 December – Christmas Eve

·        25 December – Christmas Day

·        31 December – New Year’s Eve


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Argentines(argentinos in Spanish) are the citizens of Argentina, or their descendants abroad. Argentina is a multiethnic society, which means that it is home to people of many different ethnic backgrounds. According to the 2001 census [INDEC], Argentina had a population of 36,260,130 inhabitants, of which 1,527,320, or 4.2%, were born abroad. The population growth rate in 2008 was estimated to be 0.917% annually, with a birth rate of 16.32 live births per 1,000 inhabitants and a mortality rate of 7.54 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants. As of 2008, the total population is of 40,301,927 inhabitants.[2]

Argentina's population has long had one of Latin America's lowest growth rates (recently, about one percent a year) and it also enjoys a comparatively low infant mortality rate. Strikingly, though, its birth rate is still nearly twice as high (2.3 children per woman) as that in Spain or Italy, despite comparable religiosity figures.[3][4] The median age is approximately 30 years and life expectancy at birth is of 76 years.

Argentina is a multiethnic society, which means that it is home to people of many different ethnical backgrounds. As a result, the people there usually treat their nationality as a citizenship, but not an ethnicity.

Argentina is, along with other areas of new settlement like Canada, Australia or the United States, a melting pot of different peoples.[5] Most Argentines are descendents of colonial-era settlers and of the 19th and 20th century immigrants from Europe, with about 90 % of the population being of European descent.[6][7] Recent decades immigration includes mainly Paraguayans, Bolivians and Peruvians, among other Latin Americans, Eastern Europeans and East Asians.

The most common ethnic groups are Italian and Spaniard (including Galicians and Basques). It is estimated that up to 25 million Argentines are of Italian descent, up to 60% of the total population.[8] There are also Germanic, Slavic, British and French populations.[9] Smaller Jewish, Native American, Arab, East Asian, Gypsy, and African communities contribute to what has been referred to as a "crucible of races".

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Most Argentinians eat four meals each day. The diet may differ in different regions. Desayuno (breakfast) is a light meal of rolls and jam with coffee. For almuerzo (lunch), many Argentinians eat meat and vegetables or salads. After work but before dinner, people go to confiterías (cafés) to drink espresso and eat picadas, small dishes of cheese, mussels, salami, anchovies, olives and peanuts. Cena (dinner) in the evening is the largest meal of the day and almost always includes beef.

The tradition of eating beef began in the 19th century, when there were thousands of cattle in the Pampas region. Beef was roasted on a spit on an open fire. When it was done, people sliced off chunks. They ate by holding the end of a chunk in their mouths and cutting off the rest with a knife.

Today, beef is served in many ways. Bife a caballo (beef on horseback) is steak topped with an egg. Parrillada is blood sausage, ribs and other meat grilled together. Churrasco is grilled steak and milanesa is deep-fried breaded beef. It is common for Argentinians to socialize over an asado, beef roast barbecued over an open fire. Many restaurants offer asado con cuero, whole beef roasted complete with hide and hair.

Yerba mate is a popular traditional drink, similar to tea. There are several ways of drinking yerba mate. The most traditional is mate cebado. Hot water is poured over the leaves of the yerba plant (an evergreen shrub related to holly) in a mate (gourd), which is often decorated with silver. When the gourd is filled with water, the leaves expand and fill the mate. People drink through a bombilla (straw with a strainer) made of silver.

Did you know?

The confiterías (cafés) of Buenos Aires play an important role in social, business and cultural life. In confiterías people meet friends and business associates, workers take coffee breaks, retired people play dominoes, and theatregoers have coffee after a show. Certain confiterías have been associated with particular artistic, literary, political and student groups.

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Places to go in ARGENTINA

The first obvious destination is Buenos Aires, which is a fantastic city, full of European buildings, distinctive suburbs, fantastic restaurants and the tango culture. There is, however, much more to this fascinating country. Number one on your list should be Iguazu Falls. These thundering cascades are almost 3km long and 70m high. They are the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Another must-see spot is Perito Moreno Glacier, which is located in the southern Patagonia. It is perfect for hikes, walks and boat trips.

El Chaltén is one of Argentina’s lesser-known spots, but it is home to some of the world’s most dramatic mountains. It is fairly inaccessible; however, the opportunity to do some hiking and climbing is worth the effort. The most popular thing to do is hike or climb Cerro Fitz Roy.

After all the exercise, the perfect destination would be Mendoza Province which means Wine Province. The very dry and sunny Mendoza region is close to perfect for wine cultivation, particularly as Río Mendoza (formed in the Andes) provides all the necessary water for irrigation. The region is most famous for its Malbec, but other wines produced in Mendoza Province include Torrontes, Semillon, Syrah andTempranillo.

San Carlos de Bariloche (commonly known as Bariloche) is where you go for snow. Catedral Alta Patagonia is a ski resort located about an hour from Bariloche. It has 40 lifts and over 100 km of marked trails for your carving pleasure. If you don’t want to ski, you can simply indulge in mind-blowing Swiss chocolate, rafting, camping, climbing and hiking, with a side order of sailing, swimming and fantastic fishing in the nearby lake.

Another natural wonder is the Quebrada de Humahuaca in the far north-west of the country, in the Province of Jujuy. It is a ravine 150 km long and over two thousand meters above the sea level. It is spectacular due to its rock formations and its incredible multi-coloured hills, which truly must be seen to be believed.

The real gems are the small towns located near Salta (such as Tilcara, Cachi, Cafayate and Humahuaca). The one absolutely unmissable sight in the area is the Cerro de los Siete Colores (Hill of Seven Colours). The seven colours are: light orange (composed of red clay, mud and sand); white (lime rock); brown, purple and violet (lead and calcium); red (clay and iron); green (copper oxide); brown (rock and manganese), and yellow (sulphur).

Puerto Madryn is yet another destination in Argentine Patagonia. Things to do there include watching Southern Right Whale in theGolfoNuevo, trips 180 km south to see the Magellanic penguin colony in the Punta Tombo Natural Protected Area and excursions onto Península Valdés, a wildlife sanctuary for birds and marine species.

El Bolsón is another very likeable town located about 2 hours south of Bariloche. It is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and offers plenty of outdoors activities, such as fishing, trekking, rafting, climbing and skiing.


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Doing business in ARGENTINA

Be punctual for business appointments, but prepare to wait thirty minutes for your counterpart, especially if you are meeting an important person.

The pace of business in Argentina is slower than in the United States. A meeting that is going well could last much longer than intended, even if it means postponing the next engagement.

Personal relationships are important and must be developed before business is done.

 Argentines often need several meetings and extensive discussion to make deals.

Decisions are made at the top. Try to arrange meeting with high-level personnel.

Guests at a meeting are greeted and escorted to their chairs. The visiting senior executive is seated opposite the Argentine senior executive.

During business meetings, sustain a relaxed manner, maintain eye contact and restrict the use of gestures. Don’t take a hard sell approach.

Be prepared for a certain amount of small talk before getting down to business.

Make appointments through a high-level person. Your Argentine contact can help with this.

Confirm meetings one week in advance

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ARGENTINA: useful links

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