From Polar Winds to Tropical Breezes
Chapter 11: Argentina: Returning to its Glorious Past
Silvia Inés Monserrat, Griselda Lassaga and Claudia D’Annunzio To the rest of the world, Argentina means ‘tango’, ‘pampas’ and ‘soccer’. In the past few years Argentina could also mean ‘crisis and default’. In fact, Argentina is all of that – and much, much more. Among the 200 countries in the world, Argentina is the eighth largest nation in terms of territory, after Russia, Canada, China, the USA, Brazil, Australia and India (Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia, 2005). In 2005, Argentina had a population of 39 537 943, giving the country an overall population density of 14 persons per square kilometre (37 per square mile), one of the lowest in the world. More than one-third of the population lives in or around Buenos Aires; 90 per cent of the people live in urban areas. Located in South America (Figure 11.1), Argentina has an area of almost 2.3 million square miles. It is 2300 miles long, from north to south. Argentina’s main geographic characteristic is the enormous contrast between the immense eastern plains and the impressive Andes mountain range to the west. Owing to its vast land mass, the country displays a great variety of climates, from the hot and dry north-western provinces, to the cold and rainy forests of the Patagonian Andes. Argentina’s cultural roots are mainly European, and this is clearly reﬂected in its architecture, music, literature and lifestyle. The people of Argentina share a feeling of being somewhat European. However, because Argentina is located so far to the south...
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