EXCHANGE STUDENT: Irina Junco 9-11-14


Irina at Chaska High School

Irina left early due to illness.

So that we get to know her better and sooner, here is Part 1 of 2 summaries of Wikipedia entries about Argentina.

Argentina Factoids from Wikipedia, part 1

Official name of the country: the Argentine Republic.

Flag:Flag of Argentina
The Sun represents the 1810 revolution which gained independence from Spain. The Blue and white background represent the sky and the Rio de la Plata, the river which borders Uruguay.

Coat of Arms:Coat of arms Argentina
Two hands connote the unity of the country’s provinces. A pike is held that represents power and willingness to defend freedom. The Red cap on the pike signifies freedom and the pursuit of liberty.

Bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north; Brazil to the northeast; Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east; Chile to the west and the Drake Passage to the south. Has a mainland area of 1,073,500 sq mi, and is the eighth-largest country in the world. It has the highest point (22,831 ft) and lowest point (-344 ft) in the Southern and Western Hemispheres.

With a population of over 40 million, Argentina is considered a country of immigrants. Argentines usually refer to their country as a crisol de razas (crucible of races, or melting pot). During the 18th and 19th centuries, Argentina was the country with the second biggest immigration wave in the world, with 6.6 million, second only to the USA in the numbers of immigrants received. Most Argentines are descended from the great immigration wave (1850–1955), with a great majority of these immigrants coming from diverse European countries. The majority of these European immigrants came from Italy and Spain (55% of Argentines have Italian origins). The primary language is Spanish, but 42% speak some English. The country’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion, but it gives Roman Catholicism a differential status. In 2013, Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as Pope of the Catholic Church, becoming the first pope from the Americas, the first non-European pope in 1272 years, and the first Jesuit one.

Argentina is highly urbanized, with 92% of its population living in cities. The ten largest metropolitan areas account for half of the population. About 3 million people live in the city of Buenos Aires, and its metropolitan area totals around 13 million, making it one of the largest urban areas in the world. The metropolitan areas of Córdoba and Rosario have around 1.3 million inhabitants each and Mendoza, San Miguel de Tucumán, La Plata, Mar del Plata, Salta and Santa Fe have at least half a million people each.

The Argentine education system consists of four levels: 1) An initial level for children between 45 days to 5 years old, with the last year being compulsory. 2) An elementary or lower school mandatory level lasting 6 or 7 years. In 2010 the literacy rate was 98.07%. 3) A secondary or high school mandatory level lasting 5 or 6 years. 4) A higher level, divided in tertiary, university and post-graduate sub-levels. The public universities of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, La Plata, Rosario, and the National Technological University are some of the most important. The Argentine state guarantees universal, secular and free-of-charge public education for all levels.

Health Care
Health care is provided through a combination of employer and labor union-sponsored plans, government insurance, public hospitals and clinics and private health insurance plans. A national plan covers nearly all of the five million senior citizens.

Hopefully, on October 16, we’ll hear from Irina about how much of this information is true!