Porteños lack knowledge of their own history. It’s a common theme in the city that has become too noticeable during the interactions I have with the locals. Repeatedly, I notice their ignorance. Some of these discrepancies can be compared to the uneducated American that doesn’t know what the 13 stripes on our flag signify, but when I asked an educator the response was the same. This is concerning whenever the teacher is teaching us aspects of their culture, yet loses credibility when she can’t answer “what’s the origin of the Sun in the middle of your flag?”
The origin of the Sun in the center of their flag is Incan. I met one person who was the closest. He is a local musician and his response was “it’s from the Andes mountains during ancient times.” Without giving the full answer the Incans were settled in the Peruvian and Andean regions of South America.
Another discrepancy I found disturbing is that a lot of the people here don’t realize that there were black people here. In the late 1890s, its population is approximately half until massive waves of European immigration took place and forms of invisibilization of people of color became common. The candombes, or the Blacks, of Argentina, gave significant contributions to their country, state, and culture. The tango, Argentina’s national dance, is traced to the African diaspora left from the Atlantic slave trade. The difference between what happened in the United States and Argentina is severely contrasted in respects of having significant political power during early elections. The government recognized them as an ethnic group and gave them the right to autonomous governance in the African Associations. In addition, La Madre de la Patria, or Maria Remedios del Valle, is known as the Mother of the homeland. She wanted to fight on the frontline, despite the commanding officer telling her that she would only get in the way because she’s a woman. She ignored his orders and fought anyways. Shot and wounded, she was captured and was treated as a prisoner of war along with other soldiers wounded from battle. She waited for the right opportunity to help her fellow kinsmen escape out of captivity one by one until she could herself. The war ended and after which, she desired military benefits for the sacrifices she made, yet she was ignored and turned to beg on the street. Until the day a general she fought under found her in a deplorable condition on the street. He escorted her to the proper channels to get her the benefits she rightfully deserved for the last ten years of her life. It’s a shame she couldn’t get what she needed sooner, but at least she was recognized and given status in the oppressive world that perpetually held her down. Just another piece of African American history that was swept under the rug.
Besides the general lack of their history, in comparison to Rollins, the University of Belgrano is leagues behind in terms of innovative teaching strategies, open spaces, personal experiences between educators and students, and the level of difficulty. I rate the level of difficulty at Rollins very highly. The coursework is challenging, but no impossible to complete, despite it feeling like that at times. Yet Rollins has prepared me to outshine the competition because Rollins has prepared me to take on difficult tasks. The courseload here is a joke. I don’t feel challenged at all, and my peers and professors recognize me for my class participation. I feel a part of the conversation. My feedback is value-added to the discussion.