Argentina, El-Chalten-by-Nestor-Galina-2009


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Argentina’s population and culture were heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, with Italy and Spain providing the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930. Up until about the mid-20th century, much of Argentina’s history was dominated by periods of internal political conflict between Federalists and Unitarians and between civilian and military factions.

After World War II, an era of Peronist populism and direct and indirect military interference in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took control of Argentina 1976. Democracy returned in 1983 after a failed bid to seize the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) by force, and has persisted despite numerous challenges, the most formidable of which was a severe economic crisis in 2001-02 that led to violent public protests and the successive resignations of several presidents. In January 2013, Argentina assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2013-14 term.

Why volunteer in Argentina:

Volunteering in Argentina offers volunteers the opportunity to feel a part of a new community, to truly understand local life and, of course, to practice their Spanish language skills. There is a wide variety of volunteer opportunities available, so there is something for all interests and skills levels. Most volunteer programs have their volunteers working only during the week so foreign visitors can travel and explore all that this country has to offer on the weekends. If you are interested in improving your language skills and becoming a more culturally literate individual, Argentina is the place for you. Volunteering in Argentina is rewarding for more than just the benefit of spending time in a beautiful and friendly country. Volunteers can improve their Spanish language skills, become immersed in local culture in a significant way and can help Argentines rise from the economic crisis of 2001. Many volunteer organizations focus on community development and helping Argentines become self-sufficient in a sustainable way. The country also has a stake in the environment, being the home of the Andes Mountains, some of the world’s most visited glaciers, vast, fertile plains and many varieties of wildlife, making volunteering in the environmental sector extremely rewarding.

Getting there:

Prior to arrival in Argentina, Australian tourist must pay a reciprocity fee of $USD100 via the Argentine Migration website. Print your receipt for submission to the local immigration authorities at your port of entry. The World Health Organisation lists Argentina as a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission, and thus travelers are advised to be vaccinated.
Be sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia.
The Australian Embassy is located in Buenos Aires.

Image: El Chalten by Nestor Galina 2009

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