Getting Acclimated in Buenos Aires by Imanol Varela (A23)

by heatherbarry
May 19

As we exited Ezeiza Airport, at the early hours of the morning from our transcontinental flight, we hoped on a Cabify ride share vehicle to reach our accommodation in the center of the city. Our driver Darwin, was an amusing and interesting man who had immigrated from Venezuela to Argentina five years ago. As we drove along the well lit Ezeiza Highway to the city center, Darwin mentioned to us some curiosities from Argentina and his personal experience as an immigrant in the country. Being a non-white immigrant, Darwin mentioned the subtle racism that exists in the country and how at the start is was very complicated to adapt. However. With time he was able to find a job and integrate into Argentine society while maintaining his Venezuelan roots thanks to social support systems. From culture to food, immigrants like Darwin see great dichotomies from their home countries when they come to Argentina. Therefore, these experiences allowed me to see how the immigrant experience is like in Argentina and how the assimilation process occurs in the country.


With inflation levels over 50%, Argentines have had to adapt to the complicated market in order to financially be able to afford the rising prices. Prior to our departure we had learned that this has led to the creation of an unofficial currency exchange rate where one can get through financial institution double the amount of Argentine pesos one would normally get at state owned exchange houses. With recommendations from our accommodation host and faculty advisor we headed over to a bank where we could do this “dollar blue” exchange. It was very easy and other Argentines were in the bank waiting to be attended. While in the waiting room I reflected on the benefits we as travelers have when it comes to purchasing. However I noted how complicated it can be for the Argentine to access dollars and be able to subsist when prices continue to rise exponentially.