external image argentina_flag.gifexternal image argentina_flag.gif









ARGENTINA

The word Argentina comes from the Latin word Argnetum, which means "silver".


Map of Argentina
Map of Argentina






















PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

  • Coordinates: 34 00 S, 64 00 W
  • Total Area: 2,766,890 sq km
  • Land Area: 2,736,690 sq km
  • Water Area: 30,200 sq km

Argentina is a nation in South America located in both the South and West Hemisphere; the second largest country of South America after Brazil and the eighth largest nation overall in the world. Its relative position in South America gives the country a diversity of land and culture. The vast Argentine territory has a large range of landscapes, where ice fields contrast with arid zones; mountains with valleys or plateaus; small streams and lakes with large oceans, broad grassy plains with woods and forests. The climate is mostly temperate with arid conditions in the southeast and subarctic conditions in the southwest. This is believed to be in large part a result of the drastically different points of elevation extremes with the low point of Laguna del Carbon at 105m and Cerro Aconcagua peaking at 6,960m.
Current Issues:

  • Environmental Problems that are typical of an industrializing economy
    • deforestation
      Cerro Aconcagua
      Cerro Aconcagua
    • soil degradation
    • desertification
    • air and water pollution
Note: Argentina is a world leader in setting voluntary greenhouse gas targets

DEMOGRAPHICS
Population (2009 est.): 40,913, 584
Population Growth Rate (2009 est.): 1.053%
Median Age: 30 Years Old
Life Expectancy: 76.56 years
Birth Rate: 17.94 births/1,000 pop.
Death Rate: 7.41 deaths/1,000 pop.
Net Migration Rate: 0 migrants/1,000 pop.
Population Composition: 86.4% European Descent, 8% Mestizo, 4% Arab and East Asian, 1.4% Indigenous.
Official Religion: Roman Catholicism
Population Distribution: Highly urbanized; the ten largest metropolitan areas count for over half of the population. Fewer than 1/10 of citizens live rurally.
Major Cities
: Buenos Aires, Córdoba, La Plata, Mar del Plata, Mendoza, Rosario, San Miguel de Tucumán, San Carlos de Bariloche.
Official Language: Spanish, often referred to as
castellano. Other languages that are prevalent are Italian, German, Quechua, and English.

POLITICS
  • Argentina is a republic, known officially as the Argentine Republic and is divided into 23 provinces.
  • Argentina became an independent nation on July 9, 1816 and introduced their constitution nearly 37 years later on May 1, 1853.
  • Legal Voting Age: 18
  • Political Parties: The eight larger political parties are Coalicion Civica, Front for Victory or FpV, Interbloque Federal or IF, Justicialist Party or PJ, Radical Civic Union or UCR, Republican Proposal or PRO, Socialist Party or PS, and Union For All.
    President Cristina Fernandez De Kirchner
    President Cristina Fernandez De Kirchner
Executive Branch:
  • President is both the Chief of State and the head of government
  • Members: President Cristina Fernandez De Kirchner (since Dec 10 2007), Vice president, Julio Cobos (since Dec 10 2007), and the cabinet, which is appointed by the president. The President and Vice President are elected together by a popular vote for 4 years terms, and are eligible for a second term. The last election in Argentina was October 28, 2007, and the next election is to be held in 2011.
Legislative Branch:
  • Consists of two chambers: the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies
    • The Senate has 72 seats and members are elected by direct vote.
    • The Chamber of Deputies has 257 seats. Members are elected by direct vote as well with one half of the members elected every 2 years for a 4 year term. Often these elections are done with the presidential election as well.
Judicial Branch:
  • Consists of the Supreme Court. The judges in the Supreme Court are appointed by the President with the approval of the Senate. The Supreme Court consists of 7 judges, but recently a bill passed to reduce the number of judges to 5

HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT
Argentina compares favorably with other Latin American countries, ranking fourth in the region. Nutritional requirements are comfortably met and, in 2000, 85% had adequate sanitation.

Health is provided by clinics of unions, and the private sector through insurance known as Obras Sociales. Total health care expenditure was estimated at 8.4% of GDP as of 1999.
· Life expectancy averaged 75 years.
· Argentina reported the second-highest incidence of AIDS cases (41 per million) in South America during the mid-1990s. HIV spread rapidly throughout Argentina via intravenous drug use soon after the first cases of HIV infection were reported.

EDUCATION
Argentina's higher education reached worldwide levels in the sixties. Argentina has surpassed more developed nations like Ireland or Spain for Nobel Laureates.
The breakdown of education among the population can be found below:
Picture_2.png





Average years of schooling of adults
8.8
[21st of 100]

**Duration of compulsory education**
9 years
[69th of 171]
**Education spending (% of GDP)**
4%
[83rd of 132]
**Education spending (% of total government expenditure)**
13.8%
[54th of 96]
**Education, primary completion rate**
99
[43rd of 148]
**Enrolment ratio > Secondary level**
79.1%
[40th of 135]
**Literacy > Total population**
97.1%
[47th of 160]

GENDER AND SEXUALITY
The Argentine Constitution guarantees the equality of both genders. Argentina is considered one of the most progressive countries in Latin America for gender equity with more than 40% of legislators being women, and the sitting president Cristina Fernandez, as the first female president of her country. Nonetheless, the image of women conveyed in society is still heavily influenced by sexismand a traditional view of the family; women can still expect to be subject to the machismo characteristic of Latin American cultures.

Argentina ranks 4 of 102 countries on the OECD Social Institutions and Gender Index

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
external image survey-1941.jpgPRESENT SITUATION:
A history of environmental pollution arose from the operation of industrial plants. In the absence of national legislation the problem has been treated complacently. Environmental issues concerning Argentina are typical of those of most developing nations: poor water and air quality, deforestation, and soil degradation.

In the past four years, Argentina has ratified various international treaties on the environment and post 1991 they are considered to have undergone a “greening” period. As of 2008 the Country ranked 38th of 149 in the Environmental Performance Index.

PROBLEMS:

Water Quality: many areas of Argentina face a total lack of safe drinking water. Transnational factories along the Parána and Uruguay River are one of the biggest threats of extreme water pollution and the hottest topics in civil protest.
Deforestation: Since 1914, two-thirds of Argentina’s native forests have been destroyed. If this destruction continues unchecked, all of Argentina's native forests will be gone by the year 2024.
SUCCESSES:

  • World leader in setting voluntary greenhouse gas standards.
  • Growing political push to environmental responsibility

ECONOMY
Argentina's economy is one of the richest and most diversified in Latin America based on:
· Natural resources (lead, zinc, copper, petroleum)
· Strong industrial base,
· Export-oriented agricultural sector,
· A growing service sector.


  • In 1998 Argentina was plunged into a recession that ended in 2000. Unemployment peaked in 1995 at 18.4 percent. Increases in productivity and reforms of the labor market decreased unemployment as more foreign investors relocate firms and factories in Argentina.
  • The strongest areas of the Argentine economy are telecommunications, food processing, banking, energy production, and mining. Agriculture provides about 40 percent of Argentine exports. Argentina's main industries are automobile production, textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, steel, mining, and consumer durables. Argentina continues to face yearly deficits—US$4 billion or 2.5 percent of GDP in 1999 alone. However, Argentina is a net recipient of foreign aid.

CULTURE
argentina-pictures-1.jpgArgentinean culture is as vast and diverse as its geography and although having been heavily influenced by European culture, Argentina offers a rich diversity to South America.

Internationally famous for the music and dance Tango, which is a similar dance to that of Swing in the United States, the Tango traditionally consists of an emotional and sensual arrangement between a spurned man
and his lover. Argentinean rock music is actually the most listened to in all of contemporary Latin America and the movement became popular. It is often referred to as Rock Nacional and is the most predominant non-English speaking genre of rock music.

In most places in Argentina, lunch is the biggest meal of the day, often causing businesses to close their doors for a few hours in the afternoon. These meals often consist of empañadas and asado barbeques, full of red meats, chicken and sausages (a Germanic influence), and the most popular beverage with a meal is a glass of wine. However, drinking of the mate tea is very common and quite ritualistic amongst Argentineans and is traditionally sipped out of a gourd.

The national sport of Argentina is pato, which is performed on horseback and is a combination of polo and basketball. It involves four players on each team all striving to achieve the most amount of goals in a set time limit. In conjunction with
pato and similar to many other Latin American countries, the citizens of Argentina are avid futbol players and spectators.



Among many other artistic attributes, Argentina is renowned for making and releasing the first animated feature films by cartoonist Quirino Cristiani in 1917. Sadly, 'El Mono Relojero' is the last existing piece of Cristiani's work as all the others have either been lost or destroyed. In regards to literature, although there are many famous Argentinean writers, Jorge Luis Borges is likely the most widely known author for his work with the literary movement involving vanguardism.

URBAN AND RURAL ARGENTINA

In Argentina, more than 80% of the population live in urban areas and are dependent on the market to meet their food and livelihood needs. The December 2001 Argentinean crisis highlighted the serious social and economic problems faced by the population. Several years of negative growth and an increase in unemployment led to social collapse. The dramatic increase in poverty had important consequences in terms of lack of access to food, health care and other basic needs. A significant part of the population coped with the crisis through community canteens. However, the organizations implementing these were not able to cover all the food needs of the population through this program.

UNIQUE FEATURES

Cataratas de Iguazu:
The Iguazu waterfalls are located on the border between Brazil and Argentina. Extending almost two miles, the falls are shaped like a large horseshoe and at their highest point are 269 feet and the average volume is 61,660 cubic feet of water/second. The falls actually consist of 275 separate waterfalls with the largest being La Garganta de Diablo, or the Devil's Throat. Although the falls are accessible on both the Brazilian and Argentinean side, the Argentine side has many more trails and vantage points as well as a walkway out to the precipice of the Devil's Throat, where you are completely surrounded by the rushing Rio Igua.



Upsala Glacier The Upsala Glacier is a large valley glacier located in the eastern side of Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park and the Southern Patagonian Icefield. At fifty kilometers long, ten kilometers wide, and many hundred meters think, it is classified as one of three major glaciers in the park. While Perito Moreno and Spegazzini are also desirable destinations, Upsala has many unique features that make this glacier truly spectacular. One of these features is that the glacier possesses one of the most prominent medial moraines in South America. A moraine is a collection of rock, sand, and clay deposits that has fallen from neighboring mountains and is transported by the slow movements of glacial ice sheets. Over time, these accumulations grow, boldly marking the direction of glacial flow. While there are many types of moraines, the Upsala glacier has formed a medial moraine, which appears when more than two glaciers unite and bring together debris from multiple sources; making Upsala a truly unique sight to see.

Upsala Glacier
Upsala Glacier
Upsala Glacier Seen From Space
Upsala Glacier Seen From Space














SOURCES

http://www.argentina.gov.ar/argentina/portal/paginas.dhtml?pagina=1470 Meaning of Argentina
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEMwa6aSBC8&feature=player_embedded National Anthem
http://www.argentina.gov.ar/argentina/portal/paginas.dhtml?pagina=1483 Physical Geography Source 1
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ar.html Physical Geography Source 2
http://www.indexmundi.com/argentina/demographics_profile.html Demographics
http://www.argentina.gov.ar/argentina/portal/paginas.dhtml?pagina=1484 Major Cities
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ar.html Politics
http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Americas/Argentina-HEALTH.html Health and Development
http://www.nationmaster.com/cat/edu-education Education Statistics
http://genderindex.org/ranking OECD Social Institutions and Gender Index
http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Americas/Argentina-ENVIRONMENT.html Environmental Issues
http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Americas/Argentina-ECONOMY.html Economy
http://www.allaboutar.com/ Culture
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lkJQYqcaU4&feature=player_embedded 'El Mono Relojero' animation
http://www.themodernword.com/borges/borges_biography.html Borges Biography
http://fex.ennonline.net/103/5-8-3.aspx Urban Argentina
http://www.world-waterfalls.com/waterfall.php?num=145 Cataratas de Iguazu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VnnU7Ks8G4&feature=player_embedded Igazu Falls Video
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=41251 Upsala Glacier