Wednesday, August 20, 2014

From recent graduate John Stevens

 John is pictured here with Michael Greenblat (studying abroad  in Buenos Aires). Both were students in Don Share’s PG 380, Latin American Politics course in Fall 2013.

After graduating my friend and I decided to take a break and explore Latin America for two months before joining the work force. We started out trip in Costa Rica, then worked our way down through Panama, over to Colombia, then down to Argentina, across to Chile, and up to Peru.  Although Costa Rica and Panama were interesting and unique in their own ways, in my personal opinion I found Colombia, Argentina, Chile, and Peru to be much more fascinating, and your Latin American politics course was certainly one of the main reasons for this.

When I visited the city of Medellín in Colombia the enormous buildings erected by Pablo Escobar were unbelievable.  They span all over the city and throughout the suburbs as far as you can see.  The city has certainly come a long, long way from the days of the drug cartels, and I found it to be one of the most modernized, clean, and enjoyable cities I visited in my travels.

When I arrived into Buenos Aires I met up with Michael Greenblatt, coincidentally my partner for our Argentina current event presentation assignment PG 380.  We went to one of the weekly protests for the "Asociatión Madres Plaza de Mayo."  It was one of the most unreal experiences in my life seeing these women, 40 years after the coup d'etat still marching and protesting for the retrieval of their disappeared sons.  It was also interesting talking to the locals in Buenos Aires about Cristina Kirchner (most everyone I talked to didn't like her at all, but I was told that most of her support comes from the smaller cities and towns in the rest of the country.)  I also had the chance to see Evita's tombstone in the national cemetery - that was awesome!

In Chile I tried to make it out to see the national soccer stadium but unfortunately didn't have enough time to.  I did however have the opportunity of seeing Salvador Allende's tombstone