Argentine food truck in Burbank.

Last Friday night while biking through Burbank we stumbled upon a street event called Ladies Night Out which apparently happens every last Friday of the month on Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank. The event promotes local business and brings food trucks to the boulevard for people to enjoy all kinds of culinary experiences. We were happy to see a truck with Argentine specialties and we got some tasty empanadas. They were delicious and we are looking forward to the next event. Next I want to try my fave quick bite, choripan.

Check out Cambalache’s Gourmet for their menu and their Yelp reviews

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Del Potro wins Bronze Medal at London Olympics and makes tennis history.

Our best tennis player, Juan Martin del Potro just won the 1st medal for Argentina in the London Olympics!

Last Friday semifinals marathon match versus #1 tennis player Roger Federer where their last set score was 19-17 left Juan Martin Del Potro out of the finals. It was a heartbreak for Delpo missing an opportunity to win gold for Argentina.

But today was a different story.

He played very strong and steady match versus another great player Novak Djocovic from Serbia. Final score : 7-5 , 6-4

His winning makes history not only because of the 1st medal for Argentina in London but also because he is the 1st medal winner for the single man tennis in the Olympic games. Argentina won a Silver medal in single ladies tennis in 1988 when Gabriela Sabatini lost the final against Steffi Graf.

This makes me so proud of Argentina first because we won a medal in London and also because I am a tennis player myself !! So I follow Delpo in any match I can! I  got very emotional when he won the US Open in 2009 during another magic match versus Roger Federer.

Congratulations to Juan Martin Del Potro! Enjoy this historic moment for yourself and all of us proud Argentines! We hope to see you again soon at the US Open and cheer for you one more time:)

And ff you ever come to Los Angeles I will be happy to hit some balls with you at Toluca Lake tennis club :)

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South American olympic medal count and other interesting trivia.

11 countries from South America went to London this year to compete in 2012 Olympiad. Out of those countries only three have won medals so far: Brazil with the count of 6, Colombia with 3 and Venezuela with 1. The total of 10 medals is well below that of the United States which as of this writing holds 43. But as we all might think, the Olympics is not just about the medal count, it’s about the coming together of athletes from around the globe in the spirit of goodwill and performing at their best in a clean fight (at least that’s the premise).

Although their medal count maybe not as impressive, the South Americans have a long history of participation in the Olympic Games. So after doing a bit of research here are some interesting facts I came up with, past to present:

– prior to 1951, red ring of the Olympic flag was regarded as a representation of the American continent (both North and South)

– no South American country has ever hosted Olympic Games; this is about to change when Brazil will be the host in 2016, the XXXI in modern history

– in the first Olympiad in 1896 held in Athens, Greece only one South American country participated, Chile; however the participation of their only athlete, Luis Subercaseaux has been disputed as he has not been mentioned by IOC

– the first officially recognized and documented South American athlete to participate in the Olympic Games was Argentine Eduardo Carnet who took 5th place in fencing during II Olympiad held in Paris in 1900

– the first Olympic gold medal won by a South American athlete belongs to a Brazilian, Guilherme Paraense who won a shooting competition in 1920 in Atwerp, Belgium

– 1924 Paris, Uruguay appears in the Olympics for the first time and wins gold in football; Argentina wins gold in polo

– in 1928, during the IX Olympiad in Amsterdam, Holland, Coca-Cola makes its debut as a commercial Olympic sponsor, a role which it has played to this day (with its special cocaine-free coca leaves imported from Peru and Bolivia)

– In 1936 Bolivia made its debut in the XI Olympiad in Berlin, one man participated

– in 1968, Paraguay made its first appearance in the XIX Olympiad held in Mexico City; it was also a first time the Olympics were held in  Latin American country

– 5 South American countries, lined up behind the US president Jimmy Carter boycotted the now famous 1980 Olympics in Moscow in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

– in 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Jefferson Perez wins the gold in 20 km race walking and the first medal for Ecuador

– 2004 Olympics in Greece prove to be the best yet for the South American countries, collectively they won 9 medals including Argentine basketball win of gold

– in October 2009, it was announced that Brazil will be the 2016 host of the XXXI Olympiad and Rio de Janeiro the host city; below is the official logo of the Games

It may be a little early to start planning the trip for 2016 but it’s never too late for a little reconnaissance of Brazil. For some trip ideas visit our website and take a look at what Brazil has to offer.

source of information for this blog was obtained from Wikipedia as well as the official site of the 2012 Olympiad in London

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Evita is the new face of Argentina’s 100 pesos

Eva Duarte de Peron continues to be a strong presence in Argentine life. This time on the face of a 100 peso banknote designed and printed to commemorate the 60th anniversary of her death. Evita is the first woman in Argentine history to be featured on a banknote. For now, there will be a limited number of the bills in circulation as a commemorative issue. However, Argentina’s president Christina de Kirchner Fernandez has plans to replace the current 100 bill with Julio Roca’s image with that of Evita. The new issue comes into existence as Argentina is struggling with its inflation, currently estimated at 24%.

You can follow the footsteps of Evita while visiting Buenos Aires on one of our most popular tours, Discover Buenos Aires


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Flags of South America, part 10 – Colombia.

Colombia, a country until recently associated with drug trade is now experiencing a tourism renaissance. It has become a safer destination for travel and with its wealth of culture and unique geographic location it is certainly a rising star of South America. Colombia is about twice the size of the state of Texas and has unique access to both Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean. Its coastal colonial city of Cartagena has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Colombia, like Ecuador and Venezuela emerged from a larger entity Gran Colombia in 1830.

The meaning of the flag:

three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double-width), blue, and red; the flag retains the three main colors of the banner of Gran Colombia, the short-lived South American republic that broke up in 1830; various interpretations of the colors exist and include: yellow for the gold in Colombia’s land, blue for the seas on its shores, and red for the blood spilled in attaining freedom; alternatively, the colors have been described as representing more elemental concepts such as sovereignty and justice (yellow), loyalty and vigilance (blue), and valor and generosity (red); or simply the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity

note: similar to the flag of Ecuador, which is longer and bears the Ecuadorian coat of arms superimposed in the center

source of information: CIA World Factbook

Next in the series, the Caribbean triplets

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Lonesome George, famed Galapagos tortoise, dies –

Lonesome George, famed Galapagos tortoise, dies –

Although this famed tortoise has passed away there are plenty of others to see on the beautiful Galapagos Islands. Please see our earlier blog entries about our trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos.

If you are thinking about a visit to Galapagos see our trips to the Enchanted Islands on our website.

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Discovering Montevideo, Punta del Este and wild beaches in Uruguay

Its been a while since my last post and I wanted to share the last piece of our trip to Uruguay with my sister Cecilia.

While we were already in Montevideo, w e had a private city tour in The old town, inspected some hotels, had lunch at the port ( great place and good BBQs!) In the afternoon we drove with our guide Rosario to Juanico winery. It’s located 38 kms=24 miles from Montevideo, the main wine here in Uruguay is the Tannat, in the same way the Malbec is the grape in Argentina, the Tannat is for Uruguay. It’s a wine with a lot of body and flavor. Ideal for the Uruguayan BBQs!

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I did really enjoyed visiting this neighbor country, the people are super friendly. The traffic doesn’t look like a south American country traffic :) and the government provides jobs like cleaning the streets, trimming trees in the city,etc for the poor people for 6 months  period to help them while they look for a job. So they have 5% unemployment rate!

Everything looks clean and organize! I was surprise with the friendliness of the people even in the street. I guess the name SWISS OF SOUTH AMERICA is not wrong at all  :) The following day we started early and drove on the coast from Montevideo to La Pedrera. The beaches are very open wild with dunes, nice forests and high buildings as well as modern and luxury houses around. We visited the chic Punta del Este and inspected some nice boutique hotels to offer to our clients. Then we drove by Jose Ignacio…This is a very peaceful village with  no nightlife permitted so The  setting and atmosphere are super calm and great for relaxing and enjoying the beach, the nice boutique hotels, posadas, etc.

Our stay that is a little bit more adventurous in Pueblo Barrancas, a cabin closer to the ocean with the option of “glamping ” while sleeping in tents as well. Nobody was there because it was low season and it’s getting cooler too. But the setting was great And it was a different way to enjoy the area.

The following day we explored a little bit more the beaches up to Cabo Polonio and drive to the middle of the country to stay in a ranch before going back to Montevideo where we took the bus to Rosario for our family reunion. :)

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