La Boca Street Festival

Trip Start Apr 15, 2009
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Trip End Jun 17, 2009


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Tuesday, May 12, 2009

  Down the hill from the main plaza, where the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Cabildo proclaimed the power of the church and the state, poor immigrant dock workers built their homes on lowlands at the mouth of the Riachuelo river.  These immigrants were so poor that many of the homes are built of corrugated sheet metal.  However, in the spirit of people optimistic that the future would bring a better life, the immigrants painted their humble homes in bright colors.
 
Today, this neighborhood is called La Boca, literally "the mouth," and is still a poor and colorful neighborhood.  However, one small street has achieved the success that the original immigrants were looking for.  Caminito, again literally "little street," is the namesake of one of the most famous Tango songs.   This, combined with its quaint and colorful buildings, has made Caminito a tourist attraction.
 
Each Saturday and Sunday, Caminito and a couple of nearby streets are filled with vendors selling handicrafts and art, and hundreds of visitors.  Tables from restaurants spill out into the streets, adding to the festive atmosphere.  Two restaurants in particular compete for business by presenting dance performances for their patrons.  Interestingly, the dancers perform not only the ubiquitous tango, but also traditional dances from the country's gaucho past. 
 
Barbara has made a short video that captures some of the fun of the La Boca street festival.  The video is posted at http://www.vimeo.com/4583380
 
More footage of the three gaucho dancers are at http://www.vimeo.com/4583441 and http://www.vimeo.com/4583466
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