Adventures in Spanish

Resources, reviews and inspirations for learning Spanish

Archive for the category “Latin America”

Easter in Argentina: Music & Tradition

In South America Easter Week; Semana Santa is one of the most anticipated holidays.  As Argentina is predominately a Catholic country there are many regional and local celebrations all over the country during Semana Santa.

In Argentina pascua is celebrated as the resurrection of Christ with carnivals, music and dancing aswell as traditional food.  Music with the Charango is played.  The charangoguitarra criolla” is a small Andean stringed instrument, which originated in the Quechua and Aymara populations in post-Columbian times. The instrument is widespread today throughout the Andean regions of Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, northern Chile and northwestern Argentina.  The tuning of the Charango is very similar to a ukulele, you can use the familiar ukulele chords to play it. The scary part about the charango however is that it is traditionally made from the shell of an armadillo!

charango

Charango

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The Day of The Dead Festival

The Day of The Dead (El Día de los Muertos) Festival in Mexico is celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of November each year. On these dates people remember their loved ones who have passed away. Sound a bit morbid? Well it’s not at all. Tombstones are decorated with yellow flowers, candles and photos.  A special kind of bread called “Pan de Muertos” is baked on this day also and children eat “sugar skull” sweets. Music is played and the cementaries come to life with sounds of laughter and chatter and the aroma of freshly baked bread. It is a celebration of peoples lives.

dia-de-los-muertos

Mexican cementary lit up by candle light

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Why is the 25 de Mayo celebrated in Argentina?

There are two important dates around Argentina’s independence from Spain; 9 de Julio which is the day Independence was declared and the 25 de Mayo which is when the first local government was established in Buenos Aires in 1810. 25 de Mayo is known as The May Revolution (Revolución de Mayo) or Revolution Day (El día de la Revolución). The famous Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires is named in honor of this event.

25 de mayo

The flag of Argentina and maté (traditional drink)

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Los Reyes Magos (Kings Day)

There are some Latin American traditions I like to continue with my family back in the UK – El Día de los Reyes is one of them. With young children and after having spent so many years in South America it would be difficult to let this special tradition go by without celebrating!

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10 Animals unique to South America

This post was inspired by the bilingual children’s book I’m working on with a colleague.  I’m researching South American animals and was remembering the amazing encounters I’ve had with so many many of these animals while I was there.   Read more…

How do I know when I am fluent in Spanish?

Scuba diving in taganga

I studied Spanish throughout high school. I took a break through College and University but then went on to live in South America – Spanish became my second language.

The five years I studied Spanish at school gave me a good base to build on but it did by no stretch of the imagination make me a “Latin Spanish” speaker…this I found out very quickly upon my arrival in Caracas, Venezuela!!!  Read more about travel  in South America Latin AdventuresRead more…

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