After spending nearly six months talking to Argentines about our travels, there was one thing we’d learnt for sure: you gotta go to Córdoba.
Everyone had their different reasons, but the general vibe we got was that this was Argentina’s ‘character province’. And even after Mendoza’s flying melons, I think they may have been correct.
Our time in the capital city was spent mostly on history lessons. In the 70s, Córdoba city was the headquarters of the military coup’s brutal secret police (the D2), as well as the prison where ‘the disappeared’ (aka any man, woman, or child who voiced the question of where democracy had gone) were kept, often until their deaths. The prison has now been turned into a museum (El Museo de la Memoria, “The Museum of Memory”), its walls eerily left in their original crumbling state. It’s hard to say what the most powerful aspect of this museum was: the fact that such atrocities have happened so recently and yet are relatively unknown internationally, the sign at the end that says “if you were born in the early 1970s and are unsure of your identity, talk to us, we can help” and actually means it, or the fact that people we consider peers here in Argentina personally know people whose whereabouts are still unknown as a result of these actions. It’s bizarre to be on the other side of the world and still have history hit so close to home.
Our second bit of history came from the nearby town of Alta Gracia, which in the 30s was the childhood home of Ernesto Che Guevara, aka this guy:
Thanks to my trusty Latin American Revolutions course at UofM, I knew there was more to Che than the classic picture that’s on every punk rock poster and the odd Taco Bell commercial, but his home-turned-museum more than confirmed this. It was a very well-done tribute to a man who loved life and fought with integrity against injustice.