Dear Wellesley: Clare Doyle ’20 and Lucí Navas-Sharry ’19 Write From Buenos Aires
This week’s postcard from our 2018 Dear Wellesley series comes from two students, Clare Doyle ’20 and Lucí Navas-Sharry ’19 who are writing from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Both students are interning at Fundación Poder Ciudadano through the Global Citizenship Program, a Wellesley-funded internship. Check out the Wellesley College Instagram account to follow them on their journey.
Saludos desde Buenos Aires! As the capital of Argentina, and the second-largest city in South America, Buenos Aires is absolutely full of history and cultural tradition. We have loved getting to explore the different neighborhoods here, from La Boca, the birthplace of tango, to Recoleta, whose cemetery is the final resting place of national icon Evita Perón.
We live in San Telmo, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. Dating back to the 17th century, San Telmo is characterized by cobblestone streets and European-style architecture—and very tall ceilings, which have definitely helped us experience the chill of winter here in the Southern Hemisphere! On Sundays we can be found wandering through la Feria San Telmo, a neighborhood-wide street fair full of antiques, handmade crafts, and live tango, though our favorite part is probably the dulce de leche-filled pastries sold on every corner. It is a beautiful part of the city to wake up to every morning, and because we live in a shared apartment with students from countries including Venezuela, France, Australia, Brazil, and Italy, there is always something going on!
During the week we work for la Fundación Poder Ciudadano, an NGO that fights for governmental transparency and civic engagement in Argentina. A typical day at the office consists of research and report-writing on topics such as public access to information, governmental corruption and financial crimes, and Argentinian geopolitical relations. In 2017, Argentina earned a score of only 39 out of 100 on Transparency International’s corruption perception index; as such, the work we do aims not only to reduce actual acts of corruption, but also to restore confidence in public institutions and government. We have loved the opportunities to more deeply understand Argentina’s political and historical contexts, and also to work on reading, writing, and speaking in Spanish in the workplace.
Our favorite memories from work so far, however, have probably been the office watch parties held for Argentina’s World Cup matches. As the home country of international soccer star Lionel Messi, Argentina absolutely lives and breathes fútbol. Argentina ultimately lost in the first elimination round of the tournament, but that hasn’t stopped the city from plastering Messi’s face onto every available billboard, magazine cover, and newspaper front page. You can even buy masks of his face, as we found out when we went to a city-wide screening of the Argentina-Nigeria game!
We absolutely love Buenos Aires, and though we are excited to return to a few weeks of summer after two months of 50-degree weather, we will undoubtedly miss the beauty, culture, and history of Argentina. We will see you in a few months, Wellesley, and we’ll be sure to bring back some empanadas and dulce de leche to share!
Clare y Lucí