By Liberal Arts Student Luke Green
On Saturday, CIEE Liberal Arts and Open Campus students went on a tour of the Casa Rosada, the presidential palace of Argentina. Comparative Politics GI course planned this co-curricular activity in order to continue deepening on Argentine democratic system.
The palace can be found in the Plaza de Mayo, the place where Argentina won its independence against Spain, and where numerous historical moments have taken place throughout the country's rich history. While the United States has the White House, or "Casa Blanca", Argentina's Casa Rosada is known for its color: pink, or "rosa" in Spanish. There is no proven story as to why the house is pink, but some theories say it was the favorite color of one of the past presidents. Others say pink was supposed to a symbol of unity after the country's civil war: one side's colors were white, the others red.
The Casa Rosada serves as a museum and the office of the president simultaneously. Visitors can stand on the balcony overlooking the Plaza where famous first lady Evita Peron gave her speeches to her people, her desk can still be found inside the palace. We also saw a grand room where the president of Argentina delivers official press conferences, speeches, or presentations with other foreign leaders. To end the tour, the busts of every president can be found in a large room where the president enters the palace in the morning to start their work. Every U.S president receives a presidential painting, whereas in Argentina each president is sculpted. One funny aspect of this room is that on one bust a president has a band-aid on his forehead because of the picture he provided to the artist.
Overall, the tour provided a great insight into one of the most precious Argentinean buildings. It was interesting to see how the history of the building combines with the necessity for it to function as the actual center of Argentine leaders. It is a beautiful building and I feel lucky to have seen it and been part of this cultural activity.