It Takes Two to Tango

Back to Tigre, we visited a different type of community center. This one was run by a nonprofit organization, CONIN, or The Cooperative for Infant Nutrition Foundation, who has three centers in the area designed to combat malnutrition of children and support their mothers of all ages. Typically, these mothers come from dysfunctional families and need help learning how to love their own child and protect them against the poverty they experience. 70% of the almost 200 community children between the three centers are malnourished, an alarming statistic.

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From our experience in Tigre yesterday compared to today, we noticed great disparity in the region. Despite very wealthy areas and access to nice public hospitals, there is also dense areas of poverty where there is little ability to sustain nutrition and overall health. That is why community centers such as the one we visited today are so important to educate families and provide resources to support a positively changed lifestyle. Globalization certainly has a role in the development of this disparity because those of wealthier standards have better access to gaining resources from outside countries. Even us coming into the center today, we could only help so much because of the structure already instilled. We had the opportunity to directly interact with the kids and play with them, which was so fun, but tiring due to their high level of energy and inability to communicate very well. We also aided in cleaning the facility and cooking some meals. Learning of the conditions they will go home to made me want to take more action but it really needs to start with the education so that they can create a sustainable future of health.

In general, globalization can cause such inequality when it is unable to be distributed properly and does not address the current needs of the community that may not be understood before integrating outside resources. Sometimes communities are structured in such a unique way that outside “help” may not be helpful and create further issues, escalating the severity of current problems. On the other hand, if appropriate research is done beforehand on the situation, new supplies and technologies may create a self-sufficient atmosphere that solves the poor areas as they have greater access to resources to address needs in the long-term.

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After lunch back in Recoletta, it was time to tango. Although we were all nervous about actually getting on the dance floor after seeing some demonstrations of professional dancers, it turned out to be a lot of fun and represented a key part of Argentine culture. We learned moves step by step and at the end were able to combine them all for a flowing dance. We also took turns taking leads on the dance, and I learned I preferred to be a follower and take the directions as they come. It was beautiful to watch our instructors together, moving so slow and smooth in unison, closely following each others’ rhythms, and I hope I will be able to tango again in the future.

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