Country Facts About Argentina for Kids
Introduction to Argentina
Argentina is a country located on the continent of South America. It shares borders with Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile. It also borders the Atlantic Ocean.
Argentine Republic is a Republic. People elect representatives to a Congress. The congress makes laws. Laws are the rules people have to follow.
Buenos Aires is the capital city.
Argentina has a population of about 42 million people. The people are called Argentine. Spanish is the official language of the country. Most Argentines are white. Mestizos are a mix of white and American Indian ancestry.
The people mainly practice a religion called Roman Catholicism, which is a branch of Christianity. Most of the population is literate, which means they can read and write.
Way of Life
Siestas are a very interesting part of Argentine life. Siestas are naps taken after lunch. Many people come home from work to eat lunch and have a nap. Kids come home from school. People then return to work after their siesta.Kids will either return to school after their siesta or they will engage in activities like sports. Many businesses close during siesta time.
Siestas are most common outside the capital Buenos Aires. Residents in the capital are less likely to take one. Most businesses, shops and restaurants remain open all day. But there is a hotel in Buenos Aires that actually rents rooms out for siesta time. The rooms have relaxing music and fragrances to help people fall asleep.
Like most other South Americans, Argentines are crazy about soccer. Children spend many hours playing soccer in the streets and on beaches. One of the most famous soccer players in the world, Diego Maradona, is from Argentina. People are so passionate about soccer that riots broke out when a popular team called River Plate was moved from the first division to the second division. Angry fans threw rocks and other objects at the team and police.
Argentina is also famous for its gauchos. Gauchos are cowboys who herd cattle in the pampas region. Historically gauchos spent much of their time away from home herding cattle. Gauchos today have more settled lives.
Climate of Argentina
Argentina is a very long country, so it has different climates in different areas. Argentina is in the Southern Hemisphere, so its seasons are the opposite of those in North America, North Africa, Europe and most of Asia. When it is summer in the United States, it is winter in Argentina.
The capital Buenos Aires has hot, humid summers and chilly, damp winters. Tierra del Fuego, at the southern tip of the country, has cool summers and snow in winter. The pampas, or grasslands, have stormy spring weather, hot summers and heavy rain in the fall. They are windy most of the year. Central Argentina experiences a lot of tornadoes and thunderstorms. The Andes Mountains are dry and cold.
The eastern edge of the country borders the Atlantic Ocean. The coast is about 3000 miles long. Argentina is a popular tourist destination because it has many beaches and fishing areas.
The western edge runs along the Andes mountain range. The Andes form a natural barrier between Argentina and Chile. They actually cover about a third of Argentina’s land area.
The pampas are grasslands that cover a large portion of the country. Pampas comes from a word that means “level plain.” Like other grasslands around the world, there are few trees or large plants. Wildfires are common in grasslands, making it hard for large plants to grow. The pampas are the main farming region.
Argentina also has glaciers. Glaciers are slow moving ice sheets. The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Patagonia region, located in the southern part of the country.
Tourism is an important part of the economy. More than 2 million tourists visit the country each year. Many Argentines work in the tourism industry.
Farming is another important part of Argentina’s economy. Farmers grow cereals like wheat and barley. They also grow fruits, vegetables and cotton. Grapes are one important fruit. Wine is made from grapes and Argentina is one of the largest wine producers in the world.
Argentina exports a lot of different foods. Beef is one of the main exports. There are many cattle farms in the pampas region of the country. Imports include automobiles and capital goods. Capital goods are used to create products or provide services.
Argentina’s currency is called the Argentine peso.