Welcome to Buenos Aires!

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The City of Buenos Aires (to which we'll refer mostly as BA) is the capital of the Argentine Republic and is located in the southern hemisphere, latitude 34º 36' and longitude 58º 26'. With nearly 3 million people in its metropolitan district and over 7 others in the suburbs, the city extends on a plain and has 202 square kilometers (78.3 sq miles), making it one of the 10 most populated urban centers in the world.

The Río de la Plata—the world's largest river—is the natural border of the city on the east. The rest of the metropolitan perimeter is surrounded by what is usually called "Gran Buenos Aires", which is like "larger Buenos Aires" in Spanish.

Now, this is particularly important since many businesses we'll be talking about are now relocating their offices from downtown BA to the suburbs, where they find great offices for lower prices. Some ad agencies even relocate their offices in big houses, with pools, river views, tennis courts, etc.

It is not known if those amenities are used or with what frequency, but it's good to know they exist at least.

Buenos Aires was founded twice: The first foundation was in 1536. Don Pedro de Mendoza, a Spanish colonizer, established the first settlement. He named it Ciudad del Espíritu Santo y Puerto Santa María del Buen Ayre, which jeans something like City of the Holy Ghost and Harbour of Holy Mary of the Buen Ayre.

In time, the city finally endend up being called Buenos Aires, which could be translated in "good airs", something quite right since for a 10 million people city its pollution levels are pretty low, thanks mainly to the river, which in return gives the city high humidity levels, which rise torridly like the temperatures during the summetime.

In fact, one of the city's most popular sayings is "Lo que mata es la humedad", which means precisely "What kills you is the humidity."

Coming back to the foundation, the indian aboriginals that populated the surrounding areas in the 16th Century resisted the Spaniards, and drove them away in a couple of years.

The Spaniards came back in force and re-founded the city in 1580, this time for good. Juan de Garay called the site Ciudad de Trinidad, which means "City of the Trinity".

In the 19th Century, the port was the arrival point for the great migratory wave promoted by the Argentine state to populate the nation. Spanish, Italian, Syrian-Lebanese, Polish and Russian immigrants provided Buenos Aires with the cultural eclecticism that is so characteristic of the city.

During the 20th century, successive immigrations—from the provinces, other Latin American countries and Eastern countries—completed the picture of Buenos Aires as a cosmopolitan city in which people with different cultures and religions live together.

Buenos Aires has been named one of the most tolerant and peaceful capitals of the world.

The mix of origins, beliefs and cultural practices its inhabitants have has settled the ground for a culturally avid, open-minded city with a vast cultural and creative production. A part of this production (but not all of it) comes from ad agencies and creative studios located here.

We're devoting this column to exploring this production and the environment in which it is made.

Hope you'll enjoy the ride.

About me:
Before becoming a journalist I worked for many years in ad agencies; I've been a creative director at JWT Buenos Aires; have tried to own my own ad agency and also worked in some corporations, in marketing and advertising areas.

At some point, I decided to go back to college and study journalism, which is what I do now, writing for some of Buenos Aires' most respected business magazines.

I have a M.A. in advertising; an undergraduate degree in Marketing and a PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences, specializing in Journalism.

You can reach me at any time in my email: patricio.cavalli[at]gmail.com.
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