In Argentina I promote Polish culture among the people I meet everyday, but what’s more important, within the AFS Argentina & Uruguay society, which gives me the opportunities to organise meetings, for exemple at schools.
Why I am here?
I came here to say good things about Poland and Poles, to oppose stereotypes which say that Poland is a snowland (lots of people think like that) and to show that my country is very modern. One of my tools is a multimedia presentation, which shows several different aspects of my country and the AFS Polska organisation. However, I am pretty sure that the key factor in bulding friendly relations between diferent nations is establishing good and strong relations on personal level. Therefore, my stay in Latin America itself and new acquaintances will be very significant. Maybe the idea to promote one’s country isn’t very original, but my way is special. I am here, because I love Argentina and Uruguay.
Previous actions of AFS Argentina
Although I was pretty sure that inviting young Argentinians to Central and Eastern Europe was my innovative idea, I was astonished to find out that my stay in Argentina is a continuation of a larger plan and we are very happy about this – both me and the AFS Argentina & Uruguay team.
One of the biggest priorities of the local volunteers is to encourage young people to take part in exchange programs in Central and Eastern Europe.
In 2016 representatives of AFS Latvia visited the AFS Argentina & Uruguay National Assembly, now it is time for Poland. It is worth remembering that the best promotors of Poland in Argentina are Juan, Alex and Yuli, the three Argentinian exchange students who stayed in our country. I will certainly visit them while in Argentina.
Polish community in Argentina
What is important, the life of the Polish community in Argentina is very active today. The Association of Poles in Argentina, whose headquarters are in the „Polish House” in Buenos Aires, brings together 34 Polish organisations from all over the country. Polish footprints and symbols in the form of monuments, memorial plates, street and square names and Polish missionary centers can be found everywhere. Since 1995 June 8th is celebrated in Argentina as the Day of the Polish Settler. The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Buenos Aires gives the number of 300 thousand people of Polish descent living in Argentina. It is the second largest, after Brasil, Polish community in Latin America. While staying in Argentina, I contacted the representatives of the Polish House, more specifically the Polish Library in Buenos Aires. Thanks to them I am in touch with the Polsih community in Argentina. Together with the volunteers from La Plata we plan to give a presentation about AFS and Poland in Berisso, where there are many descendants of Polish immigrants.
What after the project?
I want to stress that my project will not end when I leave Argentina. Working as an AFS Argentina & Uruguay volunteer, I will be able to broaden my knowledge about the AFS mission and after my return I want to promote the Argentinian culture in Poland. International media are not interested in this part of the world as much as they are in many others, so in my opinion there is an information gap. I hope that both through the adventures I am describing on my blog and by means of the workshops that I will organise for Polish volunteers after my return, I will inspire Poles to become fascinated with the Latin American world which has become so close to me.