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and Martha Baergen
is officially the ARGENTINE REPUBLIC, a country which occupies
most of the southern portion of South America. With an area of
1,073,399 square miles it is more extensive than Mexico and the
U.S. state of Texas combined. It is the eighth largest country in
the world. Argentina is shaped like an inverted triangle with its
base at the top; it is 880 miles across at its widest from east to
west and stretches 2,360 miles from the subtropical north to the
subantarctic south. This great north-south length embraces regions
of striking diversity, including the Andes Mountains, the thorny
scrubland and seasonal swamps of the Gran Chaco, the broad,
fertile plains of the Pampas, the stark tableland of Patagonia,
and an undulating Atlantic coastline of some 2,900 miles. Buenos
Aires is the capital.
Heavy immigration, particularly from Spain and Italy, has produced in Argentina a people who are almost all of European ancestry. In the colonial period, though, the Spanish explorers and settlers encountered a number of native peoples. Among these were the Diaguita tribes of the Andean Northwest, a town-dwelling, agricultural people who were forced into labour after they had been conquered.
Spanish is the national language, although in Argentina it is spoken in several accents and has absorbed many words from other languages, especially Italian. Numerous foreign languages and dialects can also be heard.
The vast majority of Argentine people are adherents of Roman Catholicism. The Roman Catholic influence is strongly reflected in government and society, and Catholicism is constitutionally recognized as the official state religion.
The City of Salta - our home
is the capital of Salta provincia in northwestern Argentina. It
lies in the irrigated Andean valley of Lerma, on a headstream of
the Salado River. It was founded in 1582 as San Felipe de Lerma by
Hernando de Lerma, governor of Tucumán. Despite damage
caused by earthquakes, many of the city's colonial buildings have
been preserved, including the cathedral, and colonial-style
architecture is used in many modern buildings as well. The city's
commercial prominence dates from colonial times, when it was the
scene of large pastoral fairs.