The Gaucho Cultural Center in Mataderos
Words and Video by Sharon Salt.
Of all the fairs in Buenos Aires, Feria de Mataderos seems – at least to me – the most untouched by tourists, the most steeped in tradition. This probably has something to do with its location at the very outskirts of the city, in part, but it also has a lot to do with the strong presence of gaucho* culture. Here, in Mataderos, is where the city and the country meet.
One rainy Sunday, I made the trek out to Mataderos. It was just a fraction of its usual size due to the weather, but we loaded up on street food and wandered around anyway. (Word to the wise: the street food alone is well worth the trip.) Somehow, we stumbled upon a sort of run-down bar with live music streaming out of the open door and onto the street. Upon further inspection, we realized it was a Gaucho Cultural Center, complete with a giant vat of locro** and a lot of folklore.***
Here’s some footage I shot that day. I’d tell you the exact address, but I wouldn’t want to be responsible for an unexpected surge of tourists in what was such a welcoming yet intimate space. Don’t worry though, it’s easy enough to find, and they’ll welcome you with open arms when you do. Just listen for the music.
*Gauchos are like Argentine cowboys. **Locro is a hearty meat-and-vegetable stew. ***Folklore (folk-lor-ay), as it’s used here, is a type of dancing associated with northern Argentina and the countryside. It can include clapping and handkerchiefs.
Featured image credit goes to Debonair Dean, and the Noble Nikon. <3