Rio de Santa Fe by John Sittu

| June 30, 2013

Rio de Santa Fe

By John Sittu ‘15

On my last weekend in Argentina, Nico’s family took me up to the quinta (kind of cabin) by the river (rio). We numbered 10 with the addition of Nico’s friends and their families. We rented a small boat and took a 5-hour ride on the water. It was absolutely beautiful. Everywhere locals are at their rods, passing the time fishing in the river. They were all amiable, and most waved before we did. There are multitudes of wild caballos y bacas (horses and cows) roaming in the water and reeds. Spider nests the size of TVs hang from most every tree, hundreds of spiders in each. Huge birds of prey share the sky with a full moon and purple sunset. The river is extremely beautiful, despite the incessant buzz of mosquitoes.

The river itself has very interesting history. Over time, many arroyos have formed there. There are many houses that were just a tad too near the water and have parts that fell in. Our boat guide pointed these things out to us. He also told us one particularly interesting story in Castellano. He told us many other cool facts about the ecology of the river, too. But anyway, the interesting story was that of a bus falling off of a bridge. There was a mother with child on board, and the mother put the baby in a plastic bag, in which it floated to the surface. It was the only survivor. This was extremely profound, and reminded me that the center of a people’s culture can also be very destructive.
The boat guide also said that the river was being overfished by the populace, despite there being over 30 types of fish. He said trash in the river is a huge problem. Taking advantage of something is a very human trait. If something is good to us, we tend to treat it with less care than something that is harsh. This can be said for people and for environments. This trait is ubiquitous. In the U.S., we have similar problems. Overfishing in lakes and pollution of said lakes is widespread.

Category: 2013

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