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The Changing face of Immigrants to Argentina in recent years

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Welcome, Bolivians. For Argentines is nothing new arrival of foreign immigrants to our country. For something said Octavio Paz: “Mexicans descended from the Aztecs, Peruvians from the Incas, and the Argentines from boats”. He was right, since from 1870 to the beginning of the First World War the country received a huge influx of immigrants. Immigration to the United States in those years was larger, but in proportion to the native population was more important the contribution of immigration in Argentina. According to the 1914 Census, in the city of Buenos Aires had more foreigners than Argentines and across the country, almost one in three residents was foreign. #adp02

These immigrants came to “make America” ​​and their work cooperated in the progress of the country. The popular language was not very accurate with them, since all Spanish were baptised “Galicia”, the Italians, “tetanus”, the Syrians and Lebanese, “Turkos” and the Jews, “Russians”.

There was a resurgence of immigration after the Second World War, in the early 50s. The novelty is that in recent years the Europeans no longer come. Immigrants don’t now come from Europe, the Middle East and Japan, like more than a century ago, but come from the neighbouring poor countries. According to Census 2010, the country had 1.8 million foreigners, of whom 75% had come from these countries. Paraguay tops the list with 550,000, followed by Bolivia, with 345,000, and then come Chile, Peru and Uruguay. As noted, the presence of foreigners is less than 5% today, far from 1914. Unfortunately, stereotypes or prejudices persist that attempt to explain and even justify racist and disqualifying people who have decided to come and work in the country.

Negative views are popular today in countries that receive immigrants, so it is important to know if they prevail positive attitudes to work as adults and outside the school in the case of children and adolescents. In this sense, it is very valuable information presented in the Unicef ​​report, prepared by Marcela Cerruti and Georgina Binstock, which analyzes the comparative behaviour of adolescents Argentine immigrants and high school in the city of Buenos Aires and its suburbs .

Regarding educational performance, the following information is presented, which compares the performance in Argentine Middle School (A) and Bolivians (B). They repeated secondary one years: A, 34%, and B, 22%. They took three or more subjects to test: A, 26 and B, 16. Missed more than 20 days in the year: A, 35 and B, 20. They spend more than three hours to the study: A, 9, and B, 26. This school performance than the teenagers and Bolivians is remarkable, also taking into account that Bolivians “not only study, but are also working”: A, 20%, and B, 38%.

The report also examines the future expectations with Argentina teenagers compared with those of the Bolivians, expressed in the “intention to go to university”: A, 40%, and B, 69%. In addition, Bolivian students spend more time studying, work and perform household chores, while on the contrary, the Argentines spend more time on leisure, festivals and the “chat” on the computer. “They chat with the computer more than three hours a day”: A, 37%, and B, 13%. “I almost never read books”: A, 69%, and B, 51%. Also different attitude to sport and religion. “Almost never do sport”: A, 33%, and B, 15%. As for the “assistance to churches or temples”, the numbers are A, 24%, and B, 36%. Another important issue is health care, unfortunately jeopardized by abuse of alcohol, snuff and drug use. The results of the survey are these: “Smoke”: A, 20%, and B, 9%. “Taken drugs in the last month”: A, 11%, and B, 2%. “They abused alcohol in the past month”: A, 24%, and B, 19%. The report also examines the behaviour of adolescents in the classroom. “Percentage of students whose parents had to be cited by the misconduct of their children”: A, 21%, and B, 10%. The notorious parental concern for a better future for these young Bolivians plays a central role in the actual behaviour of these parents and their relationship with the school, as they worry that their children are not missing and study. In this regard, the report notes many positive reviews from school principals.

A director of the La Matanza says: “Bolivian Parents are very interested in the subject of study, so they send them every day to school, and when there are problems at work, I explain.’s Priority is that the Bolivian family child to study, and they send you. ” Another manager, also a school of La Matanza, says: “Parents come to ask how is your son, if he is doing well. At school no parent is coming, but they come and ask if you need something or how it is in matters “. In a school in the city of Buenos Aires, the director states: “Parents of children who are Bolivians have a very special, continually come to school, they are attentive, they are very friendly, they want to work with your child’s schooling, care deeply. And have a tradition: when they leave, the little girls they give them a ring. ”

This evidence leads us to predict that these adolescents will improve significantly in the coming years their standard of living thanks to the efforts now being made in high school, supported by their parents. Surely many of them in the coming years will populate our universities, thus repeating the process of social ascent virtuoso recorded a century ago, so well presented by Florencio Sánchez in his play M’hijo the Doctor.

The future prosperity of these immigrants contribute to our own progress as a nation. For this reason, this paper starts with the word “welcome, Bolivia”.
Translated from La Nacion Clic for the original

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