Our first stop on Monday morning was to the headquarters of Banco Patagonia, one of the largest commercial banks in Argentina. Erica Lijtztain, the bank’s manager and comptroller, educated us on Argentine macroeconomics, revisiting a common theme across our meetings of the country’s high inflation rate that is plaguing the country’s economy. She then explained in detail the country’s financial system and where Banco Patagonia stands within the system.
After a fairly early finish, we found ourselves a pleasant surprise – half an afternoon to spare! About half of our group enjoyed an authentic Argentine lunch at a restaurant called Cumána, and each of us ordered a one of their famous cazuelas. Cazuelas (Spanish for “cooking pot”) are a common South American dish with a consistency between a casserole and soup that earn their name because they are served in the pot in which they were cooked. Ingredients varied from potatoes and brisket to pumpkin and corn, but all dishes proved to be delicious!
At 4pm, we departed for an afternoon visit to PWC, where we met with Damien Vazquez, a partner in the consulting department. He covered all the bases: PWC’s services, operations, recruiting/training processes, and the business climate in Argentina. We learned about Argentina’s 2001 crisis, inflation, investing in developing markets, and how government restrictions and the 2015 elections have an enormous effect on the economy.
Monday night was one huge check off everyone’s bucket list – the Argentine tango! Berenice spent nearly the whole bus ride to the venue explaining the world of tango and all of its spoken and unspoken rules. The dance evidently takes months to learn, but we were lucky to have a good introduction during the lesson we received from two professionals. I wouldn’t say any of us are on the track to professional tangoing, but we did have a blast!
Following the lesson, we made our way across the street to the restaurant for an amazing meal. The main attraction of the night, though, was the El Viejo de Almacén tango show. The talent and precision of those dancers was astounding, and the fun music and brightly colored outfits made for a great atmosphere. It was by far the best and most cultural night of our trip!