Mar del Plata - City of Argentina
Mar del Plata is an Argentine city located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the Buenos Aires Province, 400 km (249 mi) south of Buenos Aires. Mar del Plata is one of the major fishing ports and the biggest seaside beach resort in Argentina. With a population of 541,733 as per the 2001 census [INDEC], it's the 7th largest city in Argentina.
ARGENTINA National Animal : Cougar
As part of the Argentine recreational coast, tourism is Mar del Plata's main economic activity with seven million tourists visiting the city in 2006. Mar del Plata has a sophisticated tourist infrastructure with countless hotels, restaurants, casinos, theatres and other tourist attractions. Mar del Plata is also an important sports centre with a multi-purpose Olympic style stadium, 5 golf courses and many other facilities.
The area is also host to other light industry, such as textile and food manufacturing. There is a well-developed packaging machines industry, its quality being recognized in international markets. One of these companies was one of the pioneers in the automatic packaging of tea bags, exporting its original machine-designs abroad. Another company also exports its products and sold royalties to other countries.
Oceanic climate, with humid and moderate summers and relative cool winters, although polar air masses from Antarctica are frequent. The average temperatures for January reach 20°C and 8°C for July . The West-Southwest winds bring down the temperature below 0°C , while the Southeast ones (the so called Sudestada) are stronger, producing coastal showers and rough seas, as well as strong squalls, but the cold is much less intense.
There are some ten days of 30°C (86 Fahrenheit) each summer, certainly milder values than the rest of the pampas region. Usually, the summer nights are cool and pleasant, with values between 13º to 17°C.
Mar del Plata is the most popular destination for conventions in Argentina after Buenos Aires. Mar del Plata has a wide range of services in this sector. The summer season hosts over fifty theatrical plays.
Important Shows and festivals:
- The Fiesta Nacional del Mar ("National Sea Festival") with the election and coronation of the Sea Queen and her princesses, which takes place in December as the official inauguration of the summer season.
- The Premios Estrella de Mar ("Sea Star Awards") which honor the best stage plays and shows of the season.
- The Valencian Falles week, a local reenactment of the Valencian event.
- The Mar del Plata Fashion Show, along with a number of fashion parades that gathers the best haute couture designers.
- The Fiesta Nacional de los Pescadores (National Fishermen's Festival), a colourful display of sea tradition and cuisine.
- The Mar del Plata International Film Festival, the only Class-A film's festival in the Americas.
- Mar del Plata has also hosted the 1995 Pan American Games, the 2003 Parapan American Games, the 2005 FIBA Under-21 World Championship, and co-hosted the 1978 FIFA World Cup and the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship.
- Since 1987 Mar del Plata annually hosts the Mar del Plata Marathon, in early December.
The local Government sponsors a stable Symphonic Orchestra, as well as a Conservatorium and a School of Classical and Modern Dance.
- The Museum of Modern Art Juan Carlos Castagnino.
- The Museum of the port of Mar del Plata Cleto Ciocchini.
- The Museum of Natural Science Lorenzo Scaglia, specialized in Paleontology of the Quaternary species around the region.
- The Museum of the Sea, which includes one of the most complete collections of sea snails of the World.
- Villa Victoria, a vintage wooden house, the former residence of the late writer Victoria Ocampo, now a place for art expositions and classical music.
Culture and Sports Personalities:
- Astor Piazzolla, composer and musician.
- Juan Carlos Castagnino, painter.
- Auro Tiribelli (1908-2006), architect.
- Guillermo Vilas, top tennis star in the '70s.
- Inés Arrondo, hockey player, winner along with the national team of an Olympic Silver medal in Sydney 2000 and a Bronze medal in Athens 2004.
- Laura Echarte, agricultural engineer, researcher in crop physiology studies, winner of a 2007 L'Oreal-Unesco international fellowship for Women.
- Maria Gabriela Palomo, marine biologist, also winner of the L'Oreal-Unesco junior award in 2003 for her works on port-areas environmental pollution.
- Jorge Lanata, journalist and writer.
- Ricardo Piglia, writer born in Adrogué but raised in Mar del Plata.
- Alberto Bruzzone (1907-1994), painter, was born in San Juan but chose Mar del Plata as his home city.
- Héctor Babenco, movie director, who made Hollywood films like Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ironweed.
- Homero Cárpena (1910-2001), actor, playwriter and filmmaker.
- Martin Donovan (not to be confused with actor Martin Donovan), Hollywood screenwriter and producer, co-author of the screenplay of the movie Death Becomes Her .
- Gabriel Gaby Amato, former international soccer player.
- Juan Eduardo Esnáider, international soccer player. Former forward of Espanyol, Atlético de Madrid, Juventus, River Plate.
- Germán Mono Burgos, former goalkeeper. Played two World Cups. Currently, he is oriented to music.
The common linguistic and social background of the city is that of the so called rioplatense culture.
ARGENTINA National Bird : Rufous Hornero
ARGENTINA National Flower : Ceibo Erythrina Crista
ARGENTINA National Game : Pato
ARGENTINA National Holiday : National Labour Day (May Day)