Eva Peron, Argentine Reformer and Philanthropist

Beloved by Argentines, Eva Peron was a major political figure who left a lasting legacy. Known as the "Spiritual Leader of the Nation," Eva Peron, worked to improve the lives of the poor, provide better health care, and help women and senior citizens find homes and jobs. Although Evita passed on in 1952, her name is still remembered and you are sure to encounter her legacy during your time in Spanish school in Buenos Aires.

Even before you spend time studying Spanish in Argentina, you will probably already know something about the story of Eva Peron. After all, there is a famous musical "Evita" as well as the 1996 motion picture by the same name starring Madonna. Eva Peron rose to fame due to her marriage to President Juan Peron. Previous to her marriage, she was a radio, stage and film actress. Although none of her films were very successful, it is interesting to note that she was one of Argentina's highest paid radio actresses. She met her husband at a charity event a few years before he became president.

Some of the achievements that Eva Peron is most famous for include running the Ministries of Labor and Health and founding the charitable organization the Eva Peron Foundation. Additionally, she founded the country's first female political party called the Female Peronist Party.

When you think of Eva Peron, what might immediately come to mind might be two historical events. One thing that people know her for is organizing a crowd of thousands to demand her husband's release from prison. Government officials arrested him as they sought to stop his rise to power especially since he strongly supported the poor and working class. Eva Peron is famous for addressing the crowd from a balcony of the Argentine government house, the Casa Rosada. However, it is interesting to note that historians argue that these events, which have been glamorized in movies and stage, didn't actually take place. They point out that the rally to release Juan Peron was actually organized by labor unions.

Eva Peron hoped to get on the ballot as a vice presidential candidate in 1951. The military, in particular, was enraged at the idea of Evita becoming president if her husband died. Evita's supporters included the unions and the Peronist Women's Party. A mass rally held on behalf of Evita in 1951 attracted 2 million citizens. This rally was called Cabildo Aberto. Some say that this was the largest display for a female politician in history. People at the rally who were in favor of Eva Peron becoming Vice President yelled ¡Evita, Vice-Presidente!" Ultimately, Eva Peron didn't run for Vice-President and, in fact, she became ill shortly thereafter.

Although Eva Peron only lived 33 short years, as you will see when you study Spanish in Argentina, she is an important political figure to this day. It is easy to visit the Eva Peron Museum when you attend Spanish school in Buenos Aires. This historical mansion can be found in the Palermo neighborhood and is well worth a visit.

ECELA's Spanish school in Buenos Aires, Argentina is open 52 weeks per year, with class size never more than seven. Cultural activities and visits are an integral part of studying Spanish in Argentina. For more details => http://buenosaires.ecelaspanish.com

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