I almost forgot about our final stops on the bus tour. Maddy took our group to the heart of the city, Plaza de Mayo (pronounced Mazha, like Zsa Zsa Gabor). Here we saw a beautiful old Catholic church, what is left of the Spanish fortress (after the revolution in the 1800s, the building slowly became dismantled) and the majestic Casa Rosada, the Pink House, former home of the Perons and current office of the President (who, we were told, flies in to work by helicopter every day from her home outside the city).
the Pirámide de Mayo (or May Pyramid) erected as tribute to the 1810 revolution. The pyramid is now better known as the site of protests from the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo. These are the mothers whose grown children were disappeared (most likely tortured and killed) during the "dirty war" of the 1970s dictatorship when 30,000 people (students and liberals) were killed. The mothers, now in their 80s, still gather around the pyramid - a monument symbolizing democracy - every Thursday. Their organization reaches out to mothers around the world who have lost children to political malfeasance. Around the circumference of the pyramid, the government installed a stenciled tribute to the Madres, the repeated symbol of the Madres's cause and organization: a woman with a white scarf (originally, a cloth diaper) tied over her head. It sounds cheesy, but I thought of the Sting song, "They Dance Alone" and the powerful Holly Near song "Hay Una Mujer Desaparecida" when I stood at this site. Standing there and seeing the stenciled kerchiefs choked me up.
Nearby, in the plaza, veterans from the Faulklands war hold vigil, demanding compensation that they never received.