America is one continent not two

By Brooke Hisrich — Prior to my arrival in Argentina, I went to many preparatory Rotary meetings where we discussed the conflicts an exchange student could face with the others’ perspectives of the United States. After one short week I was very confused and infuriated with the common Argentinian’s view of our nation.

The United States has a very strong presence in Argentina, our music plays in the shops and on the radio, the movies are televised, Disney World is the most sought after travel destination and our flag is somewhat of a fashion statement. Although the Argentines love to love the United States it seems they wish we were a little less patriotic.

After a heated debate with one of my classmates, who can speak English quite fluently, he gave me a clear depiction of the tilted opinion of the American population.

“The American people think they are the best in the world. The United States is involved with any crisis worldwide even if it doesn’t affect them,” my classmate, Jose Moretti said.

We eventually found common ground after I convinced him that our country might be involved but it is only because we believe we can use our power to help improve and spread democracy throughout the globe. With the upcoming elections, I have been discussing politics more than I could have expected but I am learning from the new perspective, the perspective of a Latin American on the United States.

My travels to Argentina have allowed my pride for my nation to strengthen every day. I realized that The United States is extremely stable and safe compared to nearly all of South America, it is something that I unfortunately took for granted prior to my arrival. After I first referred to Argentina as a part of the continent of South America, I learned that the Argentinians are very sensitive to the distinct separation between North and South America.

“We learn that there are six continents, Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa, Antarctica and America. America is one it is not divided, we were founded and built are the same time,” Moretti said.

The people here believe that we intentionally separate South America because we aren’t proud of their countries. While I don’t know the sole reason that we are taught seven continents instead of six, I know I get into a lot of arguments because of it.

The opinions of many Argentinians have helped me shape a well-rounded opinion of The United States. We are powerful, we are stable and we should really take time to appreciate the nation we reside in because others have to face many difficulties because their government doesn’t protect and provide for them like ours does.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]