Santiago Canelo, Director Comercial at South End Publishing in Buenos Aires was there with a crew of photographers, including Eliseo Miciu, his brother Isaias, and others. They had set up a photo shoot that included Gauchos working cattle and horses and posing for portraits. They very graciously allowed me to join in the fun, and I spent the afternoon firing away in gold-dust and Gaucho heaven.
SAN ANTONIO DE ARECO
The center of the Gaucho Lifestyle.
But where were the Gauchos? I’d seen the Sunday Gauchos of the Feria de Mataderos, in Buenos Aires, but now I was ready for the real thing. The working Gaucho. The Full time Gaucho.
My research told me that the small country town of San Antonio de Areco was the place, but I’d been here a couple of days, and had found very little in the way of Gauchos.
Finally, I decided to check out the Gaucho Museum, the Museo Gauchesco Ricardo Guiraldes. It was very nice museum, but most of the displays were under glass, and difficult to photograph. Besides, I was followed from room to room by a guard with a walkie-talkie who looked like he might call down an air strike if I dared whip out a camera.
I wandered outside and around the corner of the building, where I ran into a no trespassing sign. So I tried the other side. Same thing. I climbed up on a berm alongside an irrigation ditch, and looked off into the distance, where I spotted some corrals, shaded by large Ombú trees. I could see some activity and a lot of dust. Interesting.
Just then, I noticed two Gauchos, dressed in black, riding out from behind the Museum, toward the corrals.
I hurried back inside the museum, and asked a friendly looking young woman with an ID badge if it would be OK to take some photographs out back. She said “Si, si, no hay problema.” I thanked her and rushed back outside, climbed the fence, and here’s what I found...