Where we work Latin America Argentina COUNTRY OVERVIEW Population: 42 million Area: 2.8 million km2 Climate: Sub-tropical (N) to Cold (S) Capital: Buenos Aires Currency: Peso People: 72% Euro-Argentinian, 7% Other Hispanic, 7% Amerindian, 5% Italian, 3% Middle Eastern, 6% Other Main Language: Spanish Religion: 89% Christian (9% evangelical), 11% Other faiths/none Geography and climate Read more At nearly 3 million square kilometres, Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world, the second largest in South America and the largest Spanish-speaking nation. It stretches from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Atlantic Ocean in the east, and is a federation of 23 provinces and the autonomous city, Buenos Aires. The north has very hot, humid summers with mild, drier winters, and has periodic droughts. Central Argentina has hot summers with thunderstorms (including some of the world’s biggest hailstones!) and cool winters. The southern regions have warm summers and cold winters, with heavy snowfall, especially in mountainous zones. Politics and economics Read more Argentina’s tumultuous economic history has included fleeting golden ages, corruption, and hard times. It is also the illustrious history of what was once one of the world’s economic powerhouses, with a literacy-rate equal to that of the USA, giving birth to life-changing innovations like the public bus service, coronary bypass surgery, fingerprint identification, and ballpoint pens. A painful economic crisis at the turn of the 21st century devalued the Argentine peso by a factor of three and ushered in a series of weak, short-lived governments, plus social and economic instability. Twelve years of populism followed. Now there is a better economic outlook, although the ongoing problem of high inflation may provoke social unrest. People and society Read more Like Canada, Australia and the USA, Argentina could be considered a country of immigrants; a melting pot of peoples. Most Argentinians (97%) are descended from colonial-era settlers or 19th- and 20th-century immigrants from Europe (largely Italy and Spain). Arab descent is also significant and the Jewish population is the biggest in all Latin America. Indigenous peoples still have significant populations in the North-West (Quechua, Diaguita, Kolla, Aymara); North-East (Guaraní, Mocoví, Toba, Wichí); and the Patagonia or South (Mapuche, Tehuelche), but Mestizo population in Argentina is very low. People from neighbouring countries like Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru have also immigrated to Argentina and established important communities. Religion and the Church Read more A huge nine out of ten of the population firmly believes in God: most are nominally Roman Catholic, with only two in ten practising regularly. Just under one in ten is Protestant. Buenos Aires has the second largest population of Jewish people in the Americas, after New York City. Argentina also has the largest Muslim minority and the largest mosque in the Americas. Many popular beliefs exist throughout the country, and religious festivals in the provinces feature Catholic icons in, or along with, ancient Andean indigenous ceremonies. In Argentina, the postmodern Anglican with laptop and cellphone belongs to the same denomination as a pre-modern Amerindian who hunts and fishes for survival. A historic milestone was reached among the indigenous people in Northern Argentina in 2002, with the publication of the first complete Bible translated into the language of the earliest known tribe. But there is still much to be done. There is a growing hunger for God in Argentina. In 1986, a mass rally was organised in the Vélez Sársfield Stadium with world-renowned Argentinian evangelist Luis Palau. Press reports estimated attendance at 5,000. Seventeen years later, Luis returned for two open-air campaigns, this time stunning the press by attracting around 400,000 people. While Protestants have engaged in many local educational and social-action initiatives, traditionally there have been few inroads into the public sphere. However, with their numerical increase and rising profile in a time of economic crisis, and with widespread disillusionment with traditional party-politics, Protestants are venturing more into the political arena. Latin Link’s work in Argentina Read more Latin Link members are involved in a variety of ministries in Argentina, including pastoral work, theological education, youth work, prison ministry, facilitating cross-cultural mission, working with children at risk, and with children with disabilities and their families. Despite large distances, we have an active desire to support each other as a team. We seek to work alongside Argentina’s churches to expand all these areas. Many resources have been concentrated in big cities, like Buenos Aires and Córdoba, leaving huge areas of the country largely unreached and in need. The Church perceives itself as relatively young and recognises the need for well-grounded Bible teaching and theological education. And with a huge percentage of the population under 25 years old, there is a great need for holistic discipleship work. We therefore work in these areas and in addition we want to encourage and equip Argentinian Christians to serve God in mission. Mission opportunities in Argentina Read more Argentinian culture is based on ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’. Relationships are very important. This is a culture where there is generally a basic acceptance of God’s existence, and a popular spirituality, but where there is a need for a greater integration of faith into daily living. We welcome both well-trained professionals and those with vocational or fewer qualifications who want to serve. It should be noted that in some cases health professionals, for example, may not be able to practise without a lengthy revalidation process. We need people who are people-orientated, flexible, able to listen, creative, initiative-taking, servant-hearted and who have a holistic approach to mission. For more information, please see the Opportunities page of our International website (this will open a new tab).