Info. for New Missionaries
Note: Since things are always changing for missionaries click here to let us know if things are different now.
So you've been called to serve in La MAC and want to know a bit about
In Cordoba the weather is rather mild, with the winter lows in the mid
20's and summer highs up to 110 degrees. In the winter it snows occasionally,
but it almost always warms up into the high 30's or 40's in the daytime.
The summers are long, dry, and hot. Sometimes at other times of the year
it rains for several days in a row, but sunny weather predominates year
Recommendations: Bring a warm, waterproof overcoat for the winter. A
couple of pairs of long underwear and some warm wool socks will be great to have
in the winter. Most of the year you won't need to wear a suit coat, so bring a
few pairs of dress pants so you can save the suit pants for the winter.
Argentina has an excellent bus system to all parts of the country. All
but the smallest towns also have good local bus service. Missionaries usually
travel by bus to zone conferences and on transfers. Local buses are called
"colectivos", and are older style buses. Long distance colectivos are modern
and outdo anything you've ever seen in your life! Some even have waitresses
in first class, and all show movies which can be distracting at times.
Buses are a good place to make contacts and discuss missionary work. In your
of the time Elders travel by buses and on foot. Only those at the Mission Offices use cars.
Recommendations: Get a couple of pairs of good (preferably all
leather) shoes. There are excellent shoe repair services available at a
reasonable cost. Some American shoes are made of plastics, and cannot be
repaired. Break the shoes in well before arriving, if possible. Many areas
of the mission are very hilly. Get in shape. You'll be hiking up those
The people in the Cordoba mission are mostly of European descent (Italian
and Spanish predominate). They are a warm, friendly people with strong
extended families. The literacy rate in Argentina is 92% overall, and in
our mission area it is probably even higher than that. The Argentines are
a fun-loving people, and enjoy good food, conversation, and above all soccer.
See if you can understand the Argentine accent at Daily
Radio Mitre FM 100 (requires Real Audio
Recommendations: Don't brag about things American or ridicule
anything Argentine. The Argentine people are very nationalistic, and they
have a great love for their country. There is nothing more obnoxious than
an 'ugly American' coming in and denigrating their culture. Love the Argentine
people and culture, You will find that they have been able to preserve
many of the things that older Americans remember with great nostalgia.
In many small towns the people still go to the butcher, the baker, and
the grocer every day - to small owner managed shops. It is what E.F. Schumacher
called 'technology with a human face'. From an ecological point of view
they have a much more sustainable life style in terms of energy use and
waste generation than we do in the USA. They have been able to weather
all sorts of political and economic turmoil without a great disruption
of their lives.
Argentines love good food and they love to feed you large quantities of
good food. Argentina is an agricultural superpower; the food is plentiful
and of high quality. A typical breakfast is hot milk with a little Postum
in it (cafe malta), pastry (facturas) or bread with jam or caramelized milk
(dulce de leche) and fresh fruit. The bread and pastries are always fresh,
and often still warm from the oven. The large meal of the day is eaten
at noon. It would typically be a soup (vegetable and sausage or meat),
lettuce and tomato salad with oil and vinegar dressing, pasta or potatoes
and beef or chicken. On special occasions meat turnovers (empanadas) and
suckling pig (lechon) are often served. The main course on special occasions
is almost always the Argentine specialty charcoal broiled beef (asado).
This would have to be considered the national food. A light meal is served
and 9 or 10 PM. This is often a small steak with French Fries.
Recommendations: Be cautious about the water quality, If in doubt
drink a bottled beverage (which is always available) or a bag of milk.
Don't go totally crazy over dulce de leche. Some Elders eat it on everything!
Where You Will Live
Most of the houses in Argentina are of brick with tile roofs. The outside
is generally stuccoed and the inside is plastered. The floors are of terrazzo
or marble. They have modern toilets and showers. In some areas Elders get
room and board for a monthly fee. This includes three meals a day (eaten
with the landlord's family or with members), cleaning, making beds, etc.
The accommodations are usually clean and comfortable. Most houses do not
have central heating, so it does get a bit chilly in the wintertime. More
often these days, missionaries live in apartments and have to provide
their own food.
Recommendations: Don't tell your friends that are going to other
missions how good you have it or they will hate you forever! Show appreciation
to your landlady. They go way out of their way to make the Elders comfortable,
and prepare food they like, etc.