This is a distinctly alternative way of exploring Argentina while getting to know one of the most celebrated and influential revolutionary leaders of the 20th century. Following this route, you will explore four provinces and discover the social and cultural factors that influenced Ernesto Che Guevara’s early life. You will follow in his footsteps and watch him mature from an adolescent adventurer to the mythical revolutionary who still inspires urban guerrillas all over the world. The cultural circuit “Los Caminos del Che,” released in August 2009, begins in Argentina’s arid north, continues to the jungles of Misiones in the northeast, then to the central highlands of Cordoba, and ends at the foothills of the Andes in Patagonia.
The route follows Che Guevara’s life chronologically, beginning with his birthplace in Rosario, Santa Fe province, which is located 300 kilometers north of the city of Buenos Aires. In Rosario’s town square you will see a large sculpture of Che Guevra by artist Andres Zerneri as well as an abstract work of cobblestone and tiles that symbolizes Che’s journey through Latin America. The area around the statue is a shrine to Che Guevara with outdoor cultural events and constantly renewed graffiti offerings painted by people from all walks of life and all ages. At 480 Entre Rios Street you can visit the house where Che was born and spent the first year of his life.
The route continues to Colonia Caraguatay in Misiones province where Che lived with his parents from 1928 until late 1929, becoming their first permanent place of residence. You can visit the Museo Hogar Misionero del Che Guevara, located in the 23-hectare Provincial Park Ernesto Guevara de la Serna. The Park was created with the intention of preserving the historical references of the era and the ecosystem of the area. The Museo Hogar Misionero del Che Guevara exhibits portray the social and cultural conditions of the period during which Che lived there.
We now journey on to the province of Cordoba in central Argentina, where you will find the Casa Museo Ernesto Che Guevara in the city of Alta Gracia within the Sierras Chicas mountains. The museum is in the house where Ernesto lived with his family for eleven years. This museum was inaugurated in 2001 and traces the life of Che Guevara with a folkloric aesthetic.
The last station of this journey, with perhaps the most interesting of all the museums of the route, is in San Martin de los Andes, on the shores of Lake Lacar in the Patagonian province of Neuquen. The La Pastera – Casa del Che museum is a collector’s item in itself, dating back to 1946. Entirely built in wood, La Pastera is where Ernesto Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado stayed while touring the country on the motorcycle known as “La Poderosa II.” Upon entering the shed where they stayed you will encounter a complete library section exhibiting some of the collection’s gems: documentary material, publications, photos and books published by the Che Guevara Study Center in Havana, Cuba. One of the central attractions in this museum is the continuous screening of Che Guevara film footage, allowing him to reach out to us from beyond the grave through his speeches and interviews to tell us his story.