Meeting foreigners in Buenos Aires is easy enough.
There are many expat or gringo organisations that arrange regular drinks and networking events in various bars around the city, but everyone inevitably ends up speaking in English and discussing Buenos Aires and Argentina from a foreigners point of view. All of this is fine, but for those looking to indulge in local culture, to meet porteños, to practice and improve their Spanish, and to take part in trips and events more off the beaten track, then Mix Up Exchange provides answer.
Mix Up was founded in 2009 by Argentine Félix Diaz de Elizalde and is run by himself.
With many years spent travelling the world and his background as a travel agent, Félix knows what his customers are looking for when they come to Buenos Aires.
Félix works closely with local businesses and institutions provide various supplemental services to their customers and students. He partners with language schools to offer accommodation to pupils, either with local families, fully-furnished apartments, or a room with other students.
He offers hostel guests trips and excursions in and around the city, and he works with Buenos Aires universities to offer their students the opportunity to meet foreigners. All events are intercambio and allow all parties to practice their Spanish and English and to learn about different cultures, but most importantly to socialise and have fun.
One other popular summer activity are trips to the campo, to a large house with gardens where visitors get a taste of life outside of Buenos Aires. Asados, football, mate, pool and ping pong are the order of the day, and in the relaxing atmosphere it is easy to forget only that morning you were in the hustle and bustle of central Buenos Aires.
Given the popularity of football in Latin America, the recent Copa América was a very important event in Argentina and an ideal opportunity for visitors to partake in the passionate atmosphere of matches. Mix Up arranged transport and tickets for each of the six matches in La Plata, a city 60km south of Buenos Aires, and for the final match at the River Plate stadium in Buenos Aires itself. During the domestic season, there are regular tours to matches at La Bombonera, the stadium of Boca Juniors.
Next season is an important one for Mix Up as Félix plans to build on his success so far by adding further activities. Mix Up Towns will offer excursions to nearby places such as San Antonio de Areco and Chascomus – both of which can be difficult to travel to independently and are off the typical tourist route. Mix Up Beaches will offer summer weekend excursions to Mar del Plata in Buenos Aires province, while its obvious what Mix Up Carnival will cater towards each February.
So, if you’re in Buenos Aires for a
week, a month, or six months, getting in touch with Mix Up can envelop you in local cultures and events and introduce you to local people who are as keen to find out what they can about you, as you are about them.