At La Pastera or Che Museum, a space is offered to commemorate the life of a Latin American fighter and free thinker.
In San Martín de los Andes
, it is natural to hear, both from old and new dwellers, the word “che”, meaning “people”, “person”, “man”, in the Mapuche tongue, spoken by the first humans who settled down in the area.
A museum recently inaugurated in the district, also refers to Che, but this has a different origin: a very well-known Argentinian turned into an international figure. Ernesto Guevara Lynch. Famous for his struggle for the oppressed people, he paid a fleeting visit to San Martín de los Andes in 1952. That is his relation to this town.
Inaugurated in June 2008 in the very center of the city and lying on the same block as the building housing the National Park Administration Office, La Pastera or Che Museum has a space of its own, where it pays homage to this popular character.
Before that, La Pastera used to be a place of encounter for intellectuals, craftsmen and musicians whose perseverance prevented this place from disappearing or having another purpose.
Upon entering the main room, we had a first approach to the philosophy and devotion of Che Guevara to his different struggles. There are panels with excellent famous and unknown photographs that give account of his bibliography, his travels around Latin America and Central Africa.
The instances of his armed fight side by side with other revolutionary men to overthrow Fulgencio Batista’s regime on the island of Cuba, as well as his performance as a head of the Cuban army and of the agriculture department in the new administration are on display at this venue. He also fought for the workers and the youths together with Fidel Castro and other comrades.
In the next room, some panels displayed the change of scene and his trip to Bolivia, where he led some revolutionary groups that finally ended in his own death. The printed posters are presented in Spanish, English and Portuguese.
A somewhat unsteady wooden staircase leads to the space where Ernesto Guevara and his mate Alberto Granado spent a night while passing through San Martín de los Andes over fifty years ago. We popped in stealthily and respectfully.
Secrets of History
Grass bales for the horses ridden by the park rangers in the old days used to be kept in this attic.
The last room offers copies of Che Guevara’s diaries and works written by other thinkers. Both these books and the audiovisual material in the museum were donated by Cuban entities.
Guided tours let visitors learn more about this mythical character born in Argentina and turned into an inhabitant of Cuba.
We were welcomed by the director of the museum: “La Pastera already was a place of encounter and this must continue. Let it become alive and foster action among youths. Cuban organizations and entities from other Argentinian provinces have already made their contributions and there is a project to gather information and bibliography to add more material to what is offered today”. Those were her words.
The Mapuche “che” and “Che” Guevara, a nickname given to this character just because he was born in Argentina, co-exist here.
Handicrafts' Market at San Martin Square
Craftsmen from different corners of the country get to this city with their colorful stands and assorted products.
Summer at the Town Beach
Lying in the sun, taking a walk, going sailing or simply enjoying the view of the surrounding mountains are some of the activities on the coast of Lake Lacar.