Au pairs from Argentina react to news of Pope Francis

March 15, 2013

The historic announcement of the election of Pope Francis has the whole world talking. One aspect of cultural exchange programs, like the au pair program, is that it makes the world a little smaller as we get to know people from other countries and learn about their cultures and opinions. We have many au pairs from Argentina here in the U.S. and soon to be coming to American families. We asked some of them about their reaction and thoughts on the first pope from their country.

What was your reaction when you heard the news?

We’re very exited about the news, it really brings hope here. Bergolio is a strong figure, easily liked, so we all jumped in joy when we heard “habemus papam” followed by the word “Bergolio”.

Sofia Jakubowicz from Pilar, Argentina

Au pair in Minnesota

Well let me tell you that I heard the news by parts, and this is because I had to pick up from school one of the children that I take care. Before I went to the school I heard that a new pope was been elected, and as a Catholic I was very happy, when I got back to the house, the grandfather of the children came to me with the news that the new pope was from Argentina. The news shocked me a little, because, I never thought that “a person from the bottom of the world” (as it is said in Argentinean newspapers) could be a pope.

Maria E. Spasiuk from Puerto Rico, Misiones, Argentina
Au pair in Maryland

What was the reaction at home — in your family, your town, your church?

My dad was more than proud and all my family and friends are very hopeful about this. All the churches were ringing the bells and some places also turned their sirens on. They said it was all very moving to see the people celebrating on the streets.

Maria Mercedes Ossola, from Salta, Argentina

Au pair in Seattle, WA

I am so excited about our pope! I haven’t traveled to the USA yet so I can feel the power of this news. When I heard the news I almost cried! People are very happy here. They write on social webs about how they feel and post photos of Bergoglio. A girl told me she was on the bus and people started to shout and cry! Of course there are some people who don’t like this news but a huge percentage is very excited. It is very important for us to have an Argentinean pope, we are having a difficult political and social time and this is a very good news.

Virginia Carnevali from Villa Carlos Paz, Córdoba, Argentina
Au pair in San José, CA

What does this mean for Argentina? for South America?

An Argentinean Pope, big words… this mean a lot for Argentina and more in this time that things in Argentina are tough. I am happy that now Argentina can show to the world another side, and the world can see something good, not only the bad things, like the corruption for which is known Argentina.

Maria E. Spasiuk

At least for me and my friends, this is meaningless, I’m not into religion. I actually think Argentina is not as into religion as Brazil, Chile or some other countries in South America who are really involved with Catholicism…you know that we are the first country in South America who made same sex marriage possible. Also, many people who knows about history, will know that the role of the church during the military government between 1976 and 1983, wasn’t nice.

Andrea from Ushuaia, Tierra   del Fuego, Argentina

Au pair in California

I am in the training school in NY, but I contacted my family and they told me that when Bergoglio was elected everybody go out of their houses and prayed for him. Pope Bergoglio is very simple, humble, always helped the poor. Spanish is the first language of the church in the number of the faithful. For the Americas it is important, since we are one of the most important Catholic communities in the world.

Valeria Atán from San Juan, Argentina

Au pair in California

What is it like being away from home when there is such big news for your country?

It was very hard being away in such a historical moment. I wish I could have been there and celebrate this moment as it’s very important for us. I’m Catholic but not very close to the church, but this is like a new hope I got.

Maria Mercedes Ossola

Instead of going to the street to celebrate, I’ll stay here in the house and I’ll celebrate with my relatives on internet. Also here I attend mass and it’s in Spanish so for sure the priest will talk about this massive event. I go every Sunday with a friend. We’re happy because the church it’s very close from our home and the mass is in Spanish so we can join with other Latin people.

Maria B Diaz Regis from Buenos Aires, Argentina

Au pair in Maryland

 I must say that I was divided, for two reasons, one I wanted to be at home celebrating with my family, but for the other side I am here, in the USA having a great experience.

Maria E. Spasiuk

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