In celebration of Women´s History Month and Women´s Day, we are sharing a series of profiles of Argentine women that actively work for the advancement of women, and have participated in Embassy´s exchange programs.
Angelica Carrizo Bonetto
By Morgan Swanson
Connecting worlds—of business and government, social and geographical, past and future—is what motivates Angelica Carrizo Bonetto, an alumna of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) On Demand. An adviser in Usuaia’s municipal legislature as well as a teacher of political history, Angelica has a foot in both the political and academic worlds. She was kind enough to take time out of her busy day to share her passion for serving as a link between them, and beyond.
We chatted over cold glasses of Tierra del Fuego’s local brew, Cape Horn Beer, in a local pub overlooking Ushuaia bay as the sun sank over distant mountaintops. Tierra del Fuego is Argentina’s only island province and also its youngest—it transitioned from a territory in 1991—and the provincial capital of Ushuaia is Argentina’s southernmost city and port.
Angelica came to Tierra del Fuego by way of Cordoba Province and Buenos Aires. A native of Cordoba, she studied political science for her undergraduate degree at the Universidad Catolica de Cordoba, focusing on indigenous issues, then spent time in Buenos Aires studying the Sociology of Culture. Four years ago, she decided to come to Tierra del Fuego, home to her mother’s side of the family, to try a different pace of life in a tiny province, where, as she notes, everyone knows everyone. She explained with a laugh, “you can’t avoid bumping into someone you know no matter where you go, even the grocery store!”
Angelica began work as an adviser to a Tierra del Fuego Provincial Legislator who was a former businessman. After his term ended, she stayed on as an adviser to the Frente Para Victoria block. She enjoyed her work and the proximity she has to those who have lived the region’s political history. Tierra del Fuego’s constitution was written in the early 1990s, she told us, and the leaders who composed it are still around today. She can ask them how they made certain decisions, or how they resolved their questions on different themes. Angelica is about to embark on her newest challenge—becoming an adviser within Ushuaia’s Con
Angelica also teaches at Tierra del Fuego’s Provincial Institute of Superior Education, where she instructs aspiring history teachers. She teaches the history of politics and institutions, covering subjects from Machiavelli to prominent figures in U.S. history. The intersection between politics and culture fascinates Angelica. She enjoys the intellectual exercise of understanding the social, economic, and geographical parameters that generate different ways of governing across societies. “The state always comes later,” but the culture was there before, she explained.
As we sip our beers, Angelica gives a quick lesson on Tierra del Fuego’s unique geography and culture, highlighting its rich resources. Her admiration for the independent, “pioneer” spirit among the local population comes through in her voice, especially when she talks about those who came here when the province was still a territory. She explains how Tierra del Fuego’s culture and institutions stem from the province’s position at the tip of the continent, as an alternate shipping route to the Panama Canal. She talked about the local government’s work to develop the region’s geographic advantage and unique local industries, like fishing, sheep ranching, and tourism.
Angelica believes her work spanning the provincial legislature, research, and teaching has helped broaden her perspective. Her family has long worked in business, and now she works in politics. Having seen both sides, it has become her passion to help people in these two worlds learn to see eye-to-eye.
It is nearly nine o’clock as the last rays of sunlight melt off the mountaintops across the bay. Angelica’s favorite thing about life here? “All of it!” she responds without hesitation. When pressed to specify, she says she enjoys walking to lakes and lagoons in the summer, and cross-country skiing in winter. She plays tennis, and a little golf.
What does Angelica hope for the future? She laughs at the question and thinks. Some kind of work in management would suit her, or perhaps something in the education system. Whatever she does, however, she hopes to continue linking the public and private worlds that so often resist one another. In an environment like Tierra del Fuego where business and government work hand in hand, the world needs more young energetic leaders like Angelica.