La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina . . . by Andrew Gibson
© 2008 Andrew Gibson. All Rights Reserved (see policies). Contact for Use.
Brightly coloured houses in the barrio (neighbourhood) of La Boca in Buenos Aires, Argentina. La Boca (Spanish for ‘The Mouth’) is a working class barrio (‘neighbourhood’) on the mouth of the Río Riachuelo known for it’s colourful wooden houses, it’s football team (Boca Juniors) and for being the birthplace of the tango and of Lunfardo, the colourful slang spoken by Porteños (residents of Buenos Aires).
The tradition of painting the houses of La Boca in bright colours dates back to the Genoese heritage of the barrio’s early inhabitants. They were poor and worked mostly in the nearby port, and used paint left over from painting boats to paint their houses. There was never enough paint to paint one house in all one colour so they became multi-coloured.