Museo Ernesto Che Guevara | Ernesto Che Guevara Museum
Rojas 129 (@ Yerbal); Tel. + (011.54.11) 4903-3285
The imposing image of Ernesto 'Che' Guevera stands proud amongst the clutter. Photo by Clare Nisbet
The first thing visitors will realize about the Museo Ernesto Che Guevara is that it is not a museo at all. In fact the museum is located inside a shop (Bagatela) owned by one of the founders of the original museum, which was located just a few blocks away. When hard financial times hit Buenos Aires, the museum – one of the only true landmarks to the memory of the famous Argentine doctor, soldier, and political revolutionary – was forced to close its doors. The ever dedicated and hard-working Eladio González (whose English is far better than he claims) scooped up some treasures and moved them to his store. These days, the reason to visit is ‘Toto’ himself, who believes that Che was a man full of love and that the world is full of ‘Ches’.
The store is a sight to see with every inch, nook, cranny, and hole filled to the brim with stuff – so much so that posters have navegated to the ceilings for lack of wall space. The front is an antiques store and in the back Toto’s sons sell games, records, and more while making photocopies and keeping things in order. While I was visiting, a man wandered in off the street and asked for something from él que vende todo (the one who sells everything).
Those who find the place on their search for Che will not be disappointed. Eladio will happily produce photographs, pins, stories, drawing, and other Che memorabilia and talk about why, lamentably, the government has painted a negative picture of the Argentine legend since his assination in Bolivia in 1967, largely reported to have been backed by the CIA. Wiling away a few hours listening to Toto’s stories of hardship, politics, friends, history, and inexplicable relentless optimism will not be misspent. The man is keyed in to the pulsing heart of the city and will give advice on anything and everything visitors wish to explore and experience. It’s possible to even learn a thing or two about the legend that is still very alive here even today in Argentina - Enernesto 'Che' Guevara.
—Museo Ernesto Che Guevara | Ernesto Che Guevara Museum review by Clare Nisbet