Author Archives: Adriana Noreña

A journey across Argentina’s culinary culture

Argentina’s table is a journey through Argentina, an atlas of diverse recipes and ingredients with ancient and modern origins, following the many journeys of the immigrants who have brought so many influences and flavors to this special cuisine.

In collaboration with five cultural institutions including Gustar — an initiative of the Ministry of Culture, ArgenINTA Foundation, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Argentina — Google Arts & Culture’s latest project brings together all that Argentina’s gastronomic scene has to offer, from traditional fare to contemporary culinary trends.

Few gastronomic cultures in the world have as many globally-recognizable landmarks as Argentine cuisine: from “asado,” with its amazing high-quality beef and flame grilling techniques, or “empanadas,” a true icon that come in so many different recipes across the country to “yerba mate,” a ritual originated from an indigenous plant.

European influences and majestic landscapes

This multicultural country is a melting pot of flavors with surprising culinary encounters, made of traditional native dishes and delectable European influences, like the family favorites pizza and pasta. Over the years, immigrants have shaped Argentine food culture into the diverse field it is today.

But food is also an integral part of the incredible Argentinian landscapes: For example, the astonishingly beautiful views of Patagonia are home to mountains and icebergs, where seafood, lamb, fruit and chocolate are produced. In Argentina’s capital people find the rhythm of tango and the chatter from the cafes of Buenos Aires embedded in the food.

Regional fare

Google Arts and Culture’s latest project not only dives into the lively food scene of Argentina, it also explores the richness of its people. The country is in fact a producer of high quality products that serve as the basis for its notable dishes. See, for example, oranges in the Littoral region, cassava flour in Misiones province in the northeast or honey in Santiago del Estero.

Today, the world has the opportunity to sit down at Argentina's table, a place for celebrations, gathering and integration of diversity.

I sincerely hope you enjoy it. Bon appetit!

Explore the undeciphered writing of the Incas

Issac Newton once said, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." By adopting this age-old phrase, he acknowledged that all “new” discoveries depend on all that preceded them.

At Google, we firmly believe that history has much to teach us. For me personally, as a Latin American, I have no doubt that the native peoples who inhabited our beautiful, diverse and inspiring region left us countless treasures — many of which still patiently wait to be discovered.

The MALI Collection on Google Arts & Culture

That is why I am so pleased and proud to present the new online exhibition The Khipu Keepers on Google Arts & Culture.

“Khipus,” which means “knots” in the Quechua language, are the colorful, intricate cords made by the Incas, who inhabited some parts of South America before the Spanish colonization of the Americas. These knotted strings are still an enigma waiting to be unraveled. What secrets are hidden in these colorful knots dating back centuries? What messages from the Incas echo in these intricate cords? Could the ancestral knowledge they hold inform us about our future?

Currently, there are about 1,400 surviving khipus in private collections and museums around the world. While approximately 85% of these contain knots representing numbers, the remaining 15% are believed to be an ancient form of writing without written words on paper or stone. Researchers are still working to decipher the meanings of these coded messages.

With the exhibition launching online today, the Lima Art Museum (MALI) and Google Arts & Culture are opening a window into one of the greatest mysteries the Inca people left behind.

By putting the centuries-old khipus on display online for the first time, this exhibition will let people from across the world engage with the fantastic legacy of the Inca civilization. Yet even more importantly, by creating a digital record of these enigmatic treasures that still have stories to tell, we are also preserving them forever. In this sense, The Khipu Keepers is also a first step of a promising journey for researchers to find new opportunities thanks to the power of technologies such as digitization. 

Track down the history of khipus to Latin America’s first empire in the words of anthropologist Dr. Sabine Hyland, and listen to St. Andrews researcher Manny Medrano as he answers the most pressing questions about what we know of khipus. Watch an intro to the basic components of a khipu and what experts have discovered so far, or explore the Attendance Board that provides a rare connection between words and cords. Zoom into a large double khipu and learn about what it takes to conserve the khipus from the Temple Radicati collection.

Seven interesting facts about the enigmatic khipus

  1. The Quechua word “khipu” means knot.
  2. The pre-Columbian khipus were made of camelid hair or cotton fiber.
  3. The Incas used three types of knots: single, long and figure-eight.
  4. The colors of the khipu cords have different meanings.
  5. The distance between the knots also has a meaning and conveys a message.
  6. A cord without knots represents the number zero.
  7. Of all the known khipus, 85% convey numerical values and the remaining 15% are believed to tell stories.

From Latin America to the world

As seen in other Google Arts & Culture projects likeWoolaroo andFabricius, technology can be a powerful tool in the hands of researchers to preserve, research and understand the legacy of the ancient cultures and communities who came before us.

For the “The Khipu Keepers,” researchers are once again the ones entrusted with “untangling” this chapter of our past and providing us with answers. They now know that they are not alone in this endeavor and that Google technologies can help them delve deeper into elements of history.

More support for the COVID-19 crisis in Latin America

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Latin America especially hard. Even as vaccines begin to slowly become available around the region, infection and death rates remain alarmingly high and several countries are grappling with a severe humanitarian crisis.

As the situation has taken a turn for the worse, we at Google have asked ourselves what more we can do as a company to help COVID-19 relief efforts throughout Latin America. Whether it’s ensuring that people get the reliable information they need to keep their families healthy and safe, or providing financial support for the hardest-hit communities, we know there is always more we can do.

Today we're announcing that Google is providing $33 million in new funding for Latin America, including $3 million in grants from, our philanthropic arm. The first is a $1.5 million grant for UNICEF, to support the urgent needs in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru  for more than 580,000 people through health, nutrition and water, hygiene and sanitation programs. The second is a $1 million grant for Amigos do Bem in Brazil to help get food supplies and clean drinking water to more than 8,500 families in need. In addition, we're distributing $500,000 among other nonprofits across Latin America to get aid to communities in need. 

Today's announcement also includes increased Ad Grants support for public health information campaigns in Latin America. We’re making available an additional $30 million in Ad Grants to the Pan American Health Organization through the WHO, local health authorities and nonprofits to help spread accurate and useful information on vaccines and how to stay safe.

This support builds on over $6 million in grants for education, economic recovery and relief efforts across Latin America since the pandemic began, including a recent $1 million grant for Gerando Falcões in Brazil to provide families in need with food supplies. More than 1,000 Googlers have also contributed over $380,000 in donations and company match to support the Gerando Falcões initiative. 

We know that one of the biggest ways we can help is through our core information products like Search, Maps and YouTube. Our COVID-19 information panels on Search and YouTube are available throughout Latin America in Spanish and Portuguese, providing reliable and timely content for our users. We also recently announced vaccination sites in Search and Maps in Brazil, Chile and Mexico, and we're working to do the same in other countries in the region as well.

On YouTube, we're taking steps to raise up authoritative information and reduce coronavirus misinformation, while also teaming up with creators and health experts to clarify facts and dispel myths about COVID-19. And throughout the pandemic Google for Education has provided online education solutions to some 37 million monthly active teachers and students in Latin America.

Google will continue to work with local governments, partners and communities to give everyone the tools they need to stay healthy and safe, and fight for a better tomorrow. We’re inspired by these organizations on the front lines, and are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to their efforts.