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Tatín López Salaberry, tango ambassador

Years after serving as a diplomat in Costa Rica, Oscar López Salaberry is a true tango ambassador in Costa Rica.

 Born in Trelew, Chubut, Oscar “Tatín” López Salaberry was a public official and also, for three years, served as Argentine ambassador to Costa Rica . Currently he continues to live there and not only took root, but he became a  tango  promoter in that country.

 Between 1989 and 1996 he was at the head of the National Commission for the Promotion and Development of Patagonia  (CONADEPA), during Carlos Saúl Menem  's first and part of the second residence. After completing his cycle in that body, López Salaberry was appointed as ambassador to Costa Rica and settled in San José, its capital.

His step as a diplomatic official was, in his words “very active”, exercising “with the same dedication as when he was in  Patagonia.”  Three years later, Tatin returned to the country, although his stay in Argentina did not last long. “Society does not tolerate success,” he regrets and criticizes the hypocrisy of citizens that minimizes those who are not dotted with acts of corruption while outrage over spurious acts within the public service overacts.

So he started with his wife, Mirtha García, the return to Costa Rica, where he is recognized today, although the road traveled was not at all easy.

He faced a project in the Caribbean country that after a year did not prosper. In addition, his wife was diagnosed with cancer. “Everything would have indicated that I had to turn,” he says, since he was out of work, with his wife fighting a severe disease in a land that is not his own. But instead he reinvented himself and began a path that still continues today: that of tango.  He began, following the proposal of businessman Sebastián Tena, with a tango program  and another on economic analysis.

Then he bought a bandoneon, learned to play and began to teach the performance of the instrument in universities and tango groups, as well as performing shows in a country that loves tango.

In that regard,  he considers that this musical genre is not sufficiently valued in Argentina, despite being - in his opinion - the most important cultural event of the Rio de la Plata in 100 years . “Tango is not in the education of the middle Argentine”, he regrets, adding that in the rest of the world, setting Costa Rica as an example, tango exists on open television, on radio, and that there is a knowledge and affection for tango that is not observed in our country, while observing that there is also an example of tango. iacute; the genre is reduced to the World Tango World Cup, which is promoted more by tourist nature than by the interest of considering it an Argentine cultural heritage, which takes place every year in August, and to the “tango for export”.

His tango passion leads him not only to teach bandoneón, but also explains the history of tango, the great musical references. In Costa Rica,  Carlos Gardel  is an icon and he also takes them to  Ástor Piazzola, Aníbal Troilo or Julio De Caro.  It explains the two tango schools that emerged in the first decades of the 20th century, one more traditionalist and the other more evolutionist.

The tour of “Tatin” López Salaberry in Costa Rica, with all the twists he gave his life and the circumstances that life made him go through, is interesting and admirable. With the ability to reinvent itself, having as a philosophy of life that every day returns to dawn, Trelewense became a respected citizen in that country — to which he returned without the privileges of a diplomat— and today he is a true ambassador of tango.


Rating: 5.00/5.