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Luis at a parade in Veracruz, Mexico during his around-the-world trip
Luis at a parade in Veracruz, Mexico during his around-the-world trip | Photo Courtesy of Luis Barbaglia

Young Marine in Argentine Navy sails around the world, reunites with his sister

When I saw her standing there, it felt as if no time passed at all. We hugged excitedly. For a moment, I imaged that hug taking place on the patio or at the door to our home in Rosario.

Luis Barbaglia
Interview Subject
Luis Barbaglia is a Marine from Argentina. His place of residence is Rosario, although he spends a large part of the year at sea aboard the Frigate Libertad, belonging to the Ministry of Defense of the Argentine Republic and at the Marine Infantry School.

Luis Barbaglia is one of the young people who made the last training trip, the 50th in the history of the Libertad Frigate, with the aim of completing the study cycle for young Midshipmen, with nautical practice in the arts of the sea, before his graduation and strengthening ties with the countries he visits.
During the itinerary, he visited 11 foreign ports, 6 from America and 5 from Europe: Fortaleza (Brazil), Castries (Saint Lucia), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Havana (Cuba), Veracruz (Mexico), Baltimore (United States). , Dublin (Ireland), Saint Malo (France), Toulon (France), Cádiz (Spain), and Salvador de Bahía (Brazil).
Background Information
The ARA Frigate “Libertad” is the school ship of the Argentine Navy that, in its unfurled sails, carries the message of peace and friendship of a free and sovereign nation to each port it visits. It works as an Argentine ambassador through the seas of the world, representing the traits and customs of a country that, from its foundations, is linked to the sea.

On every training trip it undertakes, it carries along a piece of the homeland. Every time the Argentine pavilion is displayed high, the values of a society that respects its sovereignty deepen.
For almost five months, the Frigate Libertad traveled 22,038 nautical miles on its 50th training trip, which is equivalent to going around the world at the equator. It sailed for 113 days and spent another 35 in ports of 11 cities.

BALTIMORE, United States — I spent five unforgettable months sailing the world. As an Argentinian Marine aboard the Frigate Libertad, we completed a training trip to 11 ports throughout America and Europe.

During one of those trips, our war ship docked in Baltimore, Maryland, where I reunited with my sister. In Ireland and Mexico, we encountered incredible celebrations, parading through the streets.

World traveler reunites with sister, experiences a sense of home in the U.S.

Two and a half years had passed since I saw my sister Victoria, distanced by the Pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions. I arrived at the port in Baltimore, Maryland on July 8, eager to get to know a new country.

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As I departed the ship at the port, the normal ceremonial protocols did not occur. However, Victoria waited to greet me flying a small Argentinian flag! Other expats from Argentina accompanied her and waited for us at the mooring.

Luis with his sister Victoria in Baltimore | Photo Courtesy of Luis Barbaglia

When I saw her standing there, it felt as if no time passed at all. We hugged excitedly. For a moment, I imaged that hug taking place on the patio or at the door to our home in Rosario. I could smell the aromas and feel the emotion filling our hearts. The hug felt endless and gave me a sense of home.

I spent that whole week with my sister and her husband, whom I met that same day. We attended an event with traditional Argentine cuisine and went to a tango show. The experience moved me, as I thought about the magic of travelling the world.

Drums beat and symbols clash as marines walk in parade through streets of Ireland

In Dublin, Ireland, the people greeted us with a warm welcome. From the moment we arrived, they surrounded us with love. I smiled excitedly when I reached Foxford in County Mayo – the town of Admiral Guillermo Brown, our greatest Argentine naval hero.

Luis and the crew aboard the Frigate Libertad | Photo courtesy of Luis Barbaglia

As we arrived, a band played while authorities and representatives from various organizations stood by. A small parade carried us through the streets. As the instruments sounded and the people enacted elegant formations, we felt the love of the people. The colors of the flags filled my heart with joy.

We excitedly walked to the rhythm of drums, cymbals, and wind instruments. As I looked around me, I felt honored and proud. Being in Ireland proved an unforgettable stop on the journey, full of the friendship and comradery of an old continent.

In Mexico, warships gather from all over Latin America

In Veracruz, Mexico, a large group of war ships belonging to the Navies of various countries gathered at common ports around Latin America. On that day, I saw war ships from Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina.

Thousands of people came out to see the boats that sail around the world and to meet the sailors who crew them. It became a major cultural and tourist event for Mexico. Colors and cultural expressions abounded as I breathed in the salty ocean air. It felt like a dream to meet people from so many backgrounds and homelands.

Again, we paraded down the main street of Veracruz, decked out in my topman uniform. The admiration of the public swelled around us. Spectators in the crowd applauded while others spoke words of congratulations and asked for our photographs.

Mexico embraced us with the warmth of the people, its unique culture and food, and the beautiful ceremonies that took place. My journey to 11 ports around the world proved fascinating. There is a unique joy in visiting foreign lands and meeting its people.

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Mariano Junco serves as a communicator and content manager. he began experimenting in 2004 at the age of 17. Between 2007 and today, he developed a national and international career in sports while training in journalism, communications, and politics. He currently works in digital, audiovisual, and graphic media. He is passionate about the world of amateur sports and the institutions that comprise it.