The incredibly popular “Mafalda” comic has a long history. Created by Quino (full name Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón), it was first published in Argentina in 1964 as part of a sales ad. But the sweet little girl with the snappy comments and smart observations about the grownup world went on to become a sensation across Latin America and the globe.
Mafalda is a six-year-old girl with an endearing concern for humanity and the state of the world, as well as a notable distaste for soup. The comic was translated in many languages, and Mafalda and her friends are relatable and lovable everywhere they go. The characters have become a cornerstone of Argentina’s popular culture, and especially in Buenos Aires.
In her honor, a small sculpture of Mafalda sitting on a park bench was erected in San Telmo, the neighborhood where she lives in the comic stories. Two of her friends, Manolito and Susanita, were added later. People usually stumble across these tiny tributes by chance. It’s always a pleasant surprise, and fans will even line up to have their photo taken with the beloved characters.
Know Before You Go
The statues are right on the street so you can see them at any hour, every day. On weekends, there is often a line of fans waiting to take a photo with the characters, so best to go weekdays to avoid any wait. On Sundays there is a fair so the street is closed to cars, but you can walk to the statues. Nearby is a gift shop dedicated to Quino and Mafalda.