Girls, girls, girls | AspenTimes.com
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Girls, girls, girls

Joel Stonington
From left, Carolina D'Elio, Celeste Palacio, Sol Castilla, Daniela Olocco, Victoria Ojea and Julieta Lamas sit around the kitchen of the Aspen home they're renting with eight other girls on Saturday. (Mark Fox/The Aspen Times)
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It could be the dream of a young bachelor: 13 Argentinean girls and one Chilean girl (known, unsurprisingly, as “Chile”) living in a five-bedroom house just off Cemetery Lane.But it’s true, evidenced by the clothes on the floors of bedrooms, bathrooms full of makeup and hairdryers – and aerobics performances in the living room. Every one of them, between the ages of 19 and 22, is in college back in Argentina. They’re just here for summer vacation, working for a few months and taking a month to travel. This house is so unusual that it has become known around Aspen as merely “the 14.” The girls are known the same way, as “one of the 14.” And their parties are famous around town, as well. “The bus drivers know, because it’s the 14-girl house,” said Sol Castilla, 22, one of the 14. “Policeman said to us, ‘All of Aspen knows about your parties.'”Yeah, like that’s a big surprise. With their cute accents and looks, it would be hard to find a guy who wouldn’t want to go to a party there. Ironically, once they get there, many of them are disappointed.

“All the guys complain about our parties, because it’s so full of guys,” said Victoria Ojea, 22.So the housing crunch in Aspen may well have created what is basically guy heaven. Or hell, for that matter.This miracle came together through another miracle: the Internet. In order to get the house, the 14 girls coordinated the living arrangement while they were in school in Argentina. They are from all over the country and didn’t know one another before coming together. And then there was the money.In order to reserve the house, they had to pay four months rent and a damage deposit equal to a month, upfront: $25,000 total. They threw down the cash for the house, sight unseen. “I had to go to an agency and borrow the money,” said Castilla, who brought $4,000 in cash with her to the States in order to pay a chunk of the rent.

Once they arrived, however, they all liked the place and started getting along well with one another. Or, once they got beyond the point of wondering who took their towel, ate their cheese, stole their sweater or took their hairdryer, then that’s when they were getting along.”We have a lost-and-found here,” Castilla said. “Sometimes you don’t find it, and sometimes someone else is wearing it.”Basically, though, it’s been a nonstop party. They go out to clubs, they meet people (especially boys), they work their jobs, people drop by to sleep on the floor for a few nights, and they have parties, at least one a week. All that has brought them together.”We look after each other when we are in nightclubs and drunk or something,” said Celeste Palacio, 19. “This is our family.”The schedule of the family is a little crazy. They’ve had all 14 of them in the house only once or twice. Some of them work only a few days a week, and some of them work most hours of the week.

For the most part, they haven’t worked service jobs before, so the experience of donning the apron of a waitress or the jacket of a lift operator is something new.”We mainly came here for the sports, like snowboarding and skiing,” said Julieta Lamas, 21. “We didn’t come here to work, but most of us work a lot.”Even so, they still get time to get out and have fun. This is summer vacation, after all. So they take side trips. This week eight of them are heading off to Las Vegas. Mainly just to tear up the town – you know, what happens in Vegas …Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com


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