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  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and events from around the hemisphere with AQ's Panorama. Each issue, AQ packs its bags and offers readers travel tips on a new Americas destination.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and events from around the hemisphere with AQ's Panorama. Each issue, AQ packs its bags and offers readers travel tips on a new Americas destination.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Liliana Rojero has had a passion for politics since she was 13 years old. Today, at 35, she is putting that passion to work. As the secretary of community outreach for Mexico's ruling party, the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN), Rojero is responsible for creating programs to engage a new generation of PAN voters. Over the next three years, she aims to spread PAN's reach and, ultimately, help it win the 2012 Presidential election. Rojero, a native of the state of Chihuahua, learned about political commitment from her parents—former state election monitors who instilled in her the values of democracy, transparency and participation. Observing how officials from the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) blatantly manipulated election outcomes—she and her mother would sometimes find ballots “mysteriously” filed by dead voters—led Rojero to see her participation in the democratic process as a duty. During a hotly contested governor's race in 1986, she was inspired by watching her teachers and neighbors take their political protests to the streets and capitol. “I saw what freedom and their votes meant to them,” she recalls.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Real change begins when communities learn how to help themselves, believe Diego de Sola, his sister Celina, and her husband Ken Baker. This idea guided the three former Connecticut residents to pack their bags and move to El Salvador four years ago to start a small NGO, Glasswing International. Inspired by groups like Habitat for Humanity, Glasswing works in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Named after the transparent-winged butterfly native to Central America and Mexico and representing the transparency NGOs bring to development, Glasswing's efforts focus on education and health. The three founders believe these two areas are most in need of help and have the greatest potential for impact. Unlike the past work of Celina and Ken—former disaster relief workers—the work is not top-down or short-term. The projects are staffed by a corps of volunteers called Crisálida (Chrysalis—in keeping with the butterfly metaphor). The spirit that motivates the volunteers is not one of noblesse oblige. The Crisálida corps attracts the young and old, students and professionals, and representatives from all socioeconomic strata.
  • Political Geography: Central America, Mexico, El Salvador
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Gabriel Ahumada decided to become a flutist more or less on a whim. As a child, he listened to classical music at home in Bogotá, Colombia, and took piano lessons, but if you had asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would have said “conductor of an orchestra.” He was advised to study a more classical instrument. Flipping through a catalogue of wind instruments one day, Ahumada picked the flute. “It seemed the easiest to learn,” he explains. Colombian classical music has been reaping the benefits of that decision ever since. Ahumada grew up to become not only one of his country's most accomplished flutists, but also a teacher helping to develop the next generation of Colombian musicians.
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: If you visit Andrés Moreno's blog, you'll see a list of books he's “recently enjoyed.” Among them are Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language, and Mastering the VC Game. The list not only reflects Moreno's passion for English as a global language, but his entrepreneurial drive to turn that passion into profits. Last June, both the passion and the drive paid off when the Caracas-born Moreno, 28, launched Open English, a Web-based language school that promises “to reinvent the English-language learning experience.”
  • Political Geography: Venezuela
  • Author: Eduardo Silva
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: At the turn of the twenty-first century, the Latin American Left experienced an extraordinary revival, especially in South America. By 2009, eight South American countries and two Central American nations had elected left-wing governments. Is this revival a harbinger of a progressive renaissance or a throwback to failed experiments? Leftist Governments in Latin America: Successes and Shortcomings attempts to answer this question by analyzing the extent to which these governments have improved the livelihoods of their citizens. The seven essays that make up the volume, written by distinguished U.S. and Brazil-based scholars, provide a sharp, scholarly comparison of the outcomes achieved by governments of the moderate left and what coeditor Kurt Weyland of the University of Texas at Austin calls the “contestatory” or more radical left, in an introduction that lays out the theoretical framework. This book, which was also edited by Raúl L. Madrid and Wendy Hunter of the University of Texas, fills a critical gap in the burgeoning literature on the subject.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Rafael Rojas
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: A common assumption is that the Cuban economic elite was universally opposed to the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro from the time it took power in January 1959. But The Sugar King of Havana: The Rise and Fall of Julio Lobo, Cuba's Last Tycoon shows otherwise. In his book, John Paul Rathbone, the Latin America editor at the Financial Times, paints a more nuanced picture of the Cuban bourgeoisie and, in particular, of Julio Lobo (1898–1983)— the great Cuban sugar tycoon of the first half of the twentieth century. Reading like an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel with scenes reminiscent of an Elia Kazan film, the book paints vivid descriptions of Lobo's life and Cuba in general with action on every page.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Latin America
  • Author: Howard LaFranchi
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The modern tragic political figure is not just endemic to Latin America. The ignominious fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak—once a war hero to his countrymen—is the latest proof of this. But in her book, La Rebelión de los Náufragos (The Revolt of the Castaways), Venezuelan journalist Mirtha Rivero takes us back to the tragic story of a man who was once one of Latin America's most promising leaders, and who fell from power (like his modern counterparts) from a combination of pride and the failure to understand the yearnings of his compatriots. Carlos Andrés Pérez, re-elected in 1989 to a second term as Venezuela's president, embodied one of Latin America's first modern political tragedies. He was a democrat who was confident that his country (along with much of his region) had conquered its ghosts and was finally ready for governance by first-world standards such as fair elections, a competitive market-based economy and political parties focused more on national interests than on self-preservation.
  • Topic: Markets
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Lionel Messi, Albert Pujols, Marta Vieira, and other star athletes from the hemisphere highlight their favorite causes.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: China