Since its formation in February 1971, the Consejo Regional Indígena del Cauca (Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca—CRIC) has made the education of young Indigenous Colombians one of its most important goals.
The United States and Latin America are both struggling to find ways to improve participation in quality education in the face of a labor-market skills gap. But all too often, policymakers, businesses and educators have looked to elite universities as a way of meeting those gaps. While important for high-end jobs, labor market and social demands also require us to look elsewhere.
The combination of sustained economic growth in Latin America, a region-wide expansion of the middle class, and a newly competitive business environment has boosted demand for quality education, and stoked desires for alternatives.
I expected high school biology students. Instead, I was facing 120 middle school students who were on an outing to Maloka, an innovative science museum in Bogotá. On the fly, I changed my presentation on how the brain works into a series of demonstrations. At the end, I was awed by the questions: “My mother has epilepsy; why is it that she doesn't recognize me when she has a seizure?” “I have a pet bird. Does he learn like I do?”
Those following tech and continuing education news have been surprised by the rising popularity of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The basic promise for professionals in Latin America and the Caribbean is quite alluring: free online access to a world-class knowledge base. But questions remain. Will this new learning methodology last, or fade quickly once the novelty is gone?
In a landmark ruling, the Dominican Republic's Constitutional Court last September stripped an estimated 210,000 individuals—most of whom are Dominicans born to Haitian sugar cane workers—of their citizenship, effectively leaving them stateless. The ensuing outcry from the international community has included Junot Díaz and Edwidge Danticat—two of the best-known contemporary authors from the island of Hispaniola. Friends for over 20 years, Danticat (from Haiti) and Díaz (from the D.R.) have been relentless in their condemnation of the ruling. In a written exchange moderated by Americas Quarterly production editor and Haitian-American Richard André, Díaz and Danticat discuss the roots and legacies of racism and conflict in the neighboring nations, the impact of the court's ruling, and the responsibility of the diaspora to build bridges between Dominicans and Haitians and defend human rights at home and abroad.
Juliana Deguis Pierre was born in 1984 in Los Jovillos, Dominican Republic, 72 miles (116 kilometers) west of Santo Domingo. Under the country's constitutional recognition of birthright citizenship, Deguis—the daughter of two undocumented Haitian immigrants working in the sugar cane fields—was issued a birth certificate recognizing her Dominican nationality. Now 29 years old, she has never traveled outside her native country. She speaks fluent Spanish and hardly any Creole.
On April 10, Venezuelans stayed up past midnight to watch an event on TV that just a few weeks prior would have seemed incredible, almost miraculous: after three months of intense protests, headed by students in alliance with the most combative sectors of the opposition calling for President Nicolás Maduro's departure, the government and the opposition, thanks to mediation from the Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (Union of South American Nations—UNASUR), sat down to negotiate.
The gender-based data on social inclusion clearly indicate the opportunities and obstacles facing women in Latin America—as well as numerous contradictions and complexities. An examination of new trends, laws and policies brings to mind the Spanish expression, “Del dicho al hecho, hay mucho trecho.” In other words, even in many areas where there appears to have been significant progress, intervening barriers frequently preclude its consistent application.
With 11 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012, Nicaragua stands out as a relatively fortunate exception in a region whose homicide rates rank among the world's highest. Its northern neighbors all recorded rates at least three times greater: with Guatemala at 34.3 murders per 100,000 citizens; El Salvador at 41.5; and—at the top of this grim list—Honduras at 85.5. To the south of Nicaragua, only traditionally stable and more developed Costa Rica recorded a lower rate (8.8). Panama registered 17.6 murders per 100,000 in 2012.