Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Peru Presidential Elections

Peru's presidential elections are this Sunday, as this BBC article mentions, both candidates Garcia and Humala represent the left with Humala being strongly compared to Venezuelan Hugo Chavez. Any predictions?

2006 World Cup

Looking at the lines for this year's soccer World Cup, I have made a quick list of the Vegas favorites to win. Topping the list is of course Brazil, followed by Argentina, then England. Germany is next, with Italy and Holland tied with the same odds. France is after Holland to win it all and that completes the teams 10-1 or better. USA is 30-1 to win it, Mexico 40-1, Ecuador 200-1, and way at the bottom of the list is Trinidad and Tobago at 1000-1. So that may be a bet you may not want to take.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Learn Spanish the Cheap Way--in Guatemala

Hello all, I just wanted to share an experience I had in Guatemala last summer with you all, and tell anyone concerned that its the way to learn Spanish. I went to Antigua, Guatemala, to study. Antigua is a beautiful colonial and touristy town (perhaps the most visited in Central America). There are over a hundred language schools there, most which offer one-on-one instruction for multiple hours a day, room, and board, for the likes of $200 USD per week. This, for anyone who has thought about Spanish immersion, is an amazing price. This is the school I went to. This was a great school and my spanish improved immensely, after 3 weeks of 5-hours-a-day one-on-one instruction.

I didn't go through a Tulane program, which also helped minimize the costs. However, Tulane did give me a grant to go study (and then after work in a hospital in Guatemala City). I got $1000, which basically paid for half my trip including tickets. Tulane is very good about giving money. Anyone whos thinkin about traveling abroad should look into it, as long as they can convince someone that somehow what they do will be an "enriching intellectual experience." This was a Tulane college grant, and I'm not sure how funds are being re-routed post changes in the academic structure, but I'm sure funds are still available.

Guantanamo Bay hunger strikes

75 inmates Guantanamo Bay are currently hunger striking. This is supposedly in coorelation with media coverage focused on the military commisions taking place there currently or else perhaps recent violence outbreaks over two attempted inmate suicides. In order to be considered on a hunger strike, one must refuse nine consecutive meals which was a point reached by the 75 on Sunday, May 28. To learn more, visit here.

Immigration

To update yourself on the current immigration issues facing the Mexican-United States Border, go to this site. There you can find an outline of Bush's new policy which involves stationing National Guard troops, the debates against this policy, and the response from other Central American nations (including May Day marches and protests).

Costa Rica in the present

Here's the BBC article i mentioned in class earlier today. It's a brief overview of the present state of Costa Rica, politically, socially and economically.

ps: Oscar Arias, the current President, is the same Oscar Arias that led peaceful moevement in the 1980s to settle the Central American crisis.

Miguel Pena at the co-op

Miguel Pena is about to venture out of Bloomingdale's. The Puerto Rican designer, who had a successful solo debut at fashion week in NY this year, is finally gaining more recognition. Word is that Barney's Co-op was intrigued by some pieces from his Fall 2006 collection, so they might be carrying a few of the looks from his upcoming Winter 2006 collection. I'll be curious to see if he can compete with the very trendy, hipsterness of most of the designers of the co-op (Imitation of Christ anyone?) while he maintains a much more ladylike vibe throughout his designs.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Mexican Elections

This article talks about Mexico's current leading candidate, Felipe Calderon. He is a member of PAN, the party of current president Vincente Fox. He recently jumped in polls due to a barrage of negative campaign ads aimed at the leftist candidate Obrador. I thought it was interesting that Calderon's economic proposal for faster growth would gain him more popularity than Obrador's policy of social justice. It seems that Mexican citizens, with such high rates of poverty in their country, would opt for economic social justice to secure their financial well being. While faster growth is beneficial for Mexico itself, it will not necessarily help the citizens who need it the most.

Article

Cannes

Some Latin American Film Directors had strong showings at the recent Cannes film festival. They include Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who also was the director for the popular Amores Perros.

FBI Files on Puerto Rican Indepence Leaders

This website is an educational project of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies. It contains formerly secret files produced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from the 1930s to the 1990s. The files document FBI surveillance activities and counter-intelligence operations that targeted Puerto Rican organizations and individuals.

Growing Support for Bolivian President

Following his announcement to nationalize Bolivian oil, Evo Morales' approval rating has grown to 81 percent among Bolivians (See Article). The Bolivian president's success marks a growing trend in Latin America set by the influential Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. The increasing strength of the left may cause US policy makers to worry. Most noteably, the economic cooperation among Moralez, Chavez and Castro to rival NAFTA poses many concerns for those with interests vested in the oil industry. Possibly in response to Bolivia's abandonment of Occidental oil, a large US-based company, and its newfound alliance with the controversial Chavez, President Bush said that he was "concerned about the erosion of democracy" in the country (See Article). Along with Ecuador's recent rejection of Occidental's contract, it will be interesting to see how the US responds to this growing economic defiance.

Hugo Chavez: "Bush plotting against Bolivia"

The title says it all, as the leftist country Bolivia is in danger of a US attakc.invasion, according to Hugo Chavez.

"When the U.S. president said a few days ago that he was worried because democracy is eroding in Bolivia it's because, you can be sure, he has a plan against Bolivia," Chavez said without elaborating. He urged "his brothers, the Bolivian soldiers," not to be caught off guard.

Here's the link.

Peruvian Elections coming up

Peru will have its Presidential elections on June 4th, and right now Peruvian Nationalist candidate Ollanta Humala is behind frontrunner and former president from 1985-1990 Alan Garcia in opinion polls. Garcia backs higher taxation on the mingin industry while Hunala wants the government to have a partnership with those industries. Here's the link.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Garifuna in Northern Honduras

So I teach ESL at Loyola on Tuesday evenings. This past tuesday I was teaching, and there were two guys that spoke Spanish but had some really interesting ideas of how to pronounce certain words. They were black dudes so I was guessing maybe they were from Brazil or something. It turns out that these two are from Honduras, and come from the Garifuna culture. I had no idea this existed. It was a culture that developed from the slave trade off the coast of Northern Honduras. Check it out here.

Columbia Elections

Alvaro Uribe was reelected as Columbia's president. It is the first time in 100 years that a president was elected for a second term. The elections polls were guarded by government military and with no attacks on voters it was considered one of the most peaceful elections in recent years. Uribe is a leftist and Harvard graduate, noted for bringing down Columbia's crime and violence rate and improving the economy. To see the article click here.

Mexico vs. France in World Cup Warm-up Match

In a warm-up for the World Cup, Mexico takes a loss to France, 1-0. France won the world cup in '98, Mexico has only reached the quarter finals, most recently in '86.

See the story on the game here

Brazillian and Cuban views on US/Mexico border issues

Here are some interesting articles about what Brazil and Cuba think about the US/Mexico border - interesting insight from parties that are not directly involved but still have an important view to consider....

Click here for an article from Brazil's O Globo Newspaper,

and here for an article from Cuba's Granma Newspaper...

Friday, May 26, 2006

For Coffee lovers!!

I invite everyone who loves coffee to learn more about the best coffee in the world, go to this website for Juan Valdez.

Latin American Art

After a trip to the New Orleans Museum of Art, I decided to look online for any photographs of Latin American contemporary art. I found the website of Chicago's Aldo Castillo Gallery. It provides a list of Latin American contemporary artists featured at the gallery and photographs of their works. I noticed that there is a lot of artwork that is aimed at the United States, more specifically at the war on terror. Feel free to browse the art; a lot of it is very intriguing.

Venezuelan Galeria de Arte Nacional

Check out my favorite Venezuelan art gallery. Warning - the site is only in Spanish.

"Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together" Forum

Check out this site. It's a Bilateral Immigration forum called Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together.

LPGA: Lorena Ochoa

Lorena Ochoa is one of the best women in the LPGA right now. At only 24, she is the highest on the money list and the highest on the points list. The interesting thing about Ochoa is that she is from Mexico. One interesting thing that she said was, "when I play in the U.S., I see a lot of Mexican people. Many work on the golf courses, in maintenance, the kitchen, all over. For example, here, the caddie master is Mexican. It means so much that they're all behind me." You can read more about Lorena here.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Big les hittin ya in da chest

Is Trinidad and Tobago considered a Latin America country? Geographically speaking it is but alot of their educational values are mirrored by the British system!

Garcia & Vasquez agree to disagree

Freddy Garcia earlier this week expressed that he will not be participating in the World Baseball Classic next year pitching for Venezuela, while Javier Vasquez forcefully stated that he will pitch for Puerto Rico. Garcia said he was physically drained for the 2006 season, while Vasquez admitted he was mentally drained. Garcia noted that it was a more personal reason that he will not return to play for Venezuela. A local newspaper, Lider, falsely claimed there was marijuana found in his urine during the classic just to cut down his name. The White Sox improve to a 12-4 record with the two starting pitchers, and Garcia is on a 7 game winning streak. Let's hope the rotation can keep dominating.

A P is my boy!!!

Will Albert Pujols really break Barry Bonds five year single season homerun record? I think so!!

Interesting...

Want to see how much money we spend in Latin America? Check out "Just the Facts." It is a "civilian's guide to U.S. defense and security assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean."

Mexicans and the Immigration Wall

Some immigration experst in Mexico are beggining to entertain the idea that a wall may actually be a good thing. This is because they say it will help Mexico address the issue of illegal immigration directly instead of blaming it on The U.S.'s demand for labor. Illegal immigration is hurting Mexico as well as the U.S. Here is the link.

Border enforcement

Here's just an update on the border enforcement posts that have been made. I found this on the Miami Herald, it's today's Oppenheimer report. A study by the Pew Research Center shows that about 45-50% of undocumented immigrants in the US have entered the country legally with tourist, student and other visas and have extended their stay. Not to say that this is in any way less illegal, but it goes to show that border enforcement alone is not going to have the effects the government claims to be able to achieve.

Brazil and the World Cup

Brazilians, although they are extremely superstitious, are quite optimistic about the World Cup this year. Street vendors are selling out of fabric in the pattern of the national flag and, with the countdown to the cup underway, "nothing gets done." Here is the link.

Senate Passes Immigration Bill

From the New York Times:
A compromise Senate bill that would toughen border security and put most illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship emerged intact Wednesday from more than a week of impassioned debate. Its advance set up a showdown with the House over the most substantial overhaul of immigration law in 20 years.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Comment on Aid to Haiti

When we study Latin America we tend to overlook countries like Haiti, a very unique nation within the region. Here's an article I found on BBC advocating for the prompt aid needed in Haiti mediated by the United Nations.

Chavez vs. Bush, round...we've lost count

In a statement issued yesterday, Chavez has criticized Bush's "imperialist and warlike government", stating that it is "eroding the possibility of peace and life in the world." Chavez went on to say that the 21st century will see the collapse of "the North American empire." Here's the link.

Video Game Simulates Invasion of Venezuela

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is angry about a US- made video game, entitled "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames". Apparently the plot of the video game is a mercenary invasion of Venezuela after a tyrannical president shuts off oil supplies. Several members of the Venezuelan National Assembly have aligned with Chavez in fearing the game is an attempt to garner US support of a Venezuelan invasion. Here's the link.

Chirac Visits Brazil and Chile

French President Jacques Chirac will pay a visit to Brazil and Chile to discuss an ongoing disagreement on agricultural tariffs and subsidies that has pitted Brazil against France and Europe in international trade talks. This will be the first time a French president will visit Chile since Gen. Charles de Gaulle in 1964. Here is the link.

English as the official Language Legislation

As I was watching CSPAN the other day, i saw the subtitling talking about a new official language vote that was taking place in senate. After research, i found out the bill they are discussing is more influential than I first perceived. First, the bill says that all official business and negotiations within the United States must be in English, barring a few exceptions, "declaring that no one has a right to federal communications in a language other than english." The bill passed 63-34 in what I found to be a truly shocking vote. I feel like this bill merely fosters political apathy and distrust. It is one more limitiation in the path of anyone that speaks a foreign language yet wishes to be active politically. I feel like this is the wrong move in a point where voter turnout is already low. It will be funny to see how the law is changed and manipulated for big corporations and visiting dignitaries, while remaining unfair to the common people. Furthermore, the most shocking part is the part of the bill that calls for English Proficiency Exams as a part of citizenship. Ha! Does this mean all those children in American schools that cannot pass the "No Child Left Behind" English Proficiency Exams should not be citizens, or wait, maybe we should just take away their citizenship until they can pass them. It is truly a sad indication when the land of opportunity and freedom closes its doors to anyone of a foreign toungue. Am i the only one that is this surprised and distraught over this bill? Is this really President Bush's and the Republican Administration's first step towards the newly laid immigration policy? If it is I think we are moving in the wrong direction. I think it will be interesting to see how this affects immigration and current citizens if passed and signed.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

El Futbol va a empezar...

Whoohoo! Can you all feel the weather? the heat change? It's almost FIFA World Cup time! The first official game is June 9, 2006, and guess who's playing? Hosts Germany and Latin American representatives, Costa Rica. So far the teams have just been playing "friendlies." btw, The U.S. lost a friendly in Nashville to an African team. For a schedule of the World Cup games click here .

Calle 13 REggeaton

Reggeaton has been a phenomenon that has spread through out Latin America. Some containing agressive lyrics, others based on love songs, yet they all share the same rythm: fusion between reggea, hiphop, rap and obviously african rythms. it is originally from Panama and Puerto Rico, yet has been able to spread thorughout the world. A new rising group, called Calle 13, started in 2005. They have had great acceptance next to other reggeaton artists such as Daddy yankee, Wisin y Yandel and Don Omar.

Personally, I think that their lyrics are very original.
Here is a link to the lyrics to: Atrevete te te.

What is interesting to see is the English words that are found, creating what one would call Spanglish.

Latin American Hip Hop

I remember a post about some people asking and discussing the hip hop movement that has been growing in Latin America. I uploaded some songs so you guys can download and listen to. I have a bunch more from a whole bunch of different countries so if anyone wants they can email and Ill send em. Here's a few of my fav. artists

Intifada (Puerto Rico) - the MC in this duo is actually a history professor in the University of Puerto Rico, amazing lyrics. The first song is about the embargo on Cuba, and the second is about the conquering of Latin America in the colonial era.

Intifada - Mas Sin Embargo


Intifada - Nuevo Mundo

Orishas (Cuba) - This is a group of Cuban natives that blend hip hop with many other different styles of music. Very tropical and catchy rhythms.

Orishas - A lo Cubano

Siete Nueve (Puerto Rico) - My favorite MC, he raps about a lot of social issues that deal with the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. His parents are immigrants from the DR and he was born in Puerto Rico. The first song is a tribute to the Mirabal sisters, if you have seen or read In the Time of The Butterflies or are familiar with Dominican history than you know how influential they were during the years of Trujillo's regime. It was recorded live so the audio may not be the best. The second song is part of the same concert as the first one and has a cool Bomba (African influenced music from Puerto Rico) intro and he dedicates to a revolutionary leader that was recently murdered by federal agents in Puerto Rico.

Siete Nueve - Mariposas

Siete Nueve - Cimarron

Boca Floja (Mexico) - BocaFloja, an MC hailing from Mexico City, is somewhat of an elder statesman for the underground hip-hop scene in Mexico and has been contributing to it for the better part of seven years. Raps about a lot of social issues in Mexico.

Boca Floja - Tiempo

Boca Floja - El Rey

Sox pull off a come from behind victory

This monday, Ozzie Guillen and the Chicago White Sox deafeted the Oakland A's in a dramatic 5-4 11 inning game. Down 4-2 in the 8th inning, Rob Mackowiak hit a two run home run to tie the game. The winning run was bunted in by Pablo Ozuna in the 10th improving the White Sox record to 29-15. Ozzie Guillen, a recent hero in Venezuela for being the first hispanic manager to ever win the World Series, recived his sixth career ejection from Monday night's game, after some bad officiating. It was good motivation though, and we will see if Javier Vasquez and carry it in to Tuesday's game as the Sox starting pitcher.

"Scaremongering" Along The US Borders

Approximately two weeks ago, the Senate passed an amendment to divert nearly 2 billion dollars intended for Iraq to be used to secure the border along Arizona. Claiming it to be necessary for the "war on terrorism" and to thwart potential threats to national security, spending would be expanded to increase patrols and equipment stationed along the border. In reality, according to the Nixon Center, of the 373 known or suspected terrorists to enter the US since 1993, not one has entered via the border with Mexico. Additionally, Syracuse University's Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism claims that US authorities have yet to detain, "even a single terrorist trying to cross over the southern border into the United States."

With 5 guards per mile stationed along the southern border, one must assume that terrorists are also familiar with the fact that the US has less than 1 guard per 5 miles along the northern border. While it is impossible to say that terrorists will not choose to enter via Mexico, the potential for capture is much less along the northern border. Although it may be more difficult to enter Canada than Mexico, it is still easier to enter via Canada and enter the US indirectly than to fly directly into JFK or LAX. If the federal government is truly interested in protecting the lives of American citizens, perhaps the current fixation with the Mexican border and the prevention of illegal Mexican workers should be directed towards the known lapses in border/airport security. Since the hijackers of 9/11 all entered the United States via airports, according to the Brookings Institute, a more comprehensive plan, including biometric scanning and a better watch-list, must be created. The media's focus on the border issue, including the tireless coverage by CNN and MSNBC, should be redirected towards issues that pose the greatest threat to the nation. The media must serve as a watchdog for the public and by creating a false sense of security, as would be created by the construction of a border wall, this will only further make the American population more naive and susceptible to future attack.

Canal in Nicaragua

As mentioned previously in class, Nicaragua is considering a plan to construct a canal, connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific. The canal would cost an estimated 25 billion dollars but would be large enough to handle ships that are too large in size and weight to use the current canal in Panama.

For more information, check out these sites: Here and Here.

Increasing Anti-Americanism in Latin America

This article continues the argument that was presented today in class of the changes going on in Latin America, particularly of the growing Anti-Americanism and how this could affect the United States tremendously. Here is the link.

Galapagos in Photos






The Galapagos Islands, part of Ecuadorian territory, are one of the most beautiful places in the world due to its great diveristy in flora and fauna. This is why Darwin performed one of his most important studies on natural selection on these islands and afterwards published his book "The Origin of the Species by Natural Selection". Check out some pictures of this amazing place.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Guatemala and Coffee

Thought this was an interesting story about both Guatemala and the new 'quality' beans that are being seen throughout the grocery stores and in coffe shops. Very interesting...

Speaking of women in power in latin america...

The tomb of a Peruvian woman who died some 1,600 years ago was found recently, and the status of her tomb suggests she was of high status. The whole article is here.

Another fun fact of this discovery - "She is elite, but somewhat of an enigma," said John Verano, a physical anthropologist at Tulane University, who worked with the Peruvian archaeologists who made the discovery last year.

Land of Silver

Although Argentina's name means "Land of Silver," there is actually very little silver there. It was misnamed by explorers who thought they saw silver there.

Ants


In Peru a single bush may contain more ant species than in the British Isles

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Wonder Woman

I believe Thursday, after we disscucssed machismo and feminine roles in Latin America, Yahoo had posted a campaign slogan for Michelle Bachelet, the first woman president in Chile. She is the person of whom Dr. Huck was speaking in class. A single (pretty much) mother of three, she is an epidemiologist, surgeon, and defense specialist--a summary of wikipedia. Her campaign page is in Spanish, (http://www.bacheletpresidente.cl/) but many of you know or are already taking Spanish. I just thought that was cool!

Angel Sanchez

Red carpet designer Angel Sanchez (remember Eva Longoria's emmy dress?) has set plans to create a comtemporary sportswear line. So far however, it will only be sold in his native country of Venezuela. See the full story at In Style here

Police Brutality in Sao Paulo spawns attacks

In overcrowded Sao Paulo, Brazil, police are more feared than gangs. Angry slum dwellers have unleashed attacks on courthouses, banks, and police stations because they are fed up with the police brutality. 170 people have been killed already. Check out the rest of the article here.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Fighting illiteracy in Colombia



In Boyaca, Colombia, 300 older citizens are learning how to read and write. It is a program called "yo si puedo" ( I can do it), that is fighting against illiteracy in Colombia. there are participants of all ages, all of which are 40 years or older. one of the students,José Aquileo of 82 years old, says he wants to "Dejar de ser bruto" ( stop being stupid). this program allows all of these campesino to become more educated and (like the newspaper where i saw the news said ( eltiempo.com ) ):"stop signing with an X". this program is completley free and the idea is that it will teach students how to read and write in 2 months. It is being supported by the ministry of education of cuba also.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Venezuela stages mock foreign invasion

President Hugo Chavez, paranoid as ever, staged a mock foreign invasion this week in Venezuela. He believes that a foreign army would be tempted to attack the oil-rich South American country. Details about how it went down can be found here

Brazil soccer team released this week

Brazil just released its soccer team this week - it might be the best team Brazil has had in 40 years. Htey should be heavily favored, but they've choked before. FYI - if USA makse it out of its group as the #2 seed, it would have to face Brazil. here's the team

Fujimori Released

Peru's former dictator Alberto Fujimori will be released on bail awaiting extradition to Peru to be tried for human rights violations. CNN has the story.

US-Mexico border

Bush and the Senate get closer to passing the construction of a several mile-long fence along the border of the US and Mexico. Along with the proposed National Guard vehicle protection, this preventative maneuver to decrease the immigration goes right along with the acts to criminalize immigrants and their hosts.

The article can be found here

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Views from outside the US

This is from CNN International and just offers a bit of a different look at how people outside of the United States view Bush's move to send the National Gaurd to the border.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

World’s Oldest Woman

A Woman In El Salvador Recently Celebrated Her 128th birthday, Making Her The World’s Oldest living Woman. This is A Picture Of Her With Her 80-year-old Daughter.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Legalized Drugs

Logging onto the internet the other day I came across a news report on msnbc that I found to be incredibly interesting. The Mexican legislation has passed a bill that would make small amounts of drug possession legal in Mexico. This would put more police action in dealing with large drug operations as oppposed to personal use. The bill is only waiting for the president's signature now. It will be interesting to see, if the bill becomes a law, how this will affect drug problems in Mexico and the U.S.'s reaction. Amsterdam may just be a little closer for some people.

Humitas

If you were in LAST-101-08, you tried humitas! My mom tried to explain what it was, but I thought it would be interesting to put up the recipe. If you were not in that class, humitas are a traditional ecuadorian food (although variations on humitas run throughout Latin America apparently.) Normally, you would eat humitas for breakfast or as a tea-time snack.

Humitas
Ingredients

30 ears of corn
4 eggs
1/2 cups of butter
1 cup crumbled cheese
2 teaspoons salt
Corn leaves

Preparation
Peel the ears of corn carefully because you will later use the leaves to wrap the humitas. Remove the kernels from the corn, mash them and strain them. To that, add the eggs' yolks, salt and the cheese.

Whip the egg whites until they are stiff and fold them in with the rest of the batter.

In each corn leaf put a big tablespoon of the batter, fold the leaf and tie it firmly with spare strands of corn leaf.

In a big/huge "tamalera" saucepan put 3 cups of water under the first lid, because humitas are steam cooked for about 50 minutes.

En una olla tamalera colocar 3 tazas de agua bajo la primera tapa, porque las humitas se cocinan al vapor, por aproximadamente 50 minutos. Son un plato muy apetecido sobre todo en Semana Santa.

Bolivia is nationalizing its oil

Bolivia's president Evo Morales signed a decree that starts a process of nationalization of oil. It is the third in the country's history and it gives oil companies 180 days to "correct" their current contracts in order to continue operating. “El Estado recupera la propiedad, la posesión y el control total y absoluto de estos recursos” ("The State gets back the ownership, posession and absolute control of these resources")

The nationalization of these resources was one of the major points in Morales' campaign. He won the elections on December 18th with 53.7% of votes. The demand for the nationalization of oil triggered protests that led to the dismissal of ex-presidents Lozada (Oct. 2003) and Mesa (June 2005.)

Immigrant Day

As we all know, May 1st was "A day without an immigrant," an attempt on immigrants to show how important their role is in daily lives.

Here is the article in the New York Times:
In another source I found these facts, that I thought were interesting:

- There was a demonstration in NOLA.
- McDonald's in Baltimore and Washington gave their employees (about 3000) permission to go out.
- Perdue Farms announced that half its factories were closed.
- Some students did not go to class either.

There are a lot more examples that are worth noticing, so take the time to read into this! It should be interesting to see how this all turns out. Personally, I completely support the idea behind the demonstrations, and hopefully it will not backfire.

Latin Grammys

This year the Latin Grammys will be held in New York City. I can think of few cities that would be more appropriate. My guess is that the Latin community will make this event a complete succes. If you are interested, don't worry about missing the Grammys, they're not until November.

Here's the article.

La mala educacion

For all of those movie lovers out there, "La mala educacion" (my guess is that they translated it as "The bad education") is Almodovar's new movie and it is, like all of his movies, excellent! I saw it a couple of weeks ago and fell in love with it. Be warned, it touches on the topics of drugs, cross-dressing, homosexuality, and malestation in the Roman Catholic Church. Some may deem some of the scenes too strong. Nonetheless, it is worth seeing, even if just for its artistic value and not because of the thinking process that it motivates.

Oh, and for those of you who have not heard of Almodovar or are not quite sure who he is, here is his official site.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Spanish language advertising

There is a really interesting article on CNN's website about marketing products to Latinos in the US. It discusses questions about what type of commercials US Latinos are interested in watching (which is supposedly different due to their American acculturation (they speak English and identify more with the US culture).

Fortune, "Speaking the wrong language," by Stephanie Mehta, April 27, 2006

Go here