Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Brazilian Stock Market Crashes Along with the United States

Yesterday was an epic day in Brazilian Stock Market history. Trading was halted for approximately half an hour following the news that the $700 billion bailout plan for American markets had not passed. Before this halt, markets crashed 10.6% and immediately after trading resumed, shares continued to fall, reaching as low as 13%. Mexico's markets went down 6.4% and Argentina's markets went down 8.7%.

This illustrates how definitely the Untied States and Latin America are intertwined. How will Latin America continue to be affected by the economic turmoil of the United States? Read the full article here.

Reforestation in Haiti

The Dominican Republic's government is going to give Haiti trees to rebuild the forest on the border of the island that they share. The Dominican Republic has 33 percent of trees on the border while Haiti has a mere 3 percent. The motivation for reforesting the border is that without trees to protect the land, mudslides and flooding have become a greater problem due to the recent hurricanes, leaving the death toll at 426. It is very important that the Dominican government is taking this step, because historically the relationship between the two countries has been hostile. There is still a lot of racism and prejudice towards Haitians in the Dominican today.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

For my Latin American Studies 101 class we are reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. It is a very interesting book about a Dominican boy growing up in New Jersey. He is a weird kid and has trouble fitting in with his peers but also recieves a lot of grief for not being a good Dominican man because he is not popular with the ladies. It is also a good book if you are interestead in learning about the Trujillo dictatorship and how it impacted the ordinary people in the Dominican Republic.

Monday, September 29, 2008

re truco!

Truco is a popular card game across Argentina and Uruguay and parts of Chile and Brazil and Paraguay that is played with Spanish cards (naipes españoles) and based on trickery and deceit. For rules and to learn more, click here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New consitution for Ecuador??

It appears that the answer to the above question is yes. Polls on the mainland (not including Galapagos) closed two hours ago, and exit polls show 2 out of 3 Ecuadorians supporting the proposed constitution. In Ecuador, voting is an obligatory civic duty, though "null" is an option, along with "NO" and "SI".
The current version of the Constitution was approved in 1998.
The new proposed Constitution is the idea and project of President Rafael Correa and members of his Constitutional Assembly. Greatest opposition for the proposed constitution comes from Guayaquil, the country's largest city, which lies on the coast. One fear of the opponents is that power will be centralized in the federal government, and that local governments will have less autonomy.
Other changes in the new Constitution:
> no foreign military bases will be allowed in the country (there is currently a US air base in Manta, the only one in South America)
> allows reelection of the President
> the Episcopal and Catholic churches consider that certain parts "open the door to abortion"
> free education (up to university level)
Correa fears the likely bitter opposition he will face from Guayaquil residents. He said that if he lost he would resign, but it looks like this will not be happening.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Paz Sin Fronteras

When Gray Miles came into class to talk about Colombia, I asked him about the recent conflict between Colombia and Ecuador. Given the persistent fighting, famous Latin singer Juanes, along with a few other artists, held a giant peace concert on the Colombia-Venezuela border called 'Paz Sin Fronteras,' 'Peace Without Borders.' Check out a clip from it below!
What do you think this indicates about the citizens of the two nations?

Unrest in Bolivia

- picture from Reuters.com
In Bolivia, the poor and indigenous are rioting, setting up roadblocks, and shouting they do not fear death.
A minority group of non-indigenous Whites owns the majority of Bolivian natural resources. President Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian and former coca farmer, came into power because of his promise to redistribute natural gas revenues and farming lands to the indigenous poor. As expected, Morales' policies have angered the wealthy White landowners, who have no intentions of parting with their economic status; but the poor indigenous Bolivians support the president’s policies. To get the word out, and to get on a television program, Morales appeared on the Daily Show:
Daily Show interview w/ Jon Stewart & Evo Morales:
State petroleum revenues have increased and private lands have been reallocated, but peace remains elusive in the poorest country south of the Panama Canal. Bolivia is still an underdeveloped “fringe” nation whose neighbors are always eager to take advantage of Bolivia’s natural resources. What improvements have been made since Evo took power? Change never comes easy, see Bolivia's current situation: http://www.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=91210

Guantanamo Prosecutor Quits

A U.S. military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay has quit because of ethical disputes with his superiors. He said they got rid of evidence that could help clear a young Afghan detainee of war crimes. The prosecutor, described the disagreements in a statement supporting a defense bid to dismiss the charges against Mohammed Jawad. Jawad, who was captured in Afghanistan when he was 16, is accused of throwing a grenade that wounded two U.S. soldiers and their interpreter in December 2002. He faces a maximum life sentence at a trial scheduled to begin in December. Vandeveld said prosecutors knew that Jawad may have been drugged before the attack and that the Afghan Interior Ministry said two other men had confessed to the same crime, according to Michael Berrigan, deputy chief defense counsel for the Guantanamo tribunals. Jawad is one of roughly two dozen Guantanamo detainees facing charges. Military prosecutors say they plan trials for about 200 men held here on suspicion of links to al Qaeda or the Taliban.

Is this part of the reason that many countries, including some in Latin America think that America is an imperialistic country? I thought Americans don't have to worry about human rights...

Venezuelan President Goes on 5-Country Tour

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela began his tour of five countries last Sunday, with a stop in Cuba where he visited a fragile Fidel Castro, the former Cuban President. Pictures have been released of Chavez being greeted warmly by current Cuban President Raul Castro at the airport in Havana. After meeting up with Fidel that Sunday night, Chavez was off to Beijing. His tour also included stops in Moscow, another Russian city yet to be identified, Portugal, and France. During these meetings he planned to discuss various issues on Europe, the world, and their relationship. 

Castro Comments on Obama

Presidential candidate Barack Obama plans to continue the trade embargo with Cuba if he is elected president. However, his attitude towards travel and relations with Cuba are more open. He wants to ease travel restrictions, and make it possible for relatives of Cuban citizens to send their families money from the United States. Fidel Castro commented on the candidate saying that Obama is "the most progressive candidate to the U.S. presidency." Castro then goes on to be more critical of Obama and his support of continuing the trade embargo against Cuba. 

For more information, see the New York Times article: "Castro Weighs In On Obama" May 26, 2008

Potential Attempt on Chavez's Life Thwarted

Authorities arrested two in a suspected plot to murder President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Venezuela's topmost security official reported Wednesday that the plot was to destroy Chavez's plane with an anti-tank weapon. Six have been apprehended for purportedly being linked to the plot. Read more here.

Seized Memory Stick Gives Names Of 9,000+ FARC Rebels

The guerrila movement in Colombia took another hit this week when a lost memory stick made known the names of over 9,000 rebels to Colombian officials. The memory stick held not only their names, but also their aliases, identity numbers, and photos of some of the rebels. This development is not the only bad thing that has happened to the FARC resistance recently. Colombian government said it has used other technological information to aid in capturing individuals invovled in the resistance. Read more about this recent development here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Chile's Sexual Revolution

The New York Times published an article discussing what they label as a sexual revolution in Chile. Under the Pinochet regime sexual education was taken out of schools and was just reimplemented in the 1990s. This means that parents of teenagers now never had formal sexual education so are not teaching it to their children. There is a huge trend of parties that attract teenagers who dance and try to make out with the most people at the party. These parties are advertised to teens on the internet and create a competitive and sexually provocative setting. To read the article click here.

Acai Frenzy

If you've been to Freshens here on campus you probably noticed their new acai smoothie. Acai is a fruit grown in the Amazon which has become increasingly popular in the last couple of years. It has always been a cheap staple in the diet of Brazil, but it is now becoming trendy all over the world because of its nutritious qualities. Acai also has the potential to preserve more of the rainforest because it is something valuable that grows on trees instead of in their place. However, there is a fear that forest will be clear cut to plant "orchards" of acai. Will the family harvesters be replaced by conglomerates?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Father loses son to brazil

Four years ago, David Goldman waved goodbye to his wife and mother-in-law and his four year old son, Sean, at a new Jersey airport to wish them well on what was supposed to be a two week family vacation to his wife's native country, Brazil. What he didn't know, was that she had no intention of coming back. Once she got to Brazil, David recieved a call from Bruna, his wife, telling him that she wasn't going to return to the US and that if he ever wanted to see his son Sean again, he would have to give her sole custody. While in Brazil, Bruna married a prominent lawyer from a well-off brazilian family.

David brought his case to the court and it has been in limbo between US custody laws, Brazil custody laws and international laws between the two countries. According to the Hague treaties, which both countries have signed, Sean should have been returned to the US, however, the brazilian courts waited too long to act on anything and decided, as it had been a year, that Sean had been in Brazil too long to take him away from his mother.

Four years later, Bruna died giving birth to her new husband's baby and David thought that after all of the fighting in the courts, that Sean was finally his. Suddenly, Sean's last name was changed, and Goldman was erased from the records. Goldman is now trying to find a way for his Sean's last name to become Goldman again and for his chance to take his son back, but will the Brazilian courts follow their own custody laws that would return Sean to the United States, or will the influential brazilian family prevail? To read more click here

Caribbean Ravaged by Hurricanes

Four hurricanes have hit the Caribbean and Central America particularly fiercely in the last 30 days. Hurricanes Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike have all left the islands devastated, with a total of 600 dead and 80,000 homeless. Some of the nations affected the most include Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. With regards to their economic state before, one can only imagine what sort of economic state they are in now. How will these nations and the rest of the world respond to this crisis? Read the news story here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chile's Sexual Revolution

The New York Times published an article discussing what they label as a sexual revolution in Chile. Under the Pinochet regime sexual education was taken out of schools and was just reimplemented in the 1990s. This means that parents of teenagers now never had formal sexual education so are not teaching it to their children. There is a huge trend of parties that attract teenagers who dance and try to make out with the most people at the party. These parties are advertised to teens on the internet and create a competitive and sexually provocative setting. To read the article click here.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Riots in Mexico have been breaking out due to human rights issues. I had no idea that the prison system was as bad as it seems in Tijuana. This article caught my attention as I went to yahoo to check my mail...

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Glimpse Into The Lives of Haitian Child Laborers

A recent article in the New York Times highlights the lives of young Haitian child laborers, restaveks. It discusses the impact of the recent hurricanes on the lives of these children, stating that up to 30,000 have been affected by the storms. Many of the restaveks are said to be beaten, sexually abused, denied education, and "treated like animals." The author of the article talks to two 12-year old girls, Widna and Widnise, who say they are treated better than most of the other children in their small town, as they are only "hit on their palms if they are disobedient but do not receive lashings on their head, as they say many of the restaveks in nearby homes receive."

The article shows just a glimpse of the state of affairs in the small island country.

Latin American film series

As I wander around campus, I discover more incredible resources provided to the Tulane student. I recently discovered a Latin American film series that was particularly interesting. Every Thursday evening at 7:00pm in room 102 of Jones Hall, a featured film dealing with Latin American subjects will be presented to the audience. The current series examines totalitarian governments in Latin American and their effects on children.

Mexico Prison Riot Kills 19

At La Mesa State Penitentiary in Tijuana, Mexico, the second riot in a week broke out in prison walls, resulting in police shooting and killing 19 inmates. Another 12 inmates were injured and two are in critical condition after Wednesday's riot. Families of inmates claim the riot began on Wednesday because of claims that they had not been given food or water since Sunday's first riot, while state authorities claim it was just "prison troublemakers." La Mesa's warden and two other top prison officials have been suspended and state authorities plan on conducting an investigation of irregular conduct. Instances like this in La Mesa contribute to the notion that Mexico's prison systems are corrupt and overcrowded. La Mesa inmates became infamous worldwide after they in effect built and ran "their own city" inside the prison courtyard, complete with the buying and selling of townhomes, running shops, and hiring prostitutes. Since then, violence and outbreaks still continue to be an issue at La Mesa and other Mexican prisons.

Youtube Gets Political

In October of 2006, street demonstrations took place in major cities in Spain to protest the lack of affordable housing, especially for young people. This prevalent issue for Spanish youth materialized in videos such as this youtube video by Toni A. Martinez.

Colombian General Montoya Linked to Paramilitaries

General Mario Montoya has for years been one entrusted to look after the aid package provided by the U.S. to the Colombian army. The head of Colombia's army, he has now been named by a witness, a former paramilitary fighter, as joining forces with death squads that took control of Medellin's impoverished neighborhoods from guerrillas a few years ago. This could be detrimental to the current government, headed by President Uribe. Read more here...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Report accuses Chávez of undermining democracy in Venezuela

September 12, Hugo Chavez ordered the US ambassador to Venezuela to leave his country. He accused the diplomat of conspiring against him and his adminstration and told him to leave within the following 72 hours. He also told his ambassador in the US to leave and return to Venezuela. He said that another US embassador would not be welcome in Venezuela, "until there is a US government that respects the people of Latin America." Hugo Chavez has always been kind of "out there" but this time, he may have stepped too far. The US is Venezuela's number one oil client and obviously now, diplomatic relations will be tight. To read more, click here.

An Amazonian Oil Dilemma

It was recently brought to light that oil plots in the Western Amazon are now becoming a threat not only to the environment but to the indigenous peoples that reside in the area. There are currently 180 oil and gas lots operated by 35 multinational companies. The lots encroach on some of the most important and biodiverse regions of the forest. Further, they are also encroaching on the lands of the indigenous peoples there, a huge violation of their rights. In fact, in August, legislation was being reviewed to lower the community consent needed to exploit their territories.

Sometime this month, PeruPetro, Peru's oil liscensing agency will auction of 22 oil and gas lots, the largest auction in the country's history.

Read more about this here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Colombian oil

A huge reserve of oil has been discovered in Colombia recently. The reserve could contain up to 100 million barrels. This finding is incredibly important for Colombia's economy and will increase their oil production from $1.4 billion to $4 billion! How will this increase in economic productivity affect Colombia?

H.I.V. in Mexico

The New York Times wrote an article discussing problems of sexual ambiguity in Mexico and how they relate to the AIDS epidemic.  Where machismo is a part of culture, and Catholicism is the main religion, homosexuality is not widely accepted.  Instead of labeling people as gay or homosexual, the term is "men who have sex with men" or "hombres que tienen sexo con hombres."  Many of these mens are married when they engage in these sexual encounters with other men.  This causes HIV and AIDS to spread rapidly through the population.  To read the article and see a short video clip on the topic click here.

La Misma Luna

Nearly 6 months ago to this day, a film called Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna) was released in theaters. It tells the story of a Mexican woman who was forced to leave her home (and family) behind when she went to the United States to try to make a living. "The script has Carlitos narrowly escaping kidnapping, drug addicts, and Border Patrol workers, aided by the unlikely friendships he forges along the way," says the synopsis on rottentomatoes.com. The film, in fact, received a standing ovation last year at the Sundance Film Festival. It's currently available on DVD and, in my opinion, something worth checking out.

(Picture Source:

para golosos :)

Did you know the popular Latin American flavour known as "dulce de leche" (English: milk caramel) was invented in Argentina in the late 1800s? And that it's super-easy to make?
Try this recipe:
The Perfect Pantry
or a recipe found in an old Argentine cookbook:
Stir 4 liters of milk, 1 kilo of white sugar, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda together in a large pot over medium heat. (Marbles may be added for more efficient stirring, but make sure you count them beforehand and remove the same number afterwards before eating.) Continue stirring for, oh, about 3-4 hours (or until the mixture reaches a fairly creamy consistency and a golden-brown color), remove from stove and place pot in cold water to cool.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Recent Hurricane Damage Calls Cuba Embargo Into Question

With the recent hurricanes that have ravaged the Cuban Islands, many people are questioning America's 47-year long embargo against the country. In Miami especially, people are hoping the embargo will soon fall so the small island nation can receive all the help possible. The weather has made the debate over the embargo even more urgent; not only is the country weaker due to the volatility of the government, it has now been battered by hurricanes on multiple occasions. The Bush administration does not share the feelings of more moderate groups that are hoping for changes, and are only planning to send up to $250,000 to the island. Many polls show that a majority of Cuban-Americans favor loosening the restrictions that are currently in place...will the recent hurricanes have any impact on the course of Cuban - American relations? Doubtful...but only time will tell.

Read more here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rigoberta Menchu Tum

I arrived in Los Angeles this afternoon to attend a conference for the PeaceJam foundation. This club gathers young people from around the country and world to meet Nobel Peace Prize winners. The Nobel Peace Laureates  for this conference include Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, Shirin Ebadi, Jodi Williams, and many others. One of these Laureates is Rigoberta Menchu Tum. Rigoberta is a Guatemalan woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for her work with the indigenous people of Guatemala. I was lucky enough to meet this amazing woman at last year's PeaceJam conference and again in LA this afternoon.

For more information: Click here.

Botero at the NOMA

The other evening held a special Botero exhibit and a movie viewing at the New Orleans Museum of Fine Art (NOMA).

I was introduced to Fernando Botero by a former Spanish teacher and was amazed and offended by Botero in that first encounter. He is an artist who “illustrates the comedy of the human life” with grossly obese characters. The temporary exhibit at the NOMA is the first exhibition since 1974, which chronicles all the works ever produced by Botero. I found it incredible to witness first-hand the ever growing plethora of art produced by Botero, who is now in his late-seventies and continues to paint, sculpt and draw. I quickly made my way through the rather small, but thorough exhibit of Botero’s works, in order that I might catch the night’s feature film.

The movie screened that night was entitled Favela Rising, a personal account of the lead performer's experiences in the musical group AfroReggae who cries for justice in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Born in the blood and gun shot of “Brazil’s Bosnia,” Anderson Sá asked himself how he could “end the violence…and use music as an instrument of change.” AfroReggae was his answer.

Two seemingly unrelated cultural venues of Latin American social unrest paint the picture and screen the images of aberrant corruption and heartache in a beautiful and sometimes forgotten part of the world. I also asked myself a question: How could such a beautiful place have so much violence? To this Anderson Sá says, "I wanna be a miracle," and change himself, his family and the world around him.

Violence in Central and South America

According to the United Nations Central and South America suffer from the most killings in a non-war zone.  These areas of the world are the most plagued by crime.  The United Nations plans to address this issue in a conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The article specifically pinpoints Colombia as a nation with an immense amount of violence.  Guerrillas, people in the drug business and gangs are cited as largely responsible for the high crime rates.  The article was published in LatinAmericaNews.Net.

Cuba's request for lift on trade restriction

Instead of asking the United State for assistance in storm relief, Cuba has requested for a lift on trade restrictions. The US government has offered $100,000 in aid but Cuba has displayed no interest in this proposal. The Cuban government claims that it would be more constructive to purchase materials to independently repair the damage left from Hurricane Gustav and Ike. The two hurricanes combined damaged 320,000 Cuban homes, and the Cuban government estimates that reparations could exceed $2 billion (as the cost of constructing a new Cuban home would be an average of $8000).

US Secretary of State has rejected to cooperate with Cuba's appeal. Barack Obama and other Democratic members of Congress have requested that the Bush Administration loosen restrictions so that people can send emergency aid to their families in Cuba.

To read more you can follow this link.

Dominican Food

Over the summer my friend's mother cooked me her favorite Dominican dish. The recipe is right here. They're easy to make and absolutely delicious.

Why Cubans Do It Better

Evacuations, that is. In the past 10 years of hurricane activity in Cuba, there have only been 23 Cubans killed, whereas just last week Hurricane Gustav saw 26 deaths in New Orleans alone. The reason Cuba's hurricane safety success lies in their evacuation system, which can only occur so successfully in a communist country. Evacuation plans are distributed in advance, and evacuation drills are a regular occurrence. State news media issue early warnings and civil defense officials activate local response networks. The government also provide evacuation shelters and the day before the hurricane volunteer civil defense workers go door to door to ensure everyone's safety. Special attention is paid to pregnant women, mothers with young children, elderly, and handicapped to make sure they are out of harm's way. Because the government controls most the nation's resources, they don't have to buy resources from private companies, as the United States is forced to do. Also most Cubans work for the government and thus don't have to worry about losing money from taking time off work. Lastly, success is so strong because of the citizen's trust in their country. Meteorologists have been very accurate in the past and thus citizens are very willing to comply with evacuation orders. These are just a few things that may contribute to Cuba's overwhelming success in hurricane evacuation over the United States and other Caribbean nations.

Illegal Immigration

A ship with over 50 people from Ecuador trying to make it to the US began sinking off the coast of Guatemala and had to be rescued by the Coast Guard. The immigrants were trying to come to the US illegally and are now in Guatemala, but will eventually be sent back to Ecuador. What will happen regarding immigration in the future? Many people have such strong feelings about the issue, but it will only become more of an issue in the future. Immigration is a difficult issue because it isn't black and white. Immigrants do contribute to our society and economy in many ways, but cause other problems. What will happen?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chavez Throws U.S. Ambassador Out of Venezuela

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela called for the removal of the United States ambassador--recently ousted from La Paz, Bolivia--in the next 72 hours. What will this mean for U.S.-Venezuelan relations? And for the importation of crude oil? Read more...

Brazilian Soccer: Where is their team??

In a game at home in Rio de Janiero, the Brazilian national soccer team still can't pull out with a win. Loaded with world wide heroes of the game like Kaká, Ronaldinho, Luis Fabiano, Gilberto, Gilberto Silva, Lúcio, and many many others, they can't even beat Bolivia, a team at the very bottom of the table.

In a country that is known, if not for anything else, than for the soccer gods it produces, this loss is a disgrace. Bolivia lost a defender, Ignacio Garcia, to a red card foul and still managed to keep up with star-filled Brazil.

Brazil, after getting off to a rough start in the 10 team table of South America, won their last game against Chile with no problem. Perhaps they got lucky in the Chile game or perhaps they were too overconfident. Probably the most worried person is Brazil's coach, Dunga, whose job lies on the line with this tournament. If Brazil doesn't make it to the World Cup, which, this would be the first time ever for a Brazilian team to NOT make it, then there is no doubt that Dunga will lose his job and probably have to leave the country.

At just barely 2nd place, Dunga, and Brazil fans all over the world can rest a little easy, but a strong Argentina team is right behind them with Chile closely following.

To read more about this embarrasing draw at home in Brazil, click here

el castellano

Many Spanish speakers will refer to Argentines as "ches", a mockery of the language spoken in Argentina. What many English-speakers don't realize is that although the official language of Argentina is "español", the Argentines themselves refer to their language as "castellano", a version of español as it is used in other countries (except for the voseo, the use of "vos" instead of "tú" that comes with all its own present-tense conjugations) mixed with varying levels of lunfardo, a special rioplatense dialect of Spanish that is especially utilized in tango, depending on the region in which they live. The most commonly-used words that you will not hear in other countries include:

chabón - guy, dude
boludo - jerk, moron
fiaca - laziness
bajón or garrón - something that sucks
pucho - cigarette
mango - one peso, similar to "buck" in the states
guita - money
quilombo - a mess or a hassle

and many more. So even if you think you speak Spanish, these are definitely worth checking out beforehand if you ever decide to make a trip to Argentina.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Former Colombian Presidential candidate wins equivalent of Nobel Prize

Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian Presidential candidate, was awarded the Prince of Asturias prize today, the Spanish equivalent of the Nobel prize. She was captured in 2002 after trying to enter the DMZ in order to continue peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or the FARC. Her kidnapping was not premeditated, but they held her hostage for the next 6 years.

In July of this year, the Minister of Defense announced her rescue, as well as that of 14 other captives. The government spent months infiltrating the FARC in order to ensure their safe rescue, and it was a success!

Betancourt was awarded the prize for "promoting understanding between peoples."

This is a fantastic story about the lengths people will go to to promote peace. Her selflessness definitely garners this award.

Read the news article here and the wikipedia article here.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Neighbors Link - Mt. Kisco, NY

Here's a link to the website of the center for Latino immigrants that I worked at this past summer in New York. This page has some interesting facts about the immigrants that I was surprised to learn myself, so hopefully you'll find them as interesting as I did. I think they may clear up a lot of misconceptions we often have about the immigrants in our communities. I gained a lot more respect for them after seeing this information. Enjoy!

Rising Latino Baseball Stars: Francisco Liriano

Pitcher Francisco Liriano of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic is truly a rising star on the MLB scene. He was origonally brought up by the Minnesota Twins in 2005 where he had a few relief appearances. In 2006, Liriano took the league by storm after earning a starting position over Carlos Silva of venezuela. Liriano hurled his way to an amazing record of 12-3 with a 2.19 ERA earning him a spot on the American League All-Star team and a spot on the Cy Young Award ballot. Perhaps one of his most noteworthy pitching performances came on June 22 when he faced off against the notorious Roger Clemons of the Houston Astros. Francisco struck out 11 batters on his way to his 7th win of the season, outdeuling "The Rocket." His fruitful rookie season was ended early however, because of discomfort in his elbow due to his unorthodox pitching motion. In 2007, Francisco Liriano underwent Tommy John Surgery to fix the problem in his elbow. He missed the entire Major League season. On April 11, 2008 Liriano was called up out of the minors in replace of an injured Kevin Slowey and threw 4.2 innings giving up 6 runs. He was deemed unready for Major League action and was sent back down to the minors. On August 1, Francisco was called up once again to face the Kansas City Royals. In this game, he threw 6 scoreless innings while striking out 5 batters and picking up his first win since 2006. Liriano is back and ready for action!