Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Latin Leaders Question Legalizing Marijuana

I found an interesting article about the response Latin leaders have about Proposition 19, the law that would legalize marijuana in California. This article focuses on the leaders at a Colombian summit where Mexican and three other countries presidents discussed this controversial topic. The Latin leaders are against the proposition in the fact that it contradicts the efforts that both the US and Central American/Mexican leaders have been working on to stop the drug trade. I agree with the worries that these Latin leaders bring up. How will we be able to control the use and trade of marijuana just within state lines. We have seen the violence that the drug war in Mexico has caused, and I don't see a benefit to adding to it. I definitely think this proposition is against the worldwide anti-drug effort.;_ylt=AkBxLNl1M9So5gtkYApyXEy3IxIF;_ylu=X3oDMTM2Yzg5ajdxBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAxMDI3L2x0X2xhdGFtX21hcmlqdWFuYV9sZWdhbGl6YXRpb24EcG9zAzE5BHNlYwN5bl9wYWdpbmF0ZV9zdW1tYXJ5X2xpc3QEc2xrA2xhdGlubGVhZGVycw--

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Latin Leaders' Reactions California's Possible Legalization of Marijuana

Here is a rather interesting article about officials in Latin American countries, especially Colombia, speaking of the implications of the proposition in California that, if approved on November 2, would legalize marijuana in that state. Many officials feel that if this goes into effect, the United States foreign policy concerning drugs in Latin America would need serious reform.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pot-Pie : PA Dutch :: ??? : Latin American

I grew up with a lot of cultural dishes from my family's heritage, that I absolutely love and crave while I'm down here away from my family. I went home for fall break, and however short a stay that was, my mom made me two different dinners of my choice - beef vegetable pie, and ham pot-pie. I absolutely love these dishes, and I don't know how I made it so long without them. :P
For me, German/Dutch foods are what I know, they're what I grew up with, and I didn't know they were part of my heritage until I was in school with other kids who didn't know what hog maw was (fyi, it's a baked pig stomach stuffed with pork/sausage and homemade bread stuffing, with all the fixin's. yummmm.) To some, that sounds really gross and that it should be an ancient meal, and honestly, I don't eat the stomach lining - but the elders in my family do. I realized when I went home, that I grew up around so many foods like this, and my heritage and ancestry wasn't even overtly a huge deal to our family. It made me think what the Latin Americans and the like, who have a great deal of pride in their heritage, grew up with.
I remember watching a True Life on MTV (I know, how cliche) that was about Latin American families and how their culture really played into what they ate and how they celebrated - with food. So I researched a little bit about what foods are culturally prevalent and tried to find an easy recipe. I hope someone can enjoy a meal like this, because I'm on my way to becoming a poor college kid who eats like a real German only when she's home.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Antisemitism in Sao Paulo

The municipal government in Sao Paulo, Brazil are now requiring that all public schools teach about the Holocaust due to a recent surge in crimes against the the Jewish community in the city. Apparently neo-nazi groups in Sao Paulo have been steadily growing in popularity the last couple of years. I had no idea this was a problem in Brazil and this article certainly opened my eyes:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cidade de Deus

"City of God" is one of my favorite films of all time. It takes place between 1960 and 1980 Cidade de Deus, a suburb not far from Rio de Janeiro and depicts the life of a teenage boy caught between three corrupt sides in a war sparked by obsessions over money, women, weapons, and power.

The tagline is "Fight and you'll never survive... Run and you'll never escape."

Here are two trailers, the first one is definitely worth watching

The Cost of Homes in Haiti

The headline of this article that reads, "$900,000 for a 3-bedroom ... in Haiti", really caught my attention when browsing the recent news from Latin America. This very interesting article showed the extreme increase in housing prices in Haiti after the earthquake. The issue is that there aren't enough houses for the people left homeless. Even the middle and upper class families are living under tarps because even they can't afford the prices to rent/buy the few houses that survived the quake. It's very sad that even the millions of dollars of aid haven't made a dent in the housing situation. No one has a solution to the issue as of now, but hopefully the Haitians will experience relief in the coming months.;_ylt=AnB9ZytFsTojpmZOSL87FdO3IxIF;_ylu=X3oDMTMyNW1zZnFrBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAxMDE3L2NiX2hhaXRpX2VhcnRocXVha2VfaG91c2luZwRwb3MDMTEEc2VjA3luX3BhZ2luYXRlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDOTAwMDAwZm9yYTM

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chavez Weakened

Here is an article from the LA Times that discusses the newest elections in Venezuela and their results, and their potential to weaken Chavez's political power in the country:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chilean Miners

The last of the 33 trapped Chilean miners were rescued today after being trapped since August 5th. I was so shocked to find that they had been trapped for so long. Here is the article from BBC Mundo:
In order to rescue the miners, 15 tubes were connected in order to create a 90 ft. rescue tunnel. This was necessary because of the risk of collapse if the miners were to escape without any protection. The miners were originally trapped because of an earthquake, causing the mines to become unstable. I'm glad that most of the miners made it out alive but also shocked that it took the Chilean government so long to organize and complete this rescue.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Premio Nobel de Literatura (2010)

The 2010 Nobel prize in literature was recently awarded to Peruvian writer and politician, Mario Vargas Llosa. Some of his works include "La ciudad y los perros (1962)" (The city and the dogs) and "Conversación en la Catedral (1969)" (Conversation in the Cathedral). The specific reason why he won was described as being for his "mapping of structure of power and scathing portrait of individual resistance, rebellion and defeat." The award itself included about $1.5 million and will actualy be presented on December 10, 2010.

For more information on Mario Vargas Llosa or to see the article, check out the BBC link:

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Girl Wins Lawsuit Over a Hot Pink Dress in Brazil

I found an interesting article from Brazil about a girl who was expelled from school for wearing a hot pink mini dress to class at her college in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil. Not only did she sue the college and win $20,000, she's became a local and an internet celebrity. She's even coming out with her own clothing line! Read this ridiculous but interesting article at:;_ylt=AkYRbXfFn.CdcwEWC3aeJni3IxIF;_ylu=X3oDMTJzN2tnbTlzBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAxMDA2L2x0X2JyYXppbF9zaG9ydF9kcmVzcwRwb3MDMjMEc2VjA3luX3BhZ2luYXRlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDYnJhemlsY29sbGVn

Clown is Elected to Brazilian Congress

Here is a very interesting article about a clown being elected to the Brazilian congress, and allegations now coming forward that he is illiterate could lead to him forfeiting his seat:

Monday, October 04, 2010

News From Bolivia

Hey everybody! So I was looking through Latin American News on Yahoo today, and I came across this. Apparently soccer is taken pretty seriously down in Bolivia! Check out the atricle and video on this link.

Ernesto Guavera

I knew very little about Che until I read this. He is a nearly universal symbol for rebellion and freedom, but do you know what he did to get himself that kind of reputation?

Celebrating Heritage (con familia)

I was searching for something interesting about this month being LA Heritage Month, and when I typed in "Latin American Heritage..." to google, I looked at the predictive options that show up underneath and something caught my eye. Underneath "... month" there was "... camp" and I know how I love camp, so I checked it out. This link is for a bunch of nationality heritage camps for adoptees.
I really like the concept of summer camps for kids who are in some aspect different from most of the other kids they live and interact with on a daily basis. In fact, I've attended one every August from the past 10 years and don't see myself ever missing a year. Granted, my camp is for diabetics (and I really do have a love for the place and program) but I figured that these heritage camps would function along the same lines: tailoring its activities so the campers feel like they are one of many, many kids who deal with the same things they do. I know at my diabetes camp (Camp Setebaid) we have time set aside for checking our blood sugars and everyone does it. All the campers are diabetic, and most of the staff is, too, so it helps that you aren't the exception for once. Being at camp is like being normal for that week because EVERYONE knows how to deal with diabetes and they'll all look out for you, and share stories of their experiences - bad and good - but it makes you feel at home. The friends I have from camp are some of the closest friends I have ever made, and we really do bond over everything we do at camp - diabetes-relatede and not.
But anyways, back to the heritage camps: I think it's awesome that kids who are adopted have a place (at least in Colorado - ironically where one of my diabetic friends moved to this summer after camp) where they can feel normal - even if they are the only Latin American, or whatever race, in their home. I can relate to these kids in an unexpected way, but it's really comforting. At Setebaid, we learn new ways to cope with and treat our diabetes, and I'm sure at these heritage camps the campers learn new ways to celebrate their heritage, from other campers and from the staff, just like I did. All in all, these camps are a wonderful counterpart to other summer camps that take everyone (but better for the kids who are unique because they finally feel like they have a family just like them).

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Music and Culture of South America

As I was searching the internet for an interesting article, I found this website that is all about the culture and current music of South America. Check it out-it's definitely something to bookmark!