Monday, January 31, 2011

Manjar Blanco

Whenever it is anyone’s birthday or a special occasion in my family my mother makes a dulce de leche dessert. I never knew it's exact origin or where she got the recipe, but I knew it was not an old Jewish recipe (which my mom usually makes). When I googled the dessert I found out that the kind of dulce de leche my mom makes is a traditionally Columbian recipe- when I told her this she got a big kick out of this because she regularly serves in on Chanukah and Rosh Hashanah. Anyway, this is the recipe used to make this delicious dessert:


1/4 cup rice

10 cups whole milk

2 1/2 cups sugar

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup raisins


1. Place the rice with some water in a bowl and set aside for 2 days. Rinse and drain the rice.

2. Place the soaked rice in a food processor or blender with 1 cup of whole milk.

3. In a medium pot, place the rice and milk mixture, the rest of milk, sugar and salt and bring to a boil.

4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, stirring often with a wooden spoon for about 3 hours or until the color changes to caramel and the mixture is thick as a pudding. Add the raisins and let it cool

5. Pour into a container and cover. Refrigerate.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is a issue throughout the world, but in cultures that emphasize the role of the male in the family, like that of Latin America, domestic violence becomes more of a problem because there are less resources for the abused. This article addresses Domestic Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean and calls for change. In Spain a series of videos were created to call attention to the rising numbers of Women reporting abuse and the severity of many situations at home that are commonly overlooked when reported.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

COHA Reports

The Council on Hemispheric Affairs is one of my favorite sources for current events and information on Latin American affairs. The great thing about COHA is that many of its reports are written and researched by student interns there. Tulane has sent a number of students to COHA for an internship. It's great experience. Even more impressive, though, is the quality of the analysis on Latin America that one can find there. Check it out.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Clean Energy News

United States President Barack Obama announced an upcoming visit to Chile during his State of the Union address this week. (The Santiago Times, 1/27/11) In March, Obama will meet with President PiƱera to discuss clean energy which Obama has defined as natural gas, “clean coal”, and nuclear, as well as renewable energy. (Associated Press, 1/26/11)...

Cuban Defector To Possibly Close For Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds Pressing Questions

Aroldis Chapman, he of the 105 MPH fastball, may close for the Reds in 2011.

Venezuela is Facing a Cholera Outbreak

Venezuela has confirmed that 111 of its citizens have cholera. Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that causes profuse vomiting and diarrhea caused by bacteria. It is caused by bad sanitation and unclean water. It is very contagious and it believed that many more people in Venezuela currently have cholera and have not reported it. Another problem is that many do not know they have it and are spreading it.

Source #1
Source #2

Friday, January 28, 2011

Maradona May Coach in English Premier League

Argentinian soccer legend Diego Maradona may have found a new job since being fired as head coach of the Argentine national soccer team. If this happens, Maradona will be taking his famous sideline antics to what is considered one of the most difficult professional soccer leagues in the world.

"Mexican town's cops quit after colleagues beheaded"

The war on drugs in Mexico continues to be a major problem. Victimless citizens feel in danger and even police forces are losing hope, too. In Monterrey, Mexico, multiple policeman have been reported as kidnapped, missing, decapitated, or dead. The issue of drug cartels need to be addressed more effectively immediately before any human, of authority or not, dies again.

For more information on this article, please click this link. -Megan

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Expanding Mexico City's Sewage System

As a public health major, this report about sewage systems in Mexico City, the world's second largest city, caught my eye. After listening to it, I could not believe that in a city with more than 20 million people, there are floods of sewage so high that sometimes cars cannot drive. I find it difficult to believe that there are still open sewage canals in such a booming city and that they haven't found a solution to this problem earlier.

Wynton Marsalis Visits Cuba

This 60 Minutes episode features Wynton Marsalis, a New Orleans-native trumpet player. This particular segment includes footage of, and information on, his trip to Havana, Cuba, as well as the similarities in the local jazz music of each region.

The Death of Salvador Allende

Link to the story.


"Dance Latino" by Debra Hurd

Over time Latin America has come to develop its own unique popular culture through exchange with outside nations such as the Spanish. Now, if you had one minute to call out what first comes to mind when hearing “Latin American culture” what would you think of? I wouldn’t doubt that within seconds women in colorful flowing skirts, shaking their hips would dance their way into your head to the fast rhythm of conga drums being hit and fun, upbeat music blearing in the background. The women and their partners move in an intimate rhythm that is salsa.

Salsa dancing as a title originated in Latin America during the late 1960s. Its unique rhythm mixes different Cuban dance styles such as son, rumba, and chachacha. Its importance in Latin American culture comes from the identity it gives the nation, unifying its people by practice of salsa music and dance. It is also meant to be an outlet for expression. Dancers communicate their emotions through the movement of their bodies.

This painting is a visual aid of common stereotypes we assign salsa dancing. Typically, salsa is associated with bright vibrant colors, movement that seems fast pace, flowing costumes, and live music with a Spanish sounding tune.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


There are many varied and beautiful natural wonders in Latin America. One in particular that I find amazing are cenotes. Cenotes, otherwise known as underwater sinkholes, are found in many parts of Latin America. One spot where they are particularly common is in the Yucatan. These cenotes were once sacred places to the Mayans, and now are a popular destination for tourists and for cave divers. For more information, check out this site.

War on Drugs

Former presidents of Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil are proposing new strategies for fighting against the drug trade. These three statesmen publicly called the US attempts at halting the drug trade a failure and are hoping that halting the drug trade will, from now on, be considered a "public health issue."

Deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest

I never realized that deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil was a major concern; however the following article gave me good insight into the posing issue that faces the country and ultimately the planet.

Copa Libertadores

In Latin America, the Copa Libertadores is set to start. This is one of Latin America's biggest soccer tournaments, with the competing sides being private clubs as opposed to the national teams, which play in the world cup and other international competitions. For a brief overview of some of the drama from the 2010 cup and some insight into the coming 2011 tournament read here.

Obama, the SOTU, and Latin America

This article from the wall street journal talks about President Obama's State of the Union Address. Obama will be visiting Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador in March to strengthen American ties with the region as well as to boost trade.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cuban Ropa Vieja

This is one of my favorite cuban dishes... for more recipes you can visit this website.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds beef flank steak
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the flank steak on each side, about 4 minutes per side.
  2. Transfer beef to a slow cooker. Pour in the beef broth and tomato sauce, then add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, cilantro, olive oil and vinegar. Stir until well blended. Cover, and cook on High for 4 hours, or on Low for up to 10 hours. When ready to serve, shred meat and serve with tortillas or rice.

Argentina circa 1967

This article (circa 1967) contains some absolutely stunning photos of Buenos Aires. The whole article is not offered, and it is not quite clear from which magazine this article originally came from, however it seems to be talking about what makes Buenos Aires the way it is. From the pages of text, however mismatched, flows the Argentine's sense of pride in themselves and their country. I have experienced this pridefulness first-hand with my Argentine friends, and it is why I am so interested in Argentina and plan to visit there in the future.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cuba and US relations

Found this at a Latin American current events website. Really quick read. Thought it was interesting because I don't know that much about Cuba and US relations, but didn't think it was this hostile or anything. Anyway, here it is: Link

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Costa Rica's efforts to save the Sea Turtles

This video explains some efforts that are being taken by the Costa Ricans in a effort to save their population of Sea Turtles.

If you would like to know more on the obstacles that the Sea Turtles are facing this website has additional information.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Squatter Settlements in Argentina

This article discusses the situation of squatter settlements in Argentina. I found it interesting because the article points out how ingrained the problem is in Argentina today and how critical it is to the country's current political environment.

For more information on Argentina, check out this link.