Americas (English Edition)

Articles from Vol. 57, No. 2, March-April

A Daring Saxophonist in Tune with His Art
He may have grown up in one of the cradles of salsa, Latin jazz, and other fiery Afro-Caribbean styles, but from an early age Puerto Rican saxophonist David Sanchez always had one ear tuned to the beauty and sophistication of European classical music....
Andres Henestrosa from Fables to Fame: This Self-Taught Mexican Writer Captures the Folktales and Lore of His Indigenous Heritage, Lifting Them to New Heights as Literary Works
Andres Henestrosa remembers when he first departed his beloved Isthmus of Tehuantepec for Mexico City. The year was 1922; he was sixteen. He sold his horse at the Juchitan train station and, with just thirty pesos in his pocket and a pillowcase holding...
A New Breed of Ranchers: Landowners in Mexico's Sonoran Desert and the U.S. Southwest Are Implementing Techniques to Conserve Soil and Water Not Only for Cattle but Also for an Improved Ecosystem
Ivan Aguirre Ibarra bent down and dug his hands into the soil around his feet. The ground had a corrugated or rippled look and a slightly damp feel to it this early November morning. All around were saguaro, cholla, and senita cacti, mesquite trees,...
Burning Secrets of Ancient Breweries
HIGH ON AN ANDES MOUNTAINTOP, Wari lords prepare to destroy their sacred drinking halls and brewery. As part of their closing ceremony, the elite members of the empire drink chicha, a fermented brew made out of grain and fruit, presented to them in...
Center for Endless Energy: An Interactive Museum in Rio Allows Visitors to Explore Multiple Aspects of Science and Carries on Brazil's History of Innovative Public-Health Programs
On a sunny Saturday, knots of elementary-school-age children clamber aboard a miniature train that transports them through a tropical forest, past a rose-colored Moorish castle, to a converted horse stable. Here they follow the antics of a live tarantula,...
Elena Poniatowska: Between the Lines of the Forgotten: Acclaimed for Her Powerful Journalism Revealing Social Injustices, This Contemporary Mexican Writer Is Also Known for Her Poignant and Disturbing Fiction
In the evening of October 2, 1968, friends came to Elena Poniatowska's house, where she was caring for her baby born four months earlier, and told her that the peaceful demonstration held in the historic Tlatelolco square ended with government troops...
From the Editor
In this issue of Americas, we visit with two Mexican authors, both of whom have worked principally as journalists and whose lives reflect, within different periods, the promises, possibilities, and disappointments of the Mexican Revolution. Caleb Bach...
Jimmy Carter Urges Shoring Up of Democracy
SPEAKING AT THE OAS, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter cautioned that the "lofty ideas" enshrined in the Inter-American Democratic Charter are not always honored and that extreme poverty continues to afflict parts of the hemisphere. "When people...
Sacrifice of Sacred Ice: Each Year at the Winter Solstice, Hundreds of Faithful Participate in a Pilgrimage in Peru Combining Christian Tradition with the Worship of Ancient Spirits of the Glacier
"Do you need a donkey, friend?" That was the first thing the boy asked me as I got off the bus with my heavy, dust-covered backpack at the end of a long and winding trip up and down the mountains from Cuzco. The night falling in Mahuayani was going...
Safe Moves on Brazilian Highways
NOT LONG AGO, the daily commute on Brazil's highways and city boulevards was a nerve-testing adventure undertaken with great trepidation by all but the most aggressive drivers. Speeding, lane-jumping taxis, wildly careening buses, and tailgating, horn-blowing...
Solar Cooking: Rays of Transformation
Ruth Saavedra de Whitfield is a Bolivian social entrepreneur in Cochabamba with deep concern for the hard lives of her compatriots. In the spirit of Kenyan conservationist Wangari Maathai (this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner), she helps them help...
Toasting Brazil's Humble Spirit: Long a Symbol of National Culture and Pride, Cachaca Is Gaining New Popularity as a Beverage That Appeals across Social Classes at Home and Abroad
As Anibal Luiz Gama presses the halved coconut shell to his lips, his nose captures the aroma of the crystalline liquid that swirls inside. Tanned and shirtless, Gama has a simple daily routine that takes place in a setting in the Brazilian countryside...
Where the Swans Are Dying
In Chile, a land of stunning glacial lakes and primeval forests, citizens and biologists are sounding an urgent alarm. Evidence is emerging that a population of about seven thousand black-necked swans in the Lakes Region's Cruces River Nature Sanctuary...