Americas (English Edition)

Articles from Vol. 42, No. 1, January-February

Ahuacatl/aguacate/abacate/avocat/avocado/alligator Pear/palta
When the Aztees ruled Mexico, game animals were scarce, and most of the available protein lived in the water or on the wing. To supplement their largely vegetarian diet, the Aztecs developed a taste for such delicacies as frogs, iguanas, newts, tadpoles,...
All the World's a Stage in Costa Rica
For Costa Rica, the celebration of one hundred years of democracy during November 1989 was an opportunity to host events of wide-ranging human concern, including a presidential summit and the First International Theatre Festival of San Jose for Peace....
Breeding Success
THE YOUNG ANDEAN condor looked puzzled. The nylon net that had covered its home for the past three months was gone. Nothing now separated the bird from a freedom it had never known. After a few minutes, the condor hopped onto a wooden platform and...
Call Waiting: Latin America on the Line
Latin Americans who really like to talk on the telephone would be advised to move to Europe, North America, Japan or even Portugal. Why? There's a much greater chance to use a telephone there than at home. Costa Rica, with 13 telephones per 100...
Canada: A Great Northern Paradox?
A CHARACTER IN AN EARLY PLAY by Roberston Davies, who was a playwright long before he became a novelist of international renown, remarks sadly that Canada is not really a country you love: "It is a country you worry about." As it happens, I do love...
Colca's Elusive Waters
AT DAWN, pink-feathered clouds of flamingos seem to nail the icy waters near the source of the Colca to the ground with their spiky legs. But the water escapes them and a newborn river meanders off on its search for the sea. Sixty miles away, an Andean...
Lessons in the Corral
Did El Piche's wife know why she stayed with him? ... She piled up silences like she piled up clothes in the trunk, and the trunk and her silences were her business and nobody else's. Her housework spun out in the fine, whispering web of a harmless...
Mayan Secrets Come to Light
Strange as it may seem, the rich soil of central El Salvador has given up clues which may eventually contribute to today's food production methods. It is also producing a veritable goldmine of potential information on the lifestyles of the peoples...
Model T for Modern Times
The decorative sticker affixed to a window on every vehicle that rolls off the assembly line sums it all up. A flag-shaped field of green sports the toy-like outline of a little yellow car with blue tires. The visual reference to the Brazilian flag...
Nara Leao, Brazil's Poetess of Modern Song
"When I was an adolescent, I lived next to the cinema Metro Copacabana," the singer recalled in the liner notes of her 1987 album My Golden Dreams. "One day, after seeing Singing in the Rain for the eighth time, it was raining when I left the theatre....
Santo Domingo Builds Up History's Treasures
AS EUGENIO PEREZ MONTAS STEPS from the cool interior of Santo Domingo's Casas Reales onto the city's oldest street, the sun-bleached Calle de las Damas, his gaze takes in an impressive inventory of hemispheric firsts. From the heart of the first Spanish...
Shining On: Orozco's "Epic of American Civilization"
Mural Painting is art's equivalent of public speaking -- loud, forceful and vibrant. Unlike the polite conversational tone of paintings to be hung in a home, a mural typically tackles grand subjects and universal ideas. Mexican artist Jose Clemente...
The Americas Film Festival
We now think of film festivals as glamorous marketplaces, but originally they were more like exhibits of paintings in a museum or art gallery. The intention was to let people sample what was newest and most interesting in the film world, with an emphasis...
The Apocalyptic Hen
In the little city of Tebalda, in Colombia, a hen laid an egg. So far, so good. Hens in Colombia lay eggs the same way as their colleagues the world over. It is not true that in honor of Columbus, they stand up to lay their eggs. The birth was...
The Maroon Culture of Endurance
The History of Jamacia's runaway Maroons is as old as the history of slavery in the Americas. Maroons, from the Spanish "cimmaron", meaning wild or untamed, existed wherever slavery did. But only in Jamaica, where courage, cunning and audacious guerilla...
The Sweet Power of Ethanol
IT'S THE EVENING RUSH HOUR in Sao Paulo, the world's fourth-largest city, and frustrated commuters roll down their car windows for a bit of air as they wait out yet another traffic jam. One motorist, thinking ahead to the refreshing caipirinha, or...
Ushuaia: A Hard-to-Find Tax Break
FIRST-TIME VISITORS to the world's southernmost city expect to see penguins and sea wolves. They're surprised when instead, they discover row after row of factories turning out Japanese name-brand car stereos, washing machines and 90-minute cassette...
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