Americas Quarterly

Articles from Vol. 6, No. 4, Fall

10 Things to Do: Oaxaca, Mexico
Located in southern Mexico, Oaxaca is a UNESCO World Heritage City. Its rich heritage includes Zapotec, Mixtec and Spanish cultures, and it's also an important landmark in Mexican history, established as a colonial city in 1532. The city is in Oaxaca...
50 Years of Change
50 Years of Change and Progress in Civil Society, Politics, Economics, and Philanthropy1913Rockefeller Foundation is created.1936Ford Foundation is created by Edsel Ford.1943Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo (CIMMYT) is established...
Adriana Ramos: Brazil
Social RightsRecognizing and addressing traditional and historical claims to land is democracy's new challenge.T he ratification of Brazil's federal Constitution in 1988 marked a milestone in the country's commitment to the collective and common rights...
Afro-Colombian Leaders: Colombia
Recognition of Race and the Struggle to Realize Change by Ana Margarita GonzálezThe hard work of realizing the rights of Afro-Colombians still lies ahead.In the past 20 years, the Afro-Colombian population has gone from being nearly invisible politically...
Ask the Experts
ALICIA BÁRCENAHow does higher education guarantee entering into the middle class?Educational achievement has always marked and defined the middle class. Public policies that have led to mass access to education have led to a broad-based improvement in...
Assessing the Impact of the New Middle Class on Politics and Democracy
Do the region's new middle classes think and behave in ways that will strengthen, or undermine, democracy?Ever since Aristotle, conventional wisdom has been that a robust middle class is a sine qua non for stable democracy. Put simply: no middle class,...
Brazil's Strategic Leap Forward
EDUCATIONAL EXCHANGES IN SCIENCE ARE A GREAT IDEA, PERHAPS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DIPLOMATIC INITIATIVES IN HEMISPHERIC POLICY. BUT NAVIGATING ALL THE OBSTACLES TO REALIZE SUCH A SIMPLE AND POWERFUL GOAL ISN'T AS EASY AS IT SEEMS.During their meeting...
Carolina Trivelli: Peru
A New Generation of TechnocratsOur social policies need to be rethought and retooled. Fortunately, we are learning.Over the past 50 years, many changes have taken place in Latin America-most of them for the better. But the problem of poverty and social...
Chocolate and Corn Flour: History, Race, and Place in the Making of "Black" Mexico
Chocolate and Corn Flour: History, Race, and Place in the Making of "Black" Mexico Laura A. Lewis Duke University Press, 2012, Softcover, 370 pagesREVIEWED BY NNENNA M. OZOBIAMexico is not the first country that comes to mind when the issue of Afro-descendants...
Dispatches from the Field: The Middle Class
Six days a week, María Felicitas Camacho Maya, 62, unlocks the door to Lilian Michel, a bright white salon in Mexico City's upscale Condesa neighborhood. She slips a white smock over her blouse and checks her hair at an island of oval mirrors.América...
Diwali in Guyana
If you happen to be in India in October or November, one cultural attraction you cannot miss is Diwali, also known as the festival of lights. The five-day event marks the start of the Hindu new year, and this year, due to the Hindu calendar, it occurs...
Do Regional Trade Agreements Weaken the WTO and the Global Push for Free Trade?
yesThey waste energy and political capital.I have supported, and continue to support, all bilateral and regional deals. But Latin America, the United States and the rest of the world would benefit far more if the time, energy, human resources, and all-too-limited...
Double Profit: Financing Consumers
Across Latin America, retailers, telecommunications companies and shopping malls are reaping the benefits of a growing middle class that is able to shop more and spend more. According to McKinsey & Company, Latin America is one of the largest emerging...
Drug Trafficking and the Law in Central America: Bribes, Bullets, and Intimidation
Drug Trafficking and the Law in Central America: Bribes, Bullets, and Intimidation Julie Marie Bunck and Michael Ross Fowler The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012, Hardcover, 431 pagesREVIEWED BY THOMAS C. BRUNEAUCentral America is receiving...
Finance: LATIN AMERICA'S MORTGAGE MARKET
Since 2003, mortgage credit in Latin America has expanded at an annual rate of 14 percent (adjusted for inflation)-well above rates observed in emerging Asia but below the exorbitant rates seen in emerging Europe before its housing bust. The region's...
From the Think Tanks
UNESCO-UNICEF, World Economic Forum, Partnership for a New American EconomyCompletar la Escuela: Un Derecho para Crecer, un Deber para Compartir (Completing School: A Right to Grow, a Duty to Share) is the newest study on education, its link to child...
Gloria Bustos: Colombia
MicrofinanceThe advent of microfinance has helped bring the poor into the economy and improve human dignity.Historically, Colombia's rural southwestern region has always been one of the most diverse and economically productive, providing a large share...
Higher Education in Chile, at What Cost?
The quality of Chile's universities is well known across the Americas. Two of these- Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Universidad de Chile- rank in the top five of the 2011 U.S. News and World Report list of the 100 best schools in the region.Unfortunately,...
Human Rights: NEW THREATS IN THE HEMISPHERE
In her novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Álvarez describes an international mission to visit the Mirabal sisters when two of the four women were in jail for opposing the Rafael Trujillo regime in the Dominican Republic. Three of the sisters...
Indigenous Leaders: Peru
Recovering Indigenous RightsInternational recognition of and support for Indigenous groups and causes is deepening democracy in the region.W e Indigenous peoples have made great progress in the defense of our rights and the rights of Mother Earth (Pachamama)....
Infrastructure: BRAZIL, THE WORLD CUP AND OLYMPICS
With the 2012 London Olympic Games over, attention has shifted to Brazil as host of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. But a worrying amount of work needs to be done.Brazilian officials have promised that public works projects such as overhauling...
Innovators
BUSINESSEdivan CostaBrazilDon't be afraid of bureaucracy. Turn it into an opportunity." According to Brazilian entrepreneur Edivan Costa, that has been the guiding phrase of his life and career. But he is the first to admit that in his country, it's...
La Silenciosa Conquista China
La silenciosa conquista china Juan Pablo Cardenal and Heriberto Araújo Crítica, S.L., 2011, Softcover, 304 pagesREVIEWED BY JOSÉ LUIS LEÓN-MANRÍQUEZA flurry of new books dedicated to understanding the implications of China's expanding global influence...
Latin America's Middle Class in Global Perspective
Though often lumped together as the BRIC middle class, the newly arrived middle classes in Brazil, Russia, India, and China have grown at different rates and will likely play different roles in the political, economic and social development of their...
Learning the Ropes
AS CHINESE COMPANIES INCREASE THEIR COMMERCIAL AND FINANCIAL PRESENCE IN THE REGION, THEY ARE CONFRONTING UNEXPECTED TECHNICAL, LEGAL AND CULTURAL CHALLENGES.In the past decade, China's expanding engagement with Latin America has captivated the attention...
Letter from the Editor
Middle class. The term makes us feel warm and fuzzy. It conjures up images of Leave It to Beaver, station wagons and 401Ks, and when analysts warn it is shrinking in the United States, it's taken as a mortal threat to the American way.By the time you...
Marcelo Paixão: Brazil
Confronting Race and Inequality in BrazilWe've made advances in Brazil. The most important has been recognizing that racism exists.The redemocratization of Brazilian society in the 1980s has meant the widening of the political sphere for a whole new...
Marta Lamas: Mexico
Reproductive RightsThe debate in Latin America today reflects the global discussion.Illegal abortions cause thousands of deaths in Latin America. As shown by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the vicious...
Monsignor Juan José Gerardi: Guatemala
A Martyr for Truth by Kate DoyleBefore he was brutally murdered, Monsignor Gerardi stood for the dignity and rights of the poor. His legacy lives on.T he 1998 assassination of Guatemalan Bishop Juan José Gerardi stunned a country ravaged by more than...
Nancy Pérez: Mexico
Evolution of Migrant RightsIn our country, building more inclusive, democratic societies means tending to the rights of the most excluded: migrants.After the Central American peace accords of the 1980s and 1990s ended decades of civil war, thousands...
Ricardo Lagos: Chile
Advances in the Social SciencesInternational support in the 1960s and 1970s helped spark a generation of scholars that would shape democratic transitions in the Southern Cone.In 1962, the Ford Foundation quietly began work in the Southern Cone. At the...
Sergio Aguayo: Mexico
From Rights to GovernanceThose who have contributed to Mexico's democracy understand that the power needs to be shared with Mexican citizens.I was asked to give my opinion on the changes that have transpired in the hemisphere in the past 50 years and...
The Exaggerated Death of the Middle Class
Mark Twain, upon reading his obituary in the New York Journal, famously quipped that the reports of his death were greatly exaggerated. The same could be said today of reports from the scholarly world, the media and even the White House about the shrinking...
The Middle Class Market Boom
The growing middle class in the hemisphere is creating an entirely new base of consumers. But tapping them requires understanding and adapting to their needs.There's been an amazing revolution in the global commercial landscape. The developing world...
The Real Middle Class
Lately, it seems that almost every news story on Latin America or report by a multilateral bank is calling attention to the millions of people-40 million in Brazil alone- who have joined the middle class in the past decade. That's a welcome change from...
THE ROAD TO THE World Cup
Although the next World Cup doesn't kick offuntil June 2014, the qualifying rounds are already well under way. Between June 2011 and November 2013, 203 teams representing six regional federations will vie for 31 berths in the world's biggest sports tournament.The...
Will Old Age & Bad Health Bankrupt the Americas?
The rise of noncommunicable diseases is taking a toll on productivity and straining public budgets across the Americas.The long history of effective public health and development efforts in the Americas has produced tremendous health gains. Life expectancy...
Workers of Polar Unite. IN DEFENSE OF CAPITALISM!
Corporate social responsibility helped Venezuela's Empresas Polar defy repeated government attempts at expropriation. It's a valuable lesson for other firms.Over the past decade, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has expropriated some 1,000 firms of all...