Escucho, de mi colecciÃ³n de discos de folklore latinoamericano, un tema del grupo argentino Los Trovadores, renombrado por sus cuidados arreglos vocales. Se llama "Pregones coloniales": empiezan por el pregÃ³n del aceitunero â"Aceituna, una..."â y siguen por el del velero y el aguatero. De esa canciÃ³n salto a otra del mismo grupo: los "Pregones del altiplano". AllÃ, los que suenan son los gritos del vendedor de mantas, del de mazamorra y del platero...
Cuando era niÃ±o, la estampa de los pregones era una de las mÃ¡s me gustaba cuando me enseÃ±aban la (deformada) historia colonial de mi paÃs. QuizÃ¡s aquellos anuncios callejeros tenÃan algo que ver con la mÃºsica, elemento que siempre me pareciÃ³ un maravilloso lenguaje universal. La costumbre de pregonar habÃa llegado de EspaÃ±a, en los mismos barcos que trajeron muchos de los productos que se pregonaban.
El fragmento que quiero compartirles es un tanto complejo. Se refiere a la historia colonial peruana. Muchos de los personajes y productos pregonados son poco conocidos en otros Ã¡mbitos. Sin embargo, creo que un par de explicaciones posteriores bastarÃ¡n para aclarar algunas dudas...
Palma explica como los pregones en las calles del barrio de su niÃ±ez servÃan de reloj noâoficial...
Para los desconocedores, vayan las siguientes anotaciones.
La tisanera vendÃa hierbas medicinales, y la chichera, chicha, bebida fresca hecha a base de maÃz, muy consumida en la actualidad en el Ã¡rea andina, tanto en su versiÃ³n no fermentada como en la otra, que tiene alcohol y equivale a una cerveza.
La leche-vinagre es cuajada, producto lÃ¡cteo tÃpicamente hispano. El zango de Ã±ajÃº es un guiso de un fruto ya olvidado, que era de la forma de un pimiento y con una sustancia viscosa o gomosa en su interior.
La tamalera vendÃa tamales, pastelillos a base de pasta de maÃz rellena de carne o verduras y envuelto, todo ello, en "chala" (hoja de la mazorca). Los productos de la "mulata del convento" eran dulces, obras maestras de reposterÃa tÃpicas de claustros de monjas.
Las melcochas eran especies de caramelos de azÃºcar y mantequilla. El humitero vendÃa humitas, muy parecidas a los tamales. Los anticuchos son especies de "pinchos morunos" hechos con lascas de corazÃ³n de vaca, aÃºn hoy muy apreciados en Bolivia y PerÃº.
Con un puÃ±ado de estas lecturas, uno se sonreirÃ¡ âsobre todo si es latinoamericanoâ cuando, en el metro o en el bus, escuche el pregÃ³n de los modernos vendedores ambulantes. Y se darÃ¡ cuenta de que, a pesar de todo, muchas cosas sÃ³lo cambian la fachada, pero jamÃ¡s mueren.
Estamos parando, durante este mes de marzo, en un pequeÃ±o pueblo de la llamada "sierra pobre" de Madrid, que en su dÃa perteneciÃ³ a la provincia de Segovia. El pueblo en cuestiÃ³n se llama Bustarviejo, y es un lugar en el que todavÃa âa pesar del avance de "lo moderno"â se conserva bastante de la vida tranquila de las villas del interior castellano.
Esa misma cultura âsalvando todas las distanciasâ se encuentra entre los caravaneros de llamas que cruzan el altiplano boliviano llevando papas desde la puna a los lagos salados, para cambiarlas allÃ por bloques de sal y transportar ese preciado bien blanco a los valles cÃ¡lidos para trocarlos por hojas de coca, verduras, frutas, queso... Esa cultura incluye ritos ancestrales de propiciaciÃ³n y protecciÃ³n de viajeros y animales; incluye instrumentos musicales Ãºnicos, decires, ceremonias, costumbres...
Como les decÃa, mucha de esa cultura tradicional sigue viva en algunos rincones de nuestro mundo. Como aquÃ, en Bustarviejo, donde todavÃa se recuerdan las nubes de polvo que levantaba el paso de las grandes majadas ovinas, camino a los pastos.
En 1906 la Royal Geographical Society encarga al militar Percy Fawcett la investigaciÃ³n y cartografÃa de la zona fronteriza entre Bolivia y Brasil. Esa primera expediciÃ³n al continente sudamericano cambiarÃa la vida de Fawcett para siempre.
Notable regreso del cine de aventuras a la cartelera con un buen despliegue de recursos y actores.
....Sobre el reparto de âZâ sÃ³lo caben elogÃos. Para empezar tenemos al protagonista, un gran Charlie Hunnam que avanza en esto de la interpretaciÃ³n a pasos agigantadosâ¦ y llena por completo el traje y carisma de Percy Fawcett, tanto como militar, como esposo y padre, y como explorador. Un hombre tremendamente educado, abierto, responsable, con ganas de triunfar y obsesionado con la selva. AtenciÃ³n a su discurso en la Royal Geographical Society, y a su muy estimable pronunciaciÃ³n del espaÃ±ol cuando le toca hablar en nuestro idioma con algunos de los nativos.
In this thrilling new column, Rickey shall award âcheersâ to those exemplary parties deserving laudable mention, and âjeersâ to those despicable individuals who have garnered his unfettered scorn. Itâs a helluva lot like the weekly Daily Kos 'Cheers & Jeers' column, but minus the shallow and pedantic political diatribes. Enjoy our inaugural edition.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled post:
Cheers toâ¦ John Favreau for filming "Iron Man 2," the most enjoyable superhero flick Rickey has seen to date. And donât worry, as much as he wants to, Rickey promises he won't reach for a tenuous political allegory in this installment in the Iron Man franchise like he did last time. Free of all the burdens of the formulaic origin story that the first Iron Man movie was mired down in, this flick is a rollicking good time. As you may have heard, the plot isnât all that great, but the brilliant dialogue and acting make up for it and the action scenes are mercifully sparse yet actually discernible. The film kicks off with our cocky prick of a superhero Tony Stark plummeting out of a whizzing plane in full red and gold metallic regalia, doing a bit of snazzy midair maneuvering, and landing prominently in the rejuvenated 1965 Queens Worldâs Fair grounds with a thunderous metal CLANG to a massive applauding crowd. Amazingly enough, the movie goes exponentially uphill from there. (Although Rickey wouldâve loved to see Iron Man overshoot his landing zone and accidentally land in Citi Field to lukewarm applause and grumbles of âwell, he canât possibly be any worse than Oliver Perezâ from sullen Mets fans). The people at the helm of this flick really nailed the tone of the Iron Man property. One day they're going to run out of raucous AC\DC songs to loop over the film's soundtrack. Happily, that day is far, far away. Rickey strongly urges you to go forth and enjoy Iron Man 2 this weekend in a heavily packed theater. Take the missus. It'll be serious fun.
Jeers toâ¦ 2K Sports for finding new and unique ways to rub it in to Mets fans. 2K Sports, publisher of a popular baseball video game franchise, offered a $1,000,000 prize to the gamer who could throw a perfect game in their new title MLB 2K10. And sure enough, somebody pulled it off and claimed the prize. The pitcher they used to win was KenshinKawakami. The team he pitched against? Ladies and gentlemenâ¦ your 2010 New York Mets!!!
Cheers to... Homeless people. Given the stock market's performance this week, Rickey is starting to suspect that you fellows are really ahead of the curve here. Rickey himself looks forward to his days as a homeless person and really making a good run of it. Why not have some fun with the experience? If Rickey was homeless, he'd breathe some life into this honored pastime by going into jewelery stores, picking out the most expensive necklaces, then reaching for his wallet only to loudly exclaim: "oh wait, I forgot, I'm fucking homless! Goddammit!" Rickey would also panhandle to pay for admission to museums so he could hop over the velvet rope and eat a famous painting such as a Monet. Rickey would totally scarf down that Water Lillies painting. He'd be the most expensive homeless person in the world!
Jeers to... Lawrence Taylor. Seriously, what the hell, dude? But hey, on the bright side, at least Rickey doesn't need to search as hard to get your signature on a football. He can just look up your name and address on a sex offender registry!
Cheers toâ¦The good folks at BP Energy for making Rickey rich beyond measure. Now we all know that whatâs happening in the Gulf Coast right now is a complete catastrophe, but that doesnât mean somebody shouldnât profit from it, right? That somebody is Rickey. You see, Rickey estimates that by the end of next week, the price of gulf coast shrimp will rival that of Bolivian nose candy. Rickeyâs brilliant plan is to purchase up 10 metric tons of frozen shrimp from Costco tonight at discount prices and store it in a massive freezer in his basement and wait patiently. When the time is right and the public hungers for affordable shrimp, Rickey will spring into action and sell discount shrimp out of the back of his Saab 9-3 off the New Jersey Turnpike. Rickeyâs gonna be rich, he tells you, rich!
Jeers to... The entire state of Massachusetts for continuing their proud tradition of wondrous incompetency. Rickey and Mrs. Henderson were in the greater Boston area last weekend when news flashes emerged that a major water main had ruptured nearby, leaving 2 million residents with no potable drinking water. (Why is it that wherever the Hendersons go, catastrophe follows them?) You know your weekend getaway has gone terribly awry when you witness Massholes in camouflage shorts and Red Sox hats lining up outside the local Kmart at 7AM to purchase cases of Poland Spring bottled water like the zombie apocalypse is upon them. The reason the Hendersons were up in the Boston was for a baptism for a friendâs newborn child. Were Rickey and Mrs. Henderson cracking jokes during the ceremony about the quality of the water the priest was dunking the kid in? Oh, you betcha.
Cheers toâ¦ Mothers everywhere. You gals are doing a heckuva job. Just stellar work all around. On this Motherâs Day weekend, Rickey just wanted you to know that.
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does anybody of you have any reliable information if it is still possible to leave
Bolivia after 3 month of tourist visa, to enter the country again and to
get another 90 days of turist visa? As far as I have heard it is not
possible anymore. Has anybody made some experience with this recently? Thank you very much in advance for a short notice!
I noticed on another travel website that I might be able to purchase a visiting/tourist visa to enter Bolivia at the airport should I have not had one issued in my country of departure. How and where in/at the airport would this be done?
My daughter if off to Bolivia soon and I have given her a credit card (in case of emergencies!) Does anyone know if Bolivia operates a chip and pin system or does the old fashioned signature still work there? She also intends to travel to both Brazil and Argentina and I would like to know what system operates in these countries as well.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Country: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, World, Zambia
International prices of wheat rose further in July on quality concerns, particularly for higher protein wheat, although upward pressure was limited by prospects of ample global supplies. Export prices of maize remained generally unchanged, while a slowdown in demand capped gains in rice quotations.
In East Africa, prices of cereals in most countries declined signi cantly for the second consecutive month in July with the new harvests, but remained generally higher than a year earlier. However, in Ethiopia, prices of maize surged further and reached record levels, underpinned by uncertain prospects for the 2017 crops.
In the CIS, prices of staple potatoes declined sharply from the record or near-record highs of June in most countries of the subregion with the beginning of the new harvest. Prices, however, remained higher than in July last year after the sharp increases of the past months.
Coronel, J.S., Maes, G.E., Claus, S., Van Damme, P.A., and Volckaert, F.A.M. (2004) Differential population history in the migratory catfishes Brachyplatystoma flavicans and Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum(Pimelodidae) from the Bolivian Amazon assessed with nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers. Journal of Fish Biology, 65 (3). pp. 859-868.
Gracias, General Mills, for partnering with me on this post to share about our family’s traditions for DÃa de Los Muertos. Like always, all opinions are mine. DÃa de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is not a day we normally observed in my house growing up. My parents are Bolivian, and my mother...
A lot of academic criticism of MOOCs derives from the fear that small, private online courses (SPOCs) open only to fee paying students, but based on MOOCs offered by âsuperstarâ online professors, will replace local faculty, especially in lower tier institutions. Low-paid contingent faculty and teaching assistants (or worse, software programs and auto-graders) will then handle the heuristic teaching and grading, leaving fee paying students without expert human guidance. This is the "MOOCs will Destroy Higher Education as we Know It" argument.
If you carry the hierarchical, every-student-for-themselves assumptions inherent in an xMOOC into the future you will never escape the reasons why so many caring educators oppose MOOCs in the first place. . . The problem with MOOCs isnât the name. Itâs not even the components of the acronym. The problem with MOOCs is that theyâre being designed to create low-quality, hierarchical courses that can be championed by unscrupulous administrators to fire caring professors and leave unsuspecting students to fend entirely for themselves.
Rees appears to be arguing here against SPOCs, not MOOCs. But letâs take up that part of his argument directed nominally against MOOCs. Rees says:
Cosmetic changes will not solve (MOOC quality) problems. Only re-thinking the entire xMOOC experience from the ground up will have even the slightest chance of creating something worthwhile.
The initial bother here is Reesâs false choice between merely âcosmeticâ changes vs. ârethinking MOOCs from the ground upâ. Reesâs dualism neglects that middle ground of actual or potential positive developments within the existing x-MOOC framework. Rees would almost certainly know about these if he took a break from general critique to explore particular MOOCs. Iâll turn to this task below.
We can dismiss Reesâ unsupported claim about what MOOC designers intend. Have x-MOOCs been âdesigned to create low quality coursesâ. On the contrary, their designers seek to create high quality courses, as they understand them, with instruction better than they perceive to be todayâs norm. Indeed Anant Agarwal has made it the highest priority of edX to use the huge data sets available in computerized courses with tens or hundreds of thousands of students to improve instruction and learning. MOOCs may nonetheless be low quality courses, of course, but that is another question and would have to be addressed on the basis of relevant criteria of value.
Have MOOCs been âdesigned to suit the needs of unscrupulous administrators?â This ids another unsupported claim. Agarwal, Koller, Ng and the other platform executive have had quite different aims â to scale up instruction and make quality higher education globally available. While this may also result in substitution of technology for labor in the university, it hardly follows that that was the intended result, and in any case is not a critique of MOOC instruction itself. It is no critique of a hammer that an imbecile can use it to bash in someoneâs head. It might nonetheless be a very good hammer.
Evaluating Particular MOOCs
So letâs consider the tasks of instruction in actual MOOCs.
Instruction in courses typically involves three inter-acting dimensions: didactic, discursive and heuristic. The didactic dimension conveys knowledge through lectures and textbook readings; the discursive facilitates understandingthrough discussion and critical feedback; the heuristic shapes skills through drill and practice.
Good instruction, whether in a classroom or a MOOC, provides for the development and integration of knowledge, understanding and skill. It aims to engage students into worthwhile activities and practices by melding âI know,â and âI understand,â with âI can do.â When we think in general terms about the evaluation of particular MOOCs, we want to ask how well these instructional dimensions can be handled through computer software.
Rees and other academic critics have condemned MOOCs as in effect using the best of 21stcentury technology to deliver the worst of 19th century instruction. The lectures, they claim, consist of videotaped talking heads. The discussion boards are useless and riddled with spam and flame wars. The problem sets are repetitive, trivial, and exhausting. In short, MOOCs are poor tools for didactic, discursive, and heuristic dimensions of instruction.
But is this critique justified? I will consider each of the three dimensions of instruction, with specific examples from well-known MOOCs.
(1) Didactic Instruction. While MOOC critics may wish to portray live classroom instruction as akin to Mark Hopkins dialoguing with a few students on a log, the reality is generally quite different: faculty members serving up uninspiring lectures to halls full of disengaged students. If talking heads are the problem, academic critics are in no position to pin the blame on MOOCs.
MOOC presentations, however, are not in general talking heads. On the contrary, MOOC presentations are an entirely new form of pedagogical experience. The large data sets and the rich data trails of computerized instruction have enabled researchers to explore new questions, such as the optimum length for lecture segments, and the most effective way of articulating them with readings and problem sets. Research suggests that 6 minutes is optimal. MOOCs now typically break up brief lecture segments with problem sets and free-response questions. Lecture segments are supplemented with interviews, clips from panels at research conferences, interviews with other scholars, research presentations by graduate students, and on-site videos of knowledge use in âreal-worldâ settings. While a single instructor inevitably gives his course subject matters a personal twist, MOOCs offer unique opportunities for presenting multiple points of view.
MOOCs are often criticized for just transferring a âsage on stageâ pedagogy from the lectern to the computer screen, scaling up the worst aspects of oversized lecture classes. But as my year of MOOCs went on, I saw a new visual language developing, as single talking heads were supplemented (or replaced entirely) with conversations among colleagues (the visual style of one of my favorite courses: HarvardXâs "The Ancient Greek Hero") interviews with experts, on-location shots, and even on-screen performances. Such creativity helped to make lectures one of the most engaging and, ironically, intimate components of massive online courses, while also raising the bar for all other forms of online learning (most of it far duller than your average MOOC).
At their best, MOOC presentations are as engaging as the best television news magazine programs. And this is not surprising, as the universities providing the best MOOCs are investing in cutting-edge production studios and hiring media professionals. The best MOOC presentations are more like segments of â60 minutesâ than talking heads. We may question whether producing âedutainmentâ of this sort is the best use of scarce institutional funds, but that is another question entirely, and one that completely undercuts the âtalking headâ line of attack.
(2) Discussion and Feedback. Letâs acknowledge that the MOOC discussion boards are far from adequate substitutes for live discussion. Even some of the most supportive MOOC commentators have found them to have little value. The good news is that the discursive segments of many MOOCs have moved well beyond the discussion boards to live conversations in physical or virtual spaces.
Coursera has sponsored âmeet-upsâ â where students in their MOOCs can get together for course discussion - in dozens of cities. Coursera has also teamed up with the U. S. State Department to run MOOC camps for college age students in many countries. The city of Boston has teamed up with edX to initiate Boston-x, a project providing Internet computers and meeting places for MOOC learners. Other cities have emulated Boston-x, dedicating space in libraries and other public buildings for MOOC study. These efforts parallel those of the Library 2.0 movement; librarians around the world are now re-thinking optimal uses for their brick and mortar building spaces in the age of web 2.0 technologies and digital books, and one answer is meeting spaces for online learners. C-MOOCs, and now many x-MOOCs well, make extensive use of video-conferencing â e.g., via Skype - to connect group members. MOOCs offering nothing more than discussion boards are simply behind the MOOC curve.
(3) Heuristic Instruction. Academic critics claim that the âcan doâ element of MOOCs is restricted to monitoring auto-or- peer graded problem sets.
Many actual MOOCs, however, have moved way beyond such mechanized problem sets, making project-based authentic learning central to the MOOC experience. Here are two examples:
(1) At the University of Virginiaâs Darden School of Business, Professor Michael Lenox has offered several iterations of his âFoundations of Business Strategyâ MOOC on the Coursera platform. Lenox uses âCoursolve,â a crowdsourcing software program, to connect his course with partner organizations where students work to solve real-life challenges. He says:
âEntrepreneurs donât always have the resources to hire external support to address their needs, but weâve seen firsthand that students are hungry for the chance to apply their knowledge to real-world problems,â Lenox says. âBy collaborating with organizations, students can strengthen their skills development while potentially providing businesses and nonprofits with valuable insights.â
(2) Cathy Davidson of Duke University is now offering a Coursera MOOC on 'thehistory and future of higher education'. Davidson has been a national leader in pushing the x-MOOC format in creative directions. Because her MOOC has many thousands of students, the student group can take on projects not possible within a classroom context. In one project, her students are collectively creating a rich, multi-media trans-national timeline of higher education since 1800. Each student is contributing reports on significant historical events in higher education in their geographic locations - countries, states, municipalities. The students are learning historical research methods and skills in reporting historical events. Many higher education institutions previously neglected by historians of education, including those long closed, are in this way being entered for the first time in an accessible historical record. The student group is now collaborating on editing and coordinating the information and producing the final onlineproduct.
One does not need to love either of these particular skill development efforts to recognize that they go way beyond auto-graded problem sets.
My point in the above remarks has been to show that academic critics of MOOCs have relied on a stick-figure caricature. Real MOOCs, even x-MOOCs, are diverse, and many MOOC leaders have addressed the didactic, discursive and heuristic dimensions of instruction in creative ways. The best MOOCs replace the âsage on the stageâ stalking head with presentations employing a ânew visual languageâ of instruction; they build in group experiences, whether physical or virtual, with opportunities for interpersonal student dialogue; they make project-based learning the centerpiece of the educational experience.
Of course, not all MOOCs do this. Some do, some donât. And that is precisely the point I am making. If we want to assess the pedagogical value of MOOCs, we will have to turn our attention to particular courses to see how they handle instructional tasks. The most important dimensions of instruction, the didactic, discursive and heuristic, provide useful pegs upon which to hang such particular evaluative judgments.
Chikungunya was identified in Argentina for the first time on March 7 by the National IHR Focal Point of Argentina, which then relayed the information to PAHO/WHO.Â
The laboratory confirmations were found by using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, or RT-PCR.
Tests included 1,281 people who were thought to have chikungunya between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2015, with 21 people confirmed to have contracted it, and 22 thought to be likely. Beginning on Jan. 1 of this year, up to the week of Feb. 21-27, another 1,030 people were tested for chikungunya; 55 were confirmed to have been infected; and four more were thought to probably have contracted it.Â
Most of the identified cases have been from Argentina's cities Tartagal and Apolinario Saravia, both located in the SaltaÂ province, while the rest were from the province of Jujuy in the city of San Pedro. Health figures in Argentina are attempting to control the outbreak and heal the infected, through higher surveillance of infected and symptomatic patients, performing tasks that will control more heavily affected areasÂ and by communicating with the public and other health officials.
All of the confirmed infections in Argentina lie close to the Bolivian border, which has been infected with chikungunya for many years. It is possible it may continue spreading throughout the country and to neighboring nations.Â
The WHO has issued a warning about the Aedes mosquito population and suggests that decreasing the mosquito breeding will limit the infection numbers, by means of limiting their habitats, using mosquito nets, using repellant, shutting doors and windows, and dressing in long-sleeved garments.
FIDE Grand Prix Series was held in Geneva, Switzerland from 5th to 16th of July 2017
Teimour Radjabov emerged clear winner of the FIDE World Chess Grand Prix in Geneva after sharing the point with his nearest follower Ian Nepomniachtchi in the final round. Radjabov earned 20.000 EUR and 170 Grand Prix points for the clear first place. Nepomniachtchi and Grischuk took 13.500 EUR and 105 GP points each.
In the overall Grand Prix standings Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is leading with 340 points, while Grischuk is second with 316,4. They have completed three events each and will cautiously await the results from the final 4th leg.
Radjabov jumped through to the third place with 241,4 points. Ding Liren on 240 and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave on 211,4 can also hope to earn one of the two qualifying spots for the Candidates Tournament.
European Senior Team Chess Championship 2017 took place in Novi Sad, Serbia from 24th of June till 4th of July 2017.
The Serbian team became European champion in the "50+" section European Championships for seniors. The title was brought by the grandmasters MiloÅ¡ PavloviÄ, Goran M. TodoroviÄ, SiniÅ¡a DraÅ¾iÄ and Nenad RistiÄ and international master Zoran ArsoviÄ.
Second place get to the team of Italy, which had three grandmasters in their team composition, and the third place went to team of Sweden. Particularly interesting is the fact that for the Swedish team successfully played the Swedish ambassador in Serbia, His Excellency Jan Lundin.
In the 65+ section the team of Russia, for which are playing the legendary grandmasters Sveshnikov, Vasyukov and Balashov made amazing result of all eight victories, and took the first place. The Danish team was the second, and Belgium, after they lost match in the last round against Russia, took third place.
North American Youth Championship 2017 was held in Morristown, NJ, USA from 12th to 16th of July 2017.
A record-breaking 357 players from the United States, Canada and Mexico descended on the historic American Revolution town of Morristown, NJ, to compete in the North American Youth Chess Championships from July 12th to 16th. Sponsored by the Chess Tech, Continental Chess Associationâs Darcy Lima, the International Chess Schoolâs Michael Khodarkovsky and in Association with New Jersey Chess Federation and United States Chess Federation, the tournament had 12 sections with girls and open sections from under 8 to under 18. International Arbiters Steve Doyle, Eduard Duchovny and Ken Ballou have a staff of New Jersey State Chess Federation officers and staff: Hal Sprechman, Jim Mullanaphy, Jabari McGreen and Noreen Davisson. IA Steve Doyle, a legend on the chess scene, former President of USCF and Vice President of FIDE conducted the Tournament together with Tournament Directors GM Darcy Lima and Michael Khodarkovsky.
Asian Zonal 3.1 took place in Tehran, Iran from 29th of June till 8th of July 2017
20 players (18 from Iran, 1 from Syria, 1 from Iraq) took part in the women`s section. Mobina Alinasab, a youth player from North of Iran, won the golden medal; Sarasadat Khademalsharieh and Mitra Hejazipour were second and third.
30 players (28 from Iran, 1 from Syria, 1 from Iraq) took part in the Open section. GM Amirreza Pourramezanali achieved Gold Medal. IM Aryan Gholami and GM Pouya Idani took silver and bronze medals.
Sponsor of Federation and this championship is MCI (Mobile Telecommunication Company).
African Individual Chess Championships 2017, African Rapid and Blitz Championships took place in Oran, Algeria from 1st till 13th of July 2017
45 players (and 18 players) among which the best African players, including a member of the top 100 the Egyptian GM Bassem Amin (Elo 2684) and Ahmed Adly, ex-junior world champion Elo on 2598. All the participants representing 8 countries (Algeria, Egypt, Zambia, Angola, Tunisia, Republic Centers African, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast) greeted the perfect organization and the good conditions of play in the international hotel "Assala" situated in the city center.
GM Amin Bassem from Egypt won the African Individual Championship. Daniel Cawdery from South Africa shared the first place but came second on the tie-break. Adly Ahmed from Egypt finished on the third place. 3 Egyptian players occupied the stage in women's section: WGM Mona Khaled won the championship, while Wafa Shrook and Wafa Shahenda took silver and bronze medals.
Rapid Championships: Amin Bassem (Egypt) won another golden medal, Adly Ahmed (Egypt) came second and Hesham Abdelrahman (Egypt) was third.
Wafa Shahenda (Egypt) was the best one in blitz, Esperance Caxita (Angola) and Amina Mezioud (Algeria) came third.
Blitz championships: Adly Ahmed (Egypt) won blitz championship, Mohamed Haddouche (Algeria) was second and Phiri Richmond from Zambia was third. Wafa Shrook (Egypt) was the strongest in blitz. Amina Mezioud (Algeria) took the silver medal, while Mona Khaled (Egypt) came third.
Commonwealth Chess Championship 2017 took place in New Delhi, India from 2nd till 10th of July 2017.
Grandmaster and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta (india) came up with an inspired performance in the final round to crush Aleksander Wohl of Australia and annexed the gold medal in the Commonwealth Chess Championship 2017. GM Vaibhav Suri (India) won the silver while the bronze medal went to GM Tejas Bakre (India). WGM Swati Ghate (India) became the Women Champion.
Players from 15 countries including some from South Africa and Kenya have registered for the nine-day long events. The championship had over 550 registered players in various categories spanning from under-8 till open. There were 16 Grandmasters and 13 International Masters in the fray apart from five more Woman Grandmasters.
Asian Schools Chess Championship 2017 and Asian Schools Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships were held in Panjin Lianoing, China from 20th till 30th of July 2017.
Chinese Chess Association under the auspices of the Asian Chess Federation and World Chess Federation, organized the event in high-standard playing hall and hotel, earning unanimous acclaims from more than 700 participants from 23 countries and regions in Asia.
China won 10 gold medals, Uzbekistan won 8 gold medals and Philippines won 7 gold medals.
U7 Yuruultei Batbaatar MGL Nurgaliyev Sauat KAZ Kiaan Agrawal IND
Sie gelten als das RÃ¼ckgrat des sÃ¼damerikanischen Subkontinents und gleichzeitig als eines der mÃ¤chtigsten Gebirge dieser Erde: Die Anden. Ein eigener Kosmos. UrwÃ¼chsig, voller Kontraste und von unvergleichlicher Wildheit!
Vergletscherte Berge ragen in den tiefblauen Himmel, wÃ¤hrend nicht weit davon entfernt Nebelschwaden den Bergregenwald durchziehen. Unter ihrem dichten GrÃ¼n verbergen sich die mystischen StÃ¤tten der Inka, stumme steinerne Zeugen einer lÃ¤ngst vergangenen Zeit.
Der Fotojournalist und SÃ¼damerikaexperte Heiko Beyer hat diese Welt wiederholt besucht. FÃ¼r sein neues Projekt stellte er sich aber die Frage, wie es wohl sein wÃ¼rde, die kompletten Anden der LÃ¤nge nach zu bereisen. Dabei die unterschiedlichen Landschaften, Berge, Natur und BevÃ¶lkerung zu erleben. Insgesamt Ã¼ber sieben Jahre hinweg war er voller Begeisterung und Elan im Westen SÃ¼damerikas unterwegs und vermochte es, zwischen dem Pico Humboldt und Kap Hoorn ein weitgehend vollstÃ¤ndiges Bild dieser Bergregion zu erfassen.
Seine Wege waren abenteuerlich, manchmal nicht ungefÃ¤hrlich, aber immer lohnend. Oft kÃ¤mpfte sich der Fotojournalist wochenlang durch die absolute Einsamkeit der Berge, wobei er immer wieder auf deren Bewohner traf: Er schlief in Kolumbien in den HÃ¼tten der Kogi, sah die Aymara, die im bolivianischen Altiplano der von der Sonne zusammengebackenen Erde die Ãhren des Quinoa-Getreides abringen, begleitete die peruanischen Quechua auf den steinigen Inkapfaden und folgte dem Weg der Gauchos hinunter in den tiefen SÃ¼den.
Begleitet Heiko auf seinen langen und abenteuerlichen Reisen durch Venezuela, Kolumbien, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivien, Argentinien und Chile!
La pasada semana Avianca en una drÃ¡stica decisiÃ³n decidiÃ³ poner fin a los 60 aÃ±os de operaciones ininterrumpidas en el paÃs desde el 27 de julio. Si bien inicialmente informÃ³ que la cancelaciÃ³n indefinida de operaciones se concretarÃa en agosto, determinÃ³ suspenderlos en forma inmediata aludiendo razones de seguridad y limitaciones operativas que se estaban registrando.
âDebido a limitaciones operativas registradas en las Ãºltimas horas, Avianca se ve en la obligaciÃ³n de suspender a partir de hoy sus operaciones a Venezuela, y NO desde el 16 de agosto como estaba previsto. Esto incluye el cierre de la venta de pasajes en las rutas que conectan a Caracas con BogotÃ¡ y Limaâ, declarÃ³ la compaÃ±Ãa el dÃa 27 de julio actualizando una informaciÃ³n anterior.
Entre las razones que permiten entender la decisiÃ³n anticipada de la firma colombiana estÃ¡n la deficiente infraestructura en el aeropuerto de MaiquetÃa, la falta de internet, los sucesivos cortes de luz que impiden elaborar y trasmitir los planes de vuelos, deterioro y falta de repuestos para los servicios de handling entre otras razones que afectan la seguridad operacional de los vuelos y de los pasajeros.
Avianca si bien reconoce una cierta incapacidad para trasladar a los viajeros afectados estÃ¡ recomendando a los residentes en Venezuela regresar a sus casas debido a la falta de disponibilidad hasta que exista oportunidad de transporte. Avianca estÃ¡ colaborando con Wingo (la filial LCC de Copa Airlines, que aÃºn mantiene operaciones entre Colombia y Venezuela) y TAME de Ecuador para movilizar a los viajeros afectados en la medida de lo posible. Asimismo estÃ¡ coordinando las devoluciones de dineros para aquellos viajeros que lo soliciten. La ruta mÃ¡s afectada es BogotÃ¡, por el nÃºmero de conexiones que la compaÃ±Ãa realiza. En Lima, no se han registrado mayores inconvenientes.
HernÃ¡n RincÃ³n, CEO de Avianca dijo que âluego de mÃ¡s de 60 aÃ±os de servicios continuos en Venezuela, en Avianca lamentamos haber tenido que llegar a esta difÃcil decisiÃ³n, pero nuestra obligaciÃ³n es garantizar la seguridad de la operaciÃ³n. Como compaÃ±Ãa tenemos toda la disposiciÃ³n y voluntad para retomar los vuelos, una vez se cuente con las condiciones requeridas para hacerlo.â
Al comienzos de la crisis, el Gobierno de Venezuela ha seÃ±alado que las compaÃ±Ãas que se retiren de su paÃs no tendrÃ¡n derecho a volver, por lo que se infiere que la recuperaciÃ³n de la conectividad sÃ³lo serÃ¡ posible una vez que las condiciones polÃticas mejoren o decididamente exista un cambio de gobierno. En el periodo, sÃ³lo dos operadores han ingresado a Venezuela. Turkish Airlines en la ruta Estambul â La Habana â Caracas y Latin American Wings (LAW), desde Santiago de Chile.
La estatal Conviasa tampoco ha sido capaz de atender la reducciÃ³n de capacidad por sus problemas internos y la no renovaciÃ³n de contratos con terceros para atender sus vuelos internacionales hacia Buenos Aires (EZE) y Madrid, por las deudas no pagadas con sus contratistas como la espaÃ±ola Wamos Air.
Las compaÃ±Ãas venezolanas tampoco lo estÃ¡n pasando de lo mejor ni pueden aprovechar los vacÃos dejados por sus competidores extranjeros, debido a la falta de equipos y recursos para sustentar sus operaciones. SBA por ejemplo, ha tenido que reducir frecuencias a Miami por falta de aviones operativos para sustentar las rutas que mantenÃa (hasta cuatro vuelos diarios) mientras que Albatross explora otros mercados como Costa Rica como alternativa a sus operaciones, situaciÃ³n compartida en su momento por LAMIA, que terminÃ³ sus dÃas operando irregularmente en Bolivia.
As well as being Star Wars Day (May the fourth be with you) Friday is day one of The World Vision Gardenâs RHS Chelsea build. The big attraction will be Lupinus mutabilis. Not included in the original brief, the designers discovered the Andean Lupin on a recent trip to Bolivia, where they went to learn […]
Esta fecha conmemora la fundaciÃ³n de la UniÃ³n de las RepÃºblicas Americanas, posteriormente llamada UniÃ³n Panamericana y a partir de 1948 OrganizaciÃ³n de los Estados Americanos (OEA).
Fue celebrada por primera vez el 14 de abril de 1931 como sÃmbolo de la uniÃ³n voluntaria de distintos paÃses del continente americano.
Actualmente, la OEA estÃ¡ integrada por mÃ¡s de treinta y cinco Estados que buscan consolidar una agenda con temas comunes. El espÃritu de esta uniÃ³n responde a la consolidaciÃ³n de relaciones diplomÃ¡ticas para velar por los estados de paz en el continente.
Juan Francisco de Vidal: militar peruano, se sublevo en Cusco venciendo en Agua Santa a Torrico tomando el poder hasta que la rebeliÃ³n de Vivanco lo obligÃ³ a dimitir y exiliarse (1842-1843). Posteriormente regresÃ³, como aliado de Castilla.
Miguel Iglesias: presidente peruano desde 1883 con base en Lima negociÃ³ con las fuerzas chilenas firmando la paz en AncÃ³n, tras la retirada de sus aliados se enfrentÃ³ a CÃ¡ceres con 3.000 a 4.000 hombres, siendo vencido y derrocado (1885).
Los principales partidarios de los caudillos, aparte de sus hombres de armas de confianza, fueron los miembros de las clase enriquecidas. AsÃ, estos aseguraban un flujo de dinero para el Estado del caudillo de turno y este se comprometÃa a darles beneficios.
WASHINGTON (July 12, 2017) âÂ According to aÂ new report from World Resources Institute Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, 330 million households in cities around the world, equivalent to 1.2 billion people, do not have access to affordable and secure housing. Without immediate action, the problem will become even more critical, as this housing gap is projected to grow by 30 percent to 1.6 billion people by 2025.
âCities are the engines of economic growth and policymakers need help prioritizing solutions,â said Ani Dasgupta, Global Director of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. âSupporting affordable housing is one of the best ways to help fast-growing cities in the global south run smoother and provide benefits to all residents.
âTwo and half billion additional people will be living in urban areas worldwide by 2050, with Asia and Africa seeing nearly 90 percent of this growth. The housing gap has a human cost and is a major drag on the economy and the environment. We need to take immediate action to avoid creating cities that are less productive, less efficient and less inclusiveâsomething that would truly impact everyone.â
The latest installment of WRIâs flagship World Resources Report âTowards a More Equitable City,â which examines whether prioritizing access to core urban services for the underserved will create cities that are prosperous and sustainable for all people, emphasizes housing as one such critical core need.
âHousing is often seen as falling into discrete categories such as public or private, formal or informal,â said Robin King, lead author and WRI Ross Center Director of Knowledge Capture and Collaboration. âBut we view housing options on a spectrum that combines different elements of ownership, space, services and finance. In some cases, land may be public while the dwellings on it are private. This spectrum allows a more nuanced analysis of the reality of housing markets in the global south and consideration of a wider range of possibilities.â
âThe paper is coming out at a very important time, when the discussion about affordability, adequacy and issues of secure tenure have become very critical in global cities of the south,â said Sheela Patel, founding member and Chairperson of Slum/Shack Dwellers International. âCities produce aspirations. If you donât fulfill those aspirations, which start with safe neighborhoods, a good environment, a good educationâthese are all settlement and neighborhood related amenities and servicesâyou produce discontent.â
The study focuses on three actionable approaches city officials can use to address the housing crisis, while highlighting specific examples from around the world:
Participatory approaches to improving housing without relocating residents to the urban periphery (_in situ_upgrading)Â Demand for housing has outstripped supply, leading to a proliferation of informal and substandard settlements. âSlum-free citiesâ is often code for displacement of people to the periphery. Finding ways to accommodate people where they are, rather than displacing them to far corners of a city, taps into community knowledge and energy while retaining links to existing social and livelihood networks. This approach is harmful to the city at large. An example of success:Â Thailandâs Baan Mankong programÂ directs government infrastructure subsidies, soft housing and land loans to poor communities who then negotiate with land owners for formal tenure and use the funds to upgrade their housing. By 2016, 1,903 poor communities in 345 cities had been fully upgraded under the program; 101,224 poor families had secure land decent houses and healthy living environments.
Expand rental markets for people across all income levels.Â Home ownership is over-emphasized in urban development, which hurts those who lack the resources to buy a home and those who need flexibility such as those working in the informal sector. Expanded rental markets for people of all income levels, with legal protection for landlords and renters, can help meet the housing needs of the urban poor while maintaining flexibility and encouraging market-driven development.Â Gauteng Province, South Africa, which includes Johannesburg, tackled a housing shortage of 687,000 units by making it legal to rent out formally illegal informal backyard apartments. This made it easier for low-income people to find places to live and encouraged development of services without government subsidies.
Convert under-utilized, centrally located urban land into affordable housing in cities.Â Policies that drive the poor to the periphery leaves prime locations under-utilized or totally unused, even as new residents seeking housing come into the city. Political will to address housing needs is critical. By converting this land, especially publicly held land, into affordable housing, cities can avoid sprawl, take advantage of existing resources, and spur economic growth.Â In Cochabamba, Bolivia, 420 families live in the MarÃa Auxiliadora Community on land purchased and held in trust as community-owned property, an approach commonly referred to as a Community Land Trust. Its unique governance structure rotates leadership among women in two-year terms, rejects men who engage in domestic violence and provides community-managed support to families. The land cannot be sold for profit, which keeps the housing affordable.
âThese solutions will help urban policymakers in fast-growing cities meet the demand for housing while encouraging economic development and cleaner, safer environments,â said King. âClosing the housing gap by providing access to affordable, adequate and secure housing will benefit everyone, not just the poor and underserved, as cities become more productive, environmentally sustainable, and truly places for all.â
This working paper on urban housing is the latest installment of WRIâs flagship World Resources Report (WRR), âTowards a More Equal City.â The report examines if more equitable access to core urban services improves the economy and the environment.
More than 1.2 billion city dwellersâone of every three people living in urban areasâlack access to affordable and secure housing. This housing gap is a major drag on the economy and the environment. The impact is severe in Asia and Africa, where 2.25 billion people are expected to be added to urban populations between now and 2050. If business continues as usual, slums will grow across the developing world, exacerbating inequality and threatening citiesâ traditional role as drivers of economic growth.
The latest working paper of WRIâs flagship World Resources Report (WRR), âTowards a More Equal City,â draws on the knowledge of dozens of urban experts to examine whether meeting the needs of the urban underserved can improve the economy and environment.
Sheela Patel on âConfronting the Urban Housing Crisis in the Global South: Adequate, Secure and Affordable Housing.â
Housing is often seen as falling into discrete categories such as public or private, formal or informal, individual or collective. Instead, we view housing options on a spectrum that combines different elements of ownership, space, services and finance. In some cases, land may be public while the dwellings on it are private. This spectrum allows a more nuanced analysis of the reality of housing markets in the global south and consideration of a wider range of possibilities.
While many challenges emerged, we focused on three that city officials can act upon and scale up.
Issue 1: The Growth of Informal or Substandard Settlements
As demand for housing has outstripped supply, informal and substandard settlements have proliferated. Since 1990, even as the proportion of global urban populations living in slums has declined, there has been an increase in the absolute number of people living in these areas.
Solution: Find ways to accommodate people where they are
While some call for âslum-freeâ cities, this is often code for displacement of people to the edge of town, which disrupts labor markets, social networks and lives and harms the city at large. Instead we suggest finding ways to upgrade existing slum areas, tapping into community knowledge and energy while retaining links to social and livelihood networks. This option is best for cities with large slum populations, except in locations with environmental or geographic risks.
An example is Thailandâs Baan Mankong program, which directs government infrastructure subsidies, soft housing and land loans to poor communities who then negotiate with land owners for formal tenure and use the funds to upgrade their housing. By 2016, 101,224 poor families in 345 cities had been fully upgraded under the program with secure land, decent houses and healthy living environments.
Issue 2: Overemphasis on Ownership
Home ownership is over-emphasized in urban development, which hurts those who lack the resources to buy a home or who need flexibility. People who work in the informal economy are particularly affected. Subsidies meant to encourage home ownership are geared to those with regular, documented incomes, not those who work in activities like recycling, domestic help and construction that do not produce a paper trail in many parts of the world. Moreover, rentals are often not available to the urban poor, or are subject to great uncertainty about rights and responsibilities for both landlords and renters, with unclear processes for dispute resolution.
Solution: Expand rental markets for people of all income levels
Establishing legal protection for landlords and renters, while acknowledging informal sector activity, can help meet the housing needs of the urban poor while maintaining flexibility and encouraging market-driven development. This includes non-standard payment patterns and cooperative housing where tenants collectively purchase land and rent small plots within it. Vibrant rental markets foster a fluid labor market, a necessary prerequisite for economic prosperity in any city.
For example, authorities in Gauteng Province, South Africa, which includes Johannesburg, tackled a housing shortage of 687,000 units by making it legal to rent out formerly illegal informal backyard apartments. This made it easier for low-income people to find places to live and encouraged development of services without government subsidies.
Issue 3: Policies That Drive the Poor to the Periphery
In many cities, land is often tangled up in legal disputes, leaving it under-utilized or unused, even as new residents seek housing in the city. Building and land use regulations often impose costs and limit creative use of incremental improvements and innovative land management tools.
Solution: Convert under-utilized land, especially publicly held land, into affordable housing
Political will to address housing needs is critical. Rather than encouraging sprawl, existing urban land should be used for housing. City officials and real estate developers should revise rules and building standards to expand the availability of housing on under-used land.
For instance, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, 420 families live in the MarÃa Auxiliadora community land trust on land purchased and held in trust as community-owned property. The communityâs unique governance structure rotates leadership among women in two-year terms, rejects men who engage in domestic violence and provides support to families. The land cannot be sold for profit, which keeps the housing affordable.
These solutions will help urban policymakers in fast-growing cities meet the demand for housing while encouraging economic development and cleaner, safer environments. Closing the housing gap by providing access to affordable, adequate and secure housing will benefit everyone, not just the poor and underserved, as cities become more productive, environmentally sustainable and truly places for all.
Este es un ArtÃculo del 2015 que compartimos por ser pertinente con la realidad actual del paÃs
Por AsdrÃºbal Oliveros / Prodavinci 0. Â¿HiperinflaciÃ³n en Venezuela? Durante los primeros seis meses de este aÃ±o Venezuela ha vivido una inflaciÃ³n promedio mensual de 9,7% y una acumulada de 74,4%, lo que implica una variaciÃ³n interanual de 128,8%, segÃºn nuestras estimaciones. Si bien es cierto que Venezuela todavÃa no vive una hiperinflaciÃ³n, es importante entender que estamos tocando a la puerta. En este post queremos presentar cÃ³mo hicieron los empresarios de Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil y PerÃº para sobrevivir a los aÃ±os de hiperinflaciÃ³n que vivieron estos paÃses, que alcanzaron tasas anuales de 2.697,0%, 6.515,5%, 2.189,2% y 7.485,8%, respectivamente. CLIC AQUI para seguir leyendo...
We just want to be remembered before something is set in stone.
Bill Dana October 5, 1924 â June 15, 2017
Dana was born as William Szathmary in Quincy, Massachusetts. He was of Hungarian-Jewish descent. He took his stage name "Dana" after his mother's first name "Dena" as he felt "Szathmary" was unpronounceable. The youngest of six children born to Joseph and Dena Szathmary, Dana benefited from the expertise of an older brother, Arthur, who was fluent in several languages and gave his sibling his second entry into foreign languages. The first was growing up in a polyglot neighborhood where Spanish and Italian were among the languages spoken and having a Hungarian immigrant for a father. His older brother was Irving Szathmary, composer of the Get Smart theme.
Dana had several comedy albums but only one that strictly featured the Jose Jimenez character. One of the cuts; "The Astronaut (Part 1 and 2)"...an interview from news reporter, writer and producer Don Hinkley...made it to the Billboard Top 40 charts at #19 in September 1961. Hinkley and Dana met as writers for the Allen show.
Aparecido en: www.zwire.com Traducción robótica de Google:XEs exacerbado celo con que la aviación viene controlando el contenido de el equipaje de los pasajeros viene provocando grandes dramas y pequeñas anécdotas. No estoy seguro de dónde enmarcar la historia que trae esta noticia. En el aeropuerto intercontinental GeorgeBush de Houston, HowardMcFarland fue detenido por llevar dinamita en su equipaje, su alegato, en palabras de su padre puesto que es menor de edad, fue que se trataba de un recuerdo de su viaje, que no lo transportaba con ninguna intención específica y que en todo caso se trataba de un error de juicio. La dinamita fue adquirida durante una visita a alguna mina de Bolivia, el muchacho la transportó con familiaridad durante el resto de su viaje lo que demostraría que no creía que fuera especialmente peligrosa o podría explotar.
Bolivia sees glint of gold in Che Guevara's footsteps.
Aparecido en: news.scotsman.com Traducción robótica de Google: XYa habíamos comentado sobre 'La ruta de el Ché' en este blog, es un importante destino temático que a diferencia de otros no tiene una infraestructura optimizada. Con esfuerzos como el que reseña la nota se va llenando ese vacío y aprovechando de el interés que la figura de el Ché concita. La nota juega un poco con la contraposición de los ideales políticos de el Ché con la explotación capitalista de su imagen.
Aparecido en: www.chicagotribune.com Traducción robótica de WorldLingo: XEl ChicagoTribune publica una nota de DavidAtkinson, periodista viajero de LonelyPlanet (su página aquí: X, o aquí: X, en castellano), una empresa dedicada a editar guías de viajero basadas en la experiencia de los autores de las mismas. La nota da cuenta de la ruta turística que se organiza en torno a el Ché y su incursión y muerte en Bolivia, ademas de proporcionar datos concretos útiles para el viajero que decida tomarla:
Las autoridades bolivianas tradicionalmente han carecido de recursos para promocionar su naciente industria turística. Este proyecto, sin embargo, fue concebido y ejecutado por el pueblo guaraní, una comunidad indígena que vive en una región de Bolivia donde la probreza rural alcanza un 74 por ciento. Fundada por organizaciones no gubernamentales internacionales y la empresa privada local, la Ruta del Che Guevara intenta probar que el turismo puede ser manejado resposablemente y usado para beneficiar directamente a las comunidades indígenas locales.
Dado que el ChicagoTribune restringe contenidos exclusivos para sus suscriptores, tal vez sea útil este vínculo que preserva el contenido de el texto: X.
La Arquidiócesis de St.Louis (Missouri - EUNA) está organizando un viaje a Bolivia con motivo de el quincuagésimo aniversario de el apostolado boliviano, serán ocho días para visitar LaPaz, Calamarca, Riberalta y SantaCruz, el costo total por persona: 1800 dólares americanos y el cupo es ilimitado aunque...:
... Monseñor Blood observó que hay un sólo vuelo al día a Riberalta en Amazonas Airlines, en el que caben sólo 19 personas.
Un eslabón debil en la infraestructura turística oriental. Por lo demás el anuncio de este tour resalta encomiablemente puntos turísticos y datos referenciales de este viaje.
Chris Blattman of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about whether it's better to give poor Africans cash or chickens and the role of experiments in helping us figure out the answer. Along the way he discusses the importance of growth vs. smaller interventions and the state of development economics.
Russ Roberts: Today's episode is a little strange. It starts with the fact that a while back you wrote--not so long ago--you wrote an open letter to Bill Gates, a very wealthy man, reacting to his idea of giving poor people chickens--poor people in Africa--as a way to escape poverty. That open letter of yours to Bill Gates prompted a response from Lant Pritchett. And so, I interviewed Lant about the topic of how do we help the poor. And inevitably some of your arguments and points came into the conversation. So, I want to get your side of the story today on some of those issues and more broadly and more generally on how we should think about development. Let's start with Bill Gates's original idea. What was he suggesting, and how did you respond to it?
Chris Blattman: So, Gates and the Gates Foundation have a lot of big ideas; and this includes driving down financial transaction costs and tackling serious diseases. And generally terrific programs. One idea that Bill Gates has floated a few times in the last year is the idea that chickens are the future for Africa: basically, that they are very poor people who don't have a lot of income, and they are basically scrounging around a subsistence [?]. And, if we could give them chickens, they they'd be able to raise them. They could eat them, of course. But more importantly, they could sell them or they could sell the eggs, and make some extra money. And, this would make them much less poor: maybe they earned $2/day; maybe now they'll earn $4/day. Who really knows? And he called this one of the best investments we could make. Which is probably true to some extent, except what was unusual about his idea is that he envisioned perhaps 30% of Africans. So, this would be 300 million people raising these chickens rather than the existing number, which is maybe 5% of Africans--so, maybe 15 million people, for argument's sake.
Russ Roberts: And, you wrote this open letter. What did you say in that letter?
Chris Blattman: Well, I mean, so, you know, we share a common premise is that one of the reasons people are very poor is that they don't have the opportunity to engage in business: that it's actually not so hard for a lot of people to go from earning $1 a day to earning $2 a day or $2-$4 a day, or $5-$10 a day by starting up a small enterprise; and that the main thing stopping them from doing this is they don't have any capital. If they had capital, they wouldn't be poor. So, they don't have a lot of cash; they don't have a lot of assets; they don't have productive assets. And that could be tools, it could be buildings to build things in; that could be the raw materials, and the skills to build these things. It could be animals. A cow is an asset, or a form of capital; a chicken, or a bunch of chickens is. So, they don't have these things; and they generally don't have access to borrowing. And so, if they get access to capital, you often see people leap ahead and start businesses. So, I think we share this idea. And chickens probably aren't a bad--they aren't a terrible investment. I guess I--before Bill Gates, who is one of the most influential people in development--writes influential development letters--I think it's important to try to correct some possible problems. One is that it's not clear that anyone's going to actually make money if you suddenly go from 15 million to 300 million Africans producing--I think I've actually got my numbers wrong, actually: I'm not doing division and multiplication in my head.
Russ Roberts: It doesn't matter. It's a big [?] increase. And we're pretty sure that--
Chris Blattman: Yeah, 33%--a third of Africa.
Russ Roberts: That could affect the price of eggs. You know. Hypothetically.
Chris Blattman: Yeah. You know. I was surprised he made this argument because he's a very smart guy and he understands economics. So, this isn't a crazy idea: If a third of Africans start producing chickens and eggs, that the price of chickens and eggs are going to fall pretty fast. And there's probably limits to how many chickens and eggs people can eat. So, that's--it just struck me as an odd idea. And if it was some other organization saying, 'We're going to do this,' then I sort of roll my eyes. But when Bill Gates says he's going to do it, there's a good chance he's really going to try, and maybe succeed. So, it's not the best--not everyone should invest in the same thing. And then, of all the things people could invest in, it's not clear to me--and I think there's a lot of evidence pointing to the idea that: Chickens are a fine investment. But they are not necessarily a great investment. And so, why were folks [?] on giving people chickens? I don't know.
Russ Roberts: But, I thought your real point was: If we gave them money, they'd be free to buy chickens if they wanted; or they could buy a piece of a cow [i.e., a share of a jointly-owned cow--Econlib Ed.]; or they could buy a hammer; or they could buy access to electricity--or whatever it is. And presumably, people have a pretty good idea of what they need relative to what you think they need. And, chickens just obviously--to me--we're going to get more deeply into the economics of this--but it's obvious that chickens is the wrong answer. Whatever the virtues of chickens are, it can't be the case that giving 300 million something is--it's going to be better to give them money. I'm pretty confident about that. Now, you could argue that if you give them money they are going to use it on gambling, or drinking, or partying, or whatever you think is the wrong use of the money; but, 'They can sell the chicken, come on! They can convert it into money.' So, this romance, I think, 'Chickens are the key to the future,' like plastics are in the movie, The Graduate--it's just--or computers in 1978--it does seem a bit naive for someone who is clearly not a naive person. You could think of it as symbolic. But I think your point was: We've had these debates--which is what I think we talked about in a previous episode about different ways to help people with small amounts. Obviously, if you give them 1000 chickens--one person a thousand chickens, and one person a thousand of something else, and another person a thousand of something else, maybe it would really change their lives. But if we're going to give micro-amounts, like 5 chickens, or 1 chicken, cash might be even better. And you and I are both kind of fans of cash. There are problems with cash. That's a different episode. That's not what we're talking about today. We all understand that cash has drawbacks, too. But, I think you proposed--what was interesting about your response to Gates was: 'Let's have a horse race,' to add another animal to the metaphor mix. 'Let's see whether chickens outperform cash.' Right? Wasn't that the thrust of your point?
Chris Blattman: Yeah. And the reason is, is because it may be like a deeper point. It's not about whether--there's lots of reasons cash could be better than chickens, and for the reasons you've just mentioned; and there's some risks, as well. Those are all--and we don't have to talk about--I think generally the picture looks pretty good for cash, and we don't have to talk about the details today. But, the deeper point is the problem with a lot of programs--given that we're already giving--a lot of aid is donor agencies and governments giving very poor people stuff. It's giving them skills-training. It's giving them chickens. It's giving them cash. It's giving them other forms of capital. It's giving them productive assets. Right? And I'm excluding all the stuff that's about public goods, and water, and health--these are huge and they are important. And we're going to set them aside because they are just a different kind of thing. A lot of assistance is giving poor people stuff to either eat or to turn into something they can eat. Meaning, they can start a small business with it. And that's what the training and the cows and the [?] and some of the cash are mainly for. So, the problem with most of these programs is everyone thinks about the numerator: What's the impact of this program? And nobody thinks about the denominator, which is: What's the cost of providing this program? And then, we sort of divide that to get some sort of return. And when we compare those things, if you ignore the fact that some of these programs are dramatically more costly than others to deliver, then even if one is more effective in terms of its impact, in terms of how big a business someone can grow, if it's also 10 times as costly, that's a problem. And this is the problem with chickens, in some sense, is: Somebody has to go and buy the chickens; and then deliver them to the people. Or, somebody has to go and hire a trainer and bring them to the village, to train people in whatever it is you want to train. Maybe it's raising chickens--this is often a big part of these chicken programs. But maybe it's something that's standalone, like how to start a business. Or something. So, this is a problem, because those people--all that labor and all that transport is really, really, really expensive. And these people are often in remote areas. They are very poor. Even if they are in an urban area and not that remote, they are earning so little that giving some reasonably middle-class person in that country to go off and buy the chickens and then deliver them, or deliver the training, or even get the training to go and deliver the chicken, is so costly that it totally outweighs any potential benefits that--maybe not totally, but it grossly outweighs a lot of the benefits. Such that, some of these programs--the studies that have looked at chickens and giving people chickens and cows and goats randomly pay off, but it takes something like 15 or 20 years before they cover the costs. Basically, the impact is as much as the program costs. And that's a lot.
Russ Roberts: But I also thought your main--and that's a great point. Those are great point. And they raise a separate issue we may come back to, which is: 'Hey, I know what you need. Here.' I alluded to that earlier. It's like, 'You need to learn how to make butter. Here, let me teach you. I'll give you some butter machinery.' There's a certain lack of appreciation for knowledge and how hard it is to understand how to impact a person's life, and the material versus spiritual, and [?]--
Chris Blattman: Well, one of the other things that's going on--I have a lot of friends in these organizations. My wife works for an international rescue committee. I've spent a lot of time working with these organizations. And one of the--if you put yourself in their shoes--first of all, you don't always know. And the thing is that you've seen a lot of programs where people get chickens without the training--because that seemed like a good idea. Or they just get cash. Like, you see a lot of examples where people fail. You don't know if everyone fails. You don't know how many people succeed. You know a lot of people fail. And we know this is true. Like, the big cash experiments I've done, others have done--at least half the people don't really move ahead as a result of this cash. They start a small enterprise and it fails. This is what business is. And that's hard to--you don't know if on balance people are succeeding or failing, especially when you just give them cash. At least with the chickens you can see something there. And you are really hesitant to let people fail. So, you want to do, you want to invest as much as possible in people to minimize the risk of failure, because they are in your circle. You see them, you care about them, you are responsible, you've done something to their lives and in some ways you are responsible. And you have the ability to continue to help them. And you don't see all these other people you are not helping. So, doubling or tripling or quadrupling or even further increasing the cost of a program--not to make them dramatically more successful but just to reduce their costs of failure--is really natural human instinct. Some people would say that's their responsibility; you could make a moral argument that that's appropriate. But I think that's what drives this cost up. So, it's easy for me to sort of, from afar, say, 'Well, I don't know any of these people. They are all strangers to me, and I'd rather see more people helped for less; and if some fail, that's going to happen anyways,' rather than just investing in a small number of people and trying to keep them from failing. But, if I were in their position--certainly when I raise my children I don't take that approach. And that's another extreme example, right? So, you know, I'm sympathetic. But as a small NGO--a small Non-Governmental Organization--you can afford to make your own moral choice about whether you help a lot of people a little bit and let them fail sometimes, or if you help just a few people and really foster them through. But if you are the U.S. Government Aid agency, or you are the Ugandan Bureau of blah-blah-blah that's in charge of this, in some sense you don't get to make that choice. In some sense, your responsibility, I think, is to help the most people.
Russ Roberts: But I also thought you are making a methodological point with Gates which is really interesting, which is: Well, maybe it will have a good impact; maybe it won't. Obviously if you sat down, if you and I had 30 minutes with Mr. Gates we'd say, 'Gee, 300 million is a big increase. Maybe that's going to have an unexpected effect on--you wouldn't want to generalize from the 5% who have chickens now to the 30% you'd like to have them.' And he'd nod, say that's a good point. But I think you are trying to say, 'Let's try to actually measure this. Let's try to actually see--let's learn something. Before we launch this enormous, grandiose experiment, let's do a pre-experiment where we try to see which is better. And we'd learn so much that we would be able to help people much more down the road, not just with your venture.' Is that a fair summary?
Chris Blattman: Yeah. This is actually--I make [?] this point sort of in general: If I go to--pick a country--if I go to Uganda or like Uruguay[?] or Colombia which are all places where I spend a lot of time or have spent a lot of time, you'll see that the government or the World Bank or somebody saying, 'All right, we have this $5 million, or $100 million, or $500 million dollar program that we're going to roll out over the next 5 years; and we've written the program manual and we [?] spend all that money doing x.' And x is quite specific. It might be like chickens. It might be job training. And then they just launch into it. And inevitably it fails, because, what are the chances that you ever get that formula right from the outset when you implement it? And so, 2 or 3 years in they redesign and they start figuring it out; and, they don't have a lot of sense of what's going on. Maybe then they run some evaluations or they turn to more of the evidence. And let's say they get a slightly better program for the last half of that 5-year program. Then, that's a lot of money wasted. And if it's a credit to that country, meaning it's a loan to that country, then some future taxpayer of that country has to pay that back. Which seems kind of tragic. Or it has to be forgiven--some future taxpayer of this country has to pay that back. And that just was all money that--you know, that could have been averted. And I, so every time I'm there, I'm saying, 'Listen, instead of doing this, I'm saying: Why don't you do 5 or 10 things on a small scale for the first year? You have to scale up, you have to get moving. I understand the political pressure. So get moving; but why don't you just try 5 or 10 things? And maybe you then really rigorously study what you're going to do?' That would be fine. Sometimes we should do that. But even if you don't, it will probably be obvious which of those 5 or 10 things seems to be more successful than the others. Certainly the ones that are failures will be more obvious. And then you'll know with more precision, if you invest some money in studying it. So, as a general principle, this is just something that's not done with aid--the sort of trial and error and with some rigorous testing. And we've managed in the last 10 years to introduce the idea of randomized testing with randomized trials without introducing this idea of trial and error and moving ahead and trying many ideas. And that's a problem. I would like to see both. So, that's kind of what I'm saying--this is just another case. Instead of just scaling up your crazily specific program that's only been a little bit tested, why don't you try a few different things and then push ahead with the thing that's most successful? And in this case, I think we've got enough evidence to say, 'Actually, we're doing a lot of this chicken stuff, regardless of what Gates is doing. We're doing a lot of handing out of chickens and cows. And--I don't know if it's $1 billion, or $10 billion, or $100 million dollars a year, but it's somewhere in that range. And if we could spend $10 million dollars just to, like, tweak the direction of that, to sort of kill a bad idea and replace it with a less bad idea'--that's kind of what I want to see. I want to see us rigorously evaluate, like, run a horse race between these different things that we could do, these different varieties, kind of like trial and error but in a structured way. And then just replace the bad things with less-bad things. And thereby make a lot of very, very unfortunate people a bit better off. That's basically it.
Russ Roberts: So, I have a lot of things to say to that. It's a fantastic summary of, I think, the position you are taking. I just have to mention in passing, though: you said, 'Well, of course it fails.' And I think a lot of people would say, 'How could it fail? You are injecting all this money into these sectors, regions, poor people, whatever. It's got to have some effect--some overwhelmingly good effect. You're putting--you are going to add $100 million into this community?' And it's really, I think, a sobering reality that it often doesn't work very well. So I just want to mention that to the point where you say, 'Well, of course it doesn't work.' But I think most intuitive, everyday people would say it would work, akin to their natural inclination to inject money into the U.S. school system. 'Because the more you spend, the more education you get.' Which of course isn't true. It might be true. But it need not be true. And, if the incentives--
Chris Blattman: Right. And I would say, even if you are more optimistic--and I think if you put in more input you are going to get more output. You put in more money to the educational system, I think probably you are going to get more education, or better outcomes--not always, you are right. Same with this aid, chickens. The chickens are not going to be a bad idea. They are not going to all fail. It's just: We're putting so much money into this that--not only is someone going to have to pay back in future, but it's such a missed opportunity. Like, it's really desperate to--if you were making $1 or $2 a day, this means like, your child is probably going to--the chance your child dies in infancy or of some disease or that some crisis hits and really terrible things happen to someone in your family is just so high. And that's also true at any level of poverty. And it's just more dire and risky, the poorer you are. So, to sort of callously and irresponsibly, in my mind, not try to use the sort of trial-and-error approach and try to do the right thing, and rather than just have 33% of Africans or something producing chickens--they might be a bit better off, they'd probably be better off. What if--that's such a missed opportunity to really change some people's lives? One of the rare instances where I really think aid can have a big impact. It really is an area where we can be super-effective; and I don't say that about a lot of things. And so, it's such a sad, tragic thing not to do this more responsibly.
Russ Roberts: Well, I want to challenge the premise that underlies that, even though I'm sympathetic to it and it sounds great. We had on the program a while back, Adam Cifu, author of a very provocative book, co-author of a book, Ending Medical Reversal, where he shows that so many times a study will be done, a cross-sectional, longitudinal study, a statistical analysis of some device or some dietary change, some relationship in epidemiology, is alarming or effective, whatever it is. And people start doing this technique or avoiding this technique. And then, 15 years later, there's an actual randomized control trial where people are put into two different groups: You're not using statistical techniques to try to hold things constant; you are actually using a real experiment, not a pseudo-experiment. And you find out that the original finding doesn't hold up under the randomized control trial. So, this is why--we can call it the gold standard of experimental science. It's what scientists do: They see if things can be replicated; they try to actually test things directly. It's a really nice thing. And, there's a huge--I don't want to call it a fad--a trend, we'll call it a trend--it could be a fad--in Development Economics to do randomized control trials. Which is what you're talking about: Wouldn't it be great, do 5 or 10 experiments to see what works and what doesn't work? But, the problem it seems to me is that unlike epidemiology or medical things where a trial could actually often illuminate what does and doesn't work, it strikes me that in human societies, that's a lot more difficult. So, an example we've mentioned before on the program is deworming. Deworming, a lot of excitement about it because some experiments had showed it to be very effective in helping children--if you took the worms and parasites out of their system, they could sit in school longer, make more money, etc.--have better lives. But, it's not obvious that it scales. It's not obvious that it worked in other villages. It's not obviously--etc. So, isn't [?] part of the problem here--and is this a reality or am I being too skeptical?--that, the kind of knowledge that you would like to produce with those trials in the early stages of a large-scale rollout of a program--they are not necessarily going to be as reliable as a true scientific experiment would be?
Chris Blattman: Right. Well, yes. So, this is basically right. But the question is--I guess, my argument would be, I guess I think is a pretty basic premise: Through the accumulation of lots and lots of empirical evidence and theoretical thinking and then using that empirical evidence to sort of understand our theory of poverty--why are people poor and what kinds of things make them less poor? The accumulation of lots of evidence from lots of places is how we get a better theory. This is just how it works; and it will be harder than in physics or medicine for exactly the reasons you say. But, there's a big difference here. So, the deworming excitement is coming off of--I don't know if you know this: I worked on this experiment when I was a graduate student. This was like one of my first jobs in development: I ran one of the followup surveys.
Russ Roberts: I did not know that.
Chris Blattman: Yeah. So, I ran the 5-year followup survey. So, I spent a lot of time with these kids who got this deworming medicine. It's a very incestuous group, a small, incestuous group, development economics. So, listen: There was one big trial showing big effects, and it was on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya, which is the birthplace of humanity, and then not coincidentally the birthplace of human parasites. So, an impact of deworming medicine there is going to be not surprisingly quite impactful; and if you go somewhere else, where you are not on the shores of a parasite-filled lake, then maybe it's going to be different. And that doesn't surprise me. And we don't actually have a lot of trials of deworming medicine elsewhere. And, the other ones haven't been very good, or they haven't been very long term, or they haven't measured economic outcomes and educational outcomes. So, we just don't know. Whereas, when it comes to policy, we have dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens. So, it's not just randomized control trials but all sorts of evidence. A great book is Poor Economics, by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, who sort of pulled together all the descriptive and observational and qualitative, and experimental data. And just a lot of it points to a particular view of poverty--that people have constraints; that from little access to credit and to capital and little access to insurance; and overwhelming evidence that just one of those constraints is relieved, maybe cash, maybe by a chicken, that people leap ahead. That you can make improvements on the margin. And it's not some magic formula. And you can also improve the way financial markets function; and then people get more access to insurance and credit and capital and things. So, it's just a totally different story. And everything I'm saying about both chickens and cash are very consistent with that theory. And now, the randomized trials which I was proposing we do, on large numbers of people and large numbers of countries in different parts of the world, in a way that we could get at what you're saying is sort of getting at the finer details: saying, okay--not knowing if we can make any general statements but, do we see a general pattern across many types of people in many types of places that chickens tend to be lower return than cash? That, people tend to use cash wisely in many places. And then also, very importantly, to figure out what we call the general equilibrium effects. Or the spillover effects. Like, what happens to the whole local economy when you get this giant influx of chickens, or cash? Like it's good? Bad? And it could go either way. We don't really know. So, there's a really different evidence base. And then, the kind of experiment I was proposing, which costs $15 million dollars or some number like that because it's much bigger than anything that's ever been run, is in some sense designed to get around exactly this concern.
Russ Roberts: So, that's a nice defense. In fact, you are kind of channeling your inner Lant Pritchett there. When you talked about the accumulation of knowledge, he made this similar argument, which I found unpersuasive. But, I find it a little more persuasive in your case. He was talking about general economic theory that's small--any one piece of economic research may not be that informative but it eventually creates this great base of knowledge. And I think that's romanticizing what economic research does, somewhat inaccurately. But let's put that to the side--
Chris Blattman: Well, if I could just interrupt--one thing is: I don't think that knowledge is accumulated to a consistent understanding of how something works across lots of different areas. I also study--I mean, I'm a professor of global conflict studies. In principle, I spend most of my time studying violence, as well. And, we don't really have a good understanding of what reduces violence. Like the things have not accumulated to a coherent answer. Or if you take the macro study of aid, and whether aid is good or bad, and what its good or bad affects our economics or politics--we don't have a coherent answer. It's sort of cumulated into a mess. That was my--
Russ Roberts: Yeah, that was my--it's my, it's close to my view.
Chris Blattman: But there's--but, right. But, other things have turned out--sometimes in certain medical research, and in this case, I think [?] our micro-understanding of poverty turns out, 'Oh, this thing seems to work pretty much similar ways'--you know, we're wrong in lots of details I'm sure. But, more than other things I've understood. And this is why I come on podcasts, you're right, about we should act on this and I don't come on and talk about violence. I don't have a coherent message about what we should do to reduce violence. I don't know that we've accumulated a coherent answer. But, in this case the world works in a simple or straightforward-enough way to have enough evidence, or something about, something the situation is just, I think, points us to more confidence than a lot of other areas. And so, great. And the wonderful thing is it can, like, a lot of people who are in a really, really, really terrible place can benefit from that, in a relatively simple way. This is one of the things that aid does well. Like, just logistically, like just get a lot of stuff out there that seems to work on its own.
Russ Roberts: This isn't where I thought we'd end up. But let's stay here for a while, because it's so interesting. You are telling me that the aid literature is indecisive--imperfect. Which I think is true. Many people would disagree with you, by the way. I think some people would say, 'Oh, we know exactly what works.' In fact, Lant Pritchett said so: we know it's property rights and free markets and prices. And, while I'm sympathetic to that, I think it actually is more complicated than that. Other people would say, 'We know what works.' Jeffrey Sachs, on the program, 'We just need to give a lot more money. We need to spend it well.' And he thinks he knows how to spend it well. But you are skeptical. Okay. Fine.
Chris Blattman: Well, you know, but Jeffrey Sachs--if you want to say, like an African nation--how do we help an African nation go from $1500 a head to $3000 a head? That's not necessarily a hard problem. Or, you know, that's a hard problem. But it's a much different problem to say, how does that nation, what could we do as outsiders or what could that government do as insiders to get to $20,--- a head? Some sort of like middle-income status. And then nobody has a good answer to that. So, sometimes they are just talking about different changes. When you are talking about development, they can be talking to different things.
Russ Roberts: That's a great point. Just what I was going to say, actually. So, what I was going to say is that, if you are telling me that at the micro level, we know that it's good to give people more access to financial markets--the ability to borrow--because they are often financially constrained. Or, we know that if we give them things they will be better off--it's not so interesting, really. But it really comes to what I think is the crux of the matter. Which is, the, what I would call, the real essential point that Pritchett was upset about in that previous episode, which is the following. He is claiming that--and I have mixed feelings about this, but I don't care, it doesn't matter; whatever you have to say--he's claiming that the real problem isn't poor people. It's poor countries. These people are in places with bad economies: Bad government, bad economies. And to put a band aid on their economies with a chicken is the wrong thing to be spending time on. We ought to be spending time on [?] we ought to figure out how to liberate their economy, liberate the skills to cooperate together in a market setting--which is how we know, that's [?] how you get to $20,000. When you get to $20,000, you've got to have a vibrant labor market. You've got to have a vibrant skills market. You've got to have people trade and exchange with each other within a country and outside of a country. And, we know all that already. And so that's what we ought to be spending our time on, not whether 5 chickens are going to improve somebody's life. Of course they would. They'd improve mine, too. I'd eat them. I like chicken. My wife, she's a vegetarian, but she'd be happy to see me happy. We know all that. So, what's the--what is the defense of the approach that you are suggesting of these micro-experiments to get people truly out of poverty? We understand--what you're saying is all true. It's not important.
Chris Blattman: So, you know, these things aren't in complete contradiction. So, if you want to make--I think Lant's larger--he's got two big points. Lant--I think I've mentioned to you in the past--Lant is, I mean, Lant was one of my first teachers in Development, and still remains sort of one of my idols in Development. And everything of his I can read, I do read, because I think he's got--you know, he has a really, he says a lot of original things and he has his finger on the pulse of these things. And he's made two points here that I think are true. One is that the Development community at large has tended to focus on sort of this weird, extreme form of poverty rather than just thinking of other people who are vey poor instead of extremely poor. So, there's this artificial threshold of $1, $2 a day that distorts a lot of policy. That's fine; I agree with that; and a lot of things--all the chickens and cash stuff I'm talking about, you can ignore that concern. You could say, 'Well, I think the chickens and cash could help someone who is extremely poor and very poor and just a little bit poor.' All these people have limited access to capital. I think that's what we would, what we are learning from the evidence, what we would learn from my experiment. His bigger point is that there is maybe a misallocation of time and policy in academia: That, a lot of people are just focused on the small stuff; that there are these bright, shiny [?]s that come along; it's very appealing to get an answer that a lot of people--there's all this data and computer technology that lets us do, answer a lot of small questions while [?]--
Russ Roberts: You get an article real quick; you get an article on your CV (Curriculum Vitae).
Chris Blattman: Yeah. And so there's two--with a profession--the world would be a better place if more smart policy-makers and more smart economists and political scientists were spending more sweat and brains and money on big questions about growth in this case[?]. And then, and so--and I think that's probably right. I think we probably do have a slight misallocation--I think you could make a good argument. But that doesn't mean--it doesn't mean--he sort of made a--he sort of exaggerates as some do and say, 'We should only focus on growth. Most people should focus on growth.' And I think that's wrong for two reasons. One is, I think it's wrong big thing to focus on. And we could get to that. But I think more immediately, I think you can't ignore the poverty. Because, what this says--so listen: If I say, 'I'm going to--everyone needs to be focused on growth.' If we just dedicate all this time, even if he's right, and we were able to make future unborn generations better off, because we're spending all this time and money and brains and energy, on growth, the fact is that there's still a lot of horribly-off people today. Now, if you, if you sort of--some people make that tradeoff. They'll say, 'Listen. Better make 20 generations much better off than trade off making them slightly better off just to make these people less poor.' That's just--someone who is, say, a utilitarian who wants to make the most good for the most people, would say we need to sacrifice today's generation and help these future generations. That's the way to maximize the good. But if you have sort of a different moral calculus--that if you think, for example, that we're only as good as, say, the least among us; or that we have a responsibility to help the very, very least among us even if that means we wealthy people or future wealthy people who are not yet born will be substantially worse off--that's also a defensible claim. And I guess I would say I'm willing to make that tradeoff, to some degree. And I think a lot of--I think that's fundamentally why so much policy is dedicated toward alleviating poverty. That, even if we knew how to make future generations off with certainty, it would still make sense to spend a lot of time worrying about poverty today. That's a--not everyone is going to feel that way, but it's a totally justifiable way. And that's how I feel.
Russ Roberts: So, I'm not a utilitarian. But I do think we should improve future generations at the expense of the current one--for a different reason. So, let me lay that out. And you can respond. The people themselves who are alive today would want us to do that, because they love their children and their grandchildren. And if I said to them, 'I'm going to give you a choice. I'm going to give you a bunch of chickens and I'm going to make your suffering less dire,' or, 'You're not going to get any chickens. You're going to lead a miserable life, but your children and grandchildren are going to lead very, very greatly improved, materially improved lives,' I think most, if not all people would jump at the chance. And we see that people do that all the time. They take risks, and they impoverish themselves. They risk death to come to richer countries. So, that would be my argument there. But I think, to me, the real issue is just the severity of the poverty. For people who are, you know, near death, that, yes, we need to do something for those people now. For people who are just having a hard time--if we can, I add that proviso of course, if we know how. And I think people should choose morally to do that. But for people who are just uncomfortable, I think they'd be thrilled to live with that discomfort and have their children thrive.
Chris Blattman: Right. So, I mean, we can debate this. On some level it's a moot point to--yeah, I mean, it's a moot--sort of the defense of my argument--where we should--and I want--I'm, personally in my life, I agree with Lant[?]; I spend too much time on stupid randomized control trials and on poverty alleviation. It's important, but this is not what I think is really important or really where I can, you know, contribute in some way. So, in some sense I'm unbalanced. I fundamentally agree. But still I think this experiment, this grand thing that I pitched to Bill, Bill Gates, is important. And I would even work on it. The last thing I really want to do--it's really miserable to run these--it's really, really hard and miserable. I hate running these things. It's so logistically and managerially intensive. And you don't think. You just sort of make things happen. And I'm okay at that, I'm pretty good at that. But I don't enjoy it. And I would rather spend my time on something else. But I will do it, if I have to. Because nobody else seems to be doing it. I will do it, because we live in a world not where we are making these grand, philosophical choices, but how to orient aid--and we live in a world where the rich countries and poor countries have made the decision that we are going to spend $10 or $100 billion a year giving the very poorest people stuff. And if I can do a little thing, spend, like 10% of my time for 3 years and $15 million dollars, somebody else's money, to sort of say, 'Guess what? You could be twice as effective and really make an impact on people's lives if you just killed this bad idea and did something less bad,'--that's a huge thing. There's a way to just sort of--given the world we live in, on the margin, there's a handful of studies that I think could really reallocate how this giving people stuff is done. And, and that would be a big thing. And I think that's actually what--I think because I look back at the last 10 years and the cash-transfer work that's been done, including my own experiments--and I say, 'That's the impact this had.' Despite the fact that I wasn't working on what I really wanted to work on, it was important to work on and I actually think that had a lot more immediate impact, precisely because we live in a world where there's just buckets of money, pipelines of money going to these places, being spent poorly. And that can be improved, on the margin.
Russ Roberts: Superbly said. I salute that. Beautiful.
Russ Roberts: Has Bill Gates responded?
Chris Blattman: No. And, you know what? Someone pointed out to me--
Russ Roberts: Sound of crickets--
Chris Blattman: Well, I even--I got a chance to--so, someone pointed out to me after I wrote this letter that, 'Do you know that Bill Gates follows your Twitter?' Then it turns out he only follows, like, 300 people; and a number of them are development people, for obvious reasons; and one of them, it turns out, was me. So, I thought--I had no idea. I'm going to direct-message Bill Gates. Maybe he reads his Twitter feed. Like, why else would he only follow it, 2-300 people? So I even direct-messaged him on Twitter--politely, saying, 'With all due respect, this was my [?]; I'd love to have a conversation about this, if you're interested.' And then: Crickets.
Russ Roberts: Well, I don't know that he listens to EconTalk; but this could put him over the edge, if he does. You may be getting--when this comes out, you'll probably get a summons. And I'd be happy to interview Mr. Gates, by the way.
Chris Blattman: I'm a marginalist, right? I think that every little bit matters.
Russ Roberts: Definitely raised the probability. And I want to just say publicly I would love to interview Bill Gates for EconTalk. So, Bill, if you are listening, or if someone who knows you is listening and thinks that would also be a good idea, please get in touch. But it is an interesting question. By the way--this is a sub-point; and you're sort of--I think you have feet in all the various camps: The academic world--there's the academic world; there's the money world--which would be the Gates foundation--and then there's this weird, nether-region of international organizations like the World Bank that has academic people in it, in and out of it--they come and go. So, that whole thing is--they all have their own rules. I'd like to hear you react to the idea that the incentives are what ruin where development economists spend their time. Of course, people have written not-so-nice things about the appeal of traveling to exotic places and having nice meals and Range Rovers to carry you around, and all that. But, talk about the incentives that you experience as an academic, but also as somebody who is in these different worlds, even if you're not--you don't get calls from Bill Gates's cellphone.
Chris Blattman: Mmmhmmm. The incentives to go do these kinds of--
Russ Roberts: Whatever it is. I mean, they are incentives that encourage some people to just do all kinds of things--articles on this or that, spend time in a particular country because the World Bank funds it. And all of the--we do what we like, and we also care, most of us do, about what makes the world a better place. As you point out. And you confessed a minute ago that you wish you'd maybe spent a little less time on some of these things and more on the bigger things. So, just reflect on that.
Chris Blattman: Well, answering the bigger questions would still put me firmly, even more often, in foreign places. Like, right now, I'm really interested in, I happen to be studying a lot of gangs in Latin America and also in Chicago. And, the thing that's holding me back from being more effective is my lack of tie-in to go and spend time in these places. One of the fundamental incentives is that, I think that to answer important questions about other parts of the world, you have to spend a lot of time in other parts of the world. And you also--not just talking to people and collecting data, but also building relationships with other academics who are there or other policymakers. Because it's not an individual production function. So, that's--answering the question requires be there, big or small question, whatever if you are going to do this right. The incentives in the economics profession, for a long time, and to a lesser extent now, were always against young economists and especially graduate students going and spending lots of time in the field. And in some sense, there is still a discouragement to spend a lot of time often in other countries: still spend relatively little time compared to other academic disciplines. And it used to be zero. There's--an interesting set of people to bring on would be people like Michael Kremer, Chris Utry, who are development economists who broke the path in the, maybe the 1980s and 1990s by spending a lot of time in places like Ghana in Chris's case, and Kenya in Michael's case, doing this kind of work, pioneering it. There are others as well. They sort of stand out in my mind. And showing that you could do important work, and making development economics credible again in the profession. And showing--and sending their students to Ghana--like, this is why--why was I in Busia[?], Kenya running this deworming experiment? Because Michael's student, Ted Miguel [?], he sent to run some experiments and collect data. And Ted did his dissertation there; and he started his own studies in Busia[?], Kenya. And then I showed up at Berkeley, and Ted was this young prof, maybe just one or two years in, who became my dissertation adviser. And he sent me to Kenya, my first semester. And then, why did I end up working on violence in northern Uganda? Because the second time I got sent to Kenya, I was sitting in a cafe, and I met a woman--because it takes 20 minutes or 30 minutes for the Hotmail page to load up, which should tell you what year it was. And so I struck up a conversation with a woman next to me who was doing this qualitative study of children affected by conflict and child soldiers in northern Uganda. And then a year later I was landing by plane in northern Uganda to run a survey that looked a lot like what Ted was doing in deworming except I was studying the effects of violence. And that became my dissertation. And it also so happens that we produced several papers and a marriage, and now two children. Because they're more important than the papers.
Russ Roberts: Yeah; of course it is. But the best part about that story is--most unintended consequences are negative. But here we have the positive unintended consequence of a lousy internet access. That you were sitting there for 20 to 30 minutes waiting for your page to load, and you meet your future wife. What a great--
Chris Blattman: Right. But my--then I've sent my students to go work on my project in northern Uganda, and later Liberia; and now, Colombia. And now, they are graduating, they're Ph.Ds., they're getting jobs; and they are doing amazing research; and they are sending their students to these--or wherever they happen to work. And so, this has been this amazing thing that has happened: You talk about the incentives. It's against the grain, against the incentives to go and invest all this time really understanding a place. All the inputs required for all these experiments, or any big study, data--you have to collect your own data in a place like Africa. Most of the time. And so, the incentives are all against that. So, why are people doing it? I think they are really passionate about the questions. And, of course, now there's its own set of esteem[?], and you have your own dysfunctions as a profession; and we're doing a lot of the wrong things; and so on, and so on. But, nonetheless, like, this is still a big, positive change. And I've always said that the most important thing about randomized control trials is not the causal effect that lots of people, we've identified. The effect of like--the important part about the deworming experiment in all this time in Kenya by all these people is not--it's now[?] the fact that Ted Miguel and Michael Kremer could lecture you for hours on Kenyan politics and development in a very sophisticated way that has nothing to do with the causal estimate. Economists now have a much richer understanding of the way world works, how the aid sector works, what the political and social and organizational dysfunctions are from everything from USAID (United States Agency for International Development) to some government in some far corner of the world. There's this rich knowledge that was just not there before that I think is really affecting the way the theories were developing. It's affecting the cognitive teaching; it's affecting the questions we're asking; it's affecting the advice. And I think that's been so much more important than any stupid little causal effect.
Russ Roberts: That's great. And I think Adam Smith would be happy about it. Maybe I'm wrong. I like to think of Adam Smith--maybe I'm romanticizing, which I am prone to--but I do think of him as open to the richer understanding of human activity than our sort of blackboard theories; and obviously was a student of many aspects of human life, not just the financial and monetary side.
Chris Blattman: Right, right.
Russ Roberts: What you are really arguing is that it's good that we've become more like sociology. Which could be true.
Russ Roberts: I would have argued that the reason we shouldn't work on big picture issues and big picture questions is because we don't know much about them. So, I think most people would argue that governance, political institutions are a big problem. I suggested recently that what we should do with that $15 million dollars, say, is pay a leader to leave, and replace him with someone more--of course, obviously, replace him with another dictator is the problem. But if you could change a political system, that would be the way you'd spend your money. We don't know how to do that. And the idea that we should be spending more time understanding that doesn't necessarily follow; the idea that that's the most important thing. If we can't figure out the levers to improve it, it really doesn't matter. So, what are your thoughts on that?
Chris Blattman: I'm more hopeful. I think we don't know a lot about it. I think we also--I think that--I actually teach a class on this, and it turns out Lant Pritchett has just written a book on this as well, with two co-authors. He's focused more on building, on something a bit narrower, which is building state capabilities--which is basically making states more effective. And that includes public sectors and governments. It's actually a free book online, and I think it's actually one of my favorite books I've read this year. So, he didn't talk about that, but--
Russ Roberts: What's it called?
Chris Blattman: I think it's called Building State Capabilities.
Russ Roberts: We'll put a link up to it, for this episode.
Chris Blattman: Exactly. And he even negotiated to be able to get this free online. And I think he has a course, as well, where you can go along this as well. And so, there's both a book and a free course online. And I teach a class. Sometimes I call it "Order and Violence." Sometimes I call it "Political Economy Development." But, it's really about these big questions about saying: You know what? What doesn't--I think Lant would agree with this: Growth is the wrong way to think about this. We don't need more people focused on economic growth. I think we need more people focused on understanding state capabilities, and democratization, and politics in these countries. There's a fair amount already: most other political science--there's a lot of bad research; there's a lot of good research. And I--by spending a lot of the last 10 years reading that research and trying to teach it, and learning it; and when I say I want to reorient what I do, in some ways, I--this is the book I would like to write. Probably I won't write it for 10 years. But one day I will write this book about this kind of political development, if you will. And I think that's fundamentally the problem. And it's hard for me to believe, partly because I've read so much that really has changed the way I think about how the world works; and I think if it could be translated into terms, sort of messages that people could absorb and understand in a less academic way, I think it would be really impactful. So, one, I think we could translate more; two, I think we could do more of it. But it kind of a big--it's a big risk. It's hard to see immediate payoffs. Yet, I guess the reason I think it can't be ignored is, maybe you could put it simply like this: That, China and Brazil and Russia and Vietnam and a whole host of countries that are currently like middle income, or a little poorer or a little richer, are generally growing, you know, at a reasonably quick pace--like, say, I don't know, maybe it's 5% a year. In some years that will be higher; in some years that will be lower. But they are basically on their way to being high-middle, or upper-middle--or even upper-income countries. So, they are growing. And as long as there is no major world cataclysm, then in 20 years, those are going to be basically rich countries. And that's going to be most of the population of the world. And that's probably most countries in the world. But there's a bunch of countries, a couple in, you know, Central and South America, maybe Bolivia, certainly Guatemala, and maybe like a Honduras or Jamaica, and much of sub-Saharan Africa, and some parts of Central Asia that are just not growing at all, or they are growing a little bit but not very fast. Or, they are growing a little bit but there is a lot of inherent political instability and it's hard to imagine that growth lasting for long before there's some tanking[?]. So, it's possible that in 15 or 20 years there will be about 20 or 30 countries in the world that are still enormously poor and unstable, next to what are generally a relatively homogenous group of middle- and high-income countries. And that's going to be a bad situation. It's not--it's a better situation than today, where we've got a lot of poor people. But there's going to be this growing inequality; and these are going to be places of instability. And there's going to be a lot of negative spillovers for the
Unbound’s Global Insight Series: Latin America Join us at our Kansas City headquarters on September 13 for an evening of discovery with Unbound’s program coordinators from Bolivia, Guatemala and Honduras. They’ll share insights on our programs, with stories on the challenges families in their regions face and how sponsorship benefits are customized for each family. Global Insight Series: Latin America […]
Over the past weeks we’ve heard phenomenal stories of Unbound sponsored elders and their wisdom, joy and love. We learned about Cristina in Guatemala, who returned to school at age 59, and Julia in Bolivia, who embodies love in how she cares for her husband. Eusebio in Guatemala shared his wisdom about embracing life, while Eustaquia in Mexico provided a […]
Every day, as the sun begins to rise in Bolivia, 69-year-old Enrique wakes up, eats an early breakfast and makes his way to his workshop where he cuts logs into smaller pieces â carving, sanding and drying the wood as spoons, bowls and cups take shape. Sophisticated handiwork like Enrique’s can be challenging and time-consuming for anyone to learn. For […]
For Brayan, an 11-year-old boy in Bolivia, sponsorship through Unbound could not have come at a better time. After his father left three years ago, Brayan and his family were in a tough situation. His mother, Lucretia, had to leave then 8-year-old Brayan at home with his older sister for long periods while she worked far away to pay off […]
From traditional folkloric music to hip-hop, sponsored friends around the world are practicing their favorite forms of music and using music to better their worlds and bring peace of mind. In Bolivia, 22-year-old Griselda has a passion for traditional instruments, and has learned to play as a means to teach others about traditional Bolivian culture. Griselda can play four different […]
Miriam is a 22-year-old sponsored youth in Bolivia â and a big medal winner in the Bolivian National Special Olympics. Miriam has been sponsored by Dan and Maureen in Oregon since 2006. She has an intellectual disability that affects her speech and learning. One day in 2008, she saw a video at school about rhythmic gymnastics. “I liked it! I […]
Luis has spent his whole life in La Paz, Bolivia. And for 15 of his 26 years, he has been sponsored by Anna from Ohio. Being part of the Unbound program has had a big impact on his life, and the values he learned from the organization helped shape his desire to serve others through police work. “I have this […]
La abuela grilloLiliana De la Quintana Ilustraciones de Antonieta Medeiros NÂº de pÃ¡ginas: s/n Editorial: Nicobis ColecciÃ³n: MitologÃa IndÃgena de Bolivia. No. 6 La Paz, 2000.
Lista de Honor del IBby, 2004.
Por Silvina Juri
Presentamos La abuela grillo, libro que dio lugar al cortometraje con el mismo nombre, realizado en el 2010 con variantes en el relato pero esenciales en la estructura temÃ¡tica.
El libro comienza mediante la voz de un abuelo (ayoreo) que -como en muchas comunidades indÃgenas- son ellos quienes reÃºnen a los niÃ±os y niÃ±as para contarles historias de la tradiciÃ³n oral. En esta oportunidad el abuelo contarÃ¡ el mito del grillo y su relaciÃ³n al convocar el agua en tiempos de sequÃa.
Este mes tenemos la emociÃ³n de contarles que la Academia Boliviana de Literatura Infantil y Juvenil nos ha hecho llegar la colecciÃ³n completa de âMitologÃa IndÃgena Bolivianaâ. La recopiladora, Liliana De la Quintana, compila los mitos indÃgenas âin situâ, es decir que los escucha y recoge de la propia voz de los habitantes del lugar, tal acciÃ³n se refleja en cada una de las historias cargadas de gran autenticidad. Les invitamos a pasar por la biblioteca EDELIJ para disfrutar y adentrarse en las creencias de nuestros pueblos indÃgenas.
CAPACITACIÃN GRATUITA PARA AUXILIARES DE BIBLIOTECAS
Programa Bibliotecas para armar anuncia una nueva CapacitaciÃ³n gratuita para
Auxiliares de bibliotecas y espacios de lectura que iniciarÃ¡ el viernes 21 de
abril a las 17:30 hs., en la biblioteca Ricardo GÃ¼iraldes, Talcahuano 1261.
"TALLERES PARA CHICOS Y CHICAS a partir de 2 AÃOS EN ADELANTEâ¦.
ROQUE SAENZ PEÃA 878 â CDAD DE MZA â
Se han actualizado los talleres para chicos y chicas A PARTIR DE DOS aÃ±osâ¦.
EstÃ¡s a tiempo de sumarte y participarâ¦
Propuestas, horarios y fechas de inscripciÃ³n
El Centro Cultural ANTISOPA - EDELIJ acercan una propuesta integral desde diversos lenguajes artÃsticos que proponen una gran variedad de espacios como lo son la mÃºsica, el teatro, la literatura, la plÃ¡stica, el movimiento: psicomotricidad, yoga, la arquitectura, la construcciÃ³n de muÃ±ecos, entre muchos otros. Esos espacios dialogarÃ¡n entre sÃ para estimular los procesos creativos e individuales de cada uno de los chicos y chicas que participen.
LOS GRUPOS SON REDUCIDOS.
Inscripciones ABIERTAS en
Centro Cultural ANTISOPA & EDELIJ :
EN ROQUE SAENZ PEÃA 878 - CDAD DE MENDOZA
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EDELIJ (SEDE Mendoza) organiza ferias de libros en diversas instituciones que la solicitan. El propÃ³sito de estos espacios es acercar a niÃ±os, docentes y familias nuevas propuestas literarias y recreativas, con la intenciÃ³n que conozcan una abanico de diversas lecturas y puedan seleccionar segÃºn sus intereses lectores.
Las ferias proponen una variedad de material editorial. De manera opcional en el marco de la feria EDELIJ ofrece cursos para los docentes (y/o familias) acerca de cÃ³mo colaborar en la selecciÃ³n de libros, acompaÃ±amiento de proyectos y acciones concretas de promociÃ³n de la lectura; Cuentacuentos y/o talleres recreativos. Al cierre de las ferias se realizan actividades de animaciÃ³n a la lectura, invitando a toda la comunidad educativa a participar del evento. Visitas de autores locales y mucho mÃ¡sâ¦
Para inscribirse y conocer los requisitos y beneficios de las Ferias, solicita el instructivo. MÃ¡s datos de contacto en el flyer (imagen adjunta). Contacto: firstname.lastname@example.org
*EDELIJ biblioteca y librerÃa especializada en la literatura destinada a niÃ±os, niÃ±as y jÃ³venes. Con un catÃ¡logo de calidad que incluyen las mejores editoriales argentinas e importadas. Autores y autoras de todo el globo terrÃ¡queo. Cuentos, novelas, libros Ã¡lbum, historietas, libros de imÃ¡genes, etc.
How People Get Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)
Where HPS is FoundCases of HPS occur sporadically, usually in rural areas where forests, fields, and farms offer suitable habitat for the virus's rodent hosts. The peridomestic setting (for example, barns, outbuildings, and sheds) are potential sites where people may be exposed to the virus. In the US and Canada, the Sin Nombre hantavirus is responsible for the majority of cases of HPS. The host of the Sin Nombre virus is the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), present throughout the western and central US and Canada. Several other hantaviruses are capable of causing HPS in the US. The New York hantavirus, hosted by the white-footed mouse, is associated with HPS cases in the northeastern US. The Black Creek hantavirus, hosted by the cotton rat, is found in the southeastern US. Cases of HPS have been confirmed elsewhere in the Americas, including Canada, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Panama, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Signs & Symptoms for Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)
Due to the small number of HPS cases, the "incubation time" is not positively known. However, on the basis of limited information, it appears that symptoms may develop between 1 and 5 weeks after exposure to fresh urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents.
Early symptoms include fatigue, fever and muscle aches, especially in the large muscle groupsâthighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders. These symptoms are universal. There may also be headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. About half of all HPS patients experience these symptoms.
Four to 10 days after the initial phase of illness, the late symptoms of HPS appear. These include coughing and shortness of breath, with the sensation of, as one survivor put it, a "...tight band around my chest and a pillow over my face" as the lungs fill with fluid. Is the Disease Fatal?
Yes. HPS can be fatal. It has a mortality rate of 38%.
Â¿Cree usted que en Venezuela hay âpueblosâ distintos del venezolano, con organizaciÃ³n âpolÃticaâ propia y con âtierrasâ o âhÃ¡bitatsâ cuyos recursos naturales el Estado no puede explotar sin âconsultaâ? En ese caso, estÃ¡ sentando las bases para que previa declaratoria de independencia, una generosa potencia extranjera los proteja y nos secesione en varias decenas de paÃses.
Si usted no propicia la secesiÃ³n de nuestro paÃs, debe apoyar una reforma constitucional que sustituya la expresiÃ³n âpueblosâ por la de âcomunidadesâ; sustituya âtierrasâ por âhÃ¡bitatsâ y elimine toda menciÃ³n que trabe o cuestione la soberana potestad del Estado de explotar los recursos naturales, sobre todo los del subsuelo, en la totalidad del territorio nacional y en representaciÃ³n y provecho del âÃºnico, soberano e indivisibleâ pueblo venezolano. Somos un solo pueblo âÃºnico, soberano e indivisibleâ: el venezolano. Un solo territorio: el de Venezuela. Un solo cuerpo polÃtico: la RepÃºblica Bolivariana de Venezuela. Todo el que quiera dividirnos es nuestro enemigo.
DONDE EL LECTOR ENCONTRARÃ LOS SIGUIENTES TÃTULOS:
TODO EL MUNDO ES VENEZUELA/ LA CIENCIA, FUNDAMENTOS Y MÃTODO / CONCIENCIA DE AMÃRICA LATINA/ RAJATABLA/ AMÃRICA NUESTRA, INTEGRACIÃN Y REVOLUCIÃN, TOMOS I Y 2./ DEMONIOS DEL MAR: PIRATAS Y CORSARIOS EN VENEZUELA, 1528-1727 / DICTADURA MEDIÃTICA EN VENEZUELA / LA MÃSCARA DEL PODER: DEL GENDARME NECESARIO AL DEMÃCRATA NECESARIO / LA MÃSCARA DEL PODER: DE LA CONCERTACIÃN POPULISTA A LA EXPLOSIÃN SOCIAL/ EL IMPERIO CONTRACULTURAL: DEL ROCK A LA POSTMODERNIDAD
DESCARGUE OTROS LIBROS DE LUIS BRITTO EN INTERNET:
Los artÃculos del 33 al 36 de la ConstituciÃ³n de la RepÃºblica Bolivariana de Venezuela, que admiten la âdoble nacionalidadâ plantean un grave problema cuando se considera uno de los principales privilegios del nacional, que es el desempeÃ±o de cargos pÃºblicos en su paÃs respectivo.
Por otra parte, los ciudadanos con doble nacionalidad, en caso de cometer delitos y huir al exterior podrÃan hacer valer su otra nacionalidad y reclamar el derecho a no ser extraditados para Venezuela, y a ser sÃ³lo juzgados por los tribunales de su paÃs de origen. Los que tengan la nacionalidad de paÃses que hayan suscrito Tratados contra la Doble TributaciÃ³n con Venezuela, pueden ademÃ¡s invocarlos para no pagar impuestos en nuestro paÃs, sino en su paÃs de origen. TendrÃamos una ciudadanÃa con derechos y sin deberes.
DONDE EL LECTOR ENCONTRARÃ LOS SIGUIENTES TÃTULOS:
TODO EL MUNDO ES VENEZUELA/ LA CIENCIA, FUNDAMENTOS Y MÃTODO / CONCIENCIA DE AMÃRICA LATINA/ RAJATABLA/ AMÃRICA NUESTRA, INTEGRACIÃN Y REVOLUCIÃN, TOMOS I Y 2./ DEMONIOS DEL MAR: PIRATAS Y CORSARIOS EN VENEZUELA, 1528-1727 / DICTADURA MEDIÃTICA EN VENEZUELA / LA MÃSCARA DEL PODER: DEL GENDARME NECESARIO AL DEMÃCRATA NECESARIO / LA LENGUA DE LA DEMAGOGIA: DE LA CONCERTACIÃN POPULISTA A LA EXPLOSIÃN SOCIAL/ EL IMPERIO CONTRACULTURAL: DEL ROCK A LA POSTMODERNIDAD
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(Conferencia en Quito, en el aniversario de la batalla)
Pichincha: volcÃ¡n latente. La naturaleza tiene sus tiempos, La Historia los suyos, que parecen tardar pero que, como la justicia, llegan. Fuego y conmociÃ³n son las herramientas de la naturaleza. Una cordillera, un paisaje parecen impasibles porque captamos apenas un instante inmÃ³vil de su batalla infinita.
Las tropas de los imperios contraatacan, usando de carne de caÃ±Ã³n a sus propias vÃctimas. No basta con los sueÃ±os. Las improvisadas milicias de los independentistas son barridas una y otra vez. Una y otra vez vuelven a la carga los vencidos. âEl arte de vencer se aprende en las derrotasâ, dice SimÃ³n BolÃvar. Es la erupciÃ³n de la acciÃ³n.
AFPCaracas (AFP) - Venezuela's opposition was on Thursday weighing its response to the government's latest crackdown on its politicians, which critics warn will risk making the troubled country a dictatorship.
Overnight, the supreme court for the second time this week sentenced an opposition mayor to 15 months in prison for not preventing anti-government protests in his Carcas district.
And a powerful member of a new loyalist assembly installed last week said would-be candidates from the opposition wanting to contest regional elections in December would need "good conduct" permission from the body to take part.
The moves bolstered claims by the United States and major Latin American nations that President Nicolas Maduro was trashing democracy and ruling through a "dictatorship."
On Wednesday, the United States extended sanctions it had already imposed on Maduro to members of the new Constituent Assembly, which was elected last month amid allegations of fraud and deadly protests.
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico and other nations in the Americas have said they do not recognize the new assembly, which also sacked a critical attorney general among other steps to quash dissent.
Venezuela has lodged protests with 11 embassies over the international condemnation, and railed against the United States for not respecting "any basic principle of international law."
- Tensions -
The developments fuelled tensions that have been flaring in Venezuela for the past four months, resulting in nearly 130 deaths during protests and increasing isolation for Maduro and his government.
The supreme court's sentencing of the opposition mayor of the Hatillo district in Caracas, David Smolansky, and a bar on him holding public office followed identical punishment it handed down to the mayor of the Chacao district, Ramon Muchacho.
Smolanksy posted a video online in which he called for protests against his jailing "in all the streets" of his municipality. But early Thursday there was little response, beyond a barricade of trash across a road.
The opposition coalition, a grouping of around 30 disparate parties called the Democratic Unity Roundtable, has been struggling about what to do to keep up pressure on Maduro, who it wants to see ousted through early elections.
On Wednesday, after much debate, the coalition said it would contest overdue regional elections in Venezuela's 23 states on December 10, with the aim of holding Maduro to the electoral calendar, which also sees the next presidential election in October 2018.
Polls suggest the opposition would win most of the states, replicating its landslide 2015 victory in taking control of the legislature, the National Assembly.
Maduro has installed the new Constituent Assembly with powers over all branches of government, including the National Assembly.
- US against Venezuelan 'tyranny' -
Maduro and his government are deeply unpopular, as the country's 30 million citizens suffer under a long economic crisis that has resulted in shortages of food and medicine and hyperinflation -- a harsh reality for an oil-rich country that used to be one of the wealthiest in Latin America.
One of the Constituent Assembly's most powerful members, Diosdado Cabello, argued for another obstacle for the opposition before it could take part in the regional elections.
He said they should apply for "certificates of good conduct" from the assembly attesting that they would prevent any violence in the streets.
The election of the new assembly and its campaign against the opposition has drawn fire from Washington.
"President Maduro swore in this illegitimate Constituent Assembly to further entrench his dictatorship, and continues to tighten his grip on the country," US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement announcing the latest sanctions.
"This regime's disregard for the will of the Venezuelan people is unacceptable, and the United States will stand with them in opposition to tyranny until Venezuela is restored to a peaceful and prosperous democracy."
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza shot back on state television that the US was "making a fool of itself in front of the world."
"Venezuela can't be sanctioned for anything, nor by anybody," he said.
Although broadly criticized, Venezuela is not entirely isolated internationally.
It can count on the support of Russia and China -- which have granted tens of billions of dollars in loans to Venezuela -- as well as leftist allies Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua, and small Caribbean nations to which it gives cheap oil.
Quinoa is one of the things we like to call Ooh Aah Foods â wonder foods that some of our hippy neighbours consider a cure-all for everything. Originating from the South Americas it really is a wonderful grain, and very healthful; stuffed with essential amino acids, and high in Calcium, Phosphorus and Iron. We really like eating it. Trouble is, its damn expensive. Back in late Autumn, while I was still largely unable to tackle any serious gardening, I looked at a packet of Quinoa, and, true to form, though to myself, âHow hard can it be? I mean, millions of peasant farmers in South America have been growing this stuff for centuries... why shouldn't I Give It A Go?â
So I did. A little research told me that there are many, many strains of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa, so quite closely related to the Chickweed that so prolifically sprouts all over our Winter veggie garden) adapted mainly for various altitudes ranging from coastal plains in Chile to the high Andes of Bolivia and Peru. It is a cool-weather species, so definitely something for our usually-sparse Winter garden. On the other hand, we don't get frosts, so we're ahead of the game in that regard.
The packet of Quinoa we had in the grocery cupboard was on we bought off the âhealth foodâ shelf of our local supermarket, and originated from Peru, so it looked to me like the odds were stacked against us. I guess that Quinoa from Peru is more likely to be a high-altitude variety, and we are at a decidedly low altitude. Then, too, many imported foodstuffs get irradiated â supposedly to ensure that no produce-borne diseases make it into the country. On the other hand, irradiated foods are usually labelled as such (though not always, since such labelling is not a hard legal requirement) and I would assume that the very reputable health-food packager would be somewhat sensitive to the issues of food irradiation. So my guess was that the Quinoa was not really very likely to have been irradiated, which would naturally kill the germ-plasm, and make germination impossible. There was also some question as to the suitability of our quite heavy soil for Quinoa cultivation.
Nothing daunted, I cleared a small patch in one of the veggie beds, about Â½ a metre long, and sowed a handful of the Quinoa âgrainâ by simply scattering it on the prepared soil surface and raking the grains shallowly into the soil.
Much to my delight, it germinated within about a week or ten days (as my frequently failing memory serves.) It grew away quite happily, though numbers dwindled steadily through the Winter as every bug in the land decided to have a munch on this new, exotic foodstuff. Losses were compounded by my âneglectfulâ methods of growing things â I tend not to water crops except at critical times. Mainly we lack an adequate source of irrigation water and are forced to rely on rainfall. I suppose you could argue that it is a simple case of bowing to the inevitable, but I call it a âselection pressureâ in evolving varieties that grow well under the conditions we have available.
Now it is Springtime, and the 5 or so remaining plants have produced lovely little heads of grain. The plants are a bit spindly and grew to about knee-high before forming flower-heads. As they show clear signs of drying and are beginning to lose of of the grains I pulled the plants out of the ground to finish drying them indoors. The next stage of the experiment will be figuring out how to process the grain further: Quinoa grains are coated in a soapy (saponin) layer that needs to be washed off before the grain is edible. I consider this saponin layer a huge advantage under our growing conditions, as we âsufferâ from losing a lot of small seed-crops to birds. The Cabbage tribe are particularly favourite targets for myriad seed-eating birds, as are the (Summer growing) seed Amaranths; the birds have an uncanny knack of stripping out seed pods and heads just a few days before they're truly ripe enough to harvest. I've come to the conclusion that the only solution will be to completely cage such crops if we're determined to grow them. The Quinoa, on the other hand, suffers no such depredations due to its unpalatable soapy coating, so that's a big win!
All in all, I will definitely grow Quinoa again next Winter, and on a much more adventurous scale. This could even be a viable cash crop for us, given the very high prices it commands. I will do things a little differently, though: I believe we will obtain much better yields if we start the plants in seed-trays and transplant them to a more regular spacing in a much better prepared bed. Bug protection will probably be best achieved by interplanting the Quinoa with other trap crops (Buckwheat, perhaps.)
It's been an interesting little experiment, and one that rates as a good success with exciting prospects for our food future, so I am happy to count on it being a regular in our Winter garden.
Los desastres son a menudo clasificados de acuerdo a su velocidad de comienzo (sÃºbita o lenta), su causa (natural o hecha por el hombre) o su escala (mayor o menor). Existe actualmente un cierto consenso en cuanto a la clasificaciÃ³n de los desastres:
Los desastres naturales son aquellos debidos a un fenÃ³meno de la naturaleza.
Las inundaciones son una de las catÃ¡strofes naturales que mayor nÃºmero de vÃctimas producen en el mundo. Se ha calculado que en el siglo XX unas 3,2 millones de personas han muerto por este motivo, lo que es mÃ¡s de la mitad de los fallecidos por desastres naturales en el mundo en ese periodo.
CaÃda de granizo
Llamamos granizo a la caÃda de bolitas de hielo de 5 a 50 mm -a veces mayores- que en ocasiones caen formando conglomerados irregulares (pedrisco). No suelen causar vÃctimas ni grandes destrozos en las construcciones, pero si muy importantes daÃ±os en la agricultura.
Una definiciÃ³n aceptada de sequÃa puede ser una reducciÃ³n temporal notable del agua y la humedad disponibles, por debajo de la cantidad normal o esperada para un periodo dado.
II)Desastres generados por el hombre:
Los desastres de origen humano son consecuencia de la acciÃ³n del hombre y de su desarrollo. Entre ellos se encuentran los siguientes:
(Fallas en los sistemas/accidentes, substancias quÃmicas/radiaciÃ³n, derrames, contaminaciÃ³n, explosiones, incendios, terrorismo).
C)DeforestaciÃ³n. (Tala de Ã¡rboles).
D)Escasez de materiales.
(Guerras y contiendas civiles, agresiÃ³n armada, insurgencia y otras acciones que traen como resultado el desplazamiento de personas y refugiados).
Los contaminantes fÃsicos son caracterizados por un intercambio de energÃa entre persona y ambiente en una dimensiÃ³n y/o velocidad tan alta que el organismo no es capaz de soportarlo.
Por varias razones, el contaminante fÃsico que mÃ¡s estÃ¡ relacionado con la geologÃa ambiental es la radiactividad (natural o artificial).
Los agentes quÃmicos representan seguramente el grupo de contaminantes mÃ¡s importante debido a su gran nÃºmero y a la omnipresencia en todos los campos laborales y en el medio ambiente.
Los incendios forestales constituyen uno de los principales problemas, relativos a la degradaciÃ³n del medio ambiente. Producen erosiÃ³n de la superficie arbolada.
Las causas de los incendios forestales son diversas. Entre ellas, destaca la acumulaciÃ³n de la masa total de materia viva âbiomasaâ, provocada por una mala gestiÃ³n de las zonas forestales. La inflamabilidad de la materia vegetal varÃa mucho segÃºn la humedad ambiente: en verano el bosque llega a perder hasta la mitad de esa humedad.
Los mÃ¡s comunes son las lluvias torrenciales, las inundaciones, congestiÃ³n vehicular, accidentes de trÃ¡nsito, Flujos de agua, caÃdas de rocas, peligros geolÃ³gicos.
Otro dato adicional proporcionado por el inventario de peligros geolÃ³gicos (INGEMMET 2009) en Comas, registrÃ³: 47 peligros geolÃ³gicos, 40 caÃdas de rocas y 7 flujos. AdemÃ¡s se delimitaron 8 zonas crÃticas (Zonas en las que se tienen que tomar medidas si o si) y adivinen que: Uno de los flujos registrados, era un flujo antiguo ubicado en la Quebrada Collique, con posibilidades de reactivarse ...... una de la zonas crÃticas es la 6ta zona de Collique!!!.
Propongo que para estos desastres que estÃ¡ pasando hay que tomarlo en serio, tomar medidas para contrarrestar las inclemencias naturales futuras, porque estÃ¡ costando vidas humanas y eso significa que no se estÃ¡ progresando sino se estÃ¡ retrocediendo; tenemos que ayudarnos unos a otros para ser mejores personasy con ayuda de todos se puede dar soluciones. Se han visto el sufrimiento que han padecido estos desastres naturales. Por causa de un terremoto sus hogares han perdido y nunca han recibido la ayuda necesaria.
XINHUA El presidente de Bolivia, Evo Morales, instruyÃ³ a los comandantes de las tres fuerzas castrenses de Bolivia a incorporar la ideologÃa “anticolonialista” en la formaciÃ³n de los miembros de las Fuerzas Armadas (FFAA). “Debemos tener unas Fuerzas Armadas con principio anticolonialista”, dijo Morales al afirmar que el colonialismo es la base del imperialismo y […]
Garis-garis Nazca merupakan rangkaian geoglif yang terletak di Gurun Sechura, khususnya di Gurun Nazca, daerah yang panjangnya lebih dari 80 km antara kota Nazca dan Pampa di Peru.
Daratan ini terpencil dari Teluk Peruvian yang terdiri dari Pampas San Jose (Jumana), Socos, El Ingenio dan lain-lainnya di provinsi Nazca, seluas 400km. di selatan Lima, meliputi area sekitar 450km2 padang gurun pasir dan lereng Andes. Geoglif ini diperkirakan dibuat oleh kebudayaan Nazca antara 200 SM dan 700 M.
Terdapat ratusan gambar, dari yang sederhana sampai yang rumit, seperti gambar burung, laba-laba, monyet, ikan, ikan hiu, llama, dan kadal. Juga banyak garis-garis yang lurus walau sudah menjelajah bukit dan lembah. Selain itu juga terdapat runway mirip landasan pesawat terbang sederhana.
Nazca adalah salah satu tempat didunia yang sampai saat ini masih banyak diliputi misteri. Banyak pertanyaan-pertanyaan muncul mengenai asal usulnya.
Garis-garis Nazca sendiri baru mulai marak diperbincangkan pada era tahun 1920-an, bermula dari cerita penumpang pesawat terbang yang melintas daerah Nazca, mengaku seperti melihat garis-garis samar membentuk berbagai macam bentuk makhluk hidup dengan dimensi yang besar. Tahun 1920-an merupakan era baru dalam penerbangan komersial di wilayah Amerika.
Sejak kabar penemuan itu, para arkeolog dari seluruh belahan dunia berbondong-bondong datang ke daerah Nazca untuk melihat dan meneliti lebih lanjut mengenai garis-garis Nazca.
Tidak diketahui dengan pasti siapa yang membuat garis-garis Nazca. Teori utama adalah bahwa peradaban Nazca yang membuatnya, dengan menggunakan peralatan dan teknologi sederhana. Teori ini didukung dengan ditemukannya keramik dan pasak kayu di beberapa ujung garis.
Cahuachi kota yang hilang. Di Pampa, sebelah selatan dari garis Nazca, para arkeolog menemukan kota dari para pembuat garis yang telah hilang, Cahuachi. Dibangun kurang lebih 2000 tahun lalu, yang secara misterius ditinggalkan 500 tahun kemudian. Penemuan baru pada Cahuachi adalah merupakan awal bagi kita untuk orang-orang Nazca dan mengungkap misteri dari garis Nazca.
Cahuachi muncul sebagai harta karun dari budaya Nazca. Saat Orefici dan timnya menggali, menemukan lukisan-lukisan dari tembikar, teknik-teknik kuno penyulaman yang dikembangkan orang-orang Nazca, memberikan pandangan bagaimana kemungkinan garis itu dibuat, dan fungsinya bagi mereka selama kurang lebih 1500 tahun lalu.
Yang palng menarik adalah penemuan manusia yang tidak ada habisnya. Yang mencengangkan adalah penemuan mumi dari para penduduk Nazca itu sendiri di tanah kering pada gurun Peruvian. Mereka telah mengenal proses mumifikasi sama seperti kebudayaan Mesir Kuno.
Pertamanya Cahuachi dipercaya sebagai tempat militer, tapi sekarang dikenal sebagai tempat untuk upacara-upacara ritual, dan bukti baru dari Orefici juga mengukuhkan pendapat ini. Cahuachi terungkap telah ditinggalkan setelah banyak bencana alam yang menimpa kota itu. Tapi sebelum mereka meninggalkannya, orang-orang Nazca mengubur kotanya dengan tanah gersang, yang sampai sekarang tetap berupa gundukan ditengah gurun.
Komposisi dari Garis Nasca Batu koral yang menutupi permukaan gurun, mengandung ferrous oxide (belerang). Pembongkaran selama berabad-abad, telah memberikan patina (fragmen) gelap padanya. Ketika batu-batu kerikil ini disingkirkan, warnanya kontras dengan lapisan dibawahnya. Pada tahap ini, garis lebih kelihatan beralur dengan warna yang lebih kelihatan, meskipun di beberapa saat, hanya kelihatan seperti jejak. Di kasus lain, batunya memperjelas garisnya dan gambaran dari gundukan menyamping dengan ukuran berbeda. Beberapa gambaran, misalnya, terutama pada awal-awal, dibuat dengan menghapus semua batu kerikil dari garis luar, dan dengan begini, akan menjadi lebih kelihatan.
Geoglyph Nazca Berikut adalah ukuran-ukuran dari beberapa bentuk terkenal dari geoglyph Nazca:
Geoglyph Lainnya Garis Nazca adalah kumpulan geoglyph paling menakjubkan didunia. Ada juga beberapa geoglyph besar di Mesir, Malta, Mississipi & California, Chili, Bolivia, dll. Tapi geglyph Nazca, dikarenakan jumlah, karakter, dimensi, dan terusan budaya, karena mereka dibuat dan dibuat lagi seiring dengan periode prehispanic, membentuk kumpulan arkeologis yang menakjubkan sekaligus membingungkan.
Dataran Nazca Dataran Nazca sangatlah unik, dengan kemampuannya mempertahankan tanda-tanda yang ada diatasnya, berdasarkan kombinasi dari iklim (salah satu yg terkering di Bumi, dengan curah hujan 20menit dalam setahun), dan juga tanah datar dan berbatu yang meminimalisasi efek dari angin ditanah.
Dengan tidak adanya debu atau pasir untuk menutupi datarannya, serta hujan yang sedikit untuk mengikisnya, garis-garisnya cenderung tidak berubah ataupun tertutup. Factor-faktor ini, digabungkan dengan adanya lapisan bawah tanah dengan warna yang lebih cerah dari permukaan gurun, memungkinkan lahan yang luas, yang bisa ideal untuk digunakan bagi seniman yang ingin menghilangkan eksistensinya di dunia. Jadi lokasi nya memang sengaja ditentukan agar tidak memperngaruhi kondisi geoglyph tsb.
Konsentrasi dan penjajaran dari garis-garis memastikan bahwa pembuatannya membutuhkan pekerja jangka panjang yang bekerja secara intensif, seperti ditunjukkan dengan gaya dari desain-desain, yang juga berhubungan dengan tingkatan berbeda dari perubahan budaya.
Ada 2 tipe desain : pertama adalah macam-macam benda dan bentuk lain dari garis geometric. Sebelumnya terdiri dari bentuk binatang, tanaman, objek seperti bentuk anthropomorphis dari jaman kolosal yang dibuat dengan garis-garis yang sangat jelas. Dari sekian bentuk-bentuk, yang disimpan oleh Maria Reiche dan beberapa pengoleksi, sudah diketahui sekitar 70 buah.
Teori Erich von DÃ¤niken Banyak garis-garis yang acak dan terkesan tidak memiliki pola. Garis itu terlihat seperti garis berpencar secara acak seperti mengarah ke daerah-daerah terpencil, bersilangan tanpa alasan jelas.
Berikut adalah teori pembentukan Nasca Lines Oleh Erich von DÃ¤niken. Meski begitu banyak teori yang dikeluarkan oleh banyak ilmuwan, teori Erich von DÃ¤niken adalah salah satu teori yang paling terkenal.
Teori Erich adalah teori dengan pendekatan paling akurat untuk memecahkan misteri Nazca. Dia berpikir bahwa dahulu, ada tamu dari bintang lain yang mengunjungi bumi dan bernama Nazca.
Mereka mendarat ditempat ini , pada saat melandas, batu ini tersapu dengan pesawat bertenaga roket. Semakin dekat, kekuatannya pun bertambah dan meluaskan daerah yang tersapu itu. Pada saat ini, kargo mereka pun muncul.
Selanjutnya, alien itupun menghilang dan membuat orang bingung. Mereka pun mencoba memanggil kembali Tuhannya dengan mulai menggambar garis, bentuk, dan trapezenya. Daniken tak pernah mengatakan kalau alienlah yg membuat formatnya. Dia menemukan zodiak dan formasi kaca, kemudian membandingkan dgn vasis modern atau simbol Papi. (berbagai sumber)
COCHABAMBA, BoliviaâFor an American inclined to think the worst of Bolivian President-elect Evo Morales, his victory celebration offered little in the way of reassurance. Even the choice of venueâthe Cochabamba headquarters of the cocalero union, the movement of coca growers that launched Morales into national politics and has been at the forefront of the fight against U.S.-backed drug policy in Boliviaâcould be taken as a provocation. Jubilant supporters, along with a bevy of journalists and cameramen, were packed into a narrow meeting hall adorned with black-and-blue banners bearing, as foreign observers never fail to note, the face of Che Guevara.
Before Morales took the stage, an official from Morales' party, the Movement Toward Socialism (known by its Spanish acronym MAS) instructed the crowd "to show a good face to the world." But instead of sounding a conciliatory note, Morales studded his speech with attacks on imperialism and neoliberalism and snide denunciations of his opponents. "To those who waged a dirty war against us, I can only say, 'Thank you,' " he sneered. He finished, in Quechua, with the battle cry of the cocaleros: "¡Kausachun coca, wanyachun yanki!"â"Coca live, Yankee die." The crowd erupted into a raucous "Viva!"
According to preliminary counts, Morales will be the first president in two decades of Bolivian democracy to have won more than 50 percent of the vote. The magnitude of this victory may come as no surprise to Morales or his supporters, who made "50 percent plus one" a campaign slogan. But received opinion among the Bolivian chattering classes in the days before the election was that Morales' rhetoric was driving middle-class voters to the eventual second-place winner: Jorge "Tuto" Quiroga, a Texas-educated and unrepentantly pro-American former president tied closely to the old political elite. The pollsâand the predictions of most expert analystsâwere off by almost 20 points.
For Morales' most devoted partisans in the poor communities that dot the high Andes and ring Bolivia's cities, the explanation for his sweeping victory is simple: An Aymara Indian who grew up herding llamas before becoming a coca farmer and union leader, Morales will be the first indigenous president in a country that is two-thirds indigenous. "Evo is a campesino. He knows hunger and misery," a potato farmer named Remedios Quispe explained. "The other candidates are the descendants of the Spanish, who have always ruled over us." Morales, playing on this theme, calls himself "just an instrument of the pueblo" and the MAS a "second independence movement."
Indeed, Morales would rather think of himself as a Bolivian Nelson Mandela than as the second coming of Che. (One of his first trips abroad will be to meet with Mandela in South Africa.) He realizes that his victory is less about specific policies than it is about making a symbolic breakâfrom 500 years of indigenous dispossession and 20 years of disappointment with neoliberal economic reforms and a democratic system controlled by elite interests. "This is not just about a change of government," Morales has said. "It is about starting a new history for the Bolivian people, a history free from corruption and discrimination." Bolivian analysts have rushed to note that, after dominating politics since the 1980s, the old parties got almost no support this time around.
But Morales has also clearly been emboldened by his margin of victory. To cast his vote in Sunday's election, Morales traveled into the Chapare, the swath of jungle where he got his start as a coca farmer and cocalero leader. (Coca is the base material for cocaine, of which Bolivia is the world's third-largest producer, but Bolivians also brew coca leaf into tea, chew it as a mild stimulant and appetite suppressant, and use it in a variety of indigenous practices.) Over a breakfast of fried fish, yucca, and nonalcoholic beer in a coca market, he promised to "bury neoliberalism," to "overthrow the capitalist system," and to "nationalize" Bolivia's natural gas resources. He declared his respect for Fidel Castro and his friendship with Hugo Chávez, who has lately replaced Castro as Washington's chief menace in Latin America. After voting, he ran his hand through a pile of coca leaves and pledged to "legalize coca in all of Bolivia."
Americans hear comments like these as taunts. Although Washington has recently refrained from open hostility toward Morales, it has resorted to cool formality interlaced with thinly veiled ultimatums. In the final days of the campaign, a State Department spokesman warned that "the quality, the depth, the breadth, of any relationship with the United States will depend upon the intersection of our common interests." Within Bolivia, almost no one was in doubt about what this meant: Cooperate on coca, or elseâa significant threat, since $150 million in U.S. aid to Bolivia is contingent on its being certified as cooperative in the war on drugs.
In reality, Morales' position on coca is less extreme than American drug warriors charge. The vast majority of Bolivians agree with Morales' criticism of U.S. drug policyâthat it cruelly and corruptly focuses on poor farmers while ignoring the real roots of the problem and the beneficiaries of the drug trade. At the coca market on Election Day, Morales called his approach "zero cocaine, but not zero coca." The night before, I had asked him if he would be willing to compromise with Washington on drug policyâby, say, helping to prevent trafficking and to control the flow of other chemicals needed to produce cocaine in exchange for American acquiescence on the depenalization of coca cultivation. "Of course, that would be fine," he said. "I am not for drug trafficking." Silvia Rivera, a sociologist who advises Morales on coca-related issues, told me that his plan is to develop a "light industry" in licit coca-based productsâeverything from tea and baking flour to shampoo and perfume. The policy, she said, is "rational and economically smart, and above all, it will be the most effective way of fighting cocaine trafficking."
At any rate, there is little at this point that Washington can do to make the situation more favorable. When I asked Morales about the possibility of losing U.S. aid, he responded that it doesn't matter; the rest of the world will come to his rescue. His oil-billionaire friend Chávez has promised to help out, and Cuba has already begun issuing invitations to MAS activists for "training" in Havana. Many poor Bolivians are convinced that Castro will soon dispatch thousands of Cuban doctors to their neighborhoods, just as he has to Venezuela.
And the biggest concern right nowâfor both Bolivia and Washingtonâis not that Morales will succeed but that he will fail. For the past five years, centrifugal forces have been tearing Bolivia apart. The left has been pressing its demandsâfor more state control over natural resources, for an end to coca eradication, for indigenous rights and local autonomyâwith paralyzing and occasionally violent protests. The more prosperous eastern lowlands, meanwhile, have been threatening de facto secession. When Carlos Mesa abandoned the presidency in Juneâthe second Bolivian president to resign in the face of protests (led by Morales, among others) in two yearsâhe warned of "civil war."
Morales, whatever his flaws, presents the best hope for averting such a fate. The decisiveness of his victory offers him at least a chance to establish effective governance, something recent Bolivian presidents have failed to do. The radical social movements that have been behind much of the recent chaos will likely give him a several-month grace period before heading back into the streets to press their demands.
But Morales has not found a way to mend the basic ruptures in Bolivian society. On the main points of controversy, he has talked out of both sides of his mouth or tried to obscure irreconcilable difference with windy slogans. He has, for example, promised to nationalize Bolivia's abundant natural gas resources, while assuring the private sector that he will respect private propertyâan attempt to appease the mass of Bolivians who think that they should be benefiting more, without provoking legal action or a complete withdrawal of investment by international energy companies. As a silver bullet, he offers up the constitutional assembly that will happen sometime next year. It is, he says, a chance to "re-found" the country, even though it's not clear what that re-founding will mean. When I asked Morales about all the problems he will face, he shrugged and said, "There are problems, but that's why we need a change. The important thing is to be honest and transparent." Even his close advisers admit that he doesn't really know what he's going to do once he gets into power on Jan. 22.
I met one such adviser a few days before the election. As we rode around Cochabamba in a black hatch-back covered in Morales posters, the white, upper-middle-class former journalist talked about how her friends and family had reacted to her support for Morales: "Another candidate approached me and said, 'You are white, what the hell are you doing with the MAS?' " I asked her why she had decided to work with Morales. "So many different people believe in him for so many different reasons," she replied. "For me, this is the crucial thing: that an Indian will be president of this country."
But she had no illusions about Morales' prospects as president. "Evo has rebellion in his blood, and I am trying desperately to give this rebellion a logic. â¦ He has no idea how he's going to run the country, and I don't either." Later, at Morales' victory celebration, the adviser was gloomy. "I feel sorry for these people," she said, surveying the crowd. "They think everything will suddenly change."
In May, Colombian soldiers raided a cave near the Pacific coast and found 15 tons of cocaine ready to be loaded onto a squadron of speedboats for transport north. It was the biggest take ever in Colombia, worth $400 million on the American street, and the latest in a slew of busts this spring and summer. In the past several months, Colombian authorities have stumbled on multi-ton stashes and intercepted drug-loaded speedboats on a weekly basis. Military officials report that they are on pace to seize 60 percent more cocaine than they did last year.
But the increase is hardly cause for drug warriors to celebrate. Seizures are not up because of a new interdiction strategy. They are up because a recent Colombian law, designed to entice right-wing paramilitary forces to lay down their arms, is giving some of the world's biggest drug lords a chance to dump their wares, cash in, and launder their fortunes while avoiding what they fear most: extradition to the United States. The so-called Justice and Peace Law is meant to defuse Colombia's drug-fueled civil war, but it is turning into a windfall for the country's cocaine traffickers and the cocaine market in the United States and around the world.
The biggest players in the Colombian drug industry are right-wing paramilitary commandersâheavily armed thugs, often with ties to the army and the government, who have used drug profits to finance private armies and then used those private armies to protect their business and enrich themselves. The paramilitaries were formed in the 1980s as private armies to protect Colombia's landed elite from the marauding guerrillas of the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. But as their ranks swelled toward 20,000, the pull of the drug trade quickly took over from their original mission.
The paramilitaries now control more than half of Colombian drug exportsâsome $4.5 billion of the almost $10 billion of cocaine that hits the American street every year. (They also account for well more than half of the 10,000 civilian deaths in Colombia the past decade.) Many top commanders are drug lords who have donned an ideological label out of political convenience. The man behind the 15-ton stash seized in May, for example, is a paramilitary commander who goes by the name "Don Diego." He runs the Norte del Valle cartelâColombia's biggest trafficking organizationâand appears a few notches below Osama Bin Laden on the FBI's "10 Most Wanted" list. Several others, including a former Pablo Escobar associate named "Adolfo Paz," have been indicted in U.S. courts for dispatching boatload after boatload of cocaine to American shores. The State Department includes the paramilitaries on its list of foreign terrorist organizations.
Despite all this, President Álvaro Uribe has staked his political fortunes on demobilizing the paramilitaries and bringing them back into the legal fold. Uribe has sold the amnesty offered by his Justice and Peace Lawâwhich recently passed Colombia's congress and is awaiting his signatureâas a first step toward ending the civil war. Unfortunately, the law proposes to deliver peace by forgoing justice almost entirely.
The paramilitary leadership has always made it clear that its cooperation with Uribe's plan is contingent on getting off lightly. "If disarming means a humiliating surrender to justice," one commander put it in a barely veiled threat earlier this year, "we will opt to stay out in the heat of the war and will do so to the death." Uribe's government has acquiesced. The law puts little pressure on paramilitary fighters to confess their crimes and does nothing to ensure that their leaders surrender their ill-gotten fortunes. An underfunded and understaffed government investigative unit has only a month to look into thousands of atrocities, and prison sentences are limited to eight years for the worst violations and almost nothing for the rest. Most important, the law classifies paramilitary crimes in a way that shields perpetrators from extraditionâwhich means that American courts will never get a crack at them.
Since justice Colombia-style often means a few years of R&R on a ranch surrounded by gun-slinging associates and beautiful women, a chance to escape American jurisdiction is a huge boon for major traffickers. So, it's no surprise that they're eager to take Uribe up on his offer. A few weeks before he was gunned down outside a supermarket by former allies last year, a paramilitary commander known as Rodrigo 00 told me that drug lords are seizing the opportunity "to achieve impunity for them and their riches" and "turn Colombia into a 'narcodemocracy.' " According to the U.S. ambassador in Bogotá and a classified Colombian government report, many drug lords who were not already affiliated with the paramilitaries "have bought their way into senior paramilitary positions" to take advantage of the amnesty.
In preparation for getting in on the deal, the drug lords seem to be emptying out their warehousesâselling off stockpiles of cocaine so they have enough cash on hand to go legit for a few years without giving up their fabulous wealth and swank lifestyles. These stockpiles, by all accounts, are massive. They have allowed traffickers to insulate their business and maintain a steady flow of imports to the United States and Europe regardless of how many coca plants South American soldiers and American defense contractors are killing with machetes and herbicide at any given time. On a recent visit to Bolivia, the head of South America operations for the U.S. Agency for International Development said that traffickers have so much cocaine on hand they could keep exports constant for a year and a half even if production stopped altogether.
The recent slew of seizures is a good sign of a sell-off: According to a basic law of drug-war economics, every increase in the amount of cocaine seized reflects a more-or-less proportionate increase in the amount of cocaine shipped. An American anthropologist doing fieldwork in southern Colombia reports additional evidence that the cocaine market is glutted: Peasant producers of coca paste (the base material for cocaine) are having trouble finding buyers for their productâan indication that so much cocaine is being shipped from warehouses that traffickers don't need to buy paste to manufacture more. Over the past few months, paste prices in Putumayo, the heart of Colombian coca country, have fallen between 10 percent and 40 percent.
In the past decade, Washington has poured billions of dollars into Colombia with the ostensible purpose of fighting the drug trade. Meanwhile, the street price of cocaine has steadily declined, from around $250 a gram in the late 1980s to well under $100 today. Now Congress is debating whether to help finance Uribe's demobilization effort, despite concerns that it's a lucrative retirement plan for traffickers. Whatever the United States decides, drug lords are already taking advantage of Uribe's amnesty, and their sell-off will mean an even sharper drop in the price of a gram. Cokeheads should stock up now, though. Prices will soon rise again as a new crop of traffickers comes to take the place of the old.
The fixture of football (soccer) matches in Buenos Aires for the second half of the year 2017 and the first half of 2018 has been announced. It comprises the matches in the local 1st Division Tournaments, the Qualifiers for Russia World Cup 2018, and the international tournaments "Copa Libertadores" and "Copa Sudamericana".
Don't miss the opportunity of attending one of these exciting games the easiest and safest way, with a service that includes tickets, transfers, and bilingual host, provided the leading companies in football tours. Contact me and make your reservation!
September 2017 Tuesday 5: Argentina vs Venezuela - Qualifiers for Russia World Cup 2018 Saturday 9: Racing Club Vs Temperley Sunday 10: Lanus Vs Boca Juniors Sunday 10: River Plate vs Banfield Saturday 16: Independiente Vs Lanus Sunday 17: Boca Juniors vs. Godoy Cruz Thursday 21: Racing Club vs Corinthians - Copa Sudamericana Saturday 23: Velez Sarfield Vs Boca Juniors Sunday 24: River Plate Vs Argentinos Juniors Saturday 30: San Lorenzo Vs Colon
November 2017 Saturday 4: Racing Club Vs Talleres Sunday 5: San Lorenzo Vs Banfield Saturday 18: Independiente Vs River Plate Sunday 19: Boca Juniors vs. Racing Club Sunday 26: River Plate Vs Newells Old Boys
January 2018 Saturday 27: Independiente Vs Estudiantes Sunday 28: Huracan Vs River Plate Sunday 28: Boca Juniors vs. ColÃ³n
February 2018 Saturday 3: Racing Club Vs Huracan Sunday 4: River Plate Vs Olimpo Sunday 4: San Lorenzo Vs Boca Juniors Saturday 10: Independiente Vs San Lorenzo Sunday 11: Lanus Vs River Plate Sunday 11: Boca Juniors vs. Temperley Saturday 17: San Lorenzo Vs Newells Old Boys Sunday 18: Banfield Vs Boca Juniors Sunday 18: River Plate Vs Godoy Cruz Saturday 24: Independiente Vs Banfield Sunday 25: Velez Sarfield Vs River Plate Sunday 25: Boca Juniors vs. San Martin de San Juan
April 2018 Sunday 1: Boca Juniors vs. Talleres Saturday 7: San Lorenzo Vs Godoy Cruz Sunday 8: Racing Club Vs River Plate Sunday 8: Boca Juniors vs. Defensa y Justicia Saturday 14: Velez Sarfield Vs San Lorenzo Sunday 15: Independiente Vs Boca Juniors Sunday 15: River Plate Vs Rosario Central Saturday 21: San Lorenzo Vs Chacarita Sunday 22: Boca Juniors vs. Newell's Old Boys Saturday 28: Racing Club Vs Arsenal Sunday 29: River Plate Vs Estudiantes
May 2018 Saturday 5: San Lorenzo Vs Belgrano Sunday 6: Boca Juniors vs Union Saturday 12: Racing Club Vs Colon Sunday 13: River Plate Vs San Lorenzo
Schedule subject to change of dates and addition of new matches depending on the progress of the tournaments, please check regularly on this post online for updates.
arteBA Contemporary Art Fair, that will take place from May 24 to May 27, 2017, is the most popular cultural event in the city of Buenos Aires and the most important one of its kind in Latin America. arteBA is an art exhibition where art galleries display their best artworks, offering the general public the chance to come face to face with truly unique collectorsâ pieces. It is also an opportunity for the newer art centers from all over the region to present their younger artists and reveal the very latest trends, which are simply absent from other art fairs.
This year the fair will showcase the most outstanding works from 91 art galleries from 20 different countries, including Germany, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, the United States, France, Japan, Kosovo, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The Fair will be divided into several sections, such as, among others:
Main Section: Established galleries chosen by a renowned selection committee.
Cabinet: A specific area within the galleries booths in the main section of the fair. In Cabinet, one or more works by a single artist are exhibited. The aim of the section is to show important, unique, or emblematic works by modern and contemporary artists.
U-TURN Project Rooms by Mercedes Benz: A curator invites galleries to present a specific project featuring up to three artists and selects each work to be exhibited.
Solo Show Zurich: this section focuses on Latin American artists who, along with their galleries are developing a critical conversation regarding contemporary art in their own countries.
Barrio Joven Chandon: Section for young Argentine and foreign galleries focused mainly on Latin American artists.
Isla de Ediciones: sale of individual volumes and collections that provide theoretical support and information on contemporary art.
The OPEN FORUM 2017 will be held with free admission in the fairâs auditorium with conferences by international lecturers. Claudia Fontes, who was chosen to represent our country at the Venice Biennale, Marta MinujÃn who is presenting her Parthenon of banned books at Documenta 14 in Kassel, and Fernanda Laguna that will be present at LACMA, will all be present at arteBA, participating in the Art Conversations series, part of the Open Forum program.
These are just a few of the many activities programmed for this year's exhibition. For more information, visit arteBA'17 official website.
Location: La Rural Exhibition Center. Blue and Green Pavilions. Av. Sarmiento 2704, Buenos Aires
Dates and hours: May 24 - 27, 2017 / 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Wow on the diversion of the Bolivian President's flight so his plane could be searched for Edward Snowden. Suddenly Julian Assange doesn't sound so paranoid any more. I think we are all getting an object lesson here in how the world really works, and it's not pretty at all.
Morsi government in Egypt overthrown by military. More unrest in Middle East is not great for the rest of us, but of course the main hope would be for a decent life for the Egyptian people. I'ts very unfortunate that it has come to this.
And the Oil Drum is closing down for new content. That was where I first started blogging back in 2005. Sad to see it go (though I confess I haven't been a regular reader in a number of years).
Finally, I mentioned the other day that I was using Vienna to read news. It turns out that Vienna was in the background relying on Google Reader in ways that I didn't realize. It totally fell apart and became useless once Google Reader was turned off. Grrr. It may take me a while to have a functioning blog reader set-up again.
Paper No. 5856Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Dated 12-Jan-2015
Guest Column by Dr. Rajesh Tembarai Krishnamachari and Srividya Kannan Ramachandran
The re-moderation of the world economy set in place over the past few years continues apace. Notwithstanding some lasting damage on the supply side through the 2008 recessionary trough, our outlook for 2015 is bullish weighing more on optimistic data trends than on continued negative sentiment proffered from some analyst quarters.
Around the world in 80 (or more) words:
Treating the ten-year US Treasury bond yield as a proxy indicator for that nation's nominal GDP growth, we anticipate United States to grow around 3% next year. While this does not mark a return to the buoyant 90s, it is better than the secular stagnation hypothesized earlier in 2014. With US acting as an engine to spur growth, the world economy should also expand by more than 3%. Stability across the world will be maintained â as sparks without a concomitant fury will characterize both overt (e.g. Russia-West over Ukraine) and covert (e.g. China-Japan over Senkaku) animosities. European stagnation from debt and unemployment will be counterbalanced through quantitative easing by the European Central Bank. Similar action in Japan will display the limits of Abe-nomics. China will prepare for a structural slowdown emphasizing domestic consumption and de-leveraging an over-heated financial sector; all the while growing at a 7% rate that will amaze rivals around the world. Indian reform, even if inadequate, will boost the middle classes and reinforce confidence in the Modi government. African countries will find their commodity boom dissipate and ease of borrowing decline as commodity prices fall and yields rise in the developed world.
a. North America:
Economic benefits arising from the exploitation of shale gas have not only silenced the anti-fracking environmentalists, they have altered the strategic world-view of Washington politicians. As US aims to overtake even Saudi Arabia in oil/NGL production in 2015 (and the Saudis pull out all stops in preventing it by driving crude prices down), it has markedly reduced its role as a global policeman. Its own economy is on the mend even as a lame-duck president will be boggled down with partisan grid-lock. Markets will fret about the mid-year (or earlier?) hike in interest rates; though Main Street - aided by a strong dollar - will likely shrug it off with a continued upward movement across different sectors.
Mexico and Canada will benefit from their tight coupling with the United States. Enrique Pena Nieto will claim credit for reforming the Mexican economy â across sectors as diverse as energy and telecom. Pemex, dear to the Mexicans, will face some competition, though nothing remotely similar to the American acquisition of Tim Hortons â dear to the Canadians â will happen. Up north, the Canadian elections in 2015 will reveal whether the country has reverted to its liberal propensities or sticks with Harper's conservative agenda.
b. Latin and South America:
The outlook is disappointing across much of the region. Run-away inflation hammers Argentina and Venezuela; milder ill-effects bedevil Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay. The Maduro regime in Venezuela and the Kirchner government in Argentina continue to flirt with disaster as their GDP growths slip and mass discontent builds up. Dilma Rousseff has stabilized her position electorally, though her policies continue to disappoint investors and have the potential to reignite sudden protests like the 2013 bus-fare protests. Dependence on commodity exports in a time of declining prices does not portend well for any of the South American states, including Brazil. On a positive note, Cuba â already expected by analysts to grow by close to 4% next year â will see a boost to its fortunes accruing from a thaw in relations with US under Obama.
African nations had a great run in the past few years. This arose not only from the boom in commodity prices but also from the need for yield amongst DM (developed market) investors resulting in investment in both corporate and public African bonds. In 2015, these factors could dissipate which will place pressure on countries like Angola where household spending has risen more than 4000% since the start of the millennium. Ethiopia and Kenya are expected to continue on a robust growth path. Contradictions abound within Africa, and nowhere are they more visible than in Nigeria. While the northern part struggles under the oppression of Boko Haram, the southern part booms under Goodluck Jonathan's president-ship. In neighboring South Sudan, one is reminded of the risk-reward payoff as the nation widely tipped to experience spectacular growth in 2014, got mired in conflict, with the consequent dissipation of growth potential.
American intervention in Libya undermined the Gaddafi-imposed order and has led to a civil war between the Islamist and secularist factions which will hold back that nation in the coming year. A more benign intervention was that of the French in Mali in 2013; we expect more calls for Hollande's assistance in 2015. El Sisi has stabilized Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood interlude in the post-Mubarak era. Though more brutal than Mubarak, the El Sisi regime is being propped by both the Americans and Saudis, leading us to expect the recent bull run in Egyptian markets to continue. ANC rule in South Africa continues unimpeded. Though atrophied by many scandals, the rule should produce close to 3% growth in the coming year.
d. Middle East:
The region continues to be a cesspool of ethno-sectarian rivalries as the century-old Sykes-Pikot agreement unravels. Recep Erdogan has stabilized Turkey and should reap a growth on par with other emerging economies. Erdogan's external actions driven by AKP's crypto-desire to establish a caliphate will see him prop the Islamic State (IS) just so that it can damage Shia and Kurdish interests; but not enough to threaten his own Sunni hegemonic plans. The Saudi establishment has focused on the removal of the Muslim brotherhood threat; now they will focus on limiting Shia Iranian influence by keeping crude prices low. Western companies made a beeline to Iran in 2014 in hope of an impending thaw; much will depend on the negotiation ability of the Rouhani establishment on the sanction front. Dubai and Israel remain insulated from the turmoil around and could reap the benefit of the uptick in the world economy. The risk of sudden flare-ups like the 2014 Gaza war continue to remain on the Israeli radar.
e. Asia and Australia:
The Asian political scene is remarkably stable with China, Japan and India looking inward to stabilize their economies under the leadership of Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi, respectively. Some events have gone unnoticed by world media â for example, China starts the year of the goat as the world's largest economy when measured in PPP terms and for the first time ever, Chinese outbound investments could exceed those inbound. The establishment of China on the world stage has made Xi stronger than any Chinese leader in recent memory bar Chairman Mao himself. The Abe regime will continue on its reformist route of bringing Japan out of the deflationary zone, while winking at nationalist sentiment calling for a re-interpretation of the country's post-war pacifist role. Down south in India, Modi has surprised both supporters and detractors alike by his middle-path approach to reforming the economy and his zealous interest in foreign policy. While reforming cautiously, he has not removed the populist schemes of the previous government. 2015 will see him act unimpeded by local elections (other than in Bihar) and will prove to be a litmus test of his claims of good governance.
Afghanistan under Ashraf Ghani will face more trouble from Taliban as US adopts the Pakistani classification into good versus bad Taliban. In nearby Pakistan, the wildly popular Imran Khan - with some help, perhaps, from the deep state â will challenge the established parties in their home turfs. In Indonesia, Jake Widodo has come to power with Imran Khan-type support amongst the youth, and he will be hard-pressed to implement his reformist agenda â including reducing fuel subsidies â amidst persistent opposition from entrenched interests. ASEAN will continue to slip on its stated intentions for closer cooperation. Australia will try to balance its strategic partnership with the United States with economic dalliances with the Chinese.
f. Europe and Russia:
Vladimir Putin will be emboldened by the short-term rise in domestic popularity; and hence ignore the longer-term implications of his intervention in Ukraine. Tighter coupling with Kazakhstan and Belarus will not prevent what is likely to be a low-growth and high-inflation year for the Russians. Europe as a whole continues to underperform, and it will be most visible in France and Italy both of whom might record less than 1% growth in GDP. With the Trierweller-Gayet saga behind his back, Francois Hollande will attempt to rein in a deficit running at close to 4% of GDP. Even with help from ECB's quantitative easing program, there is little expectation that Hollande can avoid being the most unpopular leader amongst all western democracies. In Italy, high debt and unemployment â exemplified by the statistic of four-fifths of Italians between the ages of 20-31 living with parents â will hamper any efforts Matteo Renzi might take to pull the economy out of its doldrums.
The Greeks might look forward to a better year, especially when juxtaposed against their recent past. On the back of painful reforms, the Greek economy is widely anticipated to commence its long journey back to health, though there might be recurrent political scares and recalcitrant rumors of a Greek exit. The German government will be buffeted by opposing demands â external calls for a more interventionist role in stabilizing the world economy and internal ones for tempering the same. Cautious progress on the fiscal front will lead to modest GDP growth. Ironically, the European nations with best GDP growth projections are also the ones with the highest exposure to Putin's misadventures, viz. Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.
Sectors and segments:
Having dropped significantly in the past few months, the level of oil prices affects the prospects for many industry sectors in 2015.Â Oil is typically expected to revert to the mean because a lower oil price has discernible impact on both supply (by discouraging investment in its production and distribution) and demand (by boosting economic activity) sides. The speed of such mean-reversion remains unclear. Russia, Iran and US shale producers (esp. those who are not based at strategic locations) suffer disproportionally more than the Saudi establishment at current price levels. Lower oil prices will provide a fillip to consumer discretionary industries and airlines; and have an adverse impact on railroad (benefiting from oil transportation) and petrochemical companies. The shale gas boom - apart from increasing housing activity - is also the prime driver behind growth in the US steel and construction material sectors; consequently both the steel and construction sectors will remain susceptible to crude movements.
Low interest rates and low macro-growth prospects will induce companies with excess cash to acquire other companies to report earnings growth. That trend will be apparent in companies transacting in sectors as diverse as healthcare, industrials, semiconductors, software and materials. On another side of investment banks, trading desks will see higher market volatility as major powers pursue divergent paths to monetary policy (e.g. US against EU/Japan). In US, regulatory obligations increasing cost of capital for holding certain securities might lead to decreased broker liquidity. 2015 shall see the big banks grapple with the regulations in Basel III and Volcker; one expects regulatory push towards vanilla deposit-taking and lending to continue. Analysts will hope that stronger balance sheets coupled with a return to profitability lead to increased dividend payout for investors in financial stocks. China will seek to tame its overheated financial sector amidst a structural slowdown, and India will see RBI governor Raghuram Rajan continue his battle against political interference in corporate lending. Wealth management services will perform remarkably well not only in China, but also to a lesser extent in US as a rising market creates wealth and a retiring baby-boomer crowd seeks to couple low risk with acceptable return. In the arena of mobile payment, Apple Pay will try to avoid the lackluster performance of earlier attempts like Google Wallet.
Lower gasoline prices and an accompanying increase in disposable income (through wealth creation at the markets, increased home values, reduced unemployment and improved economic activity) creates a positive outlook for the consumer discretionary sector. Companies dealing with organic farming benefit from increased health consciousness; the market for yoga will continue to rise as 2014 saw the UN declare a world yoga day on Modi's initiative. Even as DVDs and Blue-rays fall, digital film subscriptions and on-demand internet steaming will rise to please Hollywood. Bollywood will get over its obsession with INR 100 crore revenues as movies will cross that level more frequently.Â With supply level of hotels remaining the same as few years back, revenue per room will rise across the sector. Tighter access to credit continues to hamper the rise in existing house sales, which nevertheless should improve over the past year. Asian apparel manufacturers continue to improve their market share in the fast fashion market.Â October 2015 will see Europeans benefit from the eCall service in all their new cars, which allows a car to immediately report details to the base-stations on any accident. New carbon-emission standards also come into force in Europe; even elsewhere the move towards higher efficiency in cars will continue. Widodo will be pleased at the growth in automobile sales in Indonesia, which should exceed those of other major markets. Internet advertising is rising faster than television commercials, though 2015 will still see the latter dominate the former in overall revenue generated. Privacy concerns continue to erode on the social media front. The newspaper industry will see increased number of advertorials re-packaged as "native advertising" by which companies will pay for advertisements to be written as paid newspaper article.
In India, the BJP government is yet to clarify its position on foreign direct investment in retail. Irrespective of its final decision, retail sales should surge sharply upward there as the consummation of pent-up demand of past few years couples with the thriving of 'mall culture' in middle-tier cities. China will also see an increase in retail sales inspite of its investigation in to WalMart. The anti-corruption campaign though will negatively impact luxury good sales as well as those of higher-end automobiles there. A strong dollar will affect US companies with significant operations abroad. Wheat production might match 2014 record volumes in Europe; though more newsprint will probably be devoted to higher prices of cocoa from Ivory Coast. Idiosyncrasies of local markets will shine as Dubai invests in large-scale brick and mortal malls, while Manhattan gets more of its groceries delivered at home steps.
Demand for energy should rise at the same pace as the world GDP next year. Analysts will point at attractive valuations of oil companies. If shale price remains attractive, Sabine Pass in Louisiana will emerge as the first plant in US to export LNG. Four years after the Fukushima incident, Japan will see nuclear reactors back in operation at Sendai.
2014 saw the denizens of the developed world fret about Ebola, breast cancer (through a campaign by actor Angelina Jolie) and ALS (through the ice bucket challenge). Overall, health spending will comfortably outpace the rate of growth of the overall economy. Long-term secular trends driving this are the aging population in the western world (with the population pyramid replaced by a population dome) and an emerging middle class elsewhere with increasing demand for improved access to healthcare. Universal healthcare has been promised for all in India, which should drive up healthcare expenditure by a significant amount there. In 2015, large US companies are mandated under Obama-care to provide insurance to more than 70% of their eligible workforce. Uncertainty on US healthcare reform and debate thereon may cause short-term price volatility. Millennial Development Goals will reviewed by the UN later in the year with a new set of goalposts announced for countries to be met by 2030; different NGOs will campaign vigorously through media to get their pet agendas included in the final list.
Transportation companies will report higher earnings from increased economic activity. Apart from some airlines which have suffered reputation damage through recurring accidents, airline companies will benefit from the reduced oil prices. Defense industry will see robust growth in China, as "Chi-America" remains no more a chimera. Alarmed by this increase, Vietnam with Philippines will move within the US ambit and Australia will seek to join the tripartite naval exercises in the Indian Ocean between US, Japan and India. Tensions in Eastern Europe and the middle-east will favor increases in expenditure across the region. The nationalist government in India will increase defense expenditure sharply even as it moves beyond lip-service on the long-standing issue of indigenization of defense manufacturing.
The mantra of social-local-mobile (SoLoMo in tech jargon) continues to drive the consumer markets division of information technology companies. Expenditure on IT hardware is significantly retarded by the increasing move to cloud computing. The move to cloud computing - along with increasing use of mobile commerce - bodes well for the computer security business. India should see a sharp increase in smart phone adoption; elsewhere tablet computers will rise against laptop and desktops. Embedded systems coupled with rudimentary networking will be marketed as an all-encompassing internet of things as the era of big data continues.Â Today, a single family in US places more demands on data flow than the entire planet did a decade back; and even this data rate is expected to increase by a whopping 70% over the next year. Consolidation in the cable sector (e.g Comcast with Time Warner Cable) and the convergence of content with distribution (e.g. AT&T with DirectTV) are two trends that should continue on from 2014. Even as Indians will talk about 3G coverage spanning the nation; Americans will tweet about 4G price warfare and the Chinese will see ZTE unveil a 5G prototype. Facebook will have more users than China has human beings. Analysts will harp about impact of interest-rate hikes on high dividend paying telecom stocks. Apart from the financial industry, telecom will emerge as an industry most impacted by federal regulation across the globe.
The anthropologist Edward Weyer once compared the future to being akin to a "corridor into which we can see only through the light coming from behind".Â It is in that sense that we have analyzed the data of the bygone year and tried to extrapolate into the days and months ahead. And when some are falsified - and falsified, some will be - then we shall lay credit for the same at the feet of those responsible - viz. us, the people.
[The authors are based in New York City, and can be contacted through email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. The views represented above are personal and do not in any manner reflect those of the institutions affiliated with the authors.]
NaciÃ³ en un pueblito peruano en 1897. Sus padres querÃan que fuera fraile de la orden franciscana. Estaba muy impresionado con la extrema pobreza que su familia padecÃa y con la que lo rodeaba. En su primer trabajo fuera de su casa, en Lima, en el comercio de Albert Kobrick, se hizo de algunas de las obras de Lenin, Marx, Trotsky y Engles, las cuales leyÃ³ con avidez en poco tiempo.
Con lo que pudo ahorrar en su precario trabajo viaja a ParÃs donde colabora en la formaciÃ³n y en la plataforma de la Alianza Popular Revolucionaria (APRA) en estrecho contacto con VÃctor R. Haya de la Torre que por entonces se encontraba exiliado en Londres, documentos que enfatizaban la ânacionalizaciÃ³n de la tierra y las industriasâ. En Francia lo conoce a Henry Barbusse que dirige âMondeâ donde Ravines comienza a colaborar periÃ³dicamente.
Para muestra me remito a las pruebas y vean las declaraciones vergonzosas que ha dado en Cuba donde para empezar su idea de una nuevo paÃs incluye el que se larguen los que no estÃ¡n de acuerdo y por supuesto se niega a ver el desastre Cubano. Seguramente lo llevaron a comer a la casa del abuelito Fidel, chocho y enloquecido y se pasaron tomando vinos de los mÃ¡s finos y fumandose un puro cubano mientras discutÃan como apoderarse del resto de latinoamerica o como ejercer el control total.
OjalÃ¡ si algÃºn dÃa se acaba esta revoluciÃ³n ciudadana y el compaÃ±erito decida irse, que Cuba le de asilo, para que viva en carne propia el paraiso cubano. Pero seguramente no harÃ¡ eso, e irÃ¡ seguramente a establecerse a Belgica, patria de su seÃ±ora a disfrutar de los beneficios de una sociedad capitalista, libre y prÃ³spera.
âLa burguesÃa quiere desestabilizarnosâ
El presidente Rafael Correa tiene una creencia: los grupos de poder utilizan a la mayorÃa de los medios para desestabilizar su administraciÃ³n.
En palabras del presidente Correa, la burguesÃa cubana saliÃ³ de la isla e intenta atacar al Gobierno de ese paÃs. En cambio, a su juicio, la burguesÃa ecuatoriana prefiriÃ³ quedarse en el paÃs para frenar su ârevoluciÃ³n ciudadanaâ.
SegÃºn el Primer Mandatario, esa supuesta conjunciÃ³n entre grupos de poder y una parte de la prensa se acentuarÃ¡ en el proceso electoral, para afectar al Gobierno y a sus candidatos.
âEl panorama es complejo, serÃ¡ difÃcil, van a hacer lo imposible por desestabilizarnos, lo imposible por hacernos perder las elecciones. Ese es el desafÃo, pero nuestra respuesta serÃ¡ mÃ¡s democracia. Pondremos nuestros cargos siempre a consideraciÃ³n del pueblo ecuatoriano cuantas veces sea necesarioâ.
âLos grupos de poder saben que estÃ¡n siendo derrotados por sucesivos procesos electorales en Ecuador, y van a poner toda la carne al asador para tratar de desestabilizar al Gobierno y hacernos perder las eleccionesâ.
During our three weeks in Peru and Bolivia, I recorded small video clips along the way with my phone, which resulted in this video. This was my first time filming a video with my iPhone, and I'm definitely going to be doing it more often. There's something about motion that takes you back to a place in a way photos can't. I wish I could have filmed more, but I was super short on iPhone storage and traveling without a computer ( I have since solved that problem by upgrading my phone from a 16gb to 128gb... such freedom!).
Filmed entirely with an iPhone 5s, pieced together in Final Cut Pro, and edited in Lightroom with VSCO.
In other news, we are absolutely blown away to see our blog nominated for Best Travel Blog of 2015 on the Blog Lovin awards! We don't make money with our blog, don't have a strategy, and don't post super regularly. All content is our own, so we just post when we travel. This blog is a fun personal project we started during our honeymoon almost five years ago (time flies!). We've had so much fun connecting with other like-minded travelers on this blog and in person when we're out and about, and hope to keep it up for awhile. We are so honored to be included among some really solid travel blogs, and among top blogs in other categories that I've been reading and loving for years.
If you care to cast your vote, you can do so HERE, now until September 13, 2015.
Coming back to La Paz wasn't as bright and happy as the first time, when Zhanna and I had a dance party in the taxi while driving into the city, falling in love with it before we ever stepped out of the the car.
The second time we drove into La Paz, after our Southwestern Bolivian expedition in Uyuni, we were on the worst bus ride of our lives. Twelve hours through the night in an old bus on the bumpiest road you can imagine, where for the first few hours, I would fly into the air so high that landing back in my seat felt like getting punched in the stomach. So bumpy that I needed to pee for hours, but didn't think I could walk down the aisle and make it downstairs to the restroom without splitting my head open. So bumpy that things in the overhead compartment would tumble out, like a water bottle that landed in my lap while my eyes were closed, startling me so bad that I jumped up.
When I finally got some shut eye, I held onto it with all I had. I wanted nothing more than to sleep through the rest of the miserable bus ride and wake up in La Paz. And we did eventually sleep, probably because the roads got better closer to the capitol city. When I woke up, everyone on the bus was standing and shuffling around, packing up their belongings and getting ready to get off the bus. We had a small backpack in the overhead compartment, and when we didn't see it right away, I figured it had just slid forward during that crazy ride. The bus slowly emptied out, along with everyone's belongings, and Yuriy and I were the last ones on the empty bus, looking underneath seats, panic growing. After I realized the backpack wasn't on the bus, I was sure that someone took it by mistake and would bring it back. Eventually reality set in, and I realized that someone most likely intentionally took our backpack, along with our professional camera, a coupe of lenses, a full 32gb card of photos we took during a week in Bolivia, and our passports. I sat down on the curb between buses and cried so hard.
The worst bus ride ever led to the worst day ever. We circled around the bus terminal, looking for the backpack in people's arms, checking trash cans (in cases someone took the camera and threw everything else away), looking at faces, and wondering what person could do such a horrible thing. If we left the bus terminal, it felt like we were accepting the loss and never seeing it again, so we went around and around.
We couldn't spend all day mourning our lost camera and photos, because we were planning to leave the country shortly, and had no passports. I always wondered what would happen if you lost a passport in a foreign country, and now we got to find out. On a day when I wanted nothing more than to shower, sleep, and take it easy after roughing it in the wilderness of Bolivia, we got none of those things.
The following was our series of events to replace our passports:
- bus terminal police
- bus terminal tourist police
- La Paz tourist police - must get new passports before we can file a report
- U.S. embassy
- go take passport photos
- check into a hotel to drop off our bags
- U.S. embassy to get new passports
- go take Bolivian passport photos
- La Paz tourist police - file report
- go take more Bolivian passport photos because they were the wrong size
- go to a bank to pay for a visa
- immigration - wait for hours, even after closing, because they ran out of stickers for the passport
This mad dash from one place to another lasted from 7am until about 5 or 6pm, and most of the time we were taking a taxi between locations because the city is massive. Getting the new passport at the U.S. embassy was actually the easy part. Getting a new visa from the Bolivian immigration office was the real hassle. We had already paid $140 for a visa when we entered the country, but we had to buy a new one when we lost our passports. We were in the immigration office after all the workers went home for the day. It was Friday, so if we couldn't get our new passports/visas that day, we couldn't leave the country on Sunday and would have to wait until Monday. Lucky for us, there was another American there who had his passport stolen on the same bus ride from hell (though probably a different bus), and he was a loud and demanding New Yorker, which helped us find one employee at the immigration office who spoke some English and tried hard to help us. Everyone else didn't give a hoot about us. After everything was paid and filled out and ready to go, the office ran out of stickers to put in the passport. Someone had to travel to another office during rush hour traffic to pick up a sticker for us. I felt like I was on a reality show or some sick scavenger hunt.
Having to spend the day desperately trying to get new passports and visas actually took our minds off of losing all our photos. We ended up getting a nice hotel for a couple nights and bought a plane ticket to Lima instead of taking a bus and traveling a little longer, like we originally planned. We were just done with traveling and ready to be home.
After the ticket was purchased and the passports replaced, we spent a couple days exploring La Paz again, and documenting it with our Fuji X100s (a much smaller camera which wasn't stolen, but was hardly used throughout the trip).
Biggest lesson learned:
While traveling, take the memory card out of your camera and put it in a safe place. If your gear gets stolen, it's much easier to replace than the photos from your trip.
When we were still traveling, every time I thought of our stolen things, I had to try really hard not to cry. Finally the stuff that happens to other people was catching up to. Once we got home, the pain of losing the photos really melted away. I realized how lucky we were to be happy, healthy, together, and completely spoiled in America. We have everything we need. The camera was easily replaced, the passport was somewhat easily replaced, and the memories associated with the photos are still safely in our minds.
Hope you enjoy these photos of La Paz, the city of endless markets. All images were taken on a Fuji X100s.
Finally, a lovely hotel, after roughing it on the road in the Bolivian desert.
Peace out, Bolivia. Hope you like our camera and passports and cute backpack.
On the last day of our Southwestern Bolivian expedition, we drove through an area with a lot of geothermal activity, which was clearly visible above ground with bubbling mud pools and steaming cracks in the earth. Some of the steam was blowing out so forcefully that it sounded like a whistling tea kettle. The sight and sound and rotten egg smell was overwhelming on the senses, especially after driving through barren nothingness to get there. Walking through the steam felt like walking on another planet. It was incredibly captivating and also terrifying, because nothing was fenced off, and it seemed so easy to step into a boiling mud pot and get cooked alive, especially when the steam enveloped you and you couldn't see a thing. Throughout our expedition, we kept thinking this is like Iceland but in the desert.
One of the best perks of geothermal activity is the natural hot springs we soaked in on our way out.
This concludes our Bolivian expedition. From here we headed home via La Paz and Lima. We have a couple more posts coming from those two cities.
I didn't think the second day of the expedition could be better than the first day with the salt flats, which seemed like the main attraction, but it was. This time we drove further away from civilization, weaving through the high desert on unmarked dirt trails that cars before us left behind. There's no way you could do this trip without knowing where you're going. We were surrounded by colorful volcanoes on all sides. I kept trying to capture it with my phone but the surreal watercolored looking hues just didn't come across.
The highlight of the day was coming upon the first lake with flamingos. I wanted to run and shout and swim with them. It was the most amazing feeling to "stumble upon" a lake in the middle of the desert, filled with big pink birds that look like lawn ornaments. I could have sat and watched them all day. It was one of the most unreal sights I've seen.
Throughout the day, we stopped by three salt water lakes that are homes to flocks of flamingos. The last lake, Laguna Colorada (Red Lagoon), is supposed to be bright red in color, but it wasn't as brilliant as photos we had seen. It must not have been the right season. It was also not the season for flamingos. In high season, there are hundreds if not thousands of them (so we hear). Apparently in the winter, the old and weak are the ones who can't make the trip to warmer climates and stay behind. Well the old and weak ones sure impressed me.
Never ending train tracks.
Inside the salt hotel where we stayed the first night, made of salt bricks and a salty, sandy floor.
Yuriy wandering around an area where we took a break and saw a chinchilla!
Could have sat here all day, watching the flamingos.
We took a night bus to the town of Uyuni to go on a 3-day expedition around Southwestern Bolivia. Julia and I were crammed into a Land Cruiser with 4 guys from Brazil who spoke no English. And our driver/guide spoke no English. The only reason people come to Uyuni is for the tours; there really is nothing to see or do in this little dusty town, but so much to see around it.
Our first stop was the 'Great Train Graveyard'. In the early 19th century, Bolivia was planning on building a large network of trains but technical difficulties and tensions with neighboring countries put those plans on a permanent halt. So they just left the British made trains to rust and corrode out in the elements. The flat and empty landscape made the train remains look extra lonely and eery.
From there, we headed to Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt flat at 4,086 sq. miles (10,582 sq. km.), sitting at the crest of the Andes at an elevation of 11,995 ft. (3,656 meters). We stopped a few times to walk on the salt... and to taste it to make sure it was really salt. The salt flat is exceptionally rich in lithium, and contains 50-70% of the world's lithium reserves, as well as many other minerals. Just to give you an idea of how large the salt flats are, look up South America on Google Earth and look for a big white area, close to the Pacific Ocean.
In the middle of the salt flats is a little 'island' called Isla Incahuasi. The island is the top of an ancient volcano, which was submerged in a giant prehistoric lake before it became the salt flats. Now the 'island' is host to hundreds of giant cacti, and a welcome site in the middle of the flat white landscape. We had a great time stretching our legs by climbing to the top and getting 360 degree views of the cacti and salt flats below, stretching out in every direction as far as the eye can see.
From La Paz, the country's busy capital, we took a minibus to Coroico, a quaint little town on the outskirts of the jungle. If we kept going in that direction, we would get to the Bolivian part of the Amazon Jungle. We went from roughly 12k feet elevation in La Paz to 5k elevation in Coroico in just a couple of hours, which changes everythingâwarm weather, moist air, tropical vegetation, no more crusty, bloody noses. Remember, we were here during the winter, so it felt amazing to get a break from the cold, dry air of La Paz (and almost every city before that).
There is only one way to get to Coroicoâon the the Yungas Road aka "World's Most Dangerous Road" aka the "Death Road". The Death Road is a single lane, dirt road with no guardrails, that winds along the sides of the mountains with cliffs that drop as much as 2000 feet (the photos will make you feel sick). As many as 200 to 300 people died on the road every year. Luckily, the trip wasn't nearly as dangerous for us. In 2009, a new paved road with guardrails was built to avoid the most dangerous part of the original Death Road. Still, the views from the top were incredible, and I kind of wished we were driving ourselves so we could pull over for photos and stand on the edge. But maybe not. (source)
We stayed in a resort that has a collection of little cabins, completely surrounded by foliage and connected by winding paths. Every part of the resort had amazing views of the valley below and lush green mountains in the distance. We wished so badly we could stay longer. It was the perfect place to chill out and enjoy nature.
From our cabin, we could walk into town, which was full of things to see, small as it was. Even here, small market stalls adorned the streets, with women selling bananas, cabbage, root vegetables, and Yuriy's favorite, piles of tangerines. The buildings were colorful, covered in a layer of dirt, and beautifully aged. The roads were either unpaved or covered in cobblestones, which made you feel like you'd traveled back in time. It seemed as if every road was under construction, with piles of bricks laying at intersections, as if nobody was in a hurry to complete any of the construction projects. Even though some of the buildings were shabby and looked like they were uninhabited, every street had people walking, and it felt so alive.
The only thing that sucked about Coroico is our friend Zhanna got seriously sick there. She looked like she was dying for a little over 24 hours, which included the curvy bus ride back to La Paz, during which she puked in a bag. Traveling in a foreign country can really kick your butt sometimes.
We came to Coroico thanks to a tip from someone I follow on Instagram, who said it was her favorite spot in all of her South American travels (she was in the area just weeks before us). I love social media for this reason.
Since we lost all of our photos from this point on, the images in this post are all iPhone photos. So thankful for that little piece of technology. Also, a couple of the images of me were taken by Zhanna (also on an iPhone). Thanks, Z!
Our private little cabin in the jungly mountains.
The main lobby/restaurant of the resort was pretty perfect too.
The view from our patio. We should have paid a lot more for this.
Sweet place to nap.
Yuriy, bargaining every chance he gets.
Doesn't this produce look like it was styled for a photoshoot?
From Peru, we crossed the eastern border into Bolivia. First stop: La Paz, the highest capitol city in the world (elevation 11,975 ft / 3,650 m).
We had a heck of a time getting into the country. Once already traveling on the bus headed from Peru to Bolivia, we pulled out our Bolivia guide book (a little too late), and read something about American citizens needing a visa, which we didn't know about and didn't have. Luckily it could be purchased at the border, but the border crossing was in the boonies, and we had no cash to pay for the $140 (per person) visa. We had to catch a taxi into the nearest town, where all the banks were closed, and the ATMs were not working. Finally we struck gold with an ATM, but it wouldn't give us American dollars, which were required for the visa. Cash in hand, we raced back to the border, praying our bus was still there waiting for us, exchanged our money into American dollars, then headed to customs. One of the twenty dollar bills had the tiniest tear and they wouldn't accept it, even though they had just handed that torn bill to us at their currency exchange. Long story short, we made it in, but not without a lot of hassle, adrenaline, and with $280 less in the bank. Apparently Bolivia requires a travel visa for Americans only because America does the same for Bolivians. Maybe we should do more research before visiting a new country, instead of figuring it out on the fly. But where's the fun in that, right?
La Paz was a nice surprise. Driving into the city was amazing. It's an enormous city built into the mountains, with peaks surrounding the city. Some have said La Paz is like one big market. Anywhere you go, there are stands and shops and things for sale. Even though its a huge capitol city, many of the locals wear colorful traditional clothing (unlike Lima in Peru). Women wear pollera (long, full skirts), bombÃn (bowler hats), and colorful shawls that double as packs for carrying stuff. It was the best place to people watch. Many of the women did not like to have their photo taken, so I had to be sneaky, and used my smaller camera (Fuji X100s) to appear less threatening and often shot at waist level.
At the end of our trip, our camera was stolen, and along with it, a memory card full of photos of our entire time in Bolivia (the Peru part was on a different memory card). So, all we have left are some photos from the smaller camera, which we used just a little bit in La Paz, and mostly photos from our iPhones. More on that story later, but I just wanted to let you know that the next few posts won't be as full as usual and are mostly iPhone images.
Isn't La Paz enchanting? I'm glad it was the first city we came to, because we immediately thought, okay, paying for that visa was worth it.
Our pastries filled with sweet cheese getting deep fried.
One thing that was constant about Peru and Bolivia... we ate a lot of soup.
Fried fish with rice.
At the Witches' Market, you can buy charms, potions, and dehydrated llama fetuses, which are buried in the foundation of homes for good luck.
Our tour guide assured us that llamas are not killed for the purpose of harvesting llama fetuses, but seeing dozens of them at every stall made us wonder.
Julia in souvenir heaven.
Zhanna getting talked into buying this gorgeous rug. Except she didn't buy it.
Going up the mountain on a fancy new cable car to get a better view of the city (though locals use it as vital transportation to get to and from the city).
Explaining how science can help us dig up the past is Lawrence Owens, who uses teeth and bones to uncover the life and sometimes gruesome death of mummies in Peru and Bolivia, and Harriet Allen describes how the pollen record and layers of lake sedimentation can reveal what the environment was like 10 000 years ago. Also on the show, Nick Brooks talks about how climate change in the Sahara may have given rise to complex human societies, and taking us back even further in human evolution is Clive Finlayson, who discusses how a new fossil discovery shows that Neanderthals were alive and kicking in Gibraltar well after the arrival of modern humans. Leaving the past behind them in Kitchen Science, Derek and Dave make their very own futuristic forcefield.
De hecho, ha sido el mismo Presidente de la RepÃºblica de Venezuela, Hugo ChÃ¡vez, quien lo ha comentado, en su programa televisivo dominical, denominado "AlÃ³ Presidente", al declarar que, âhoy, llega Shakira, esta gran actriz colombiana, cantante, cantautora... Ella mandÃ³ una carta, que querÃa venir por acÃ¡. HabÃamos previsto verla hoy, o antes, o terminando el 'AlÃ³', pero, anoche, llegÃ³ la informaciÃ³n de que salÃa, hoy, tarde. Nos hubiese gustado mucho saludarla, pero le doy la bienvenida a Venezuelaâ.
Y, con su particular verborrea, el Presidente de la RepÃºblica de Venezuela, Hugo ChÃ¡vez, que, durante el pasado Lunes, dÃa 28 de Marzo de este aÃ±o 2.011, tenÃa previsto comenzar una gira, por Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia y Colombia, solicitÃ³ que "un aplauso para esa colombiana. Ella es la que baila el 'Chaca-Chaca'". AsÃ pues, el Presidente de la RepÃºblica de Venezuela, al hablar sobre la estrella Shakira, se refiriÃ³ a ella, seÃ±alando que "ella es la que baila el 'Chaca-Chaca'".
El mÃ¡ximo responsable del gobierno venezolano, Hugo ChÃ¡vez, recordÃ³ que la estrella colombiana Shakira dirige la "FundaciÃ³n Pies Descalzos", para ayudar a niÃ±os pobres, y mencionÃ³ su conocida canciÃ³n, titulada "Waka, Waka (Esto es Ãfrica)", incluida en el trabajo discogrÃ¡fico, llamado "Listen Up!: The Official World Cup Championship F.I.F.A. 2.010", como himno oficial de la pasada ediciÃ³n del "Campeonato del Mundo de FÃºtbol de Selecciones Nacionales F.I.F.A. SudÃ¡frica 2.010", llamÃ¡ndola "Shaka-Shaka", entre las risas de los ministros y del propio presidente venezolano Hugo ChÃ¡vez.
Por otro lado, y segÃºn ha trascendido, el paso de la diva Shakira, por Venezuela, en el marco de su Ãºltima gira mundial, denominada "Sale el Sol World Tour 2.010 -2.011", porque la vocalista colombiana Shakira ha realizado numerosas exigencias a la empresa productora de su concierto, en la ciudad de Caracas (Venezuela), entre las que destaca, por ejemplo, una habitaciÃ³n con cortinas de color negro, pues, al dormir, no soporta ningÃºn tipo de luz.
Ya, este requerimiento ha sido hecho, por la cantautora Shakira, en otros paÃses, como en Bolivia, donde el hotel, que hospedÃ³ a la propia cantante Shakira, tuvo que adecuar una de sus mejores habitaciones, a las condiciones especiales solicitadas.
Y es que, como era de esperar, por su parte, la estrella Shakira cantÃ³ y bailÃ³ descalza, durante toda su presentaciÃ³n, en el Estadio de FÃºtbol de la Universidad estatal "SimÃ³n BolÃvar" (U.S.B.), de la ciudad de Caracas (Venezuela), durante el pasado Domingo, dÃa 27 de Marzo de este aÃ±o 2.011.
Pero, ademÃ¡s, un grupo de estudiantes universitarios venezolanos declarÃ³ que impedirÃan que el concierto de la diva Shakira, anunciado para el pasado Domingo, dÃa 27 de Marzo de este aÃ±o 2.011, se celebre en la sede principal, en la ciudad de Caracas (Venezuela), en el Estadio de FÃºtbol de la Universidad estatal SimÃ³n BolÃvar (U.S.B.), de forma que, durante unos dÃas, el directo de la solista Shakira corriÃ³ peligro.
Una serie de estudiantes del colectivo, pertenecientes a la casa de estudios de la Universidad estatal "SimÃ³n BolÃvar" (U.S.B.), desde el pasado Viernes, dÃa 18 de Marzo de este aÃ±o 2.011, estÃ¡n durmiendo en numerosas carpas, situadas a las puertas del recinto deportivo, en el exterior de la instalaciÃ³n del Estadio de FÃºtbol de la Universidad "SimÃ³n BolÃvar" (U.S.B.), impidiendo, asÃ, el trabajo de los organizadores del evento, el concierto de la cantautora Shakira.
De esta forma, en medio del clima de protestas, que vive Venezuela, desde hace unas semanas, estudiantes de la Universidad estatal "SimÃ³n BolÃvar" (U.S.B.) decidÃan expresar su rechazo, al daÃ±o que se produce, en las instalaciones deportivas del recinto universitario, con este tipo de macroeventos musicales, impidiendo el paso de los camiones, cargados con los materiales necesarios para armar las tarimas del concierto de la cantante Shakira.
Uno de los veinte estudiantes del colectivo repitiÃ³, al noticiero nocturno de la emisora "V.T.V.", de la red estatal de televisiÃ³n, que "estamos acÃ¡, con una postura clara, de no permitir el concierto de Shakira, en la instalaciones deportivas de la U.S.B.".
La emisora de televisiÃ³n oficialista "V.T.V." sostuvo que los estudiantes universitarios de esa casa de estudios, la Universidad SimÃ³n BolÃvar (U.S.B.), que, asimismo, es de carÃ¡cter estatal, forman parte de un autodenominado "Frente por la ProtecciÃ³n de las Instalaciones Deportivas de la U.S.B.", cuyos integrantes impiden el paso a unos camiones, cargados con los materiales necesarios para armar las tarimas del concierto de la solista Shakira.
Los jÃ³venes estudiantes agregaron que las autoridades de la Universidad estatal SimÃ³n BolÃvar (U.S.B.), situada a las afueras de la ciudad de Caracas (Venezuela), les informaron de que once de los miembros de su colectivo habÃan sido suspendidos, mientras se les abre un proceso administrativo por indisciplina, lo que puede derivar en su expulsiÃ³n definitiva. En teorÃa, lo que los estudiantes del colectivo "Frente por la ProtecciÃ³n de las Instalaciones Deportivas de la U.S.B." quieren impedir es que se destruyan las instalaciones deportivas de la Universidad estatal "SimÃ³n BolÃvar" (U.S.B.), con este megaconcierto, ofrecido por la cantante Shakira.
Las autoridades universitarias y los portavoces de la empresa, que organiza el concierto de la cantante Shakira, habÃan anunciado que comentarÃan el hecho y mantendrÃan informados a los medios de comunicaciÃ³n, durante el transcurso de la semana. La artista colombiana Shakira, por su parte, no se ha manifestado, a este respecto, y continuaba desarrollando su Ãºltima gira mundial, denominada "Sale el Sol World Tour 2.010 - 2.011", que discurrirÃ¡ por varios paÃses suramericanos, entre los que se encuentran Brasil, Bolivia, PerÃº y Venezuela, para presentar su mÃ¡s reciente disco de estudio, titulado "Sale el Sol".
Antony DurÃ¡n, uno de los estudiantes de la protesta, miembros del colectivo, autodenominado "Frente para la ProtecciÃ³n de las Instalaciones Deportivas de la U.S.B.", declarÃ³ que "no tenemos nada en contra de Shakira o de los conciertos, como tal, sino en contra de que se realice en nuestros campos deportivos, por los daÃ±os que se generan, pero, anoche, llegamos a un acuerdo, con el rector, y decidimos suspender la protesta".
El joven estudiante de la Universidad estatal "SimÃ³n BolÃvar" (U.S.B.), Antony DurÃ¡n, explicÃ³ que decidieron suspender su manifestaciÃ³n, luego de que las autoridades universitarias les explicaran que, de llevar su protesta hasta las Ãºltimas consecuencias, quedarÃan suspendidos. AdemÃ¡s, segÃºn relatÃ³ el propio estudiante Antony DurÃ¡n, el rector de la Universidad estatal "SimÃ³n BolÃvar" (U.S.B.), se comprometiÃ³ a no usar mÃ¡s los espacios deportivos universitarios, para los grandes eventos musicales, a partir del prÃ³ximo aÃ±o 2.012.
Andrea Benavides, portavoz de la empresa "Evenpro", organizadora del concierto de la solista Shakira, en la ciudad de Caracas (Venezuela), explicÃ³ que, "ya, todo estÃ¡ listo para el concierto. Debimos iniciar el montaje ayer, pero esto no va a afectar, absolutamente, en nada, al 'show'; empezamos hoy y, ya, lo que queda es descontar los dÃas".
La empresa organizadora del concierto de la artista Shakira, "Evenpro", celebrÃ³, durante este pasado Martes, dÃa 22 de Marzo del aÃ±o 2.011, que el conflicto, con los estudiantes del colectivo, llamado "Frente para la ProtecciÃ³n de las Instalaciones Deportivas de la U.S.B.", se solucionara, "de la mejor manera posible, para todas las partes", y subrayÃ³ el "buen" cumplimiento de los trabajos de recuperaciÃ³n de espacios, a los que su empresa se compromete, por contrato.
Finalmente, la diva Shakira y sus inimitables movimientos hicieron temblar, durante el pasado Domingo, dÃa 27 de Marzo de este aÃ±o 2.011, al Estadio de FÃºtbol de la Universidad estatal "SimÃ³n Bolivar" (U.S.B.), donde miles de venezolanos se rindieron, desde el primer momento, a las caderas de la vocalista colombiana Shakira, durante su concierto, en la ciudad de Caracas (Venezuela), en el marco de su Ãºltima gira mundial, denominada "Sale el Sol World Tour 2.010 - 2.011".
Durante el pasado Martes, dÃa 1 de Marzo de este aÃ±o 2.011, la diva Shakira iniciÃ³ la segunda parte de su Ãºltima gira mundial, llamada "Sale el Sol World Tour 2.010 - 2.011", teniendo previsto ofrecer cuatro conciertos, durante estos prÃ³ximos meses de Mayo y Junio del aÃ±o 2.011, en EspaÃ±a, con el siguiente detalle de fechas cerradas y de lugares, ya, confirmados oficialmente, recalando en cuatro ciudades espaÃ±olas:
- Lunes, dÃa 30 de Mayo de 2.011: Auditorio "Marina Sur", en la ciudad de Valencia (Comunidad Valenciana).
En esta nota (acÃ¡), A. Malamud, el buen provocateur (siempre mÃ¡s interesado en ironizar que en presentar razones), vuelve a la carga (contra mÃ y otros) para minimizar o ridiculizar las referencias que solemos hacer en crÃtica al hiperpresidencialismo.
Citar, por lo demÃ¡s, algunas decisiones judiciales en Colombia, contra la reelecciÃ³n (aunque deberÃa leer algo mÃ¡s de la jurisprudencia colombiana en torno a los poderes presidenciales), no agrega mucho, sino que mÃ¡s bien resta, porque Colombia es considerada en la materia la excepciÃ³n y no la regla en la regiÃ³n. Quiere A.M. que cite uno 20 o 50 casos alternativos en Ecuador, Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua o Venezuela, sobre las relaciones entre el poder judicial y el poder ejecutivo, y el sometimiento del primero al segundo?
Dos Ãºltimas cuestiones. Por un lado, la crÃtica al hiperpresidencialismo no implica un elogio a la "institucionalidad de los paÃses normales." En mi caso, repudio por sus componentes elitistas y contra-mayoritarios a ese tipo de sistemas (escribÃ mi tesis doctoral sobre/contra ese estilo de democracias constitucionales), y eso es perfectamente consistente con agregar otro tipo de crÃticas hacia los hiperpresidencialismos regionales.
Finalmente, cito su conclusiÃ³n: "En sÃntesis, los presidentes latinoamericanos suelen tener poder limitado, mandato acortado, sucesor renegado y libertad denegada."
I miljonstaden El Alto dominerar ursprungsbefolkningen aymaras. Deras nyvunna status manifesteras i den nÃ¤stan psykedeliska arkitekturen - som blivit hÃ¶gsta mode i staden. Reportage av Anneli Enqvist.
I miljonstaden El Alto dominerar ursprungsbefolkningen aymaras. Deras nyvunna status manifesteras i den nÃ¤stan psykedeliska arkitekturen - som blivit hÃ¶gsta mode i staden. Reportage av Anneli Enqvist.
Roberto se ha convertido en nuetsro amigo y camarada, con el cultivamos una amistad desde el aÃ±o 2006, y lo conocimos en VI Coloquio Internacional de Trabajo Social, en la ciudad de Puno, PerÃº.
Articulo publicado en el Blog de Roberto Guerra que lo comparte con Nosotros.
VII Campus Eroamericano de CooperaciÃ³n Cultural: En Canarias, agentes culturales de cuatro continentes comparten saberes y experiencias.
La identidad es raÃz que se mueve âLa ciudad es hoy el lugar para reinventar la democracia, sin la cual âsabemos- no tenemos futuroâ. Con estas palabras, JesÃºs MartÃn Barbero daba termino a la conferencia inaugural del VII Campus Euroamericano de cooperaciÃ³n cultural, el pasado 30 de noviembre en Palma de Gran Canaria. En su intervenciÃ³n, Barbero realizÃ³ una profunda reflexiÃ³n sobre cultura desde lo local, y las transformaciones experimentadas por la ciudad, seÃ±alando que se requieren polÃticas culturales que tengan en cuenta la memoria, y âlas transformaciones de la identidad de los ciudadanos que habitan los barrios donde hacemos intervenciones urbanasâ, concluyendo que no es posible una polÃtica cultural que no de cuenta de los mapas de las transformaciones de la identidad de los territorios.
Inaugurado el Campus, se dio inicio a un interesante y diverso programa de actividades que mediante conferencias, ponencias, mesas redondas, talleres, showcases, abordÃ³ las temÃ¡ticas de desarrollo local, ciudadanÃa, construcciÃ³n de nuevas identidades en el espacio local, evaluaciÃ³n de polÃticas culturales, redes sectoriales e internacionales en cultura, entre muchos otros. Como suele suceder en este tipo de eventos, los intermedios y lo que transcurre fuera de los salones, va configurando quizÃ¡s la trama mÃ¡s singular de las redes culturales, aquellas que se construyen desde el afecto y de complicidad, y que son a no dudar, la llave de muchas puertas.
Entre conversaciones, debates, preguntas, encuentros y reencuentros, al igual que en su versiÃ³n pasada, el Campus fue escenario de una serie de intercambios y conexiones que lo convierten a no dudar, en uno de los mayores espacios para el desarrollo de redes en el campo de la cultura.
29, 30, 31 octubre y 01 de Noviembre Valparaiso.Chile
El II Congreso Nacional de Estudiantes de Trabajo Social busca ser una instancia de reflexiÃ³n, construcciÃ³n y vinculaciÃ³n de los y las estudiantes de las diferentes escuelas de Chile para el desarrollo de la carrera, Profesion y del futuro profesional, que tiene su origen en la intenciÃ³n de estos mismos por generar plataformas de trabajo, mÃ¡s allÃ¡ del desarrollado al interior de las aulas, de modo de incentivar la investigaciÃ³n y desarrollo teÃ³rico, complementando asÃ la formaciÃ³n del estudiante.
TERCER ENCUENTRO SUR ANDINO DE TRABAJO SOCIAL Puno-PerÃº
En el marco del II Encuentro Regional Sur Andino de Trabajo Social âIntervenciÃ³n e Identidad Profesional en la cuestiÃ³n social Sur andina contemporÃ¡neaâ, realizado en San Salvador de Jujuy- Jujuy- Argentina el aÃ±o 2008, se tomÃ³ el acuerdo unÃ¡nime por parte de los asistentes, que la Facultad de Trabajo Social de la UNA-Puno, asuma la organizaciÃ³n del presente Encuentro, el mismo que propicia la participaciÃ³n profesional especialmente de la RegiÃ³n Andina : Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile y PerÃº.
TRABAJO SOCIAL CRITICO COLOMBIA-BOGOTA DEL 13 AL 15 DE OCTUBRE
Hace unas semanas la Universidad de Santiago de Guayaquil realizo el XIX Seminario Internacional de Escuelas de Trabajo Social, donde 15 compaÃ±eros de nuestra Universidad tuvieron la posibilidad de ir a dicho encuentro:
algunas de las tematicas en las ponencias fueron las siguientes:
Aquella experiencia fue bastante enriquecedora debido a que que se dio un contexto agradabe y se compartio e interactuÃ³ con jovenes de otras partes de Latinoamerica, como de colombia, brasil, ecuador, peru, chile (arica, santiago, chillan, antofagasta,), costa rica, cuba, bolivia, uruguay, argentina, espaÃ±a, todo por la "Coyuntura politica del trabajao social", y sus nuevas de IntervenciÃ³n Profesional.
Plane crash in Colombia, rescuers combed wreckage for survivors. Outside a stadium in Brazil, fans who thought they’d be cheering for their favorite soccer team came to mourn. These were the somber images Tuesday after a deadly plane crash outside Medellin, Colombia. The Avro RJ85 was en route Monday night from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, to […]
Thatâs it, another chapter and another four countries. Following the bicycle adventure and Canada/US road trip back to Denver, I left in October and made way to Guadalajara, which turned out to be a killer random trip exploring the cultural capital of Mexico. Met some great people, ate amazing food, drank too much tequila, etc. From there I flew down to POS airport in Trinidad. POS being a very appropriate call sign as Port of Spain airport is certainly not my favorite.
I booked an apartment via AirBnB in Arima. Turns out this isnât an area Iâd recommend. Without transport youâre fairly limited, with transport youâre still fairly limited as there isnât much to explore. If you know me, you know Iâve experienced some pretty sketchy situations in some of the many countries Iâve visited, but have to point out that Trinidad (Arima specifically) isnât the safest place. In fact, I didnât feel comfortable walking around after dark in certain areas. I know I know, sounds like a typical American unnecessarily worrying, and I hope you know thatâs not my style, but there are dangerous pockets in Trinidad. Best to hire a guide, or be shown around with local friends.
No Man's Land - Tobago
The only redeeming part of Arima was that my AirBnB host happened to be very nice and the auntie of Patrice Roberts, a famous Soca star. Soca is a style of upbeat music that dominates the West Indies. In fact, youâre hard pressed to hear anything else these days, especially leading up to Carnival, which is a party like no other starting with JâOuvert in late February. You do occasionally hear older, lighter music from the likes of Calypso Rose and steel pan groups.
Patrice, her aunt, their driver Richard, and I did a fair bit of exploring. We did a boat tour to see thousands of beautiful red herring in the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, which Iâd highly recommend. We also ate a ton of food. I canât count how many rotis I had, but doubles turned out to be my favorite. A little hard to explain, but basically a soft dumpling that serves as a âcarrierâ for a spicy, slow roasted chickpea stew. Fun fact, fried chicken is very popular in Trinidad and the worldâs busiest KFC is in Port of Spain. Iâm fairly certain itâs the only business open 24/7 on the whole island.
Argyle Falls - Tobago
From Trinidad I took the ferry over to Tobago for $6 US. The ride is around two hours, but not the Caribbean âout at seaâ experience Iâd hoped for. The boat was packed with several hundred people, a lot of them moaning and getting sick in the bathrooms and off the back of the boat. However, once I arrived in Tobago I knew I was in an entirely different place. Itâs like the super chill, stoned little brother of Trinidad.
Iâd been asked to build a website and do some general business consulting for a small hotel in Castara. Oneâs first drive in Tobago is a thrilling experience. The roads are narrow, full of blind corners, people drive too fast, and there are cliffs and landslides around every bend. You get used to it though, and soon enough I found myself behind the wheel ripping around the island like a local. The first drive from the port to Castara was a little intimidating however.
Giving some sailing instruction in St Lucia
Castara itself is a sleepy little fishing village with approximately 600 residents. Itâs about 3/4 of the way up the island on the leeward Caribbean (left/west) side. Most typical tourists (i.e. mandals, fanny packs, birdwatching hats, boozed up, all-inclusive loving, etc) choose to stay in the southern half of the island, Crown Point specifically. This is great because the north has been left relatively untouched and unspoiled. The culture, vibe, and cuisine all remains.
Honestly I didnât explore very much the first time in Tobago, but would be back soon to the Emerald Isle of the West Indies to explore and fall in love with its beauty and charm. Iâm gonna go in chronological order, so will touch on that a bit later. For now let me hop over to the next country, St Lucia. In early November I chose to fly from Tobago to Trinidad to forego another experience on the vomit comet (aka the ferry). From POS, I hopped a Caribbean Airlines flight to St Lucia where Jen, the girl I was seeing had accepted a contract with the ministry of education. Little did I know it would turn out to be equal parts heaven and hell.
View of the Pitons - St Lucia
St Lucia does have amazing things to see. The Pitons are beautiful and surreal, and the volcanic mud baths nearby are quite nice. Some of the smaller villages like Gros Islet and Soufrierre have amazing old houses and architecture. Speaking of Gros Islet, do NOT miss the weekly fish fry/lime there (lime = party/jump-up). The history, old military structures, and views from Pigeon Island are also a must see.
For me the beaches of St Lucia are a major highlight. My favorites are Cotton/Plantation Beach, where Amy Winehouse hung out to pickle her liver in isolation. Donkey Beach is a strenuous hike past Cotton Bay, but totally untouched. Marigot Bay is beautiful and definitely worth a visit, but a little overrun with tourism. Anse Chastanet and Sugar Beach are both stunning, but both connected to very expensive all-inclusive resorts. The good news is because of the 'Queenâs Ringâ nobody can own the actual beach, so theyâre all accessible. The resorts make it clear that you are second class, but canât legally stop you from crashing the beach. However, the best part of St Lucia for me was the sailing.
I met a couple named Ben and Vicky who run a sailing training business (First4Sail), so decided to work with them to finally learn and become properly certified to sail. We ended up becoming good friends, so I was invited to several other events and races on Papagayo, the 40ft âone tonnerâ race yacht that became my second home in St Lucia. We won our class in the Mango Bowl regatta, participated in the celebratory ARC flotilla conclusion, and I was even able to skipper an overnight to/from Martinique to give my passport a much needed stamp. In the end I now hold IYT (Intâl Yacht Training) Competent Crew, Flotilla Skipper, and Bareboat Captain certifications, can charter my own yacht, and have given sailing lessons of my own in Benâs absence. If in St Lucia and you want to learn to sail or simply take a day trip, I would highly recommend First4Sail.
View from the top - Pigeon Island, St Lucia
So thatâs the good, letâs get to the bad and ugly. In my opinion St Lucia is a country that has completely sold its soul. The disparity between rich and poor is blatant and disgusting. Every morning I would leave Ciceron, the neighborhood I was living. I would pass my neighbor Dermot who lives in a clapboard/tin shack. Iâd hop a bus and be in Rodney Bay around 45mins later staring at $20mil mega yachts. There are countless all-inclusive resorts on the island (think $500+/night), three of them being the always-predictable and disgusting Sandals. Businesses are shuttered all over the island because tourists donât leave their fenced retreats. Theyâd rather get drunk and cook their skin than get out to see the inner workings and culture of the country. From my experience it seems that a very small percentage profit from the larger resorts that dominate the island. The locals are left the scraps of a country that was once theirs.
Marigot Bay - St Lucia
Although a new government led by Allen Chastanet has been recently put in place, crime is at an all-time high and the capital city (Castries) is a complete dump. The education system is set up in a way that benefits kids who live in better districts, and set up for failure in poorer districts. Private taxis are always filled with white folk, while inexpensive minibuses are filled with locals. A trip that would cost ~$1.25 US in a minibus costs ~$40 US in a taxi (a price set by the government). This means most locals are forced to ride the buses, which I did every single day for two months. I can report back that they are stuffed with people, hot, sweaty, and frequently unreliable. I was also concerned for Jen and glad I was there with her. In Ciceron and the city she was receiving comments and run-ups multiple times daily. Iâve never seen anything like it. Not in Africa, not in South America, not Stateside, nowhere. Furthermore, there arenât many inexpensive local food options. There are more KFC, Churchâs, and Dominoâs Pizza choices unfortunately. There are rumblings of a Sandals being built in Tobago at present. I can only hope they donât follow the poor example set by St Lucia.
An example of the disparity in St Lucia Charles Simonyi's $75mil US yacht pictured
When in St Lucia, I received a message from another hotel owner in Castara named Sharon that wanted a website built and some general IT and business assistance. She and I had become friends the last round, so she agreed to have me back as long as I wanted. The girl and I split in December (Iâll certainly take the blame for that - sorry J) and I was effectively done with St Lucia, so I decided to retreat back to the paradise of Tobago for five weeks to clear my head. Iâm just wrapping up my time there (actually writing this from the flight out), and am feeling quite melancholy about leaving. I really grew to love Tobago, made a ton of amazing new friends, and felt like I have a second home. I also learned a ton about line fishing, pulling nets, spearfishing, and cleaning/cooking fresh seafood. In my free time I would sometimes help out at the beach bar and I became somewhat of a mainstay there. My smile returned in Castara chatting up folks, pouring drinks, laughing, and exploring. What Iâm gonna miss most is waking up to the sound of the ocean, walking one minute from my balcony, and doing my daily yoga/meditation/work-out sessions on the beach followed by a swim with the lovely fish and rays.
Taking in the mud baths - St Lucia
This round I was also able to fully explore the entire island. I became quite the tour guide and driver actually, and several tourists asked if Iâd show them around. I think the moto racing background helped. I began to see the twisty roads as my own personal race circuit around the island. A sample day trip from Castara had us head north on the main road and stop briefly to enjoy Englishmanâs Bay, which is a stunning untouched beach. From there on to Parletuvier and stop at Paradise Point, which is a bar owned by a nice older gentleman named Glasgow. The bar overlooks the bay with an amazing view. At the split in Parletuvier you can head up through the rainforest, which is a beautiful drive and will eventually take you to the windward/Atlantic (east/right) side of the island. Argyle Falls is just outside of Roxborough and is absolutely stunning. When there, be sure to hike up multiple levels to distance yourself from the tourists and enjoy the continuing falls.
After bathing under the falls at Argyle, you can continue to head north. Before leaving Roxborough Iâve found it best to fill up with gas at the station there. Itâs always reliable, plus an added bonus, they sell peanut punch (my favorite drink on the island). Youâll wind your way through Speyside where you get a view of Goat Island and Little Tobago. Eventually youâll make way to Charlottesville, which is another sleepy fishing village on the north tip of the island, and this is where it gets a little tricky. At the end of town thereâs a sketchy dirt road (seriously, like Bolivian Death Road sketchy) that leads up to Pirateâs Bay, which is my favorite beach on the entire island. Seriously, a must see. There are no permanent structures, just a few sailboats and an old man that sells fresh lobster, coconuts, and beer. Itâs what you would envision the perfect Caribbean day-on-a-beach experience wouldâve looked like 25 years ago.
Jay Star keeled over during the Mango Bowl - St Lucia
From Pirateâs Bay/Charlottesville you can head west and back down the other side of the island on a badly kept, but beautiful winding coastal road. This will eventually lead you past Bloody Bay and back to Parletuvier, where you can choose to see a second waterfall. Itâs not quite as impressive as Argyle, but thereâs never anyone there and a really nice second level pool for wading, swimming, and relaxing. From there itâs a short drive back to Castara where there is yes you guessed it, another waterfall. Warning, all of these things are very romantic and best shared with someone. I met a lovely Canadian girl named Dina and we experienced this on a day trip together. Dina, thanks for the lovely day. It was by far my favorite in Tobago.
You can definitely spend another day exploring the much more trodden southern half of the island, but in my opinion the magic of Tobago is up north. Both Crown and Pigeon Points are worth seeing, but a bit too touristy for me. However, if locals arenât your cup of tea, this is where youâll find all the tourist eye candy. Also some good kite surfing spots and rentals. Mt Irvine beach is worth a visit as itâs the only surfing spot on the island. I only spent time in the capital Scarborough when I needed to do some shopping. Penny Savers is a chain and the best for this in my opinion. A boat trip is another mandatory way to spend a day in Tobago. Itâs usually a day trip and typical stops are Buccoo Reef, No Manâs Land, and Nylon Pool. Note, BEWARE the rum punch! Although, it does seem to be a Tobago âright of passageâ to have too much rum punch on a boat tour only to spill out of the boat onto the beach at the end of the day. I wonât comment on whether or not this happened to me.
Anyway, what an amazing, amazing experience Iâve had over the past five weeks. I canât thank Sharon and Brenton enough for the hospitality. Iâd highly recommend their guesthouse in Castara if you make way. The site I built for them, and info about their hotel can be found at www.BoatviewCastara.com. Also thanks to all the new friends that helped make my experience so wonderful this round. Too many too list, but you know who you are. Iâm really looking forward to visiting Castara again sometime again in the future with friends to show them around. My guess is not much will have changed. Doesnât seem like it has for 50 years. From here Iâm headed to Panama by way of New York. Interestingly, it was cheaper for me to fly to NY then down to Panama, than direct from Tobago. Doesnât much matter as Iâm really looking forward to connecting with friends in NY I havenât seen since I left on the bicycle to begin this round of travels in early June. Also, a slice from Prince St and haircut from Freemanâs are both sorely needed. Iâll be in Panama yet again for eight days this round. First exploring a small hotel in Bocas, land and the beginnings of an eco lodge in a small village an hour south of Bocas, then a few days down in Playa Venao to catch up with old friends.
DJ David & Look-up in Parlatuvier, Tobago
After Panama Iâm headed to Cali, Colombia for a month to dig in and investigate a boutique hostel/BnB/work/live project thatâs for sale. Also, my good friends Paul and Josh are visiting separately to give me a second opinion and to get in some trouble together. Canât wait to see them. If none of the business opportunities come to fruition then well, who the hell knows?!?! I do have a flight back to Denver on March 9th, which I intend to take. Will be great to see friends and family there as well. Plus, my boy and I Conrad have been kicking around a Denver based business idea.
I guess thatâs enough for now. About to land and be cold for the first time in four months! Catch everyone on the flip,
Little Bay - Castara, Tobago
View from Boathouse Beach Bar - Castara, Tobago
View from Mt. Dillon, Tobago
Caroni Bird Sanctuary - Trinidad
Caroni Bird Sanctuary - Trinidad
About to hop yet another delayed flight on Caribbean Airlines
View from Marie's Beach Bar - Rodney Bay, St Lucia
Pigeon Island, St Lucia
Looking towards Martinique - St Lucia
View of the Pitons - St Lucia
Trying to stay young at the mud baths - STL
Captain David making way to Martinique
Nice hotel pool overlooking Soufrierre, St Lucia
St Anne's Bay - Martinique
Headed into a squall in St Lucia
St Anne's - Martinique
A boy, a boat, and a beer
Jay Star sailing around Rodney Bay for the ARC Flotilla
Donkey Beach - St Lucia
Donkey Beach - St Lucia
One of the boats that got into a collision during the Mango Bowl
The minibuses weren't all that bad sometimes in STL
Looking down on Parletuvier Bay - Tobago
Typical sunset from Boathouse Beach Bar - Tobago
Untouched land just outside of Castara, Tobago
Yet another sunset from Castara, Tobago
Steps leading down to Pirate's Bay, Tobago
Argyle Falls - Tobago
Pigeon Point random view - Tobago
Road leading to Pirate's Bay from Charlottesville, Tobago
Freshly speared lunch courtesy of your bartender - Tobago
Friday, July 18, 2014 So I moved into my new apartment and couldn't be happier. Both Mariana and Diego have been very welcoming. She being an artist, and he a musician, their flat is very bohemian and stylish. The location is stellar. Two blocks from nice parks, and on the outer edges of the very trendy Palermo neighborhood. Close enough to get involved, yet far enough away to enjoy some rest in a quiet section of the hood. Lennon, their massive black lab and I have hit it off as well. Copious amounts of drool aside, he's starting to grow on me.
Yesterday morning I slept in a bit, due to being tired from hostel livin' the past few nights I suppose. Immediately I slapped on some shorts and went out for an exploratory run and exercise session to/through the nearby parks and the Cemetario de la Chacarita. After that and breakfast, Diego let me borrow his bicycle to explore the city. I ended up riding for miles and was able to see a large swath of BsAs. After a few highlights like Puerto Madero and Camanito, I ended up in Plaza Dorrego (San Telmo) and found myself sipping an espresso, watching the city pass, all whilst a couple danced beautiful tango directly beside me. I've heard wonderful things about this city, and I feel like I'm starting to see it, and know I'll really enjoy the next three weeks living here.
A few questions around my trip have come through recently, so figured I'd hammer those out. So, here goes...
Would you consider your trip economy, middle of the road, or high end from a budget perspective? That's a tricky one... I would consider my trip 'middle of the road'. I camped a bit, but due to cold weather, ended up in lodging frequently (used CouchSurfing a few times as well). From a food perspective, I ate mostly at restaurants and hardly cooked for myself. However, both of those things I'd consider to be on the 'low end' (i.e. hostels when available, local street food vs nice restaurants). I've heard of people spending as little as $45/day realistically, and I've heard of people exceeding $100/day USD. I'll come in just under the middle of that, but that includes some hefty expenditures (i.e. Stahlratte crossing from Panama to Colombia, and bike shipping from Bs.As. to California). Factor in things like tires, fuel, etc, and I think I did fairly well from a budget perspective. I could have done it MUCH cheaper I think, but then I wouldn't have experienced a lot of the trip (i.e. entertaining chicas, sampling and enjoying grog from all over the world, park/preserve entries, occasional nice meal or hotel, etc).
Can you break down lodging type (i.e. what percentage camping/hostels/other)? I wish I had kept track of all this, but I'm a slacker and didn't. I'd say the breakdown most likely looks something like this. CouchSurfing (or bunking with friends) 15%, hostels 30%, hotels 35%, camping 20%. That's a rough breakdown, and if you do a trip of your own you could tweak that how you wish. CouchSurfing is one of the better ways to get to know people and a city/culture intimately. Hostels can provide the same, but usually end up being a bit more party focused. Hotels can be found incredibly cheap throughout the majority of LatAm. My best find was a really nice hotel w/ great parking at Atitlan, Guatemala for $5 USD per night. I actually stayed in several through Peru and Bolivia for the equivalent of around $2 USD, but those were 'rough around the edges' to put it kindly. Camping can be found essentially anywhere if you are willing to seek it out. The best resource for this are blogs maintained by the bicycle touring lot. Out of necessity, they have to camp it (sometimes takes days to bicycle to next village/town/city).
Bike maintenance: During the past 8 months, how many tires replaced? Have you had any major repairs? How close were reliable mechanics if needed? Again, a total crapshoot if you are planning an adventure of your own. Some get lucky like me so far with minor issues, others have the opposite with engines grenade'ing into pieces in the middle of F all. However, I did have my fair share of maintenance. I changed the oil and filter four or five times I believe. I've spooned on three new rear and front tires. I had to replace the battery in Antigua due to a charging issue. I swapped out the front and rear brake pads once. Although not necessary, I ended up swapping out the chain and sprockets in Peru (didn't want to chance it and not have parts). I had a blown fork seal, so replaced both in Peru. Had a bent rear rim, so hammered that back in shape. Ended up replacing both sets of wheel bearings (rear preventatively / front out of necessity). I went through three cans of quality chain lube, and lubed up with used black oil at moto shops when I ran out. I had four punctures along the way (all rear tire), which required pulling tube and replacing with patched 'extra'. Finally, I ended up yanking out the charcoal canister due to stalling issues, adding an air filter to fuel vent line, and plugging the other.
Using recommendations and ride reports through ADVrider, I was able to find able mechanics when needed. However, sometimes they were few and far between. While the BMW has been a trusty sidekick and reliable friend, I've noticed people riding KLRs seem to have no issue whatsoever finding parts, even in the middle of nowhere. I guess ride what you like, or what you have, but if on a more 'modernized' bike, be prepared to potentially have parts sourcing issues in rural areas.
How did you communicate with people? Laptop, smartphone, both? What percent of the time did you have internet? Ahhh communication, something I've learned that I absolutely SUCK balls at. However, when I did communicate it was through a number of different means. First off, T-Mobile allows for free int'l data and text, which makes them the carrier of choice hands down if you travel. That said, I used my iPhone frequently to stay in touch via e-mail, text, and various other sources like Skype and WhatsApp. I'm pretty sure they have weekly board meetings discussing how 'this one dude' traveling via moto through South America is absolutely wrecking their profit model. I've been streaming Google Maps, Spotify, and surfing the net for the past year... for free. I also bought and brought along a Macbook Air, which I couldn't be happier with. I used the laptop for blogging, GPS routing, internet porn (kidding - ummm, sort of... Sorry mom), and longer messages and communication to people. Internet is widely available around the world now, even in the most surprising of places. However, there are still some spots in Peru and Bolivia that I crossed with absolutely no service. I'd say I had reliable internet 65-70% of the time. It may have been slow, but it was there.
What are some things you wish you had brought? Conversely, what would you have left home? Another great question... Turns out, I think I'm pretty decent at this moto adventure travel thing (at least the packing portion). Not a lot stands out on either end. I feel I packed rather light compared to some I saw on the road. Yet, I felt I had everything I needed. In fact, I probably could have left several shirts behind. I overspent on several 'adventure' branded shirts and undergarments that I haven't really used. Or if used, wasn't necessary for it to be 'quick drying'. See here for a layout of my gear. I ended up leaving behind the water filtration system and MSR stove, and lost a few items during the trip. I gave away a few items of clothing to needy locals. And I lost a hat after a steamy affair somewhere in Central America. That's it. Everything else I've used and abused accordingly.
When did you feel most unprepared? I don't know if I felt unprepared, but the most helpless I felt was when I woke up in my tent to the thundering sound of two surrounding rivers cresting their banks due to torrential downpours in Mocoa, Colombia. Chalk it up as yet another near death experience I guess. Ended up having to drag my tent, bike, and gear to higher ground in a panic at 2am wearing nothing but underwear and a headlamp in the cold rain. Scary at the time, ridiculous in retrospect. What a sight that must've been!
From a health perspective, did you ever get sick and need a doctor? How did you deal with that? I only went to a doctor once, somewhere in southern Mexico (can't remember exact location). I had a cold that turned into a bit of a chest infection, so decided to swing through. I think the consultation was around $5 USD, and the round of meds prescribed another $5. In all, doctors are cheap and readily available throughout LatAm in my experience (at least in larger cities). In addition, before I left I purchased 12 month travel insurance through World Nomads. This covers (not completely) things like emergency accident/sickness, emergency dental, adventure sports and activities (i.e. motos), baggage and personal effects (theft), accidental death and dismemberment, etc. Have I used it? Not once. Was it worth the $1,200? Hard to say. Had I fallen and broken a leg, or had my laptop stolen, it may have been. But, none of that happened, so I can't comment.
Safety and security: Did you ever get into a sketchy situation? Were you ever robbed? What can riders do to keep their risks lower? I had a few sketchy situations while on the bike (i.e. drunks trying to grab at me, things being thrown while passing through roadblocks, etc), but was never attacked or robbed. What's surprising however, is the large number of people that I ran into who did have serious issues. Countless numbers of kids coming home from bars being beaten/robbed, several motorcyclists that had their gear or entire bikes stolen, stories of girls being raped, and the tragedy of Harry Devert being kidnapped/murdered in Michoacan, Mexico. Now that I'm nearing the end of this I sometimes think, "how the hell did I make it through alive?" I don't know if I'm lucky, good at traveling, have street smarts, or a combination of all of it. Or none of it... Who knows?
Staying off highways for the most part, I did travel through sketchy areas. However, the majority of people I interacted with were warm, and full of smiles. My general thought on this... If you are patient, friendly, and smiling yourself, most people want to help, NOT harm you. There are $hitbags out there, and those can be dealt with accordingly. From a riding/routing perspective, in addition to preparing routes each night before setting off (on both GPS and paper), I talked to as many locals, truckers, and police as possible. I gathered information and made changes accordingly. From a personal safety perspective, I have a knife on my side, and made the decision before I left that I am absolutely prepared to use it (along with several other 'items') if needed. Even if lost, I typically walk with confidence. Depending on the area, I usually never pull out a map in public (can duck into public restrooms). I am aware if a person is following, and typically turn and approach them directly, or pretend to drop something or tie my shoe until they pass. I use common sense and don't stumble home drunk alone, I shell out money for a cab when needed, and know that dark empty streets are my enemy. On an important side note, typically it's best to just hand over whatever 'they' want. I always carry a false wallet for this reason. Fortunately, I've never had to give that over. A good idea to prepare one though.
I'll add one more thing to this. As referenced above, 99.9% of the people that I came across on this trip were incredible, generous, kind, and welcoming. The fear that something 'might' happen shouldn't keep you from doing a trip like this. Just use caution, and talk to locals. Also, get multiple opinions and take the running average. What I mean by this is, a lot of people will tell you "this road is dangerous" or "you shouldn't enter this area". If I turned back every time I heard that, I'd still be sitting at the border with Mexico. Take advice, process it, get more, then make decisions accordingly. Don't let paranoia ruin your trip. Be vigilant, but don't forget to enjoy the ride! Besides, you can just as easily be robbed 'back home'.
How important is it to have support back home? Uhhhhh... Incredibly important! For me, my father has been an invaluable resource. He lives in Denver, so checks my PO box, opens anything that looks important, and keeps me posted. In addition, he helped with my taxes earlier this year, and has followed up on a few add'l items on my behalf. Before leaving, I gave him full power of attorney, and recommend you do the same with someone you trust before leaving. That aside, having people back home who you can communicate and connect with while away long term is incredibly important. For me several people have been a crutch. I'd be lying if I said I didn't get down at times, lonely, and/or sad. Family and friends have all been there for me. I feel supported, and know that I have a group of people who have my back and are following along on the journey.
The next thing that comes to mind are the incredible people I've met. I don't want to start a list, as I'm sure I'll leave someone out. I do however want to touch on one memory/experience I'll never forget. Crossing from Panama to Colombia through San Blas was one of the best weeks of my life. Boarding the motorcycle onto a sailboat, and setting out through paradise, with an amazing group of people... Does it get any better? I didn't think so, but it did. Before I set off on this trip I was (and still am at times) recovering from a divorce. I wasn't sure I'd ever find love again. However, I met Nina. She was the first person I noticed and talked to on the boat (probably helps that she's an incredibly attractive girl). We had an instant connection and within hours were swimming together through emerald blue water, and exploring a nearby island. That week, and the following in Cartagena together, we grew very close. While the memories of sailing will stay strong, the memory of meeting Nina will forever be in my mind. She made me 'feel' again, and showed me that it's possible to care about someone deeply, and for them to care for me. For that I'll be forever grateful.
The last thing I'll list is the riding and emotions that came with it through Peru and Bolivia. There were bike issues, crashes, intense cold, being lost, etc. Because of all that, there were times when I was frustrated, scared, and wondering why the hell I was even doing the trip. However, peppered in with 'the bad' was some of the most wonderful riding, scenery, and landscape that I've ever experienced. There would be days that I would cry tears of joy cresting a mountain with the perfect song playing in my helmet, then tears of frustration because I was lost and had yet another flat tire. I learned a lot about myself during those days. I became much more confident, not only in my abilities to travel, but in myself. I felt like "if I can achieve this, I can achieve anything". It was intense and hard to explain, but I'll never forget the mixed emotions that came with riding through the desolation and dirt roads of Peru and Bolivia. Something I would highly recommend to anyone if given the opportunity. In retrospect, it was one of the best parts of the entire trip.
Enough rambling for now... Today I plan to take a personal walking tour of Palermo to get to know my hood. After that, I may take the Subte (subway) over to Cemetario La Recoleta. Then again, I may save it for another day. I have three weeks, so no rush. My birthday is tomorrow and I'll probably have a long night, so maybe I'll just call the day early, grab a nice dinner, and get some rest. We'll see... It's nice not having a plan. I'm sure it's one of the things that will be alarming when I'm back to reality.