What does the color and content of currency say about a country? What are the symbols we hold most dear? Who are our heroes? If we look at the banknotes of the United States, we see former presidents; Washington and Jefferson and founders like Franklin and Hamilton. All male, all Caucasian, all long gone. By […]Read more
7 Ways South American Christmas Differs
Happy Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve! As in Spain, Nochebuena in South America is celebrated with family and a midnight dinner feast. Catholic traditions, mixed with indigenous and African cultures, have created many South American Christmas traditions that differ from celebrations in other countries. 1) For example, Nativity scenes of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus are more […]Read more
Paraguay’s 2 Official Languages
Paraguay is one of three countries in the Americas that name one or more indigenous languages as official, alongside Spanish. Interestingly, it is also the country where the most non-indigenous people are bilingual in an indigenous language, in this case Guaraní. Over 5 million people in Paraguay speak it. The 2012 census determined that 64% […]Read more
Special Friday Edition: Let’s celebrate Juneteenth, which commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States! How about we look at the timeline of freedom in this hemisphere. We’ll check the history of our neighbors in the Americas. The Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries of Central and South America departed from our model of the […]Read more
Where in Latin America is Voting Mandatory?
I thought this was an easy question I could find the answer to in an hour, or no more than an afternoon. A week later, I am humbled. I was confused with the range of answers. There were 14, 12, 13, 11 or 8 countries in Central and South America where citizens are required to […]Read more
Santa or the 3 Wise Guys?
In the United States, St. Nick is a national obsession. His likeness is big business; tree ornaments, droopy red hats, pajamas, sweaters and bath mats stamped with his image. Most recently he’s been turning up as inflatable outdoor decorations! Why is Santa so central to winter giving traditions in the United States? Let’s talk a […]Read more