Learning Latin America: A new project

¿Que tal si solo escribiera esto en español? Les gustaria? Lo entenderian?

If you couldn’t understand what I just wrote, that was the point. Spanish is my first language, and the most common language in Latin America. But the confusion you just felt reading the first few questions is sometimes the way I feel about what happened or is happening south of the United States, and maybe you feel that way too. Or have no idea what is happening, and more importantly, why.

So for the next 15 weeks, I’ll be learning and writing about Latin America, focusing on politics, geography and culture.  I love my home country of Colombia, yet it doesn’t exist in a bubble. I like history, people, learning and sharing context.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez noted the “unearthly tidings of Latin America, that boundless realm of haunted men and historic women, whose unending obstinacy blurs into legend.”

The region is a paradoxical one. Natural resources abound. Yet one out of every five Latin Americans lives in chronic poverty.  That’s what fascinates me. And I want to learn more about how these paradoxes play out on the bigger stages of politics and policy, which have ramifications on the lives of millions.

A dusty, forlorn football pitch below the modern skyscrapers of Cartagena
A dusty, forlorn football pitch below the modern skyscrapers of Cartagena. Photo Credit: Andrew Allee

I also want to learn more about the ties the United States has with Latin America. I may even be mentioning some of the theories we’ve talked about in my Latin American Politics class.  Next week, I’ll be looking at some misconceptions about the region and examining my own.





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