Bocas del Toro, Panama is a renowned vacation and retirement paradise for thousands of tourists and expats seeking fun and sun in the Caribbean archipelago. Christopher Columbus was an early visitor before the region became a haven for pirates who legend has it left buried treasure in their wake. The United Fruit Company arrived in the 1940's and made a fortune using migrant workers on its banana plantations.
Mayan King, the largest banana producer in Belize, abruptly ceased operations in October when the Irish fruit company Fyffes stopped importing Mayan King bananas due to fear of economic sanctions from the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
One afternoon in Quito, Ecuador I discovered an article on the BBC's Latin America website about a small Andean village, home to a growing indigenous women's collective led by a 44-year-old woman named Maria Fabiola Quishpe Pilataxi. Fabiola, divorced and without children, is the president of Organizaciόn de Mujeres Pakarimuy in the province of Cotopaxi, Ecuador. Fiercely independent in a world still tied to traditional ideals of gender and family, Fabiola has dedicated her life to building an organization of women that both meets the practical challenges of life high in el p
We arrived at Oventic in Chiapas, Mexico, around midnight, and stumbled from our bus into a roar of rhythmic clapping. The Zapatistas who were organizing our training had carved a path for us, gathering in the hundreds to welcome us to their territory. For the next five days, we joined nearly 1,700 other people from around the world and the four other caracoles, or self-organized Zapatista autonomous regions.
The gold nuggets are gone. Rarely do modern miners use picks to chisel away at metal deposits deep within the winding caverns of untapped mountain ranges. In the twenty-first century, much of our gold comes in the form of microscopic grains. Their extraction requires massive open pit mines where the world’s largest machines remove, reshape and reconfigure the surface of the earth in search of these tiny specs of precious metal.
U.S. photographer Paul Dix and editor Pamela Fitzpatrick recently published the book, Nicaragua: Surviving the Legacy of U.S. Policy. The book evokes the horrific legacy of the Contra war through individual testimonies of everyday Nicaraguans who survived the war that killed over 200,000 people over 20 years ago. In it, Dix revisits war survivors that he photographed in the 1980s and brings us up to date with their lives through a mixture of thought-provoking narratives and images.