This past week the Argentine peso fell 11% below the American dollar, the steepest daily fall it has suffered in the past 12 years. The official exchange rate has reached almost 8 pesos to 1 US dollar. Since the economic crisis that hit the nation in 2001, many Argentines have shown little faith in their own economy. Instead, they purchase foreign currency to save rather than saving their constantly depreciating pesos.
Economy and Development
Being a six-year old in the United States means many things--few responsibilities, no stress, no problems. In Bolivia, however, this age symbolizes quite a different path: in some households, this marks the age where children begin to provide for their families in the only way that they can, through working. Thousands of children as young as six work in Bolivian silver mines. Each day, these children are responsible for carrying out one of the most dangerous jobs in one of the most impoverished countries of Latin America.
As one of the nation's most prestigious academic institutions, Harvard University carefully invests its endowment in order to maintain its funds. One of the university’s most lucrative investments has been in natural resources, particularly timber companies in Argentina.
As the Seattle-based coffee industry giant opens up cafes across the globe, the Starbucks franchise has begun to turn its gaze towards its roots: Latin America. Starbucks has been buying beans from countries such as Costa Rica and Colombia for decades.
Turmoil and conflict is nothing new to the countries in Latin America, and the last few months some of the most prosperous countries have been experiencing problems. Argentina’s currency took a nosedive, leaving the country in crisis. Brazil’s growth rate has slowed significantly and World Cup protests are growing by the day. And oil heavy Venezuela is experiencing massive protests over inflation and shortages.
The Communications and Transport Secretary in Mexico has proposed a regional rail project, the Tren Transpeninsular (TTP), to connect major beach resort areas and several major archeological sites in the Yucatan Peninsula. A GSPIA capstone class taught by Marcela González Rivas, Policy and Planning in Development Countries, is working with a local non-profit in Mexico, Foro para el Desarrollo Sustentable, who has been hired to conduct a preliminary assessment of the potential social impacts of the TTP.