Central America

Central American and Caribbean Dance: Tracing African Roots

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By Ashley Brown

The Garifuna sing their pain. They sing about their concerns. They sing about what's going on. We dance when there is a death. It's a tradition [meant] to bring a little joy to the family, but every song has a different meaning. Different words. The Garifuna does not sing about love. The Garifuna sings about things that reach your heart (Serrano, 2018).

Latin Americans living in the Shadow of Volcanoes

November 26, 2018
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In June of this year, Guatemala’s Volcán de Fuego erupted with catastrophic consequences. Over two months after the eruption, the death toll from the volcano was 165, and 260 people were still missing as villages were flooded with ash and lava. In total, more than 1.7 million people were affected by the deadly eruption (World Vision, 2018). In 1985, Colombia’s Nevado del Ruíz volcano in the Andes mountains erupted resulting in one of the deadliest volcanic eruptions in modern history.

The Silent Massacre: Chronic Kidney Disease in Central America's Sugarcane Workers

November 14, 2017
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Over 50,000 people have died worldwide due to kidney failure with unknown etiology, alerting healthcare professions and public health workers to an epidemic that may also be linked to the changing climate. The abnormally high number of deaths are concentrated in Central America. In the past two decades, public health workers and other officials have estimated that over 20,000 people have died in Central America and many of these people do not possess the usual risk factors of hypertension and diabetes for kidney failure.

The Architecture of Feminicide: The State, Inequalities, and Everyday Gender Violence in Honduras

October 2, 2017
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“I saw the [drug cartel] kill someone on the street as I was leaving school. They saw me running away. The threats started this day. They told me if I said anything or moved, they’d kill me. They’d look for me, find me and kill me. The[y] had raped me twice, kidnapped me four times, beat my partner, and mistreated me in so many other ways. They’d said they’d kill me. They also said if I didn’t leave, they’d find my family and kill them, too. So, I decided to go.” Anya, a woman who has fled Honduras, quoted in the UNHCR Women on the Run Report. October 2015).

The Marimba in Guatemala: The Once Muted Instrument is Heard Again

January 27, 2017
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Sweet sounds of a wooden instrument ringing throughout the airport caught my attention as I got off my flight in Guatemala City in the summer of 2016. As I turned the corner, I saw the source of this joyful music that breathed happiness being played on a large wooden xylophone-looking instrument, which I later learned was called a marimba, by a group of Guatemalan men underneath a large sign that said, “Bienvenidos a Guatemala” (Welcome to Guatemala).

Migración del “Triángulo Norte” a Costa Rica, el Refugio de Centroamérica

November 18, 2016
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Desde su independencia en 1821, Costa Rica se ha mantenido como uno de los países centroamericanos con menor cantidad de conflictos graves. Esa estabilidad, sumada a condiciones económicas favorables, han hecho que el país haya sido y sea un refugio para muchos inmigrantes centroamericanos. Durante los años setenta y ochenta, por ejemplo, fue el refugio de muchos nicaragüenses que huían de la dictadura de los Somoza primero, y de la revolución sandinista después (Adolfo, 2009).

Of Violence, Migration, and the Nicaragua Exception

October 13, 2016
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The US immigration crisis is the result of a violence crisis in Central America.  But the violence has not reached all parts of Central America, and thus the migrants are primarily coming from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. In these countries, a LAPOP study[1] (using UN data) shows murder rates much higher than in the rest of the region and in Honduras that rate has reached almost 10 times that of Panama, Costa Rica, and most surprisingly, Nicaragua. What explains the Nicaraguan exception?

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