Place-Based (In)Formalization: A Bolivian Marketplace for Consumer Electronics and Global Brands

October 26, 2017

What is your first impression when you see the brand billboards adorning this urban landscape? You might normally associate such precarious infrastructure with marketplaces exclusively selling low budget or fake products, yet in this Open Air Fair in La Paz, Bolivia, the banner ads were sponsored by electronics multinationals. They are in search of Bolivian clients of all social strata and ethnic affiliation who routinely come to buy original electronic equipment from these tiny stalls and improvised shops.

Filmmaker Alex Rivera Visits University of Pittsburgh

October 20, 2016

Peruvian-American award winning filmmaker Alex Rivera is known for his work portraying themes and issues that concern the Latino subject. His art focuses on topics such as migration, globalization, economics, politics and technology. Although much of his work uses Mexican subjects to illustrate these issues, his films highlight broader global social, economic, and political problems.

Cuba Takes Another Step Forward to Join Global Economy

October 19, 2016

In Havana this past weekend, Cuba passed a new law to open the country to foreign investment. The latest in a series of reforms by Raul Castro, who succeeded his brother Fidel in 2008, this law encourages foreign capital in an effort to advance Cuba’s development and struggling economy.

A Growing Economy and Expanding Waistlines: The Nutrition Transition in Chile

October 19, 2016

As an emerging economy, Chile has greatly increased its GDP while making significant improvements in their Human Development Index, including reduced infant mortality and reduced malnutrition. Obesity and other dietary risk factors have replaced these traditional health issues and become the number one health concern in Chile. This phenomenon is known as the “nutrition transition,” and is a problem that often accompanies economic growth and trade liberalization due to shifts in the food market.

Conflict and Consensus in El Salvador: Contours of a Post-Neoliberal State

October 19, 2016

On June 1, 2014, Salvador Sanchez Ceren of the Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation (FMLN) will assume the presidency in El Salvador.  Although the FMLN has held the Salvadoran presidency since 2009 with its independent ally, Mauricio Funes, this will be the first time that a former guerrilla commander will occupy the country’s highest office.

WhatsApp’s Popularity Abroad vs. In the US

WhatsApp, the the wildly popular messaging app, named for it’s play on the phrase “what’s up,” has recently released a statement saying that they would be returning their service to the whopping price of FREE. This is good news for WhatsApp’s over 990 million active users, double what it was just two years ago. If you signed up prior to 2013 (the app launched in 2009) you were grandfathered into continued use of the app for free.

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