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.
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.
The Bolivian government has passed legislation that will allow children as young as 10 to seek employment. While such a movement is obviously controversial, and has been met with plenty of negative feedback, the purpose of such a law is reportedly an attempt to lower the existing level of child labor within the country. Primarily due to the economic conditions in Bolivia for the past few decades, child labor has been illegally practiced in jobs that a reasonable person would not consider to be suitable for children (Worstall).
De las tres elecciones presidenciales que se celebrarán este mes en el Cono Sur, en Brasil la clase media jugará un rol particularmente decisivo, estima el analista Miguel Ángel Bastenier, en una columna publicada recientemente por el diario El País de España.
Ever since May 1st, 2006, Bolivia has been profiting from the nationalization of the gas industry. Before 2006, the gas industry was controlled by the private companies drilling in Bolivia, and they were receiving 71% of the profit which amounted to USD 832 million.
On September 22nd and 23rd, the United Nations held its first annual International Conference on Indigenous Villages. Indigenous representatives from around the world gathered in New York City to discuss indigenous rights in order to bring equality to a group of people that have been oppressed and discriminated against since colonization. The indigenous population of the world totals 370 million people, which constitutes 5% of the total world population and they represent about one third of people living in poverty.1
On Sunday October 12th, Bolivia held their national elections for the legislature and the presidency. In a landslide victory, incumbent Evo Morales of the Movement for Socialism Party won his third consecutive election with 59 percent of the vote. The strongest opposition to Morales was Samuel Doria of the Democratic Union who received approximately 30 percent of the vote.
Last summer I had the opportunity to conduct a short-term archaeological field research mainly in the Siliza drainage region, located in the Department of Oruro on the southern highlands of Bolivia, and I also conducted research in the cities of La Paz and Oruro. During my field research I had the opportunity to adequately design my research strategy and efficiently accomplish the proposed goals.