When you’ve spent your entire life on a communist island where staples like eggs and chicken are rationed, lunch in Miami can be overwhelming.
Ask Sandra Aldama, a Cuban mother and former special education teacher who made her first visit to the United States this month. Settling into a downtown Italian restaurant as waiters whizzed by with plates of fettuccine alfredo and veal parmesan, Aldama was almost certainly reminded of what the average Cuban can’t get at home.
The original version of this report was published on May 13 2014.
PortMiami has finally opened its new, billion-dollar tunnel. It’s the jewel of a $2 billion port makeover, which includes a major dredging project and skyscraper-size loading cranes for sending a lot more auto parts to Brazil and getting a lot more handbags from China.
But the long-term success of that effort may depend to a large extent on whether a quarrel gets solved a thousand miles to the south. In Panama.
A fledgling private sector is taking root in communist Cuba. Last week a group of Cuban entrepreneurs made an unprecedented visit to Miami to learn how to run a business -- and to convince Americans they’re the real deal.
Jorge Quijano has one of the coolest office views in the Americas: the Pacific port entrance to the Panama Canal. The panoramic vista seems to help Quijano, who heads the Panama Canal Authority, see the bigger picture.
On the one hand, Quijano understands why Panama has run the canal much more effectively than the United States did.
Eighteen degrees north is the latitude where Jamaica and much of the Caribbean sit. It’s also the name of a new television newsmagazine show, perhaps the first to take an unflinching look at the problems and potential of the Caribbean.
“18 Degrees North” is in its second season. It debuted in South Florida this summer, airing Sundays at 2:30 p.m. on CBS affiliate WBFS-TV, My 33. It’s hosted by former Bloomberg TV reporter Zahra Burton.
All right, we're introducing you to a new word today. It's Portunol. It's a language - well, sort of. It's a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese and it is how many Spanish-speaking fans at the World Cup are communicating with their Portuguese-speaking, Brazilian cousins. The results are not always pretty. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro has this reporter's notebook on South America's great language divide.
There’s a network of freight trains that runs the length of Mexico from its southernmost border with Guatemala north to the United States. In addition to grain, corn or scrap metal, these trains are carrying an increasing number of undocumented immigrants who aim to cross into the U.S.
And despite the many deadly challenges it poses, more and more children—both with adults and alone—have been risking the journey. That prompted President Obama this week to warn of "an urgent humanitarian situation."
As a teenager, I fell in love with two very different musical genres: punk rock and cumbia — that Caribbean-born music with a contagious two-beat shuffle.
To purists of either, my musical promiscuity might have seemed blasphemous, but to me, it was a logical combination. Cumbia is more punk than punk itself. And many years later, when I discovered Mexican DJ Ali Gua Gua, and her group Kumbia Queers, I was elated with their unique brand of "tropi punk." They got it.
The Panama Canal is expanding, but is Panama's democracy shrinking? The country is holding a presidential election on Sunday, May 4 -- and there are growing concerns that right-wing President Martinelli is trying an end run around the constitution.