Americas

Brazilian investors buy Miami real estate. Haitian earthquake survivors attend South Florida schools. It's clear what happens in Latin America and the Caribbean has a profound effect on South Florida.

WLRN’s coverage of the region is headed by Americas editor Tim Padgett, a 23-year veteran of TIME and Newsweek magazines.

He joins a team of reporters and editors at the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and NPR to cover a region whose cultural wealth, environmental complexity, vast agricultural output and massive oil reserves offer no shortage of important and fascinating stories to tell.

Tim Padgett produces the weekly Latin America Report, made possible by Espírito Santo Bank.

Pages

Americas
11:50 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Why TV's 'Modern Family' Is A Setback For Latinas

Actress Sofia Vergara (right) in a scene from the upcoming season finale of the hit ABC show, Modern Family.
Credit abc.go.com

I am not a Latina. I am a middle-aged white guy whose salsa dancing embarrasses my Venezuelan-born wife. But because she is a Latina, and because my teen-aged daughter is half Latina, I take more than passing interest in how popular culture portrays Latinas. And these days I’m annoyed, because the most popular Latina image out there is, well, almost as embarrassing as my salsa dancing.

It’s an image, in fact, that represents a setback for Latinas.

Read more
Americas
6:00 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Miami Feels Pain Of Guatemala Genocide, Narco-Terror

Guatemala in recent years has been the site of massacres perpetrated by narco-gangs that are all too reminiscent of the 1980s butchery.
Credit wbur.org

The last time I spoke with former Guatemalan strongman Efraín Ríos Montt, in 2003, he was running (unsuccessfully, thank God) for President—and he was delusional as ever.

Every bit as unhinged from reality as he’d been two decades before, during the darkest days of Guatemala’s 36-year-long civil war, when as military dictator from 1982-83, he led a “scorched earth” campaign that killed thousands of mostly indigenous Maya peasants.

Read more
News
6:00 am
Mon May 13, 2013

WLRN Adds Latin America Correspondent In Collaboration With NPR And The Herald

Tim Padgett is the new Americas Correspondent for WLRN-Miami Herald News. The former Time correspondent will be based in Miami but coordinate coverage with reporters throughout Latin America.
Credit C. DiMattei

Journalist Tim Padgett spent nearly a quarter of a century covering Latin America and the Caribbean for TIME and Newsweek magazines.

But he's always been envious of the way foreign correspondents deliver the news for NPR.

"They're giving listeners a richer sense of the sounds and the colors than perhaps I'm able to do as a print reporter," he says.

Read more
Americas
6:16 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Venezuela's Future Impact On Latin America, Cuba

The late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had an impact on more than his own country. Now it remains to be some what his successor, Nicolas Maduro, will do or not to maintain those ties. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos patched up fractured relations with Venezuela before Chavez died.

Read more
Americas
6:12 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

How Haiti And Venezuela Became So Close

The history between Haiti and Venezuela dates all the way back to liberator Simon Bolivar and is a big reason why Haiti's second-largest airport was just named for the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Read more
Miami Dish
9:48 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Borderless Latin American Cooking With Maricel Presilla

Credit W.W. Norton & Company

When she won a James Beard award for her cookbook, Gran Cocina Latina, Maricel Presilla felt gratified to be acknowledged for the "work of a lifetime," as well as for "the collective work of millions of Latin Americans that live on two continents, in the Caribbean Islands, and also in the U.S."

Read more
Gateway Miami
11:08 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Violence, Hardship Fuel Central American Immigration To U.S.

Honduran Army soldiers patrol streets in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in April. Gang violence has many Hondurans fleeing to the U.S.
Orlando Sierra AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 5:03 pm

William Ordonez and his wife, Carolia, thought that starting a new business in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, was a great idea.

But just two weeks after they started selling chips, candy and soda, gang members showed up and ordered them to pay about $25 a week.

"We tried explaining to them that we just opened, we aren't making that much, we can't pay you," Ordonez says.

Read more
The Sunshine Economy
7:01 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Part One Of The Sunshine Economy Special Series: The Americas And Miami

Special correspondent Tom Hudson will host a weekly series on The Sunshine Economy, a fresh take on the key industries driving growth across South Florida.
Credit WLRN

 THE AMERICAS AND MIAMI

From world famous beaches to international trade flows, South Florida has become one of the world's most vibrant and diverse economies.

Through a series of one-hour radio programs, special correspondent Tom Hudson will host a weekly series on Mondays in May and June exploring The Sunshine Economy, a fresh take on the key industries driving growth across South Florida.

Guests:

Read more
Gateway Miami
5:38 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

As Youth Crime Spikes, Brazil Struggles For Answers

A youth smokes crack in the Manguinhos slum in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. A crack epidemic is one factor contributing to the sharp rise in crime committed by Brazilian minors.
Felipe Dana AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 9:34 am

In Rio de Janeiro, tourists are drawn to Copacabana for its wide beach and foliage-covered cliffs. But a month ago, not far from the tourist hub, an American woman and her French male companion were abducted. She was brutally gang-raped; he was beaten.

Perhaps what was most shocking to Brazilians, though, was the age of one of the alleged accomplices: He was barely in his teens.

"Why? That's what you ask yourself," says Sylvia Rumpoldt, who is walking with a friend at dusk by the sea in Rio. "It's horrible. It's criminal energy."

Read more
Gateway Miami
5:58 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Will Spanish Thrive Or Decline In The U.S.?

Actors Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, and actresses Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez attend a Universal Pictures presentation to promote their upcoming film "Fast & Furious 6."
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 4:11 pm

Vin Diesel speaks lousy Spanish. No surprise, that. So why then was he invited to hand out a music award at the Premios Billboard and why did he say Sí to the invitation when it seems that's about all he can say in Spanish?

Read more
Food
8:02 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Exploring Coffee's Past To Rescue Its Future

Eduardo Somarriba is a researcher at the Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Education in Turrialba, Costa Rica.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 3:47 pm

At the Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Education (CATIE) in Turrialba, Costa Rica, you can touch the history of coffee — and also, if the optimists have their way, part of its future.

Here, spread across 25 acres, are coffee trees that take you back to coffee's origins.

"The story starts in Africa, no? East Africa," says Eduardo Somarriba, a researcher at CATIE, as we walk through long rows of small coffee trees.

Read more
Coffee Culture
1:49 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Azuquita Pa'l Cafe: What Coffee Songs Mean To Latin America

A worker collects coffee beans at a farm in Cuatro Esquinas, on the outskirts of Diriamba.
Hector Retamal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 12:09 pm

Read more
Trade
10:09 am
Mon April 22, 2013

How Coffee Brings The World Together

The best coffee comes from high altitudes with a warm climate like in Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 3:51 pm

Coffee is more than a drink. For many of us — OK, for me — it's woven into the fabric of every day.

It also connects us to far corners of the globe.

For instance, every Friday, a truck pulls up to the warehouse of Counter Culture Coffee, a small roaster and coffee distributor in Durham, N.C., and unloads a bunch of heavy burlap sacks.

Read more
Venezuelan Election
12:22 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Venezuelan Humorist Engages Kidnappers In Election Dialogue

Laureano Marquez, a popular Venezuelan writer and political satirist, says he is always opposed to the government in power. "The mission of humor is to show the people that things can be better," he says.
Nishant Dahiya NPR

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 1:18 pm

Earlier this week in Caracas, we were about to go to an interview when it had to be rescheduled. The man we were going to speak with was unavoidably detained — kidnapped, to be precise.

It took awhile after that for Laureano Marquez to free up his schedule and meet us in a coffee shop.

"I'm so sorry," he said when he finally arrived, as if it was his fault for being thrown into a car and driven off to the far reaches of town.

Read more

Pages