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Costa Rica has fastest growing public debt in Central America - Inside Costa Rica

Republish this article September 19th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) Costa Rica has the fastest growing public debt in Central America, while El Salvador has the largest public debt relative to its GDP and Nicaragua and Panama are the only countries...
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Costa Rica has the fastest growing public debt in Central America. Just between 2011 and 2012 alone Costa Ricas public debt rose from 30.7% to 35.3% and the debt in other Central American countries rise as well but at a slower rate then Costa Rica. The study also revealed that most of the debt goes to paying for the cost of the State. I went on vacation to Costa Rica and was amazed by the amount of poverty that I saw when we left the hotel resort. Does the public debt contribute to the poverty rate?

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In Honduras, Police Accused Of Corruption, Killings

The Central American nation is the most violent country in the world, according to the United Nations. A mix of drug trafficking, political instability and history adds up to a murder rate that is now four times that of Mexico.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Honduras is the worlds most violent country. It has a mix of drug trafficking , it is politically unstable and has a murder rate that is four times that of Mexicos. The peace corp has even withdrawn its volunteers and contributors to the violence are the poilce. One of the problems with the police corruption is that Honduras is a big drug trafficking stop, the other problem is that the US funds the Honduras police force 50 million a year.  

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Albert Jordan's curator insight, February 4, 2014 6:31 PM

Although this is dated approximately two years ago, the issue is still relevant. Honduras is geographically located in the middle of heavy drug trafficking routes. A poor economy and a history of political corruption, as well as a history of United States involvement in paramilitary training and aid has created a country that is not set up for stability. The issues in Honduras are very similar to the issues of many third world nations that deal heavily with drug trafficking and political corruption. Those in power, receiving aid from the U.S. use those assets against their political foes while the common people find themselves turning to illegal means to make a living. The police, being corrupt themselves since corruption is a trickle down disease, probably have a number of officers working for various gangs, cartels, and other nefarious groups. Because they can hide behind the authority of the “law,” they are able to use their force to further the agendas for whoever is putting money in their pocket. Whether it be for greed or unfortunate economic necessity, or out of fear of reprisal for not conforming it is the locals who suffer from the overwhelming police presence. These are issues that are found across the globe in countries and regions that have unstable politics that are fueled by conflict, whether it be resources, illicit substances, or other illegal trade.As the police pressure continues to mount, it is only a matter of time before serious reform takes place or violent revolution transforms the political landscape.

Paige Therien's curator insight, February 11, 2014 1:36 PM

Honduras' role in the drug trafficking industry has increased immensely which does not mix well with their already corrupt government and police force.  However, a history of U.S. aid and security "support" is what rooted this country in violence.  Honduras' situation is spiraling out of control because the drug trafficking industry has taken advantage of its already weak state.

Amy Marques's curator insight, February 12, 2014 10:55 PM

In the news we sometimes hear about violence taking place at the border of the US and Mexico, but you never hear of the violence in Honduras. With a mix of drug trafficking, corruption, political instability and history has led to a murder rate that is now four times that of Mexico., which is pretty hard to think of since there Mexico already has a high muder right. The situation has gotten so bad that the Peace Corps has withdrawn its volunteers.

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Puerto Rico's Battered Economy: The Greece Of The Caribbean?

Puerto Rico's Battered Economy: The Greece Of The Caribbean? | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
With the highest unemployment rate in the U.S. and a mountain of debt, the island is facing a declining population. But those who stay insist they're there for the long haul.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The economic stuggles of the Puerto Rican population are driving many of them to head to the states. Puerto Rico currently has the highest unemployment rate in the US at 14 percent and endless debt. There are however those that are there to stay for the long haul. 

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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, March 1, 10:18 PM

If this is the Greece of the Caribbean I wonder how long the US will hold on to PR?  I don't know many who want to hold onto a sinking ship.  I can remember when the unemployment rate in RI was about 13%.  That was scary and PR is up to 14%.  They need to find a way to manufacture or produce something they can sell instead of buying items to sell from the Mainland.  They need a self sustaining economy.  

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 28, 9:52 AM

It's clear from the transcript and even more so from the comments that the root of economic woes in Puerto Rico is corruption. Corruption of the economy through the black market, kindly referred to as the "informal economy", pet projects such as the rail system that cost 2.2B dollars and serves only 12 miles, and the lack of education. Citizens of this island pseudo nation are leaving to pursue other opportunities not available to them in their native country. The US may want to infuse dollars into their economy to build a university and foster reading academies that teach young children to read. If they don't turn around the brain drain soon, this island paradise will not have a happy ending.Also, additional dollars could be allocated to the tourism industry to increase revenue for the island.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 27, 6:23 PM

I chose this article with the Somalia Refugee BBC pod cast on my mind. The pull factors for leaving a country are always obvious to me. Once again, there is a poor economy that isn't able to provide enough economic opportunity for its citizens. Also, there is an increase in crime that worries the population. Both of these reasons harm the future of citizens and as I mentioned in the Somalia article, leaving an area that provides little hope for a good future just makes sense.    

 

What I don't understand is why someone stays in an area when the pulls to leave are so strong. As I said in the Somalia article, I thought staying was because of a sense of duty. Yet, I am finding from the grandmother mentioned in this piece that pride is another factor. It seems like her pride isn't causing her to fix the problems rather the pride just makes her stay. It is almost like in gentrification where the new project will probably be better for the economy of the area (at least that is often the intent), but people are just too emotionally attached to want change. They really should given the cost benefits, but they don't. So I think I have issues grasping both of these reasons to stay because I have always analyzed a situation from a logical lens rather than an emotional one. 

 

Another aspect of the article that caught my attention was the comparison to Greece. As we learned about during the section on the EU, Greece's economy. The United States isn't entangled in PR's economy in quite the same manner as the EU is with Greece. However, the article did mention how their are American citizens with investments in this area. So if Puerto Rico's economy does fail, just how much of an impact would this have on the United States and the rest of the global economy? 

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Two major storms lash Mexico, 41 dead amid 'historic' floods

Two major storms lash Mexico, 41 dead amid 'historic' floods | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
ACAPULCO (Reuters) - Two powerful storms pummeled Mexico as they converged from the Pacific and the Gulf on Monday, killing at least 41 people and forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands amid some...
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Tropical strom Ingrid slammed into Mexico's gulf side this week at the same time as Tropical strom Manuel hit the Pacifc side. Roads have been transformed into raging rivers and in some areas seeing 25 inches of rain massive amounts of landslides are being experienced. 41 are dead in what are being called 'historic floods'.    

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What we can learn from Mexico

What we can learn from Mexico | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it

Earlier this month, the president told a newspaper the solution to partisanship is politics and more politics.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Most of what we hear coming out of Mexico is from the drug trafficking, violence and murders but behind the scenes Mexico has been quietly developing. We can see here how georaphy is playing a big part in Mexico's development, because they share a boarder with the US they are able to transport products much cheaper over the boarder. One of the most interesting facts in this piece is that Mexico has trade agreements with 44 countries.     

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Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 29, 2014 2:18 PM

The facts about the "new" Mexico help in reasoning why less people are migrating.  The new Mexico looks hopeful and prosperous but when you read about the affects of the drug wars and violence, we see that there is still room for progress for the country in order to keep their citizens from leaving Mexico.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 5:17 PM

A few weeks ago, the president told a newspaper the solution to partisanship is politics and more politics. That’s how you work toward the building of agreements. Unfortunately, it wasn't Barack Obama. It was Mexico’s Enrique Pena Nieto. One of the first things Pena Nieto did after assuming office was to announce a pact for Mexico, an ambitious set of reforms to raise taxes, increase competition and take on the teachers’ unions. While the world has gotten used to a torrent of images and news of drug-related violence from Mexico, another side of this country has been quietly developing. What we can learn from Mexico is that they are quite successful.  Mexico’s GDP is expected to grow by nearly 4 percent this year, twice as fast as Brazil or, for that matter, the United States. It is riding a manufacturing boom. Mexico is now the world’s fourth biggest producer of cars, according to the World Trade Atlas. Starting next year, new taxis in New York City will carry a “made in Mexico' label.” Mexico is also the world's top exporter of flat screen TVs. In fact, Mexico exports more manufactured products than all the other countries in Latin America combined. A major factor that comes into play is geography.  Sharing a border with the United States means heavy products are cheaper to transport across than if they were manufactured in, say, Asia. Nieto continues to inform us what we can learn from Mexico.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 8:37 PM

The title of this article was what enticed me as I was hoping to find an actual answer. However, based on this article alone, I don’t actually think there is much the United States can learn from Mexico about politics or economics.

 

This author failed to mention that a difference in political systems could also attribute to the new Mexican leader’s ability to obtain “endorsements from across the spectrum.”  Mexico recently had an election. The new President this article is praising is part of a party that controlled the land for 70+ years until Nieto's predecessor. His predecessor messed up with the cartels so badly that Nieto was elected back into office. Given the amount of support Nieto had going into office, it doesn't seem so challenging to negotiate with opposing parties. Plus, I doubt the opposing parts are as unreasonable as some of the United States members of congress, like the Tea Party.   

 

I also see little to glean from the manufacturing route that Mexico is on at the moment. I will admit that the projected GDP growth of 4% mentioned in the article is impressive. However, thinking that the key to economic growth in the United States is through a similar “manufacturing boom” is just out of touch with the times. As stated in class our wages can’t keep up with the cheaper wages of developing countries (a point the author eluded to in the section discussing “the three main factors at play,” factor number three). Thus, doing what Mexico is doing doesn’t fit the American economy. What the United States might try doing is finding a manufacturing niche that no one has a market on in order to obtain more jobs. Maybe something higher end or medically related would be of benefit to the United States. Even these jobs would end up comprising a small part of the United States economy because the United States is more of a white collar economy. As such, more should be done to protect that sector of our economy from things like outsourcing given its relevance to our modern economy.

 

 Overall, I think the media’s quick comparisons of other countries falls under the bad category of globalization. A fair amount of people would just use this article to say things like, if Mexico’s leader can do X Y & Z then so should Obama. Yet, many of those people wouldn’t actually think about all the differences or reasons why Obama can’t compromise or revert the economy backwards. Am I saying Obama shouldn’t try more or that I am happy with the lack of compromise by all, no. However, I think it is dangerous for journalist to gloss over the situation since many people will take them as a credible source to cite. Mind you not all journalism is bad though. The Scoop.It article I read this week regarding Walmart is a great example of how investigative journalism can have positive consequences. The major difference being one actually did their homework that cited concrete specifics, while the other made a flimsy analogy.  

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A quieter drug war in Mexico, but no less deadly

A quieter drug war in Mexico, but no less deadly | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Months have gone by since the last of the grisly mass killings that have marked the conflict’s darkest moments.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Drug related killings are unbelievably high at 12,000 a year in Mexico. They are avoiding the military and police and keeping the killings quite to the rest of Mexico as well. The police and Military are no longer allowed to parade the suspected drug members in front of cameras anymore either. But just because things are being kept quite doesnt mean they are anyless deadly 

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Danielle Lip's curator insight, February 3, 12:39 PM

The drug wars are deadly and have been around for years, this deadly violence has been around for a while yet just recently the violence has quieted down, not stopped but the mafia's have gone to locations where less attention is drawn to them. To try and stop the drug wars could be very risky for the government, the drug war leaders are walking fine lines with the government, trying to make trade with the United States all about drugs which could cause some controversy. Imagine if there were drug wars in the United States, how would the government handle it?

Louis Mazza's curator insight, February 6, 3:35 PM

Prior to a few months ago the drug cartels in Mexico were running rampant. It was no longer an under the ropes operation like pre-2000. The Cartels were massacring, beheading people and performing great acts of violence such as the slaughter of 72 migrants near the border, or the dumping of 50 human torsos on the highway. The military responded by parading captured cartel members through the streets and calling in more and more back-up troops. Mexico is extremely dangerous when this activity goes on. That has recently all come to a public halt. The perceived danger/violence rate in Mexico has been dropping but at the same time the number of drug related deaths has not. It seems that the cartels have smartened up and understand now that the great acts of violence only brings more pressure onto them. Now the cartel tries to avoid the military as much as possible as the added backup and highway patrol’s give the drug smugglers issues.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 28, 2:45 PM

Looks like President Enrique Nieto has shifted tactics in Mexico's fight against the drug trade. When he won election from Felipe Calderon he changed the way he portrayed his country. No more would he parade alleged drug dealers and overlords before they went to trial. This would only infuriate the drug lords and they sought revenge by seeking out police to either kill, or bribe, further deteriorating the uneasy truce between the government and the drug trade. By keeping this off the news and promoting Mexico's other needs such as trade, education reform, and reduction of poverty.

The mass killings have been kept mostly out of the spotlight and the body count is still the same, but Nieto can now fight this fight largely out of the public's eye. The drug related killings have moved to the northern territories away from cameras and the public. This should afford him opportunity to focus on this problem and keep the public from thinking Armageddon is around the corner.

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Syrian crisis: ‘Canada needs to do its part now’ for refugees, advocates tell Ottawa | Toronto Star

Syrian crisis: ‘Canada needs to do its part now’ for refugees, advocates tell Ottawa | Toronto Star | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Canadian Council for Refugees and Syrian Canadian Council want Canada to step up and help more Syrians find refuge here.
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The UN shows that more than 4.25 million Syrians are displaced. Canada is being critizied for not doing its part by taking in more of the displaced Syrians. Canada says they are commited to resettling 1,300 Syrians by 2014 and yet are still being told they are falling short. They are also being told that they should allow Syrians who have family members who are Canadian citizens permenant residents as a way to take the burden of surrounding countires. I think Canada is doing the part they should be doing and should not be critized in a situation that has no easy and simiple fix. #georic 

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Ground Zero "mosque" opens without protests

Ground Zero "mosque" opens without protests | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
The proposed construction of an Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York caused outrage when it was announced two years ago. Now days after the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the facility opened last night to no opposition.

 

This is an intriguing swing based on the initial reaction a few years ago about this Islamic cultural center.  Why the fervor 2 years ago?  Why the silence now?  These are worthwhile questions to explore with our students. 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

In my opinion trying to stop the building of this was awful. American prides itself on being the land of the free and that includes freedom of religion regardless of what the horror that took place on 9/11. What was done on 9/11 can not be blamed on a whole population, race, or religion when it was the doing of one group. The rest of these innocent people who were are part of the United States of America were just as affected as the rest of us and it is good to see that this building was allowed to happen in peace.

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Emma Lafleur's curator insight, February 3, 2013 11:02 PM

I wrote an essay two years ago, before Park51 opened, about the controversy surrounding it. Later, when I heard that it had finally opened, I was relieved. There were so many problems that the Islamic center faced because there was a lot of tension due to the center's proximity to Ground Zero. The Muslims need a place like this, especially close to Ground Zero to portray how it was terrorist groups that committed the terrible crimes and attacked the country and not the Islamic religion. In recent history, the US has had many problems with many Middle Eastern countries based on differences in beliefs, and the acceptance and tolerance of this cultural center portray how people can overcome these differences and not profile people based on religion, race, and ethnicity.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 6:49 PM

The outrage over the "Ground Zero Mosque" several years ago was incredibly senseless and entirely discriminatory. This mosque was not on Ground Zero ans was in fact several blocks away, the only reason this became an issue is that select news sites (Fox) built up the issue relying on many Americans' Islamophobia in order to help their ratings and further the political cause of a select few. This is shown to be true as now no one is concerned at all as the story is "old". The actions of our biased media is disgusting at times.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 6, 11:06 AM

This was a very interesting development.  Even more interesting was the reaction by many of the public.  On first glance, I guess it is understandable for one to say that it is "odd" developers decided to build a Muslim "mosque" within blocks of the 9/11 attacks.  Then after a little research you should be able to rationalize the situation and put it in perspective.

 

For beginners, it is not a "mosque" but a "community center" of sorts.  Secondly, I would ask critics whether they think a Christian church should be allowed in Oklahoma City, considering Terrorist Mcveigh of the 90's bombed buildings there.  Just because a certain "type" of individual commits a crime does not mean every person associated with that person's ethnicity or religion should be outcasted. One would think that this behavior would have been destroyed after the "mongolian" camps of California in the 1800's and the Japanese internment camps of the 1900's.  It is amazing that America being such a "civilized" country continues to react in such "savage" ways.

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Canada: As immigration booms, ethnic enclaves swell and segregate

Canada: As immigration booms, ethnic enclaves swell and segregate | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
More than 600 newcomers per day have arrived in Canada since 2006, and many of them have settled in neighbourhoods like Richmond, B.C.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

It is amazing that over 600 people come into Canada a day and settle into areas that used to be quite little farming land. These areas are now home to North Americas second largest Asian communities. Canada now has 260 ethnic enclave neighborhoods and they are an important part of Canadas landscape. They are mostly moving into the suburbs where land is cheaper and in my opinion I think they are moving there for job and because they concider it safer. They are also closing down the business of the families that have been their forever and cant compete like the greek families.

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, January 24, 2014 1:15 PM

This article contains details about the Canadian immigrant population boom, mostly from east Asia, which began in the 90's. Unsurprisingly, many of these immigrants settle into communities with others whom share their culture. These Canadian ethnic enclaves differ from those in the US because most immigrants are choosing suburban areas (where the cost of living is lower) rather than being relegated to an urban "ethnictown." However, these enclaves are not entirely a product of economic equality as the average earnings for a recent immigrant are only 61% of a Canadian-born worker, limiting their ability to move elsewhere.

 

Conversely, the immigrant communities which become economically successful are seeing many of their sons and daughters move away to the city or other suburbs as they are more fully integrated into the Canadian culture and if there is no influx of new immigrants into these enclaves they begin to die out. This seems to indicate that long-standing ethnic enclaves are at least partially the product of economic inequality than a desire to preserve culture.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 9:41 AM

This article was interesting because it showed how modern immigration patterns are not that dissimilar from historic patterns.  People come to a new country and they settle in an area that has relatives or familiar people already living there.  The formation of ethnic enclaves is the example.  People are choosing to self-segregate when they immigrate to a new homeland because it is the familiar with in the strange.  Perhaps once the new immigrants have acclimated to Canadian society they may move out of the enclave areas but they also may stay.  It is an interesting example of how people cluster together with similar people when they move to a new country.

Gubert's curator insight, February 11, 5:17 AM

XIPHIAS Immigration is one among the Top Five Immigration Consultants in India according to The siliconindia as Top Five Most Promising Immigration Consultants. www.xiphiasimmigration,com

 

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"School Of The Americas" - (School For Training Assassins)

"School Of The Americas" - (School For Training Assassins)

Via Paige McClatchy
Meagan Harpin's insight:

This documentary narrated by Susan Saradon is about the school of the Americas which is a funded and directed military training academy for the Latin American police.   

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, September 27, 2013 5:30 PM

"School of the Americas" is a docomentary-short narrated by Susan Sarandon about the School of the Americas, a US funded and directed military training academy for Latin American polics. The video highlights many problematic questions: How accountable is the United States for tragedies that occur at the hand of regimes propped up by the US? When will we stop funding this school? What chance is there that indigenous popular demand will close the school?

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GeoGuessr - Let's explore the world!

GeoGuessr - Let's explore the world! | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
GeoGuessr is a geography game which takes you on a journey around the world and challenges your ability to recognize your surroundings.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Challenging but very fun!

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Edelin Espino's curator insight, September 10, 2014 2:31 PM

This is a really cool game! You should play it.

Allison Henley's curator insight, September 10, 2014 2:35 PM

Very addicting even though I'm not that great at it!! haha

Matleena Laakso's curator insight, October 5, 2014 4:55 AM

Tämä on hauska, muutaman kerran on tullut "pelattua".

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Costa Rica to install Internet access in public schools - Apple Balla

Costa Rica to install Internet access in public schools - Apple Balla | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it

San Jose, April 6 (IANS/EFE) The government of Costa Rica announced Friday a plan to install access to the Internet in every public school in the country in order to reduce the digital divide and have better teaching tools.Read more at http://www.appleballa.com/2013/04/81669/costa-rica-install-internet-access-public-schools#rU8O72br7itYaWU4.99


Via Elizabeth White, Marissa Roy
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The government of Costa Rica has announced their plan to install access to the internet in every public school in the country. This will help to reduce the digital divide and become a teaching tool. I think this is a great idea and will help the children get some of what they may be lacking without it and help them to thrive. 

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Marissa Roy's curator insight, October 2, 2013 2:16 PM

I visited a primary and a secondary school in Costa Rica during April 2010. The conditions at those schools were decent, but they definately did not have all of the resources that American public schools have. In this century it is so important to have access to the rest of the world, even if it is through the internet. Kudos, Costa Rica, for helping your students gain access to new tools and technologies.

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Latin American integration: Peaks and troughs

Latin American integration: Peaks and troughs | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it

The financial crisis surrounding the Euro has led many to feel that supranational organizations and regional coalitions are more trouble than they are worth.  The OAS (Organization of American States-which the USA is a part of) may dissolve and the CELAC might be its successor.  The CELAC's (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) emergence shows that the United States "is declining in a region it once called its 'backyard.'"  Spain is also diminishing in influence among its former colonies are forging new economic and political ties while Mexico and Brazil are exerting more regional influence. 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The United States influence is delining in an area it called "its back yard". Along the financial crisis causing this, it has also begun to declin Spains influence in there former colonies as well. I think this could be a good thing as far these areas finally getting out from under other countires control even though they have been free for so long. But it could be bad because know that they are doing things on their own what will they do   

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Belize: A Spanish Accent in an English-Speaking Country

Belize: A Spanish Accent in an English-Speaking Country | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it

"BELIZE has long been a country of immigrants. British timber-cutters imported African slaves in the 18th century, and in the 1840s Mexican Mayans fled a civil war."


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Because Belize was once a British colony english in the countries first language. That is quickly changing however with the immigaration of mexicans into Belize and Spanish is quickly taking over the lanuage. The country of Belize is no stranger to immigrants and they welcome them, even already seperating land in preperation. 

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Rachel Phillips's curator insight, February 12, 6:05 PM

As an American, I've never really thought about immigration to places other than the U.S., but this really opened my eyes.  It's a bad situation.  These people need their jobs, and need the money, but the immigrants are scooping all of that up.  Immigration is such a large occurrence that the language spoken in Belize is actually changing.  It's gone so far that politicians are pitching in to help immigrants just to help themselves.  In a way, it's absurd, and shocking, at least to me, that the government is just welcoming this while the citizens seem to be so against it.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 14, 11:40 PM

Belize is becoming more Spanish speaking due to their influx of migrant immigrants. According to the article, “Belize now has more native speakers of Spanish than of English.” As such, knowing how to speak two languages is a huge benefit to those working in the service sector. Given that this sector is one that both migrants and natives partake in, it makes sense. Thus, making Spanish classes mandatory for the native non-migrants is actually a smart economic move that ensures the students will come out with practical skills. It may seem odd that English is still the primary language taught in school given the importance of Spanish, but it isn't. My guess is that most of the migrant Spanish speaking workers are not in school . The article mentioned most of the migrants are moving into rural areas where they work in the the fruit fields. Such jobs do not requite a lot of education. So without the Spanish speaking population present in the school system, there isn't much of a reason to change the primary language of the school. Therefore, adding Spanish as a class is the best move given the populations needs.  


Conversely, the ethnic relations in the country is something I do not full grasp. The author's insured the relationship between members of different ethnic groups are “generally good.” However, I would have liked more concrete proof of this assurance.  To me the evidence the author provided could just end up causing more tensions. For the author assured the groups were getting along   because politicians weren't divided on ethnic lines and as such were giving free land to new migrants. The land wasn't going to the other members of the population because it is not in their character to ask. While it might not be in there character to ask for help, they could resent others actually taking the help. Especially if this gives an economic advantage. Now I could be wrong, but in countries where the minority challenge the majority things get unpleasant as discussed in class when looking at Europe and the Untied States. Given the developmental differences of these regions, the comparison may be inaccurate. However, until I hear more about how the groups actually feel towards each other, I am going to remain critical of the author's statement that all is good.   

Rachel Phillips's curator insight, April 16, 4:26 PM

I find it really interesting that so many immigrants are so welcomed by politicians, who actually pay immigration fees just to gain votes.  It's also intriguing that politicians "give away" land, and that so many people are moving away from cities, while the rest of Central America is moving into the cities. this is kind of an odd tactic, atleast from the view point of an America, because if an American politician did these things for immigrants, most Americans wold absolutely refuse to vote for them.  However the issue of immigration and locals being "too proud" to get governmental help, whereas immigrants will "stand in line", seems to fall right into place with how many view immigration in America, so it's relatable.

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How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico

How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited, an examination by The New York Times found.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Walmart bribed Mexico officals $52,000 to have the zoning maps redrawn before it was published in the newspapers. So when it was published it showed the allowed area drawen in for the building of the new walmart. The building created uproar from the people. They were upset from the congested traffic and created months of hunger strikes and sit ins that made Mexican media. 

 

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James Hobson's curator insight, September 23, 2014 1:17 PM

(Mexico topic 9)

It is troubling to discover how bribery still continues to promote special interests at the expense of others and their own interests. Though other articles I have commented on discuss the improving economy and politics of Mexico, this one clearly shows an area that needs much more attention.

   Despite this, all of the fuss (though justifiable) may be slightly over-exaggerated in my opinion. Just look at the photo above: the WalMart is at least somewhat set back from the pyramids, BUT the smoke and smog from other industries fills the air right up to and all around the pyramids themselves. I think this is just as much, if not more, of an injustice to the cultural site. While one can choose whether or not to enter a store, it is impossible not to breathe in the polluted air and have one's view limited while visiting such a place.

   Lastly, although bribery is certainly something I deeply frown upon, perhaps it is slightly less "wrong" than it would be in other countries like the US. Since Mexico's government and its departments have a reputation (at least from what I've heard) of being corrupted, perhaps the only way to build a store is to offer a bribe. It would be interesting to see if this was the case with other store locations throughout Mexico.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 8:50 PM

Clearly it is horrible what Walmart did, but what about everyone else in this scenario? Walmart was able to damage public history and jeopardize the traffic safety of Mexico because they figured out the going price for those concepts was: a couple mayors, some INAH official, and an Urban Operations official (see article for in-depth explanations of how each was bought off). All of whom bypassed their duty to the public. See I am not surprised by the corporation’s actions. The corporation is acting for its own self-interest like many corporations have historically done. In fact, compared to the East India Company of 1800 (which had its own standing army) this is tame (see below article). I would prefer companies not to operate as such, however a company will act in such a manner so long as it is permitted. Deterring such actions falls on the fault of the officials who were so easily bought off.

 

Yet, whose job is it to police a corporation? At one point, the article mentioned that when the Mexican investigation found nothing wrong with Walmart they, “chided protesters for failing to present any specific proof.” I’m sorry, but it isn’t the protesters job to go out and find proof. That is the job of an investigator, whom I might add didn’t do a good job given the evidence the New York Times was able to amass. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) for Mexico, they probably aren’t that apt at forensic banking because they are a largely agrarian society who only relatively recently is being introduced to the corporate world. Looks like there is a whole new specialty that Mexico will need to learn soon due to globalization. I say Mexico needs to learn this also because it is mainly their job to monitor their people. I understand that this is an American company so on some level they will have to monitor their people. However, majority of the people involved in this were in Mexico. Thus, Mexico will need to deal with their side of justice and also start developing environmentally usefully laws under the new corporate rule (i.e. ones that protect historical artifacts even when the “proper” licenses have been secured.)

 

I am not looking to just pick on Mexico’s corporation problems either because we all know the United States has their fair share of corporate issues. In fact, I think it is safe to say that Walmart could have bought off people in the United States too. Think of all the tainted deals that occurred in the subprime mortgage crisis. We aren’t even sure because no one actually went after them! At least in the case of Walmart there is an investigation going on again. It will be interesting to see what the end result is though. Most times, it isn’t near what a company should get. In the United States some are literally able to get away with murder. Just look at GM's latest court dealings. I hope Mexico can do a better job than the United States when it comes to handling corporate investigations in the future.  

 

* http://www.economist.com/node/21541753

Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 5, 2:32 PM

This article shows the "forced globalization" of Mexico.  I thought it was interesting how Walmart de Mexico would use such cutthroat means to build a "intermediate sized store".  Yet the Walmart officials in Mexico realized that being not too far from a major tourist attraction would help business.  There were many groups who tried to stop it from happening, but they could not stop the store from being built.  This article shows how corporate Globalization is ruthless, and it doesn't care about disobeying laws.  This article also shows that if a company is big enough, it can, in effect do whatever it pleases.  In the United States on the other hand, this type of bribery could never have happened. 

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Inside the Colorado deluge

Inside the Colorado deluge | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it

"Two things that helped make this rainfall historic are breadth and duration. Colorado can get much higher rainfall rates for brief periods and over small areas."


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The devastating flooding in Colorado has impacted so many. The rainfall Colorado has experienced makes it the most on record. The massive amounts of flooding and devestation in areas like Boulder are caused by the highly populated valley areas.  

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 16, 2013 8:20 AM

Our thoughts are with our colleagues and friends in Colorado as they are dealing with the impact of this historic weather event.  The geographic factors that contributed to this flooding are explained in this article from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).  Some are calling this a millennial flood, as it is well past the 100-year stage of flooding.  You may view the areas impacted on an ESRI storymap. and in this NASA imagery


Tags: physical, disasters, environment, water, weather and climate.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, September 17, 2013 4:13 PM

Almost seems like a perfect storm scenario.  Large amouts of rain over a long perod of time over a large area.  This combined with a late summer/early fall heat wave and tons of moisture in the air, with climate change all contributed to the disater in Colorado.  They also believe the changes made by people to the physical geography over the last hundred years or somade have contributed to teh flooding in the area.  Development can effect the way a place floods.  Where there were once open fields and trees, there are now parking lots and houses which just can't absorb rainfall.  Makes you ask the question, shouldn't there be more study of where we exapnd our cities and what effect this will have in case of a major rainfall, earthquake, blizzard, etc?

Tony Aguilar's curator insight, September 18, 2013 5:27 PM

      What was interesting about this particular deluge was how much rain fell and how it happened in such a short time. Meteroligist high wet density levels of vapor that rose to high altitutdes and was able to condense into water and help in a perfect combination of weather to create a powerfully dangerous flash flood.

    The article recounts a former major colorodo flood that occured in 1978 and had killed over 150 people during a centenial celebration.

   After this occurence warning signs were put up beside the roads to warn travelers of flash flood possiblities and to promote safety. These floods do not happen in Colorado often and are usually a surprise. They do not when the nextmajor flash flood may occur in the boulder region but they know through historical patterns that it will happen again. 

This article stood out to me because I have friends that live in these areas and had to run for safety and move their cars to prevent damage in these same areas. The good thing is that the people that I know from this area are doing ok.

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Mass Sacrifice Found Near Aztec Temple

Mass Sacrifice Found Near Aztec Temple | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it

Below street level in Mexico City, archaeologists have found a jumble of bones dating to the 1480s.

 

In the 1970s, construction workers unearthed numerous archaeological finds as the subway was being constructed.  The Mexican government decided to clear the several block of old colonial buildings to reveal the Templo Mayor, the ancient Aztec religious center.  Not coincidentally, the Spaniards built their religious center in the same place.  During the colonial era, the indigenous residents who spoke Spanish in Mexico City still referred to this portion of the city as la pirámide.  Today more finds such as this one are continuing to help us piece together the past of this immensely rich, multi-layered place filled with symbolic value. 

 

Tags: Mexico, LatinAmerica, historical, images, National Geographic, colonialism, place and culture.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

This is so interesting! When you think about Mexico today we often think only about the drugs and wars and mass poverty that has consumed much of it. To think abou the true history of Meixco from the Aztecs that we are still unearthing today and learning from is amazing. Things like this helps us learn so much more about the past and tie things together. 

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 26, 2014 10:00 PM

While the Aztec' civilization has been gone for a very long time, there are still traces of it resurfacing today. With the uncovering of the bones, it shows that the Aztec temple was very much in the heart of Mexico City has still has more secrets to uncover

Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 5, 2:39 PM

This article shows just how varied the cultural landscape of Mexico is.  Unlike the Native populations in the US, the Aztecs had a large, flourishing civilization that was described by the first conquistadors "to match the glory of any major city in Europe."  When the Spanish eventually conquered the Aztec Civilization, they built right on top of the ruins of the old Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.  The way that Mexico City is layered right on top of the old Aztec city, means that many human remains and ancient buildings are buried right below the modern city.  This is what makes Mexico City different than any city in the United States or Canada, the cities in these two countries were not built over massive cities that pre-dated them.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 11, 10:07 PM

This seems to be quite a large sacrifice that was discovered. And while it may be just that, it seems more like a mass execution, possibly performed by the Spanish when they battled with the Aztecs and put at the foot near the Aztec temple to send a message that their God could not save them.  If it is a sacrifice, its a pretty large one.

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Stranded in suburbia: Why aren’t Americans moving to the city?

Stranded in suburbia: Why aren’t Americans moving to the city? | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
It's going to take more than wishful thinking to convince Americans to move back to the urban core.

 

While some urban pundits have been projecting a decline of suburbia, the numbers haven't born that out.  How come?  What will that mean for society?  How does urban planning account for cultural and economic preferences?    


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Because of lack of jobs in our economy today most college kids move back home with mom and dad after school. This means parents can move out of the suburbs if the so choose. Cities also have a bad rep, they are seen as violent and dirty and poverty filled and the schools in the cities arent always the best. All of these leave many families choosing suburbs first or leaving the cities for them. 

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Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 1:13 PM

I can relate to this topic as a college student who wants to live in a bigger city. I always wanted to live in Boston however the profession I am choosing will most likely not support the lifestyle I am seeking in a metropolitan area.  The rising costs of college make so many students can't leave their home state and move to urban settings, and then student loan payments with increasing interest rates cause many to stay in their suburbs.  It would be nearly possible for someone like myself, to live in a metropolitan area comfortably with a decent pay but student loans right after college.  I feel like many people in the lower/middle class suburbs are in this situation and cannot graduate to a level where they are financially stable enough to leave and enter the city.

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What America Manufactures

What America Manufactures | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it

"It's a myth that the U.S. doesn't make anything anymore."  The U.S. economy still produces more through manufacturing tangible goods ($1.5 trillion) than it does in providing services ($600 billion) for the international market.  The maps and graphs in this article are great teaching materials.  The impact of NAFTA is shown powerfully in the regionalization of U.S. trade partners, making this salient material for a discussion on supranationalism as well.   


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

I will admit this kind of surprised me. For one I didnt know we were selling anything to China much less soybeans. Auto parts to Canada and gold to Europe where equally as surpsing as well. As far as exporting tv shows and movies goes that wasnt surpring with this day and age and everything being online that I can see.   

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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 11, 2013 7:09 PM


This is great because now we can witness the creation of jobs in the country which can help the country get out of the depression that it is in. it also can help people get jobs and not have to worry about if there unemployment check is going enough to cover there expenses. Also people that are working are less likely to get depressed because they are not trapped in there homes because now they have something that is distracting them. But the United States is seeing a great improvement because of all the things being manufactured here. One good example is the Honda accord power plant and the ford motor company plant and even general motors in Detroit. all of these companies is helping the Americans get back into the workforce.

Nicholas Patrie's curator insight, September 10, 2014 3:05 PM

i was surprised to see that our country still exports so many products. What i find even more surprising is that the top countries that are buying our good are our bordering countries, Canada and Mexico. As much Petroleum we receive from the middle east we still are exporting so much of it to Canada and Mexico. It seems that foreign cars such as ones from Japan are taking over the industry yet our top export to Canada is car parts. it is good to see that America still exports.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 12:03 PM

I was surprised and reassured to see how much the U.S. exports to other parts of the world.  I was unaware that the U.S exported to China because we physically surrounded by items made in China. Although our imports exceed exports, we are still producing,

 

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Nation pauses on 9/11 to pay tribute to victims

Nation pauses on 9/11 to pay tribute to victims | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The names of the fallen where recited by relatives and friends on the 12th year anniversary of 9/11 at the memorial site

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Russia 'gives Syria chemical arms plan to US'

Russia 'gives Syria chemical arms plan to US' | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
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Russia and John Kerry are planning to meet on Thursday to discuss Russia collecting and destroying Syrias checmical weapons. 

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