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The Latin American 'lab' where women are learning to code across the employment gap
3 May 2017 - More than 13 million young women across Latin America are neither employed nor in school. But a new model of coding education hopes to give this population skills for a well-paying career. On average, grads earn nearly three times what their salaries were before the boot camp. Some 400 women have completed the program so far, and there's a roughly 76 percent employment rate. The goal is to up those numbers to 10,000 and 85 percent, respectively, by 2020. (more)

Ecuador, Colombia, and Costa Rica create giant reserves for ocean life
9 September 2016 - Concern over a worldwide decline in marine life prompted the Presidents of Ecuador, Colombia, and Costa Rica to announce agreements Friday to increase protection of some of the most biodiverse ocean waters. The agreements bring the marine reserves off the three nations to 83,600 square miles. Ecuador and Costa Rica also agreed to delineate the boundaries of their national waters, exchanging nautical charts in a step toward protecting the underwater 'highways' used by sharks, sea turtles, and other migrating marine life. (more)

Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela agree to defend Mother Earth at climate change conference
15 October 2015 - The Presidents of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela agreed to speak for 'Pachamama', or Mother Earth, and civil society at the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP21, in Paris this December. Earlier at the Second World People's Conference on Climate Change in Bolivia's Cochabamba, civil society representatives proposed the creation of an environmental justice court, recognition of indigenous ancestral knowledge, and demanded developed countries should recognize their climate debt as a legal and moral obligation. (more)

Pope Francis apologizes for Catholic crimes against indigenous peoples during the colonization of the Americas
10 July 2015 - On his first papal visit to his native Latin America, Pope Francis issued an historic apology to the native peoples of the Americas for sins committed by the Catholic Church during the conquest of the continents. The indigenous groups burst into applause following his comments. It was the longest and most significant speech of Francis' week-long South American pilgrimage. To read more of the Pope's speech see: (more)

On his native turf, Pope Frances touches on cherished issues
5 July 2015 - History's first Latin American Pope returns to Spanish-speaking South America for the first time on Sunday, bringing a message of solidarity with the region's poor, who are expected to turn out in droves to welcome their native son home. Pope Francis is visiting three of South America's poorest and most peripheral countries -- Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay -- making a grueling, week-long trip that will showcase the Pope at his unpredictable best: speaking his native Spanish on his home turf about issues closest to his heart. He is skipping his homeland of Argentina, at least partly to avoid papal entanglement in this year's presidential election. (more)

Pope marks LatAm feast with Argentine folk hymns
12 December 2014 - Pope Francis is calling for Latin America to care for its poorest and most marginalized. Francis deviated from his homily on an important Latin American feast day Friday to hammer home a point he made for years as Archbishop of Buenos Aires and now as Pope. He said he hoped the continent's future would balance justice with reconciliation, scientific development with human wisdom, and suffering with hope. (more)

Latin American art auctions set record-high sales for 31 artists
26 November 2014 - Blistering sales this week of Latin American art set auction records for 31 artists spanning three centuries, ranging from creators in the Spanish colonial period to living artists like Colombia's Fernando Botero. 'Our November sale series has been a glorious celebration of Latin American art,' said Alex Stein, Sotheby's Latin American art chief. (more)

The Central American solar market is set to boom
15 July 2014 - The Central American solar market will soon be making headlines. With more than 2.3 gigawatts expected to be installed over the next five years, we expect Central America to account for more than one-third of all PV demand in the Latin America region. This is all the more impressive considering its growth from such a small base: less than 100 megawatts of installations were completed in 2013. (more)

Cuba and Angola to strengthen cooperation in environmental areas
1 February 2014 - The Cuban Minister of Science, Technology, and Environment (Citma), Elba Rosa Perez Montoya, has started an official visit to Angola, which will strengthen bilateral cooperation. The two countries will discuss other opportunities for aid in environmental matters. (more)

Latin America leaders declare region a 'zone of peace'
29 January 2014 - Leaders from across Latin America and the Caribbean signed a resolution declaring the region a 'zone of peace' Wednesday, pledging to resolve their disputes as respectful neighbours without the use of arms. The 33 nations gathered in Havana committed to nonintervention in each other's internal affairs, to cultivate cooperation and friendship, and to respect 'the inalienable right of every state to choose its political, economic, social and cultural system,' Cuban President Raul Castro said, reading from the text of the resolution. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Organic farming cooperative practises Transcendental Meditation in large group
21 August 2012 - In the Caribbean and Central America, a new type of project involving Transcendental Meditation is developing. While these regions have seen school projects utilizing the technique, as well as business and rehabilitation programmes, this is one of the first times a large number of farmers have come together to learn Transcendental Meditation and to meditate in a group. The initiative has a two-fold purpose, both to create the basis for successful farming, and as a coherence-creating 'invincibility' group for their nation. (more)

Signs of rising coherence: Peru and Colombia new economic powerhouses in Latin America
21 August 2012 - An article recently published in The Wall Street Journal and picked up by local newspapers in Latin America noted that both Peru and Colombia are characterized by a young population, growing middle class, relatively low debt, and dynamic economic expansion. This rapid economic growth comes as no surprise to Transcendental Meditation teachers in the region. Growing prosperity and economic stability are among the outcomes predicted when large groups practise Transcendental Meditation and its advanced techniques together daily in any country. Such groups have been established in both Peru and Colombia in recent years, and continue to increase in size. (more)

Latin America: Continent-wide effect of coherence, positivity seen unfolding as large groups of advanced meditators form
19 June 2012 - Scientific research has shown that even the square root of 1% of a community or nation practising Transcendental Meditation and its advanced techniques is sufficient to create measurable positive changes in social trends for the whole population. In Latin America, increasing numbers of students and professionals have been learning these techniques; now in one city, large enough groups have begun practising together to create coherence not only for their own nation, but throughout the entire Latin American continent, teachers say. (more)

'New Paradigm' tour of North America inspires Indian communities in Latin America
8 June 2012 - News of the recent 'New Paradigm' tour of North America has spread to Latin America. A team of leading scientists, artists and business leaders toured 10 major cities in the US and Canada this spring, giving a series of cutting-edge presentations entitled 'A New Paradigm: Veda, Consciousness, the Ramayana, and the Self'. The events drew large gatherings of the Indo-American and Indo-Canadian communities in many cities. The large Indian communities in Suriname, Guyana, and the Caribbean have been delighted to hear about the tour, which has inspired 'an awakening of pride' in their ancient heritage of Vedic wisdom. (more)

Latin America: Students, corporate employees enjoy Transcendental Meditation
8 May 2012 - A recent series of news updates from across Latin America included highlights of large numbers of people learning the Transcendental Meditation Programme in educational institutions, the corporate world, and other settings. (more)

Transcendental Meditation teachers busy in schools, universities across Latin America
8 May 2012 - Large numbers of students in different parts of Latin America have been learning Transcendental Meditation. In one country, 5,000 university students have started the advanced Transcendental Meditation Sidhi programme. Their educational experience will also be enhanced through Maharishi Vedic Science, which will be a subject taught in the university and available to all students. Maharishi Vedic Science is the science and technology of consciousness, brought to light from the ancient Vedic tradition of India by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Founder of the Transcendental Meditation programme. (more)

Boarding school in Latin America now uses Consciousness-Based Education
14 February 2012 - Around 900 students will learn the Transcendental Meditation technique at a boarding school in Peru. This school joins the many that have already implemented Consciousness-Based Education, but is unique in that it is the first boarding school, where students stay year-round, to do so. (more)

Latin America: Both military and schools implement Transcendental Meditation
13 December 2011 - The Transcendental Meditation Programme has been applied in a Latin American country in two very different settings, with equal success--one in the military, the other in the classroom. (more)

Latin America: More schools request Transcendental Meditation
13 December 2011 - Due to the well-established success of Transcendental Meditation at one school, more schools in a Latin American country are now interested in implementing the same programme. (more)

Dramatic decrease in poverty across Latin America
6 December 2011 - In the past few weeks, signs of positive political and economic trends have sprung up across Latin America. Perhaps the most remarkable is a recent UN report that in the past 20 years, poverty has decreased by 38% across the continent. The most dramatic decrease occurred this year, despite the deepening global financial crisis. Transcendental Meditation teachers in Latin America say these changes reflect the rapidly accelerating rise of coherence in collective consciousness, generated by large groups of people practising Transcendental Meditation and its advanced techniques. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Scientists find deadly scrub typhus bacteria in South America
7 September 2016 - Scrub typhus, a deadly disease common in southeast Asia and spread by microscopic biting mites known as chiggers, has now taken hold in a part of South America and may have become endemic there, scientists said on Wednesday, 7 September. The tropical disease, which kills at least 140,000 people a year in the Asia-Pacific region, has been confirmed in a cluster of cases on a large island off Chile, some 12,000 kilometres from its usual haunts on the other side of the Pacific. (more)

More than half of Amazon tree species seen at risk of extinction
20 November 2015 - South America's vast Amazon region harbours one of the world's most diverse collection of tree species, but more than half may be at risk for extinction due to ongoing deforestation to clear land for farming, ranching, and other purposes, scientists say. The study covered roughly 2.1 million square miles (5.5 million square km) spanning Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. (more)

Drug violence, climate change create ceaseless wave of Latin American refugees
10 December 2014 - Drug-fueled gang violence and extreme weather linked to climate change are forcing tens of thousands of people in Latin America to flee their homes every year, according to Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council. In the past, it was dictatorships, coups, and civil wars that drove people from their homes in Central America, Haiti, and other parts of Latin America. But these days rampant gang violence and drug turf wars are uprooting growing numbers of people from Mexico, Colombia, and Central America. Gang violence as a leading cause of displacement came under the spotlight after nearly 70,000 children travelling alone -- mostly from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala -- were caught crossing the US border with Mexico this year, more than double the number apprehended in 2012. Local street gangs, known as maras, control entire neighbourhoods through extortion, sexual violence against girls and women, threats, killings, and forced recruitment. (more)

Gang violence, fears for children fuel rush to US
24 July 2014 - Many immigrants flooding across the southern border of the U.S. say they're fleeing violent gangs in Central America. Experts, however, say those gangs are actually a byproduct of US policies in the 1990s that sent many immigrants back to Central America after they had been indoctrinated into gang culture in this country. The violence they took with them easily took hold and flourished in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala -- countries with weak, dysfunctional governments. (more)

Migration spotlights Mexican 'coyote' smugglers
21 July 2014 - Judging by the dramatic increase in the number of minors apprehended in the United States in recent months, it seems the human smuggling business from Central America is booming. The vast majority of migrants who enter the US illegally do so with the help of a network of smugglers known as 'coyotes', so named for the scavengers that prowl the border. It is a high-risk, often high-yield business estimated to generate $6.6 billion a year for smugglers along Latin America's routes to the US, according to a 2010 United Nations report. The migrants pay anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 each for the illegal journey across thousands of miles in the care of smuggling networks that in turn pay off government officials, gangs operating on trains, and drug cartels controlling the routes north. The exact profit is hard to calculate, though some experts estimate it's $3,500 to $4,000 per migrant if the journey goes as planned. Smuggling organizations may move from dozens to hundreds of migrants at a time. (more)

Bye bye big bee: In South America, the world's largest bumblebee is at risk from imported rivals
6 July 2014 - It is believed to be the largest in the world -- with queens likened to 'flying mice'. But a bumblebee once common in South America is heading for extinction, scientists fear, as European invaders mass on the doorstep of its last known stronghold. Bombus dahlbomii -- described by British scientist Dave Goulson as 'a monstrous fluffy ginger beast' in his best-selling book A Sting in the Tale -- has almost disappeared since a buff-tailed bumblebee was imported into Chile in the mid-1990s. Experts believe it is likely the buff-tails brought diseases to which dahlbomii has no resistance, in a grim echo of what happened when European humans first arrived in the Americas and infection killed millions of the indigenous inhabitants. There is a worldwide trade in artificially reared bumblebees, which are used to pollinate a host of crops, including tomatoes, strawberries and avocados. But buff-tails' astonishing success - spreading at the rate of 200km a year at the expense of their native rival and the many flowers pollinated by it -- is a cautionary tale about the harmful effects of introducing alien species. (more)

Latin America threatened by mounting cancer epidemic- study
26 April 2013 - Latin America's growing prosperity is fuelling a cancer epidemic that threatens to overwhelm the region unless governments take urgent preventive action, a study published on Friday warned. Writing in The Lancet Oncology medical journal, researchers said Latin Americans are enjoying the benefits of growing economic prosperity but also are leading longer, more sedentary lives, accompanied by a rise in alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity. That is not only leading to an increase in cancer rates, which are expected to rise more than 33 per cent in the region by 2020, but a disproportionately high number of cancer deaths. Much of that has to do with the way cancer is treated in Latin America. More than half of those in the region have little or no health insurance and relatively few public health efforts are focused on preventive medicine. (more)

Studies outline cost of crime in Latin America
24 January 2013 - A series of original studies commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) quantify the costs of crime and violence in Latin America and the Caribbean using a combination of crime, health, and economic statistics, to come to fresh conclusions. In Brazil, one study found people pay an extra $13 billion to gain a sense of security alone, while in Uruguay economic activity suffers a negative impact of more than 3.0 per cent of gross domestic product, while long-term generational impacts are found on the health of babies born to mothers who suffer from physical violence. A common theme running through the eight research papers presented is that women, children, and families in general are affected most by crime and violence. Much of the violence in the region can be ascribed to the narcotics trade. A drug war raging in Mexico has led to a decline in economic activity in the municipalities where narcotics related violence is most prevalent, another study found. (more)

Two of Latin America's deadliest gangs join forces
8 April 2012 - Hardened in the streets and prisons of California and deported in the 1990s to the Central American countries where they were born, the members of the Mara Salvatrucha street gang swiftly grew into a force of heavily tattooed young men carrying out kidnappings, murder, and extortion. Now, Guatemalan authorities say, they have begun to see new and disturbing evidence of an alliance between the Maras and another of the most feared criminal organizations in Latin America -- a deal with the potential to further undermine that US-backed effort to fight violent crime and narcotics trafficking in the region. In recent months, authorities say, they have begun to see the first signs that the Zetas are providing paramilitary training and equipment to the Maras in exchange for intelligence and crimes meant to divert law-enforcement resources and attention. (more)

Mystery disease kills thousands in Central America
12 February 2012 - A mysterious epidemic is devastating the Pacific coast of Central America, killing more than 24,000 people in El Salvador and Nicaragua since 2000 and striking thousands of others with chronic kidney disease at rates unseen virtually anywhere else. Scientists say they have received reports of the phenomenon as far north as southern Mexico and as far south as Panama. Last year it reached the point where El Salvador's health minister, Dr Maria Isabel Rodriguez, appealed for international help, saying the epidemic was undermining health systems. Many of the victims were manual labourers or worked in sugar cane fields that cover much of the coastal lowlands. Patients, local doctors, and activists say they believe the culprit lurks among the agricultural chemicals workers have used for years with virtually none of the protections required in more developed countries. But a growing body of evidence supports a more complicated and counterintuitive hypothesis. The roots of the epidemic, scientists say, appear to lie in the gruelling nature of the work performed by its victims, including construction workers, miners, and others who labour hour after hour without enough water in blazing temperatures, pushing their bodies through repeated bouts of extreme dehydration and heat stress for years on end. Many start as young as 10. (more)

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