Having a new pope come from Argentina should be good news when it comes to numbers. Canada and the USA combined have 86 million Catholics. South America has 339 million.
Tired of hearing Argentina’s politicians’ sabre-rattling about the Falkland Islands, the locals went to the polls to vote in a referendum. Only 3 out of 1,513 voted not to continue under British rule. Turnout was 92%.
Wholesale coffee prices have tumbled and it’s creating major headaches in Colombia. Though you haven’t seen it trickle down to your local Starbucks, prices are down 50% in two years.
United Airlines just began weekly year-round service between Washington-Dulles International Airport and both Guatemala City, Guatemala, and San Jose, Costa Rica. The airline also will begin weekly year-round service between its Chicago O’Hare hub and San Jose the same day. Check prices on international airline finder Vayama.com.
If you want to assign blame for Mexico’s border region violence to someone, U.S. gun dealers would be a good place to start. A new study found last month that some 250,000 guns a year are heading south from border states, spurred by lax gun sale laws. There are more than three gun dealers for every mile of the 1,969 mile border.
Chile is now leading the world in astronomy, at least in terms of equipment superiority. Scientists have completed the world’s largest radio telescope array, bigger than all existing ones added together, in the Atacama Desert region. The resolution of what it can see is 10X that of the Hubble telescope.
The Association of Brazilian Supermarkets announced that it would not sell beef from cattle raised on cleared rainforest land. Critics say it will be hard to enforce since no government agency is monitoring origin, but it’s hopefully a start in turning the tide of clearing rainforest land for farming. Cattle farming is the biggest driver of deforestation.
There’s a new strain of dengue fever hitting Brazil, with more than 200,000 people being infected just in the first two months of this year. There’s no immunity in place in the population for this new strain, so anyone traveling to areas with mosquitoes in Brazil needs to be super-diligent with the DEET and clothing using BugsAway or Insect Shield.
Bolivia can keep growing coca leaves for workers to chew. The country got a special dispensation from the UN to legalize unrefined coca within its borders only.