The two sides of the same coin
6 noviembre, 2013
Public opinion about South America doesn’t completely reflect reality. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “Latin America”?
Sure you’ve thought words like “cartel”, “drugs”, “poverty” or “terrorism”. Yes, these are words that could describe the current situation in the continent. Did you ever think that maybe you are wrong? The public opinion has an image of Latin America that dates from the colonial era. Christopher Columbus arrived to America in 1492. Since his arrival, the crown of Castile used and enslaved Native Americans in order to increase its economic and political activity. The Indians were considered inferior and were used with contempt for the sole purpose of fattening European ego. This primitive mentality has not changed along the years. Yes, it is true that these colonies won their independence throughout the years, ending their eternal slavery in 1898.
Perhaps they were able to get rid of European chains, but have not really achieved independence from the idea of inferiority from the great world powers. It is true that in Latin America and Central America there is corruption, insecurity and there is economic imbalance between countries in the same continent. And let’s not mention the issue of drugs…
In a realistic view, these countries do not enjoy a good reputation. But, are they the only ones who must bear with this image? In Europe there is also corruption among governments, domestic terrorism and drug trafficking. Most great powers have many points in common with the Latin countries, but they still continue being the great leaders of the “free world”. Democracy advocates equal rights, balance between social classes and seeks the welfare of citizens, but still the great democracies do not respect their own codes. Latin America is not synonymous of violence, discrimination and poverty. It stands for progress, unity and cultural development.
Both the Caribbean, Central and South America enjoys a wealth of natural resources and biodiversity, a varied cultural and religious wealth and this are countries with a great future project. In the Caribbean we can find the most beautiful beaches that exist on our planet, with crystal clear water and white sand. These shrines give us the opportunity to enjoy the Caribbean sun in its splendor. A clear example is the Eagle Bay in the Dominican Republic.
In Central America we can enjoy beautiful religious traditions we don’t even knew it existed, such as in Nicaragua. In August, people close their businesses and throughout the month occur processions, horse racing and great parties in which the Nicaraguan people celebrate the independence from the Spanish crown. In Latin America, like in Brazil, we can stay pleasantly surprised with their New Year celebration. In Copacabana, on October 31st, the whole city wears white to celebrate the end of one year and the start of the new under a slogan, an idea that governs it. The museums, restaurants, clubs, and monuments are the scene to live the last hours of the year. Giant lasers roam the facades marking the rhythm of time, noting how long before the great outburst of joy and illusion. With the last of the 12 chimes starts the fireworks extravaganza, launched from boats anchored along Copacabana bay. The music does not stop, the sound of drums and thousands of watts deafen the crowd dancing, kissing, embracing and celebrating.
But what really makes these countries highlight is its natural wealth and natural resources. The rest of the world does not realize how important these countries are for their own survival. Here we can find the Amazon forest, embellished by the silent river travel that bears the same name. This forest is situated between three different countries: Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela. This is the “lung of the world”, and not only that, this forest provides natural resources that doesn’t exists in other parts of the world.
Colombia is the country with the largest variety of fruits and butterflies around the world and in Argentina we can appreciate the great glaciers of the Patagonia, nonexistent in other populated areas.
Major powers bleed the continent with their economic activities that enriches themself at the expense of Latin population, and then they exclaim that poverty has settled in the cities of these countries. They do not realize that without these resources they would not be even half as powerful as they are now.
Yes, maybe Central America, the Caribbean and South America are not essential places at first sight for the rest of the world. They may be countries where the crime rate is high and where security is nonexistent, but they are also places where people are close to each other, that gives us beautiful and incomparable natural scenes and that its a land full of new opportunities.