18 Facts A Latina Wants You To Know About Latin America

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1. Chile:

The Student Movement of 2006 was initiated and organized by high school students (14 to 17 year olds) who demanded free and quality education. The movement attracted over 800,000 people, becoming the largest student demonstration of the past thirty years in Chile.

800,000 child protesters demanding "Free and quality" education in 2006

800,000 child protesters demanding “Free and quality” education in 2006

 


2. Argentina

The first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage. The Equal Marriage Law was signed in 2010 by Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who happens to be the first female President of Argentina.

Argentina Gay Marriage

3. Brazil

The Brazilian Amazon is home to the most isolated indigenous tribes in the world. There are at least 77 un-contacted groups in the region.

Brazilian tribes taking part in a sporting event

Brazilian tribes taking part in a sporting event


4. Uruguay

Former President Jose Mujica was the ‘poorest’ president in the world because he donates 90% of his income to charity. He rides a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle, wears sandals to meetings, and also was the first Latin American leader to legalize marijuana.

Uruaguay Former President

The former President of Uruguay’s only “possession of value” his car.


5. Mexico

Mexico City sinks 10 inches every year. As ground water is consumed by an ever growing population, soil is weakened and the city drops almost a foot every year. 

As Mexico City sinks 10 inches a year, some of its most famous buildings are going with it.

As Mexico City sinks 10 inches a year, some of its most famous buildings are going with it.


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6. Bolivia

The first Latin American country to get rid of McDonalds. The chain went bankrupt and closed its last franchise back in 2002. Bolivians claim they simply rather buy burgers and fries from local street vendors.

no-mac-map-1024x605

McDonald’s is open in all the Yellow Countries


7. Colombia

According to the 2014 Barometer of Happiness and Hope, Colombia is ranked as the happiest country in the world. Only 2% of the Colombians polled declared themselves  as ‘‘unhappy’, making them twice as happy than the global average.

Colombians dancing to "happy" by Pharrel

Colombians dancing to “happy” by Pharrel


8. Peru

Mario Vargas Llosa, author of The Time of the Hero and Nobel prize winner ran for president in 1990. He lost the election to Albert Fujimori, a son of Japanese immigrants.

Mario Vargas Llosa, receiving the Nobel Prize in  Literature in 2006

Mario Vargas Llosa, receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006


9. Dominican Republic

Not only is Victor Estrella Burgos the first Dominican to have played in the U.S. Open, he also made recent history as the oldest tennis player in the championship.

Victor Estrella Burgos with the Dominican Republic's flag

Victor Estrella Burgos with the Dominican Republic’s flag


10. Guatemala

The first Latin American country to declare femicide (the killing of women solely based on their gender) a punishable crime. Despite the law, it is one of the countries with the most femicides in the world.

Anti Femicide campaign

Anti Femicide campaign 


11. Venezuela

In the last thirty years, Venezuela has won more beauty titles than any other country in the world. It is also in the top three list of Latin American countries with the most cosmetic surgeries.

Miss Venezuela contest

Miss Venezuela contest


12. Ecuador

The first country in the world to grant constitutional rights to Nature. This means that the ecosystem itself can be treated as a defendant in court.

Respect nature campaign

Respect nature campaign


13. Cuba

Not only does Cuba have the lowest infant mortality rate in Latin America, it also beats the United States. Its mortality rate is 4.6 per thousand births while the United States’s is 5.2.

I imagine this is how Castro would react to this  little piece of information

I imagine this is how Castro would react to this little piece of information


14. Honduras

In the United States  it might rain “cats and dogs” but in Honduras it  literally rains fish. The phenomenon known as Yoro Fish Rain happens during the heavy rainy season between May and June. 

Much easier than taking a boat out

Much easier than taking a boat out


15. Paraguay

By law, the only bilingual country in Latin America . Paraguayans officially speak Spanish and Guaraní: the country’s indigenous language.

Still looks easier than Icelandic

Still looks easier than Icelandic


16. El Salvador

The country has one of the largest cellphone densities in the world, where there are literally more cellphones than people (135 phones per 100 persons)

El Salvador phone case

El Salvador phone case


17. Costa Rica

 

Is one of the few nation-states that does not have an army, abolished by The Constitution in 1949. Nevertheless if the country were to be at war, the United States would offer its armed forces.

No army since 1948

No army since 1948


18. Panama

The famous Panama Canal charges for passage by weight. When American adventurer Richard Halliburton decided to swim through the canal, he paid the lowest fare in history, a total of 36 cents for his full body weight of 140 pounds.

The majestic Panama Canal. Human kind splits Continents.

The majestic Panama Canal. Human kind splits Continents.


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