Pernambuco: Brazil's Other Carnival

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The megapolis of Recife, Brazil's fifth largest city, lies within the state of Pernambuco. Recife's carnival, along with celebrations in its colonial suburb Olinda and in the cities of Bezerros and Nazarene da Mata, features a flamboyant, joyous, boisterous week of elaborate parades, dances, and costumes.

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Whistles in the Mist: Whistled Speech in Oaxaca

The Chinantecan people of mountainous northern Oaxaca, Mexico communicate by whistling as well as by talking. David visits their isolated community and sees for himself how they use whistled speech to supplement -- and sometimes replace -- spoken speech.

  • 2017-05-28T03:00:00-07:00

Nicaragua: Land of the Shaking Earth Emerges

For 200 years, Nicaragua endured both earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, military and political interventions. Today, a democratic Nicaragua promotes its diversity of cultures, Spanish colonial heritage, and natural wonders, including its lakes, forests, and volcanoes. Miskito Indians from the Caribbean coast and the descendants of Aztecs still flourish within the country.

  • 2017-05-28T09:00:00-07:00

Abc Islands: The Dutch Legacy in the Caribbean

The last vestiges of the once-mighty Dutch empire live on in the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. David visits Curacao, now independent, and wanders the streets of Willemstad, its capital city. In its colonial buildings, he finds hints of a past glory made possible by the slave trade. In Bonaire, still a colony, he dons Scuba gear to mingle with its incomparable marine life. Then, he witnesses the extraction of tons of salt from Bonaire's tidal flats. Finally, David treks into a national park home to dense groves of tall cacti, hordes of lizards and tranquil flamingos.

  • 2017-06-04T03:00:00-07:00

Reefs, Ruins, and Revivals: Belize's Melting Pot

Belize has a decidedly different history and culture from the rest of Central America. English is the first language of this small nation, reflecting its British ancestry, yet Belize retains deep historic connections among its many residents of Mayan ancestry, and is proud of its strong African roots among the Garifuna people. Belize also has world-class archaeological sites, vast tracts of intact rain forest, and some of the world's richest marine treasures.

  • 2017-06-04T09:00:00-07:00

Bahian Reconcavo of Brazil: Quilombos, Candomble, and the Mata Atlantica

The region of Brazil known as Reconcavo supports a distinct culture and heritage. Over the centuries, slaves escaped their owners and founded their own towns. They, along with other colonists, shaped the local society and exploited its tropical riches. A local company recently took on the challenge of preserving and restoring the once-great Atlantic Forest, the Mata Atlantica.

  • 2017-06-11T03:00:00-07:00

Yakima: The Quest for Hops

The explosion of craft beer brewing across the United States has created a widespread interest in the process of beer making. A beer festival in Tucson, Arizona, leads to some local brewers and sends David on a quest to the origin of what makes beer different - hops. Nearly all of the hops in the U.S. are cultivated around Yakima, Washington where the team follows the annual harvest and sample as many products of hop production as possible.

  • 2017-06-11T09:00:00-07:00

Colombia: Capital & Coffee

Bogota serves as Colombia's capital and its social, cultural, and economic center. To help decrease traffic congestion and air pollution, Bogotans created an extremely effective mass transit system called Cyclovia. They cordon off their downtown area each Sunday and turn it over to bicyclists and pedestrians. David explores the history of the world's most popular beverage while traveling to Zona Cafetera, the source of most Colombian coffee.

  • 2017-06-18T03:00:00-07:00

Panama's Wild West

An hour or so distant from Panama's burgeoning capital and its great canal, a broad peninsula juts into the Pacific Ocean. The Azuero Peninsula is home to traditions, landscapes, and people different from those of the capital and its suburbs. Residents of Azuero celebrate what sets them off from the rest of Panama. And they are huge fans of baseball.

  • 2017-06-18T09:00:00-07:00