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Happy Discovery Day -- Real Geographic Discoveries of the Modern Age

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 13, 2014 04:42pm | Post a Comment
Portrait of Columbus

I will not make the argument that Columbus's arrival in the New World was insignificant merely because he was an absolutely awful person or because he didn't actually discover anything (which he himself maintained, claiming until his death that he'd merely found a different route to Asia). But think about this before you dismiss -- before Columbus, avocado, bell peppers, blueberries, cashews, cassava root, chili peppers, chocolate, cocaine, gourds, maize, peanuts, pecans pineapples, pumpkins, squash, tobacco, tomatoes, and vanilla were all unknown in the Old World and alcohol, apples, bananas, barley, cheese, coffee, mango, onions, rice, tea, and turnips, and wheat were unknown in the Americas. Imagine an existence without any of those and you can hopefully begin to get a taste of the importance of the Columbian Exchange. Imagine Italian cuisine without tomato sauce or gnocchi and you can't help but wonder if this is why Columbus is so dear to many Italians. Imagine, on the other hand, genocide, slavery, and old world diseases and you'll understand why he's even more hated by many others. 



Honduran-Americans - Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 4, 2010 12:10pm | Post a Comment
Hondurans

In the US, the word "Latino" is used often, regardless of accuracy, as shorthand for a region's dominant Latino population. In the southwest it usually means "Mexican," in the northeast it means "Puerto Rican" and in Florida, "Cuban." Indeed, those are the three largest populations of Latino-Americanos in the country, although it goes without saying that there are many less-recognized groups of Latinos. Each have their own distinct culture, history, and place in America.

Flag of Honduras

This entry is about Hondurans, who at an estimated 527,154 (although possibly as high as 890,317) currently living in the US, make up the eighth (or seventh, depending on figures) largest Latino population in the country.

Protest in Honduras against Battalion 316

Upon assuming the office of president in 1981, Ronald Reagan authorized the CIA to have their paramilitary officers from the Special Activities Division begin financing, arming and training rebels to advance right-wing interests in Nicaragua. Meanwhile, the US backed Honduran army and death squads, notably Battalion 316, waged a quieter conflict against the left in Honduras. The bloodshed and economic situation provided the impetus for many Hondurans to pursue work and residency in the US, especially in The Carolinas, New York, New Jersey, New Orleans, Florida, Virginia and Los Angeles. In the latter, they often settled in the Midtown neighborhoods of Westlake and Wilshire Center, although many Garifuna, whose blackness trumps their Latino-ness in Los Angeles, settled in predominantly black South LA neighborhoods.

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