No Pos Wow

Don’t Know What’s Going On In Venezuela? Get On Track With A Look At 15 Imperative Latin American Economies

For the past few weeks, the world has watched as tens of thousands of protesters have led demonstrations across the country of Venezuela in an effort to end the second term of President Nicolás Maduro and the downtrodden economy his administration has created. For many uncertain of going on in the country, there’s even more confusion about the ones outside of it, in Latin America. For a better understanding of what is going on here’s a breakdown of some of Latin America’s most desperate and corrupted economies.

1. Colombia produces most of the world’s emeralds.

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And when we say most, we mean more than 90% of the world’s emeralds. Talking about segues, who wants to go to Colombia for some emerald shopping?

2. Brazil is the world’s biggest exporter of coffee, sugar, and orange juice.

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So chances are your breakfast is probably entirely Brazilian. And maybe your morning tea.

3. Peru hosts 80% of the world’s population of alpacas.

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That’s about 3.5 million alpacas which are bred for their lovely, luscious wool. But, there are more serious questions that need answering: where are Peruvians getting all of the food to feed these alpacas? Where the hell are they keeping all of them? And how are they coping with literally millions of alpacas relieving themselves multiple times a day?

4. Chile is the 5th largest exporter of wine in the world. / Instagram

There are over 100 wineries in Chile. Bottoms up!

5. Peru grows more than 55 varieties of corn.

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And you can find corn there in pretty much any color, including yellow, purple, white and black. That’s got to make some pretty stellar popcorn, right?

6. The Latin American region’s annual economic growth sits at around 2.9%. 

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This means it’s on par with Australasia and growing at a faster rather than North America’s 1.8%. Western Europe can’t hold a candle to Latin America either: their annual economic growth rate is 1.3%.

7. About 80% of Mexican exports go to the United States.

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Which is impressive, and geographically convenient. But it does mean that any upsets in the US economy tend to have a pretty severe effect on Mexico’s economy. Next time you’re at a fiesta, impress your fellow partygoers with musings about the Mexican economy’s vulnerability to US trade tariffs.

8. Some of the biggest industries in Latin America are agriculture, and trade and tourism.

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What kinds of things fall under these categories, you ask? Agriculture means farming. Trade relates to the export industry or sending goods overseas to make a profit. And what about tourism? Well, Latin America has plenty of draws to keep people visiting. Think about it: great people, delectable food, breathtaking natural wonders, and jaw-dropping historical sites.

9. The GDP potential in Latin America is the second highest in the world.

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The region comes second only to India. This isn’t necessarily something to be proud of, though. It means that Latin America could be more productive. But there are a few challenges it needs to overcome before it can do that. One of the big issues Latin America needs to tackle is gender parity. If women were employed in the same way as men in countries like the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Mexico, the region’s GDP would rise by an insane 34%!

10. Argentina and Venezuela have the two weakest exchange rates of all the Latin American countries.

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And look, that sucks for them because it makes everything more expensive for locals. But you know what? It also means that everything in Argentina and Venezuela is that much cheaper for everyone traveling to those countries. Holiday, anyone?

11. Nearly a quarter of the global transport fleet flies under Panama’s flag.

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This is despite the fact that Panama is home to only 0.05% of the global population. So what’s the deal? Well, businesses like to register their cargo ships in Panama so that their fleets are subject to local laws. Yep: Panama’s a great spot for business since their tax, safety and maritime laws are relatively lenient.

12. Ecuador is the biggest banana exporter in the world. / Instagram

Doesn’t that fact just make you go … bananas? Okay, enough of the puns. Clearly, there’s more to Ecuador’s economy than just bananas since it’s currently experiencing the largest economic growth in Latin America, at 6.88% per annum.

13. About three million El Salvadorans live in the US and send money home to El Salvador.

@antroyce_snsd / Instagram

There are a few reasons for this. One reason is convenience: rather than using its own currency, El Salvador is one of many countries that instead trades in US dollars.

14. Cuba only started allowing its population to buy personal cell phones in 2011.

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Things like private real estate ownership also became available in Cuba that same year. These policy changes were part of what has been a significant overhaul for Cuba’s socialist economy.

15. Over 75% of Nicaragua’s population lives on less than $2 a day.

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This is despite the fact that its nominal per capita GDP, or average income, works out to be $1,756. So what does this mean? It means that there is a massive disparity between the income of the most wealthy in Nicaragua, and the rest of the population.

16. Costa Rica has the sixth highest level of foreign direct investment (FDI) per capita in Latin America.

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In layman’s terms, Costa Rica depends on money from foreign companies or groups to sustain its economy. These foreign investors pour money into initiatives in Costa Rica, expecting to receive a profit once things get off the ground. Part of the reason why high FDI figures are so impressive is that in order to attract investors, you have to convince people that your country is a safe bet, that the projects won’t fall through, and that the investors will definitely turn a profit. Having a high FDI can be good for a country’s fiscal reputation. In Costa Rica’s case, it also helps that they’ve negotiated plenty of flexible trade agreements to encourage investments, too.

17. Mexico has the largest proven silver reserves in the world.

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Guess it’s time to go jewelry shopping in Mexico, right?

18. Brazil is the only Latin American country that’s part of the BRICS union.

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BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. These countries operate in economic partnership with each other, on the basis that their economies are some of the fastest growing in the world. So much so, that they could compete with the US in the near future.

19. Argentina has the third-largest economy in Latin America.

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Brazil and Mexico come in at number one, and number two, respectively.

20. There’s good and bad news about poverty in The Dominican Republic.

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The bad news is that The Dominican Republic’s poverty rate is at around 28.9 percent. This means that there are still plenty of Dominicans living in poverty. The good news is that this poverty rate is on the decline.

So which economic fact will you be whipping out in a casual conversation? And were there any that surprised you? Let us know on Facebook through the icon at the top of the page!

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The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

No Pos Wow

The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

There’s no denying that the world looks a lot different now than it did in 1947. And while the list of all of the positive changes that the decades stretching between now and then have done for the world and minorities, a recent campaign is also highlighting the ways in which our current president could take some notes on certain values the United States held dear during this time. Particularly ones that had been pressed for by one of our former presidents.

As part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Good Neighbor Policy” effort, he worked to promote positive and healthy relations between the United States in Latin American countries.

At the time Rooseveltaimed to ensure that the North, Central and South American countries avoided breaking under the influence of Axis countries during World War II. As part of this campaign, Roosevelt comissioned a Spanish and a Portuguese version of the U.S. national anthem. According to Time Magazine he also “recruited Hollywood to participate in this Good Neighbor Policy; Walt Disney went on goodwill tour of South America, hoping to find a new market for his films, and ended up producing two movies inspired by the trip: Saludos Amigos (1942) and The Three Caballeros (1944). The Brazilian star Carmen Miranda also got a boost, and her role in The Gang’s All Here made her even more famous in the U.S. And alongside these cross-cultural exchanges, the U.S. government decided it needed an anthem that could reach Spanish speakers.”

According to NPR, Clotilde Arias, wrote wrote the translation at the end of World War II, was born in the small Peruvian city, Iquitos in 1901 and moved to New York City to become a composer when she was 22-years-old. Her version of the anthem is now part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Now in an effort to support Latino communities affected by the coronavirus, the non-profit We Are All Human Foundation’s Hispanic Star campaign commissioned the a remake of the song.

Hoping to raise awareness of its Hispanic Recovery Plan and efforts to help to connect Hispanic small businesses and workers with resources during the pandemic, the campaign brought the old recording from obscurity.

For the song, the 2019 winner of the singing competition La Voz,  Jeidimar Rijos, performed “El Pendón Estrellado.” Or, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 

The song has already received quite a bit of comments and support on Youtube.

Hang in there, fam. We can only get through this together.

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These Online Botanicas Will Satisfy The Bruja In You


These Online Botanicas Will Satisfy The Bruja In You

With young Latinxs reclaiming the bruja identity, the demand for access to novenas, herbs and other specially crafted ritual tools has grown tremendously. Luckily, these Latinx-owned online botanicas have made it easy for brujas, or anyone who wants to dive deeper into the practice, to get their hands on the goods. Whether you’re looking to conjure up more cash flow or secure some extra protection from those pesky mal de ojos, these shops have the magia you need.

1. The Flowerchild Bruja

You know you’ve received some real tesoro when you open your delivery and see the holographic cellophane. Unmistakable and unique products are what make The Flowerchild Bruja’s shop un cielo de flores. Garden Smudge Sticks adorned with colorful flowers and loose herbs packaged in clear hearts make this online botanica a must-visit if you’re looking to manifest more love and beauty into your life.

2. Brooklyn Brujeria

No forlorn-looking saints and pale stricken Marys here! Brookyn Brujeria offers a fresh and modern take on the classic bruja necessity of novena candles. At $10 a candle, you can enhance the vibrations and style of your space without blowing all your chavo. With intentions like Boss Bitch and F*ck Outta Here, these ain’t your abuelitas’ novenas.

3. The Hoodwitch Store

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Thank you for all of your love & support to those who have been readers and customers of @thehoodwitch over the years. ♥️You know truly how hard I work and that this is my livelihood and culture. Visual art and magic ARE my life and practice. Not a peach flavored “turquoise” glitter drink. My magic is in my blood, my magic is in my ability to bring life to my visions, it is creation & destruction. Over the last 6 years, I have been so honored and lucky to be featured in some of the largest media publications internationally not limited to Instagram. This is bigger than that and the creative team for Starbucks knew that. I have personally worked on consulting large companies in their design concepts this work comes naturally to me. “So what’s the big fuss?” My personal style has become synonymous with the visual aesthetic of my brand. No, I absolutely did not “invent” the crystal balls nor acrylic nails but What I created was a space for myself along with other POC to feel represented and have visual imagery that was representative of us. The colorful candles of my local botanicas, my gold jewelry, and my long nails clutching my crystals are certainly not “new” but to see them presented in a manner that I shared visually in this space was. Katherine de Vos Devine @devosdevine is a lawyer and art historian who wrote a powerful and insightful look as to what exactly is happening with this situation and we are sharing it in our story today because more than anything she truly gives the full tea of the situation. I can strip away the crystal balls, the nail art, and delete all of my beautifully curated photos but I will always be me, I will always be my grandmother’s voices and wisdom. I will create, and I will always know my value and my worth. I trust and believe that my ancestors and my guides are looking after me. These giants may have the money to bully artists, creatives, and small business but we know the truth and absolutely must not allow it. As a small business owner, I appreciate you standing with us in this uphill journey and even if it goes nowhere, at the end of the day I can laugh to myself knowing that Starbucks made a drink inspired by HW 🔮

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If you’re in the market for an obsidian scrying mirror, unique tarot decks or nail polish for your mystic manos, then The Hoodwitch Store is your one-stop bruja shop. Be sure to also check out the Bruja Bookshop tab, where you’ll find vintage, one-of-a-kind libros to up your witchy wisdom. The shop offers some rare finds en español as well. However, make sure you stay up to date on the latest inventory. These goods sell out fast!

4. House of Intuition

If you live in LA, you’ve most likely heard of House of Intuition. With four brick and mortar stores throughout the area, plus an online shop, it’s probably a wise investment to grab one of their “Success” intention candles. Their beautifully colored novenas aren’t the only reason to check out the shop, though. Seriously, this casa is staked with everything from crystals skulls, cauldrons and wands to a line called “Hair Mystics” featuring crystal-infused hair mists. You’ll be glad your intuition led you here.  

5. Lunar Magic Shop

Lunar Magic Shop is the super affordable and super thoughtful shop with some of our favorite bruja apparel. You will for sure want to grab the “My Mom Will Hex You” tee for the little one in your life or the “I Am My Own Sacred Place” one for yourself. While you’re at it, you might as well secure the “Motherhood”and “Student” crystal kit bags. This small shop definitely has the whole family’s brujeria needs in mind.

6. Curandera Press

While this shop is currently taking a small hiatus, they will re-launch on August 1. This gives us time to save up for a big vela haul. We could all use some divine intervention with lazy lovers and bad hair days, right? With Curandera Press’ “No Mas Amante Perezoso” and “Good Hair Day” velas, your prayers are answered. We’re excited to see what intentions they roll out next.

Read: In These Trying Times, Boricua Bruja Emilia Ortiz Provides A Digital Space For Healing

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