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Americas Now


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AMERICAS NOW is a unique magazine show focusing on issues of interest to anyone who follows developments in South and Central America. Hosted by anchor Elaine Reyes in Washington, the series contains one in-depth investigative story in each episode by one of a group of experienced correspondents based in Latin America. They include veterans of the BBC, NPR, and CNN International. Hard hitting reporting is complemented by stories of people working for social change. The first person "Game Changer' segment provides uplifting profiles across the region. Among the programs in the series: Gerry Hadden investigates the plight of single mothers and domestic violence in Mexico. "Game Changer" in this episode comes from Colombia. Harris Whitbeck visits some of the world's oldest people living in Costa Rica. "Game Changer" goes to Mexico. Dan Collins explores the changing lives of an isolated tribe in the Amazon rain forests of Peru. "Game Changer" goes to rural Mexico. Gerry Hadden visits Panama, described by some as the happiest place in Latin America. But is the reputation deserved? "Game Changer" goes to Colombia. Harris Whitbeck investigates the gangs of Guatemala, a nation described by some as one of the most dangerous places on earth. He explores violence against children. "Game Changer" tells an uplifting story from Brazil.


  • Colombia - Microfinances (Michelle Begue) - According to Colombia's National Statistics Department, 12.4 million people were living below the poverty line in Colombia in 2017. That translates into living on less than 88 dollars a month. For many of those residents dreams of having their own business seem impossible. But some industrious women, with some innovative ideas, have found support in the form of a financial service. And it's helping produce a long-term change in their lives. Correspondent Michelle Begue has the story from Bogota. Game Changer - Brisa de Angulo (Dan Collyns) - At the age of 15 our Game Changer was raped by a member of her extended family. When she finally found the courage to tell the police, she was ostracized, intimidated and had a traumatic experience in court. She decided to set up a charity which provides medical, social and legal services to young survivors and even helped create a national day against sexual abuse in her native Bolivia. Americas Now caught up with her on that day in her home town, city of Cochabamba. Our Game Changer is the founder of A Breeze of Hope ...Brisa de Angulo. Urban Voices - Guatemala - Ceci Juno (Harris Whitbeck) - An Ecuadorian singer and songwriter is wowing audiences in more way than one. She's delighting them with her interpretations of old classics and new compositions. She is also using her musical talent to help people with developmental issues.  Our Urban Voice is Music Therapist Ceci Juno.

    Length: 00:27:58
    Usage rights: 7/8/2019 to 7/7/2021
  • Ecuador - Venezuela Exodus (Harris Whitbeck) - South America is experiencing its largest mass migration in recent history. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing the economic hardship and political instability in their country...arriving at the borders of neighboring countries each day. Peru, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil are all coping with intense pressure from the influx. Correspondent Harris Whitbeck reports from Ecuador, another country feeling the strain of the crisis -- and one that's already seen its share of mass migrations. Colombia - Crossing the Darien (Michelle Begue) - It's not just Venezuela witnessing mass migration these days. Tens of thousands of others across Latin America continue to risk their lives traveling north to the United States. Correspondent Michelle Begue takes us to a city in Colombia called Turbo where migrants from all over the world gather before embarking on a very dangerous journey to cross the Darien Gap.

    Length: 00:27:54
    Usage rights: 7/15/2019 to 7/14/2021
  • Brazil - Children of Zika (Lucrecia Franco) - Between 2015 and 2017 some 3000 babies in Brazil were born with a rare condition. Their heads were much smaller than normal and their brains weren't fully developed. Doctors diagnosed those babies with "Microcephaly," a disorder caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors. And these cases were linked to Zika. Correspondent Lucrecia Franco visited the city of Recife, one of the country's most affected areas in the world for what is now called "Congenital Zika Syndrome", and brought us the story of the Zika Children. Mexico - Biogas Fuels (Alasdair Baverstock) - By 2024 Mexico wants to produce 35-percent of its energy from renewable sources. This is part of its commitment to the Paris climate change accord so bio-fuel projects are now booming in the countryside. Correspondent Alasdair Baverstock went to western Mexico to give us a closer look. Musical - Donkey Festival - For the musical/end piece, we went to a Mexican village, where each year they pay "honors" to an animal that's played an important role in their community since colonial times. Residents have relied on donkeys for transportation and field work for centuries. So they created an event that brings awareness and respect to this unheralded member of the horse family.

    Length: 00:27:58
    Usage rights: 7/22/2019 to 7/21/2021
  • Lifeline for Haiti - In recent years -- money sent by Latinos abroad.. .to their families back home -- has grown. In fact...from 20-16 to 20-17...they sent a total of 75-billion dollars...a new record, according to the World Bank. The money...called, remittances reflects the rise of migration across the continent..."two-thirds" of migrants from Latin America -- live in the United States. One of the countries that receives the most -- is Haiti, where the money accounts for almost 35-percent of the GDP. Correspondent John Zarrella visited the island nation to examine the financial impact this flow of income - has on residents. Medical Tourism - The pressure to attain the perfect face or body has led to a booming plastic surgery industry. Latin America has "two" of the leading destinations for these operations. Brazil and Colombia are among the top 10 countries in the world for performing the medical procedures in 20-16. That's according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. But because the industry isn't regulated, the surgeries aren't always safe. Correspondent Michelle Begue has more from Bogota.

    Length: 00:27:50
    Usage rights: 7/29/2019 to 7/28/2021
  • Mexico - Tech-Mex (Harris Whitbeck) - Part of U.S. President Donald Trumps' "get-tough" policy is expected to include an increase in the expulsion of undocumented citizens to their home countries. Mexico is one of the nations that might face the largest number of returnees. For many of them it could feel like starting over as they know little about the language and culture of their country of origin. That makes things like finding a job difficult. But the digital startup sector in Mexico is viewing the return of migrants from the U.S. as an opportunity. Our correspondent Harris Whitbeck went to Mexico City to find out who is hiring returnees and why. Game Changer - Alika Kinan - Our Game Changer is an activist from Buenos Aires who speaks out about when she was forced into prostitution in the south of Argentina. She now works at a university and organizes events and gives speeches in defense of women rights. She won a landmark case against her captors and campaigns for more far-reaching policies to effectively tackle human trafficking. Her foundation helps women who have fallen prey to trafficking rings. She has been lauded in Washington DC as a hero working against human trafficking. Her name is Alika Kinan. Urban Voices - Porfi Baloa - During the decade of the 70's the United States witnessed the birth of a new Latin rhythm known as Salsa. It drew a lot of influence from Jazz but it was mostly the result of Latin and Caribbean sounds brought by Hispanic immigrants. New York became its center stage while it expanded throughout Latin America. This Salsa fever mixed the sounds from Cha cha cha, mambo, Bolero, and Cuban son. Names like "Fania All-Stars" or "Dimension Latina" are considered the pillars of the genre. In Venezuela a young boy lived this musical boom. He grew up to become a Salsa icon himself and took Salsa music to a whole new level. Porfi Baloa is our Urban Voice this week.

    Length: 00:27:52
    Usage rights: 8/5/2019 to 8/4/2021
  • El Salvador - Reforming Gangsters - In 20-18 the United States deported more than 250-thousand people...according to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Almost 6,000 of them -- where known or suspected gang members. Prisons in countries like El Salvador are packed with deportees. But as correspondent Mike Kirsch reports... some ARE trying to make an honest living...and kissing the American Dream...good-bye. Costa Rica - Lionfish Invasion - They are exotic, beautiful, and mesmerizing to watch as they swim the warm waters of the Caribbean. But lion fish are threatening the very existence of hundreds of species of native marine life from Florida down to Panama. Correspondent Harris Whitbeck brings us the story of this uninvited guest to the Caribbean -- and what some fishermen in Costa Rica are bring it under control.

    Length: 00:27:19
    Usage rights: 8/12/2019 to 8/11/2021
  • Guatemala - Girls at Risk (Harris Whitbeck) - It was an event that shocked the entire country and made headlines around the world. 42 girls, locked up in a state home for children in Guatemala --burned to death. The fire broke out following protests and accusations of poor conditions and abuse. The incident also revealed many of the vulnerabilities faced by young people. More than a year after the tragedy the victim's relatives are still looking for answers. Correspondent Harris Whitbeck tells us more about Guatemala's girls at risk. Game Changer - Julie Colombino (Nitza Perez) - A former aerial performer for Cirque USA traded her high-flying life in Orlando, Florida for Port au Prince, Haiti. In 2010 the Caribbean country was devastated by a catastrophic earthquake. With only 7-thousand dollars and no plan, she wanted to find a way to help. Eight years later, she is an entrepreneur providing job training to Haitian residents at her ethical footwear company. You could say she is fighting poverty, one step a time. Our Game Changer this week is Julie Colombino. Urban Voices - Mexico de Colores (Anne Laurent) - Mexican folk dancing represents the country's many traditions. But in Mexico City an all-male dance group is using the folk dance for a new purpose: to encourage social inclusion. Through his choreography, director Carlos Antunez aims to garner respect for the gay community. With drag queen makeup and eccentric costumes, his dancers offer an upbeat portrayal of gay life. Our Urban Voice is Mexico de Colores.

    Length: 00:27:48
    Usage rights: 8/19/2019 to 8/18/2021