South America

June 18th, 2012  |  By Round Earth Media

Bolivian President Caught in the Middle

Highway construction of a road that would have cut through the Bolivian Amazon was halted after thousands protested | Photo by Libby Arnosti

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Bruce Gellerman: It’s Living on Earth, I’m Bruce Gellerman.


Gellerman: In Bolivia, the people spoke and the government listened. For three months, a thousand people marched across the Andes Mountains, closing roads, enduring police crackdown and arrest. They were protesting the government’s plan to build a highway through indigenous lands and Amazon forest. Bolivian President Evo Morales gave in to the protesters and scrapped the project. But while demonstrators may have won this round, the fight over how to develop Bolivia’s economy and protect its environmental future continues. Mary Stucky reports.


May 15th, 2012  |  By Mary Stucky

Former Round Earth Media Intern on Argentina’s “Stubborn Past” in Foreign Policy Magazine

Alex Gibson worked as an intern at Round Earth Media a few summers ago and then struck out for Argentina where he ended up riveted to the proceedings in a courtroom.  Alex takes it from there: Today, 35 years after the fall of the most brutal dictatorship in the country’s history, Argentina is still grappling with the legacy of violence it left behind. In the provincial Argentine university city of Bahía Blanca, 17 former soldiers and police officers are standing trial on more than a hundred counts of murder, kidnapping, and torture. But the proceedings have much broader implications than a conventional criminal case.

Read The Stubborn Past: Thirty-five years after the “Dirty War,” a trial in Argentina is still struggling to shed light on a bloody legacy in Foreign Policy Magazine.  It’s splendid reporting from an early-career journalist.  Alex, we’re proud to know you!

January 16th, 2010  |  By Mary Stucky

Introducing Paulina and Nancy

Nancy PicTwo Next Generation journalists Paulina Yanez Navarro and Nancy Huynh , will be in Mexico with Mary Stucky this month reporting for The World, the World Vision Report and other outlets, part of Round Earth’s project to mentor and help train the next generation of global journalists.

Paulina is from Santiago, Chile and Nancy (left) is from St Paul, Minnesota. Both are students in Hamline University’s groundbreaking international journalism program.


December 7th, 2009  |  By Mary Stucky

Bolivia’s First Indigenous Prez Headed to Re-election

Not long ago, Bolivia appeared headed toward civil war. But in the elections just being counted, Evo Morales has achieved a lopsided victory with his opposition in disarray according to AP reports. Why?


November 5th, 2009  |  By Mary Stucky

Hope for Panama Hat Weavers in Ecuador

The finest hats are woven of straw that is so thin and fine it looks like linen. | Photo: Andi McDaniel

The finest hats are woven of straw that is so thin and fine it looks like linen. | Photo by Andi McDaniel

Some of the finest straw hats in the world come from Ecuador. The best sell for hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Most of that money goes to the dealers and retail stores — the weavers themselves don’t earn enough to live on. But a retired U.S. advertising executive says he has a plan to create more demand for the hats and pay the best weavers a decent wage. Mary Stucky reports from the central coast of Ecuador.


November 5th, 2009  |  By Round Earth Media

Mining in Potosi


Miner Serafin Sallama Copa | All photos by Kate McDonald

Last year, mining companies in Bolivia doubled their profits, thanks to soaring price of minerals. Despite that, Bolivia is the poorest country in South America. That’s because most miners don’t work for big mining companies. In Bolivia, miners usually form themselves into what they call cooperatives and pick through what’s left after the big mining companies pull out. There is virtually no government oversight of this industry and miners work under appalling conditions that have hardly changed in 500 years. 50 thousand mostly men toil in the mines of Bolivia. This is the story of one of them.


November 4th, 2009  |  By Mary Losure

Peru Travel: Machu Picchu

At Machu Picchu, visitors can wander at will along stair-step stone terraces clinging to the mountainside.  |  Photo: Don Losure

At Machu Picchu, visitors can wander at will along stair-step stone terraces clinging to the mountainside. | Photo by Don Losure

It’s one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, according to a global contest. Want to see it? It’s not hard. These days, the “lost city of the Incas” lies on the end of a well-traveled tourist trail.

Of course, if you’re hardy and intrepid, you can hike through the jungle for days, get up at 4 a.m. and see Machu Picchu as the sun rises over the stone city.

But don’t let anybody tell you that’s the only way worth doing it.


August 24th, 2008  |  By Mary Losure

Reporters Notebook: Straw Hat Ladies in Bolivia


Juana Chambi Mejia lives in Cochabamba, Bolivia | Photo by Mary Stucky

Tourist brochures of Bolivia show women in bright traditional dress, often with the jaunty bowler hats worn in some regions of the country. Mary Losure recently returned from the city of Cochabamba in central Bolivia, and offers these thoughts about indigenous women’s fashions there, and the hard choices they represent.


May 6th, 2008  |  By Round Earth Media

Bolivia Protects Potato Diversity

Papa Lisa in the market in Cochabamba, Bolivia

Papa Lisa in the market in Cochabamba, Bolivia | All photos by Don Losure

By Mary Stucky

Nowhere is the lowly potato more revered than in the Andes of South America. This is where potatoes originated. In just two countries — Peru and Bolivia — there some 10,000 different varieties of potatoes, in colors ranging from green to black to pink. Each has a unique taste and culinary purpose.


November 30th, 2007  |  By Mary Losure

Ecuador Rainforest Travel

The Bataburo lodge is situated in the Ecuadorian rainforest.  |  Photo by Don Losure

The Bataburo lodge is situated in the Ecuadorian rainforest. | Photo by Don Losure

By Mary Losure

“There!” Our guide, Cirilo Tapui, points with his machete. “A gigantic woodpecker.”

I follow his gaze. Gigantic is right.

A ray of sun backlights the bird’s brilliant red crest as it pounds its huge beak on a dead tree — THWOK! THWOK! THWOK! Here in the Ecuadorian Amazon, immense and flashy birds like this still thrive, along with monkeys, tapirs, caimans and even, here and there, a jaguar.

And it’s possible, with a reasonable amount of trouble and expense, to see this rain forest wilderness firsthand. It’s not always easy or comfortable, but if you like nature (in rather large doses), it’s worth everything it takes to get there, and then some.


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