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By Leah Hutton Blumenfeld

Introduction

Writing a historiography of labor in Colombia is not a simple task. The variety of topics and time periods that have been covered in the literature reveal that it is underdeveloped, since there are not a significant number on any one era or area in particular. Generally speaking, as one searches for sources on Colombia, one finds hundreds of articles and books on drugs and violence. This may be part of the explanation for the unevenness of sources on labor, and can be considered a reason to explore other aspects of Colombian history so as not to pigeonhole it any more than it already has been. A reorientation in the approach to Colombian history may, in fact, help illuminate the proclivity towards drugs and violence in Colombian history in a different and possibly clearer fashion.      

By Pilar Espitia 

Hacia finales del siglo XVI y desde una mirada deseante del imperio español, Lima, o la Ciudad de los Reyes, era lo que podríamos considerar un modelo de la perfección católica. De acuerdo con la ideología promovida por la colonia, Lima era un jardín de virtudes donde se exhalaba el olor de santidad. A diferencia del virreinato de Nueva España, Lima se convirtió en una “máquina de santos”, [i] a la vez que en las afueras de la ciudad, se comenzaba una ardua campaña de extirpación de idolatrías. Sin embargo, el panorama era mucho más complejo y, en realidad, el virreinato del Perú, y Lima en particular, eran espacios multiétnicos y multiculturales.

By Emanuel Pietrobon

Trinidad and Tobago is an insular state of Caribbean America, a nation that, along with Suriname and Guyana, possesses a historical tradition of religious pluralism that includes a substantial Islamic community. A 2011 census of the population describes a multi-faith panorama composed of Catholics (21.6%), Hindus (18.2%), Pentecostals (12.0%), Anglicans (5.7%), Baptists (5.7), Muslims (5%), and a number of other faith groups.

Congratulations to the winners of the first annual Open Americas photography contest! We received high-quality submissions from across the hemisphere, making it difficult to select winners.

Images were judged for their ability to capture the richness of the diverse landscapes and environments of the Americas. The beautiful photos below were taken in Mexico, Brazil, the U.S., Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.

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By Laura Schroeder

The video begins with slow, dramatic music.

The words “Grupo Jaremar” flash against a concrete wall, followed by shots of factory equipment and signage surrounded by lush foliage and zooming cars.

A deep male voice announces in Spanish that Grupo Jaremar, a Central American palm oil conglomerate, delivers high-quality products with the customer in mind.

Then, the stories start.

A company executive announces through a megaphone, “We don’t want to be the biggest business in the world. We want to be the biggest business for the world.” A young woman in front of a freshly painted building — electric blue — beams, telling viewers that she has a new house because of Grupo Jaremar.

“Thanks to Jaremar I graduated, and now I work at this great business,” a hard hat-clad worker explains.

The film cuts to a shot of a woman in a hairnet kneading dough and flipping tortillas, who says, “Now we have stable work. We’re the owners of our own business, and we’ve been working for two years. We’ve sustained ourselves thanks to Grupo Jaremar’s donation.”

From providing affordable medical care to fighting hunger to investing in microenterprises, the business’ social responsibility claims are constructed as rapidly as the electric blue house in the video. This, however, is not the whole story.

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Open Americas is accepting submissions for its First Annual Photo Contest, beginning Monday, June 18th at 12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and ending Monday, July 9 at 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. By submitting an official entry, each participant agrees to the rules below and states that he or she is at least 18 years old.