Category: Editor’s Letter

Garbage: Editor’s Letter

Religion is a topic that’s been on my ReVista theme list for a very long time.  It’s constantly made its way into other issues from Fiestas to Memory and Democracy to Natural Disasters. Religion permeates Latin America…

Religion and Spirituality: Editor’s Letter

Religion is a topic that’s been on my ReVista theme list for a very long time.  It’s constantly made its way into other issues from Fiestas to Memory and Democracy to Natural Disasters. Religion permeates Latin America…

Chocolate: Editor’s Letter

Is it a confession if someone confesses twice to the same thing?  Yes, dear readers, here it comes. I hate chocolate. For years, Visiting Scholars, returning students, loving friends have been bringing me chocolate from Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru…

Amazon: Editor’s Letter

The Amazon is burning. The trees that have not been cut down are on fire. The crisis is now. When I began to work on this issue on the Amazon, that was pretty much my vision, and it was a real one. I was determined to make the magazine on the Amazon about…

Bilingualism: Editor’s Letter

It was snowing heavily in New York. It didn’t matter much to me. I was in sunny Santo Domingo with my New York Dominican neighbors on the Christmas break from school. I learned Spanish from them and also at the local bodega, where the shop owner insisted I ask…

Aging: Editor’s Letter

There is no smell of pungent printers ink permeating my office. My interns—Sylvie, Isaac and Marc—are not scrambling to find FedEx boxes to send out ReVista issues to authors and photographers all over the world. I cannot feel the silken touch of the printed page…

Nicaragua: Editor’s Letter

Someone called out my name in the crowded lobby of Managua’s InterContinental Hotel. I screamed. There was Henry, the young Christian activist from Colombia who left to fight the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza. Four different people had told me Henry, now known by his…

Latin America and Asia: Editor’s Letter

I stumbled into China when I was eleven or twelve. O-lan led me. I was intrigued by her quiet strength, her small stature and big unbound feet. A voracious reader, I couldn’t put Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth down. I had never heard tales like the ones she told of this silently…

Climate Change: Editor’s Letter

My colleague burst into my office, declaring, “Do you know climate change is going to wipe out chocolate?” Somewhere between joking and broken-hearted, she added…

Afro-Latin Americans: Editor’s Letter

My dear friend and photographer Richard Cross (R.I.P.) introduced me to the unexpected world of San Basilio de Palenque in Colombia in 1977. He was then working closely with Colombian anthropologist Nina de Friedemann, and I’d been called upon by Sports Illustrated to…

Telenovelas: Editor’s Letter

As I think back on our conversation, I hear myself babbling about telenovelas. First it was reminiscing about how Sandinista Nicaragua had come to a total standstill every night during La Esclava Isaura (the Slave Isaura). And then about how the telenovela Cafe con Aroma de…

Beauty: Editor’s Letter

Is it a confession if someone confesses twice to the same thing?  Yes, dear readers, here it comes. I hate chocolate. For years, Visiting Scholars, returning students, loving friends have been bringing me chocolate from Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru…

Displacements: Editor’s Letter

The sweet pure tones of a violin emanated through my grade school auditorium. Ten-year- old Florika, a refugee after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, was turning the warmth of once- living wood into a powerful source of communication. Florika spoke no English…

The Biology of Culture: Editor’s Letter

I’m about to go out to lunch with some friends from Washington (yes, the Venezuelan  place again). I just know they will ask me what the next issue of ReVista is. My friends and colleagues are used to hearing about offbeat themes: garbage, sports, the Internet, the sky above…

Music: Editor’s Letter

When I was nine or ten, I learned to pick out two songs on the piano. One was “Jingle Bells.” The other was “Que Sera Sera.” My mother hummed that song a lot, and I always associated it with the tales of tropical breezes…

El Salvador: Editor’s Letter

I had forgotten how beautiful El Salvador is. The fragrance of ripening rose apples mixed with the tropical breeze. A mockingbird sang off in the distance. Flowers were everywhere: roses, orchids, sunflowers, bougainvillea and the creamy white izote flower…

Energy: Editor’s Letter

I was waiting for the ship to come in. In fact, so was everyone else in Nicaragua. Gas lines stretched around the block. The supermarket shelves were nearly bare. Lights went out again and again, plunging the country into frequent darkness…

Territory Guarani: Editor’s Letter

DRCLAS receptions are bustling affairs, sparkling with ample liquor, Latin American tidbits and compelling conversations. It was at one of these receptions that Jorge Silvetti and Graciela Silvestri first approached me casually regarding an issue about the Guarani…

Peru: Editor’s Letter

I’m long past the point of being a tourist in Peru, although I’ve never lived there. I first arrived by bus in 1977 on an Inter American Press Association fellowship and I’ve been going back ever since. I’ve explored its cities, mountains, jungles, lakes and beaches…

Fiestas: Editor’s Letter

At the Oruro Carnival, a few hours from La Paz, the heavy-set blue-skirted women swirl past me in a dizzying burst of color and enviable grace. The trumpeters, some with exotically dyed hair, blare not too far behind. I remember that as a young man President Evo Morales had been a trumpeter in this very carnival.

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