Editor's Letter

Editor's Letter: Beauty and Bullets

By June Carolyn Erlick

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—all against the hovering presence of the majestic San Salvador volcano.

I had forgotten how hospitable Salvadorans are. On my most recent trip in November 2015, the lapping of the ocean and the sea breeze at La Libertad an hour from the capital...

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Editor's Letter: Energy

By June Carolyn Erlick

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. Telex machines couldn’t work, and we reporters had to depend on the few places with generators to file our stories (for younger readers, this was pre-computer and smart phones). U.S. President Ronald Reagan had imposed a trade blockade on Nicaragua in May 1985. The Soviets were sending oil, dodging the...

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Editor's Letter: Territory Guarani

By June Carolyn Erlick 

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.

Reception over, I tried to conjure up everything I knew about the subject. Not much. In ReVista’s Fall 2011 issue on Bolivia, Marcia Mandepora, the rector of the UNIBOL-Guarani “Apiaguaiki Tüpa” in Machareti, had written an...

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Editor's Letter: Beyond Waste

By June Carolyn Erlick 

Everyone in Bogotá was talking trash that Christmas season. Pure garbage.  

The streets—at least most of them—had just been cleared of the bags and bags of trash that had lingered on the sidewalks for days, but the smells lingered in the air. My friend Adriana whipped out her Smartphone to show me what the city had looked like a couple of days before. “He ought to be thrown out,” she snarled, referring to Bogotá’s Mayor Gustavo Petro, who had sparked the garbage fiasco by switching garbage collection from a private to a...

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Editor's Letter: Transformations

By June Carolyn Erlick 

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, been invited to countless hospitable homes, been robbed twice, enjoyed its ceviche and pinchos and, of course, its pisco. I’ve bought way too many handicrafts—the cornucopia of carved gourds, alpaca sweaters, intricate woodcarvings and a host of other...

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Editor's Letter: Food in the Americas

By June Carolyn Erlick

As a correspondent in Latin America for 14 years, I covered revolutions, elections, hurricanes, and a wide variety of other events. Yet, the single story that produced the most reaction was an op-ed feature for the Wall Street Journal describing how I learned to cook amidst the scarcity of Sandinista Nicaragua. Somehow the travails of bartering canned goods for live ducks and innovating sauces from abundant mangos managed to bring Nicaragua's daily realities home to a public tired about reading about war. Yet, many of my readers observed...

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Editor's Letter: Art in the Americas

By June Carolyn Erlick

This editor's letter is not an editor's letter. And even though what you are reading is online under the name ReVista, the Harvard Review of Latin America, it's really DRCLASNEWS, the predecessor to ReVista.

My editor's letters started formally in September 2001 when DRCLASNEWS officially changed its name. The publication started in 1997 as a 16-page themed newsletter and grew into a three-times a year magazine on Latin America long before the official name change. ...

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Editor's Letter: Reflecting on Organized Crime

By June Carolyn Erlick

The couple had fled their Salvadoran homeland to North Carolina during the brutal war of the 1980s. They learned English, worked hard, started a successful business and became U.S. citizens. They sent money back home monthly, although not much of late because of the recession. Their Salvadoran relatives had also created a thriving grocery store in their medium-sized city. But now these relatives were desperate to come to the United...

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Editor's Letter

By June Carolyn Erlick   

You are holding in your hands the first issue of ReVista, formerly known as DRCLAS NEWS.

Over the last couple of years, DRCLAS NEWS has examined different Latin American themes in depth. Topics have included art, women, immigration, Latin@s, food, health, Cuba, social policy, the Internet, environment, education, and economy. And increasingly, readers had been asking, “How can you call something with such substance a newsletter? And how do you pronounce that name...

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Editor's Letter

By June Carolyn Erlick

Ellen Schneider's description of Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega in her provocative article on Nicaraguan democracy sent me scurrying to my oversized scrapbooks of newspaper articles. I wanted to show her that rather than being perceived as a caudillo—the traditional Latin American populist strongman—Ortega had been seen as the moderate representative of the terceristas, a softspoken poet-guerrilla known for his jailhouse poem, "I Never Saw Managua When Miniskirts Were in Fashion."

Leafing through the yellowed clippings, I...

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Editor's Letter: The Environment in Latin America

By June Carolyn Erlick

This editor's letter is not an editor's letter. And even though what you are reading is online under the name ReVista, the Harvard Review of Latin America, it's really DRCLASNEWS, the predecessor to ReVista.

My editor's letters started formally in September 2001 when DRCLASNEWS officially changed its name. The publication started in 1997 as a 16-page themed newsletter and grew into a three-times a year magazine on Latin America long before the official name change.

...

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Editor's Letter: On Social Justice

By June Carolyn Erlick  

This editor's letter is not an editor's letter. And even though what you are reading is online under the name ReVista, the Harvard Review of Latin America, it's really DRCLASNEWS, the predecessor to ReVista.

My editor's letters started formally in September 2001 when DRCLASNEWS officially changed its name. The publication started in 1997 as a 16-page themed...

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Editor's Letter: Women in Latin America

By June Carolyn Erlick

This editor's letter is not an editor's letter. And even though what you are reading is online under the name ReVista, the Harvard Review of Latin America, it's really DRCLASNEWS, the predecessor to ReVista.

My editor's letters started formally in September 2001 when DRCLASNEWS officially changed its name. The publication started in 1997 as a 16-page themed newsletter and grew into a three-times a year magazine on Latin America long before the official name change.

For...

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Editor's Letter

By June Carolyn Erlick

As tourists to Mexico, we were watching the fuzzy black-and-white television image of Neil Armstrong when he became the first man to set foot on the moon July 20, 1969. My then-boyfriend Jim and I were sitting in a somewhat seedy workers’ bar in Mexico City, lamenting the fact that the U.S. government could better be spending the money on schools. Jim was even considering moving to Mexico; the specter of the U.S. war in Vietnam and the draft hung over both of us. But suddenly, practically the entire bar was hugging us, congratulating us,...

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