Saint Anthony of Padua
Cities and countries around the world celebrate St. Anthony’s Day, from Lisbon, Portugal to Wilmington, Delaware, not to mention cities in Brazil, Mexico, Italy, and even India!
The Brazilians get the jump on the celebrations by commemorating June 12, the day before his feast, as Día dos Namorados, or Day of the Lovers, a Brazilian Valentine’s Day, in honor of the matchmaker saint.
St. Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal in …Read more
“…as many people will die in Argentina as is necessary to restore order.”
– Jorge Rafael Videla, October 1975
The film opens in the 1990′s with a teenage girl being called to the school office; there, Christina is essentially kidnapped by the government, taken away from her parents without even a phone call home, and forced to live with total strangers. Cautiva is a real-life horror story, where at …Read more
Today is the annual Alasitas festival in Bolivia’s capital city of La Paz.
Alasitas isn’t a Spanish word but an Aymara one. It means something akin to “Buy me.” And if you thought El Norte held a monopoly on consumerism, don’t put your money on it.
Alasitas is all about prosperity in the coming year. People buy miniatures of whatever it is they hope to achieve. Actually it’s better luck if someone else …Read more
Today is the Foundation Day of Peru’s capital city. Francisco Pizarro founded Lima on January 18, 1535 as La Ciudad de los Reyes (City of Kings). Pizarro has been at various times the most reviled, revered, and again reviled figure in South American history.
Pizarro was a Spanish soldier in Panama who earned his stripes by bringing his former commander, pig-farmer-turned-Conquistador Vasco Nunez de Balboa, to Balboa’s rival, Governor Dávila. Dávila tried Balboa and his …Read more
It began with a two-foot tall sculpture. Headless at that.
Three fishermen were casting their nets in the Paraiba River in Brazil. The year was 1717. Their nets were turning up empty until one of the fishermen pulled up a dark brown headless statue of a woman. Intrigued the fisherman cast his net again and pulled up the head. After finding the statue the men’s net grew heavy with fish. They called the idol Nossa …Read more
On this day in 1492 two worlds collided.
Mexican philosopher Jose Vasconcelos coined the term La Raza Cósmica, the Cosmic Race (for lack of a better word), to describe the people of Latin America, and what he considered the future of the human race. Vasconcelos theorized that:
“the different races of the world tend to mix ever more, until forming a new human type, composed of the selection of each of the existent peoples…”
…and that the …Read more
Live with honor or die with glory.
– Bernardo O’Higgins
Bernardo O’Higgins is known as the liberator and national hero of Chile, but he had humble beginnings.
He was the illegitimate son of an Irish engineer and a young Chilean socialite. His father Ambrosio, had been a servant boy in Ireland. Ambrosio emigrated to Spain as a young man, then to Spain’s colonies in the Americas. He settled in …Read more