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Social Development

In Central America, the youth take action against a future of violence

Jessica Gallegos's picture
Also available in: Español

"I became tired of loosing my friends to violent acts involving firearms, and seeing how the young the potential of my generation is lost in prisons and cemeteries." These are the words of Angel Bolivar Araya Castillo, the Coordinator of Youth Against Violence (YAV) Movement in Costa Rica. I had the privilege of meeting Angel this spring when he and six youth representatives from the YAV movement came to the World Bank to talk about the importance of youth participation in violence prevention.

A new path away from violence: the story of Raul

Jessica Gallegos's picture
Also available in: Español

Raul is short, skinny and has an enormous smile. Looking at him, it was hard to believe that this fifteen-year-old had long been feared in his community as a gang leader and had been the author of horrible crimes in Colonia Santa Marta in El Salvador.

Building pro-growth coalition for reforms: The Caribbean Growth Forum

Andrea Gallina's picture

Nighttime in St George's, Grenada

What does it take to make reforms work in small island countries?

At the end of June 2013, twelve Caribbean countries presented a roadmap for growth in three areas -logistics and connectivity, investment climate, skills and productivity- to a broad audience of private sector representatives, international development institutions, regional organization, civil society and media. That event culminated a 7-month long phase during which policy-making was not the result of close-doors meetings, but a process of intense negotiation, consultations, and consensus building among all actors of each Caribbean country’s societies. All of which was documented in real time and in a transparent fashion by each government. Yes, business was not “business as usual”.
Reforms priorities were agreed and a calendar for implementation brushed on a power point slide in the wonderful framework of five stars Bahamian hotel…After the workshop lights, projects and microphones shut down, many of us went home with a familiar sound in our ears: and now what? Was it another “talkshop”?

Prisons as places of inclusion

Sergi Perez's picture
Also available in: Español

Fotografía de la cárcel de Quencoro, en Cusco, Perú.

Visiting a prison does not leave you feeling indifferent. After exhaustive security checks, you find yourself amid a sea of personal stories – many of them tragic – and the statistics begin to take on a human face. Life in prison is much more difficult than we imagine: discipline, strict schedules, cells shared with up to 20 strangers and views of the horizon that end with a security fence.

Confirming the dreadful situation of most Latin American prisons is nothing new. Overcrowding and the lack of health strategies are, along with corruption and the absence of effective reinsertion plans, some of the challenges faced by authorities across the region.

Jamaica + Animation: A match made in heaven

Mary Stokes's picture
At university in the US, animation graduate Kira Clayton was always asked what career opportunities she would have when she returned to her native Jamaica.
Now, after a a week’s intensive animation workshop from the best in the business, she is on the best path to a career and is looking forward to a summer program scholarship at Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada.
Animation & Jamaica: A match made in heaven

The Americas look for a 360-degree approach to drugs

Sergio Jellinek's picture
Also available in: Español

Antigua may mean old in Spanish, but what has been accomplished here looks quite modern.

In this colonial city, a living example of Guatemala’s Mayan heritage, surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, foreign ministers from across the Americas have achieved what appeared if not impossible, very difficult: to create a space for inter-American dialogue to build a new continent-wide strategy in the fight against drug trafficking.

Brazil's dream goal for 2014

Mariana Ceratti's picture
Also available in: Portuguese | Español
Tamires Rodrigues, a Brazilian student, has some things in common with some of the world’s best strikers: she has, for example, a clear target and knows exactly how to send the ball straight into the goal.

Just as Tamires, Brazil wishes to score a dream goal – and it has got nothing to do with the upcoming World Cup. The country seeks to enroll 1 million people in the National Programme for Vocational Education and Employment (Pronatec, its acronym in Portuguese) until the end of 2014.

Is organic food more expensive to produce? Fact or fiction

Mary L. González's picture
Also available in: Español

My work with small-hold cocoa farmers in Nicaragua has taught me that it is not true that organic production is more expensive, complicated to learn and unsustainable.
The Sustainable Agroforestry Cocoa Production Project (COCOA-RAAN) was implemented within the Autonomous Region of the North Atlantic, the largest in Nicaragua, with a budget of just US$ 1.9 million.  

Colombia: the cup of coffee that changed the life of a whole community

Willem Janssen's picture

También disponible en español

Last Friday was International Women’s Day, but before adding to the general celebratory messages in cyberspace, I would like to tell you about a specific case that truly deserves to be celebrated.

If you are reading this blog while drinking coffee or after a coffee break, this story has to do with you.

Haïti: cinq voeux pour 2013

Hasan Tuluy's picture

Also available in English and Spanish

Trois ans après le tremblement de terre, Haïti a progressé dans des domaines de développement clés, y compris l'éducation, l'économie et la gestion des risques liés aux catastrophes naturelles. Dans ce video blog, le vice-président régional Hasan Tuluy partage ses cinq voeux principaux pour Haïti en 2013.