Río San Juan near El Castillo. Photo © Elizabeth Perkins.

Río San Juan: Whose River Is It?

Nicaragua has long disputed Costa Rica’s territorial rights to free use of the Río San Juan, while Costa Rica disputes Nicaragua’s claim that the river is entirely Nicaraguan territory. Despite both countries accepting a ruling by the International Court of Justice in 2009, the conflict continues.

The Casa Armstrong Poventud was built in Ponce in 1899. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

The History of Ponce, Puerto Rico

Ponce’s rich cultural life gave birth in the mid-1800s to a unique form of romantic classical music called danza, and from there the good times kept rolling. By the turn of the 20th century, the tides began to turn for Ponce, leading to struggles that continue to today; lately, things are looking up. Learn about Ponce’s truly colorful history and the city’s revitalization.

A worker walks down a row in a Nicaraguan bean field.

The Economy of Nicaragua

Two successive governments have had to jump-start the Nicaraguan economy from a standstill, but despite their significant efforts, it remains the second poorest nation in the Western hemisphere. Learn about the problems the country still faces, from unemployment to massive debt, and continuing efforts to relieve them.

Author Michael Sommers. Photo © Michael Sommers.

Moon Brazil 4th Edition and Ch… Ch… Ch… Changes

When I was asked to contribute an article to accompany the recently launched 4th edition of Moon Brazil, my editor suggested an update of sorts to a piece I published four years ago upon the release of the 3rd edition. As I reread the former post, the refrain of Changes, David Bowie’s existential hit of 1971, popped up and began unspooling in my mind.

Carved in white stone, a male and female figure are seated opposite a bird with its wings upraised.

The Three-Day Best of Sacramento

Sacramento is an easy destination to visit in a long weekend. In this three-day itinerary, Christopher Arns points you toward all the must-see attractions. Get ready to immerse yourself in the capital’s exciting mix of history and political theater!

California State Capitol Building. Photo © John Painting/123rf.

Sacramento’s People Power: A Day in California’s State Capital

Pop into your state representative’s office inside the Capitol or start a rally outside on the steps. Get inspired by wandering through one of Sacramento’s most fascinating museums. Retrace a famous protest march. Author Christopher Arns proves that no matter how you experience Sacramento, California’s beating political heart, the result is more than memorable.

The Brazilian flag on a white background.

Obamas Take to the Campaign Trail in Brazil

With impressively loose restrictions on the names that can be placed on ballots, Brazilians are faced with no less than 5 Batmans and 16 Obamas running for office in the country’s upcoming municipal elections, the first round of which takes place on October 7.

View down into Guanabara Bay with the round peak of Sugarloaf Mountain rising from the peninsula.

Flying Down to Rio with the Obamas

Shortly after Obama was sworn in as president, polls showed that Brazilians’ “good opinion” of the U.S. had shot up to 73 percent. Brazilians – an estimated 45 percent of whom can claim some African descent – celebrated the victory of the “black candidate” as if Carnaval had suddenly been proclaimed in November.