2018 Resolution - South America - Part 2

Ecuador: Ecuador’s current president, Lenin Moreno, is the only current serving global leader to be confined to a wheelchair. He was shot in 1998 during a robbery, and has been unable to walk since. As someone with direct, intimate experience with disabilities, Moreno has been a powerful advocate for disabled people both at home and abroad. 

 

 Guyana: Nearly half of Guyana’s population is descended from British-Indian (East Indians to those who speak Colonial-racist) laborers imported to the country during its time as a British subject. 

 

 Paraguay: Despite a high poverty rate, functionally all citizens of Paraguay have access to electricity. This is thanks to the Itaipú Dam, whose output is sufficient to supply the nation as well as support the sale of electricity to neighboring countries. 

 

Peru: There are around 2700 videos of disgraced Peruvian official Vladimiro Montesinos participating in and planning various acts of corruption and bribery. Since it first aired in 2001, most of this footage has also been posted on the internet. YouTube, even. 

2018 Resolution - North America - Part 4

Alright, let's wrap up North America

St. Lucia: St. Lucia is home to the Kouwes Snake, the world's rarest snake. Originally quite prolific, the Kouwes Snake was driven to the edge of extinction when a British officer imported several Mongooses to the island in the 1800. The Mongooses were supposed to bring down the population of Norwegian rats, but also decimated the Kouwes Snake population.

St Vincent / Grenadines: In 1635, a Dutch ship sank off the coast of St. Vincent, and the slaves on board the ship escaped. Coming ashore, the displaced Africans integrated with the local population.

Trinidad / Tobago: Trinidad is spotted by natural phenomena called "mud volcanoes". A mud volcano is caused by the buildup of sediment and methane gas underground, which erupts in a torrent of mud, rather than lava.

United States: Most people are familiar with the so called "Gold Rush" of the 1800s that increased westward expansion of the United States. Far fewer are familiar with the "Uranium Rush". In the 1950s, there was a mass movement of people to the mineral rich deposits of the Rocky Mountains. This time, the search was not for Gold, but for Uranium. The US government offered a significant bounty for the discovery of Uranium deposits as the world entered the Atomic Age.

2018 Resolution - North America - Part 3

Here we are, Part 3! What a fascinating world we live in. Mexico's entry is two sentences long, but takes up most of the page. Read it, and you'll see the use of space is worth it.

Jamaica: In 1978, amid violent internal political struggles, musician Bob Marley convinced opposing political faction leaders Michael Manley and Edward Seaga to hold hands in a gesture of unity at his 'One Love' Concert.

Mexico: Throughout his career, Santa Anna (whose full name is about a paragraph long), in this order, fought against and for Mexican independance, overthrew the victorious independance movement leadership, fought off the Spanish attempt to reclaim Mexico, became President of Mexico, led a coup against his own presidency, fought a war with the rebelling Republic of Texas (with mixed results), declared himself the "Napoleon-of-the-West" when captured, was exiled from Mexico after signing a peace treaty with the US, came back and violently crushed another rebellion for the Mexican government, was exiled again for how violent that was, came back again to fight off a French invasion (which led to him losing a leg, which he put on public display because he was proud of that), was elected president of Mexico again after that, was voted out of the presidency just as quickly, was exiled again, asked US president Polk to be made a liason to Mexico to prevent a war, then took command of Mexico's military and started a war with the US, lost that war (and his prosthetic leg, on display in the US in a museum now), was exiled for losing, came back from Jamaica to be president of Mexico yet again, was exiled for selling New Mexico and Arizona to the US, and nearly negotiated a deal with the US and France that would have put him in charge of Mexico again. Oh, and he helped invent chewing gum.

Times Santa Anna was exiled from Mexico: 5

Nicaragua: In Nicaragua, it is considered bad taste to pour a glass of hard liquor straight from a shared bottle. Instead, one should use a shotglass to measure their portion out.

Panama: Roughly 10% of the workforce assigned to construct the Panama Canal died on the job.

Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis: Apparently, men of this small Carribbean nation tend to be on the aggressive and assertive side when it comes to courting women. This often comes across as sexual harassment to outsiders. In truth, women of the Federation tend to be equally as assertive, and it is not considered improper for a women to candidly and personally berate a man for overstepping his boundaries.

2018 Resolution - North America - Part II

Here's Part 2. I'm finding that when looking up facts about these nations, I'm learning a lot more than one thing. It's getting hard to choose which one to share, sometimes.

Dominica: At the time of writing, Dominica's Prime Minister for the last 14 years has been the Rastafarian and excellently named Roosevelt Skerrit.

Dominican Republic: In 2012, Danilo Medina won the Dominican Republic presidency on an anti-corruption platform. So far, he has remained true to his word, and has helped build and maintain positive social reform and anti-corruption measures in his country.

El Salvidor: El Salvidor's electricity needs have been well handled by a series of hydroelectric installations since the 1950's. The plants are located on the Lempa River.

Grenada: Grenada's government has instituted robust conservation policies that help keep their forest and coral reefs some of the more stunning attractions of the Caribbean.

Guatemala: Insufficient law enforcement in Guatemala has led to the rise of numerous vigilante groups. As with many cases of vigilantism, the impact of these groups can run the risk of being worse than the crime they wish to combat.

Haiti: In 1791, Saint-Domingue's colonial rule was completely overthrown by a slave uprising. This was, by a very large margin, the most successful slave uprising in history. In place of the colony, the nation of Haiti was established.

Honduras: The waters off the coast of Honduras are a home for the rare and majestic Whale Shark. Whale Sharks are shy, fleeting creatures despite their massive size. They are curious, however, and will swim near divers and boats when an opportunity presents itself.