Mayas, the flight through time

December 19, 2012
A new documentary shows how a 3,500-year-old culture remains vibrant in Mesoamerica When the Mayan people abandoned their cities of gleaming limestone in the 9th century AD, they took with them something far more enduring than monuments: They took their culture.  Over the centuries, as the forest reclaimed these vast temple complexes, the descendents of this great civilization continued to speak their ancestral languages, find meaning in the same cosmology, and even eat the same foods. 

Happiness and violence in Argentina: crime victims tend to favor more lenient measures

February 15, 2010
Are you happy? Did you smile yesterday? Increasingly economists are putting emotional questions like these at the heart of their studies in an attempt to uncover the links between happiness, human behavior, beliefs and policies.  Though crime has received relatively little attention in happiness research, a new study by the Inter-American Development Bank provides surprising insights: Victims of crime are no less happy than others.

Latin America and the Caribbean see slower growth in next four years

March 19, 2009
Latin American and Caribbean leaders expect per capita income to fall or grow moderately in the 2009–2012  period and governments to rely more on financing from international institutions, according to a survey by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The expectations contrast sharply with the recent economic performance in the region, where product per capita grew 4.1 percent annually in the past five years.

The IDB, a partner of Colombia in development

March 17, 2009
Since the mid-1990s the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has been the leading source of multilateral financing for Colombia. Over the last 50 years, the IDB has approved more than US$14.8 billion in loans and non-refundable technical cooperation projects for Colombia. Throughout its history, the IDB has supported the Colombian government and private sector in key development areas such as infrastructure, state modernization and reform, small and medium enterprise, agriculture, energy, climate change and environmental protection.

Venture capital for low-income markets

February 26, 2009
Investing in housing, healthcare, education, basic utilities and nutrition can not only fulfill a social mission, but it can also be a profitable business venture. This is the concept of IGNIA Fund, which will channel venture capital resources to fund commercially viable growth companies serving the “base of the pyramid,” those persons in Latin America and the Caribbean earning less than $3,260 a year. The IGNIA Fund selects projects with the potential to be expanded on a larger scale, thereby increasing the social and economic impact.

Women on the challenges of being a scientist in Latin America and the Caribbean

January 16, 2007
Regardless of whether you’re a woman or a man, it’s not easy being a scientist in Latin America or the Caribbean (LAC).  Like anywhere else in the world, from the time one starts university it takes ten years of research and hard work just to earn a PhD in LAC, followed by several years working in postdoctoral fellowship positions.

Leveling the retirement age for men and women

November 20, 2006
Latin American and Caribbean women could probably get a 30% higher payout if their retirement age were changed to equal men’s retirement age, noted specialist Truman Packard of the World Bank during a recent presentation at IDB headquarters. His new analysis sheds a bit more light on the differences between men’s and women’s participation in Latin American pension systems.

Reaching the Majority: Promising Steps, Future Actions

March 06, 2006
Social programs have at worst downplayed the interactions between program requirements and rates of underdocumentation, or at best fashioned awkward solutions to get around these problems (such as inventing a new identification code for each family in each project). However, there are some promising trends in the region as private, public and international entities take steps to reach those who have been invisible to the system.

Latinos from the Far East

March 01, 2006
By Charo QuesadaWhen Mexicans or Panamanians say they are “going to the Chino for groceries” they are not talking about some Chinese individual that happened to open a business around the corner from where they live. In their countries, the Chinese store has become an institution with a long tradition, providing a large and convenient selection of basic products, at low cost and with convenient business hours.

Without accessibility many opportunities get lost

October 21, 2005
More than 10% of the Latin American population suffers some type of disability. This situation requires the creation of public and private spaces and facilities that are accessible to all. A group of IDB experts in public transportation, urban development and social development recently devised operational guidelines on accessibility in urban development projects with universal design principles. They focus on creating access to public environments for all persons, independent of their physical and sensory characteristics.