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. 

Civic culture is key to reduce violence, study finds

May 30, 2012
IDB-sponsored study explores how changes in civic culture are needed to achieve long-term success in mitigating violence Any successful strategy to prevent violence should include measures to recognize and change behaviors prompted by beliefs, emotions and cultural factors, according to a new study sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Indigenous communities in Central America use traditions to protect biodiversity

May 21, 2010
Not long ago, José López Hernández, a member of the Oxlajuj No'j tribe, would readily take his axe to chop down trees in the town of Santa María de Jesús in the heart of Guatemala.

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.

Acting smart when income grows

March 27, 2008
The expansive economic cycle in Latin America rests largely on the rise of key commodity prices, but experience suggests caution in thriving years.

Virtuous lobbyists

November 01, 2007
Originally designed as a train station and built in 1930 by German engineers in Guatemala’s northwestern department of Quetzaltenango, the structure was converted into an army base following the demise of the railroad a few years later. It remained an army facility for decades, until cutbacks in military spending after the 1996 Peace Accord. Then the government decided to close the base, leaving its future in doubt. Some police officials thought the building would be ideal for a new headquarters. Civic leaders argued on behalf of making it a cultural center.

A slimmer bottle leads to fatter profits

June 01, 2007
Small business owner Miguel Maccagno sits in his factory office in the low-income neighborhood of Matanza outside Buenos Aires, examining identical-looking plastic bottles for the juice drinks his plant produces and pondering their impact on its competitiveness. By shaving 14 grams off the bottles' weight, he can lower costs enough for his firm, Agroindustrias Río Tercero, to compete with the large U.S., Brazilian and Chilean firms that have cornered the low end of the local market.