Americas Now

Americas Now

Detailed, long-form reports featuring current events in the Americas and crafted by our correspondents deployed throughout the region.

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Americas Now
  • What does it Take to be a Migrant Farmhand? 

    It's been a crusade for decades, but farmworkers in the US still struggle to get adequate healthcare or better salaries. Mike Kirsch met with legendary labor activist Dolores Huerta.  They spoke about the progress that's been made in protecting almost 3 million farmers. And what still needs to be...

  • Ecuador Aims to Conquer the Saturated Chocolate Market with Its best Cocoa

    The most refined and expensive chocolates are produced in Europe. But to concoct the perfect truffle, chocolatiers need cocoa. And cocoa comes from Latin America and Africa. Gerry Hadden reports on how cocoa-producing countries are now trying to compete in chocolate's global market.

  • Slim Profits for Coffee Farmers in Colombia are Threatening Their Production

    When people around the world think about coffee, chances are they'll connect a good cup of Joe with the country of Colombia. Experts say Colombia's geography and climate are perfect for growing aromatic and mild-flavored coffee. But as Michelle Begue explains, there are concerns about what could ...

  • Ecuadorian bus drivers took the highway to electric innovation

    In 1995, Ecuador's capital, Quito, was the first city in South America to incorporate hybrid buses connected to electrical grids. Most of the other buses in the country run on gas and diesel which lead to more pollution.

    A group of drivers in the town of Guayaquil decided to change that.

    Corr...

  • A 30 years climate prediction is now a reality

    Three decades ago, in California, a group of scientists released a list of predictions on the future effects of climate change on the United States’ West Coast. They mentioned droughts, fires and floods.

    Correspondent Mike Kirsch went to find out what climate scientists today are projecting for...

  • COVID-19 and wildfires main concern for Californians

    Every year, California is engaged in an epic “Man versus Nature” battle against thousands of wildfires that rage across the land, claiming lives and inflicting billions of dollars in damage.  

    With the dreaded fire season approaching, there is a new element to be fearful of, COVID19 spread.  

    A...

  • Climate Change and Pandemics threatens Central America

    The COVID-19 pandemic took the spotlight away from Earth Day’s 50-year celebration on April 22nd.

    Though environmentalists and climate activists see this as a demonstration that when there is enough political will, strong and rapid actions can be taken to mitigate a problem. 

    The northern trian...

  • Crocodile whisperer rescuing crocs in Jamaica

    Crocodiles, no matter where they exist in the world, are an endangered species. Their habitat is being lost and they are being poached for their meat which in some cultures is seen as a delicacy. The state of the crocodile is no different on the Caribbean Island of Jamaica. The crocodile is disap...

  • Could private conservationism save the Amazon?

    It’s a question that is becoming increasingly urgent as concern grows that the world’s largest original forest – a key defense against global warming – risks being destroyed by farming, logging and climate change.

    One solution may lie partly in private hands.

    More

    In 1990, the government ...

  • A polluted river causes severe health problems in Mexico

    The world’s rivers are some of the most vital natural resources, sustaining life wherever they flow. But in Mexico, one water body is causing real problems, making environmental concerns grow over industrial and urban development.

  • The U.S. is the country with the highest number of nuclear reactors

  • Dam fears spark protests in Puerto Vallarta

    An idyllic spot near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where a mountain river meets the sea has long been loved for its wildlife and natural beauty. But a recent move by a local company to allegedly “dam up” the Los Horcones river sparked outrage and activism that went far beyond the town.   

    Local reside...

  • Wood figurines feed Amazon forest communities

    They may be simple little images of local wildlife from Brazil’s Amazon rainforest but for those who sell them -- and for the tourists who buy them -- they’re more than just a trinket. These little figurines are helping feed hundreds of families -- while giving visitors an endearing memory of the...

  • Oaxaca Mexico Crippled by Earthquakes and COVID-19

    One of the strongest earthquakes in Mexican history rocked the country in 2020. The epicenter was in the southern state of Oaxaca, an impoverished region where the damage was extensive.
    The timing couldn’t have been worse, coming in the middle of a pandemic that has
    devastated the Mexican econom...

  • Profile: Craig Fugate, Former FEMA Administrator

    The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June through late November. In 2019 Hurricane Dorian left hundreds dead or missing in the Bahamas. The economic toll – more than 3 billion dollars. Our John Zarrella met with the person who was in charge of managing emergencies in the U-S for a decade. T...

  • Profile: Environmentalist Kris Tompkins

    Patagonia for over 20 years -Kris Tompkins gave it all back to Chile and Argentina, countries that had expanded their national parks. Correspondent Joel Richards profiled the woman behind one of the largest land donations in history. 

  • Migrant Farm Workers in California Lack Safe Drinking Water

    More than a million residents in California -most of them Latino farm workers that make up the backbone of the agricultural workforce- don’t have safe drinking water in their homes and schools. 

    Scientists say the water is tainted with unsafe levels of arsenic and harmful pesticides such as 123 ...

  • Colombians are leading the way in water conservation

    As water scarcity becomes a growing concern around the world, community leaders and scientists in Colombia are leading the way in preserving water resources.

    In 1990, the country ranked fourth with the greatest resources of freshwater in the world.

    At the time, Colombia had more than 700,000 di...

  • COVID-19 Pandemic Worsens Hunger in Central America

    Some of the poorest communities in the Western hemisphere are located in Central America. For years, severe droughts have been causing widespread hunger. The COVID-19 pandemic made things worse when shutdowns severely cut back on economic growth. It's a situation that's repeated across Latin Amer...

  • Monarch Butterflies Migration Undisturbed by Humans in COVID-19 Lockdown

    As the pandemic continues to rage around the world, nature, it seems, hasn’t noticed much of a difference.
    While human society lives through the upheaval of the global COVID-19 pandemic, nature has continued here unperturbed.
    And when it comes to massive migrations, perhaps none is more impressi...

  • Islands of plastic floating off the coasts of Central America

    The accumulation of plastic debris on our oceans and rivers has led to the formation on garbage patches and floating islands non-biodegradable waste in open waters. In the Americas one of the worst cases happens out of the coast of Guatemala and Honduras. Harris Whitbeck reports.

  • Hunger in Central America Fuels Illegal Migration to the US 

    Earlier in 2021, nearly 8,000 migrants from Honduras tried to cross into Guatemala to join more Central Americans in a caravan attempting to reach the United States.
They were escaping the economic effects of a lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But that was only made worse when twin hurrican...

  • Vaccination in the Galapagos Islands will bring back Tourism

    They serve as a treasure trove to scientists and a paradise for nature tourists. The Galapagos Islands.
    
Located 1000 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador, they feature plant and animal life found nowhere else in the world. On these islands, tourism has been the main industry for the 30,000 people...

  • The relationship between soil and climate change

    When we talk about climate change we tend to focus on the quality of air, the weather and even the tides. We rarely think about what’s in the ground. Mike Kirsch went to Columbus, Ohio to meet with a scientist most knowledgeable about soil.