The offline sharing economy

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When I moved to Monrovia for the summer of 2013, long before I know what an Uber was or had heard of AirBnB, I was given a crash course in a slightly different kind of sharing economy.

In order to get around the city, the safest (and cheapest) public option is a shared taxi. The idea is simple: the cars follow a specific route, just as public buses do, but instead of running on a schedule, they wait until all the seats are filled. As they drive along the route, drivers do their best to keep the car full. In this way, both the passengers and the drivers are economising the cost of the trip. Continue reading

Armchair travel: colonial Chile

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Chile, liked my first Latin love Argentina, has a reputation for being whiter and more Europeanized than other countries in the region. It is one of the richest countries on the continent, and its famous landscape in both the north and south make it an enormously popular destination for tourists.

Over time, I’ve learned more and more about its history. When I was in Buenos Aires studying political science I learned about the neoliberal economic policies and the Pinochet regime in the 1980s. While I was in Peru I learned about the 1898 war against Peru and Bolivia, which resulted in Bolivia’s current landlocked position. Continue reading

A taste of Latin America in NYC

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I stopped counting the days a while ago, after a half-hearted attempt at ticks on a calendar to keep track. At first it had been a bit of a game: how many of these conversations would I overhear before I lost and missed a day on my calendar? But soon enough I lost track of how many days in a row I’d heard Spanish on the street after leaving Peru, and the game fizzled out on its own.

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Poetry Upon Request

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New York City is famous. It’s famous for its skyscrapers, its multitude of people, its dirty subways, its delicious food, its movie stars and movie sets. But there’s a lot under the surface that is harder to see through a television screen.

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