Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Big Sur in Quito

Across the street from my Swiss owned hostel is a gorgeous restaurant-bar called Big Sur. It is owned and operated by an American named Lars Klassen (click to see his blog) Lars worked the Latin American "Beat" for 30 years in the U.S. Foreign Service. He has been here in Ecuador for the last 6 years, but has lived in Central and South American countries such as Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador for years at a time as his job demanded. We talked a bit about why Latin America still stuggles so massivley with poverty and other social problems. I mentioned the book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Lar´s indicated that he did not think much of the book or the author, but that there was some truth to what the author was talking about. I look forward to continuing our discussion. He recommended 4 books to better understand the realities of South America:
The Soul of Latin America: The Cultural and Political Tradition . Howard J. Wiarda
Underdevelopment as a State of Mind: The Latin American Case . Lawrence E. Harrison
The Pan-American Dream Latin America's Cultural Values Discourage True Partnership with the United States and Canada?
The Liberators: Latin America's Struggle for Independence, 1810 - 1850 by Robert Harvey

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