Saturday, April 24, 2010

Los Colores

Amarillo - Yellow
Anaranjado - Orange
Azul - Blue
Blanco - White
Café, marrón - Brown
Gris - Grey
Negro - Black
Rojo - Red
Rosado - Pink
Verde - Green
Violeta, morado - Purple

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bachata Workshop in Denver


2-3pm --> BACHATA MUSICALITY – Learn to listen & interpret the bachata music. The mood, the breaks, the slow parts, the mixes with different rhythms. Learn to hear and "feel" the music like never before!

3-4pm --> DOMINICAN STYLE BACHATA-- learn the TRUE way to dance bachata with Dominican style footwork and body more having to remember turn patterns.

4-5pm --> BACHATA MODERNA --Permission slip to get close! Master Lead & Follow technique, Carlos will teach you sophisticated way to bring your partner in close for the more sensual side of this passionate dance.

Workshop cost: $15/class or $40 for all 3 classes
Contact Crystal Archuleta to get registered. 303-518-5442
All classes take place at Motion En Fuego Dance Studio

Carlos Cinta, originally from Chicago, has been dancing for around 5 years with a very unique bachata dance style. While he dances traditional bachata (Dominican Republic), he mainly instructs what we know as modern bachata which combines patterns and shines. You can get a feel for his style by follwing this link to his website.

Our "Bachata Blowout" weekend starts on Saturday, May 1st at 2pm with 3 hours of awesome Bachata classes. We'll continue to dance the night away at the Motion En Fugo Spring Salsa Social with Sabor de la Calle playing some great Salsa, Cha Cha, Merengue and, of course, Bachata! DJ Salsa Doc will fill in the rest of the night so we can dance until we can't move anymore! Details are all below. This is one day NOT to be missed. Another great Denver event!


Spring has sprung! Come celebrate with us!

Saturday, May 1st - Doors Open at 7:00 pm - $10/person

*Salsa class with Bridget Ellis at 7:30pm*
*Bachata Performance by Carlos Cinta & Crystal Archuleta*
*Live music with Sabor de la Calle starting at 8pm*
*Food & Refreshments provided*

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spanish Happy Hour in Denver


SHH Logo
Practice your Spanish
Meet some new Spanish-speakers
Learn about Latin culture
Play Loteria
Eat appetizers provided by Interstate Kitchen & Bar

Friday, April 16, 2010 /// 5-8 pm /// $3 members, students /// $5 general
Open to all levels
/// Every Third Friday of the month




Volunteers in action!

Museo de las Americas
861 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, Colorado 80204

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cuba prepares for an end to the travel ban

Here is an interesting article about the travel ban ending:

Do you think it will end? Has the ban prevented you from going? If you are planning a trip, Bolder Languages can design a language course to help you make the most of your visit.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekly News Blast from Cuba Central

Dear Friend:

The Obama administration appears determined to play "regime change roulette" with the lives and safety of USAID contractors.

As Alan Gross continues to sit in a Cuban prison, detained in December for engaging in "democracy promotion" activities funded by Helms-Burton and illegal under Cuban law, and as senior legislators in the House and Senate demand answers to questions about the effectiveness of these efforts, the Obama administration has now told Congress it wants to resume spending funds under these programs.

We think these programs are a huge mistake. They put at risk the very people the U.S. is trying to help, they do nothing to promote political change, and they involve activities which, if conducted in our country, would violate our laws as well, and thus put the Americans who carry them out in Cuba in jeopardy of arrest, just like Mr. Gross.

We urge the Cuban government for humanitarian reasons to release Alan Gross, and we urge the Obama administration to hold the funds and free American citizens to travel to Cuba without restrictions instead.

If hundreds of thousands of Cuban Americans can travel to Cuba - and under President Obama's rules they can - and if millions of other Americans could travel to Cuba once we ended the travel ban - and they will - won't these travelers make a bigger difference in the lives of the Cuban people than the undercover operators funded by USAID?

If we could afford a ticket to the Florida fundraiser President Obama is attending in Miami next week - and at $30,400 a couple, it is frankly beyond our means - this is the message that we'd deliver to the President about how best to communicate our country's values to the people of Cuba.

If you want to engage in democracy promotion, do it through the front door. Set an example for those countries which restrict the movements of their citizens by eliminating the limits that our government -and your administration -places on our citizens and our rights to travel to Cuba.

This week in Cuba news...


USAID Cuba programs will resume despite scrutiny

The Obama administration has notified organizations involved in delivering money, technological devices and other goods to the dissidents in Cuba that they can start making trips again, the Miami Heraldreported. The trips were halted after the arrest of Alan P. Gross, a USAID subcontractor arrested by Cuban authorities for distributing satellite communications equipment to individuals on the island.

According to officials at organizations that receive USAID funds, word that such travel could resume was accompanied by a caution: "Do not take to the island more equipment or money than you can explain if you're stopped by Cuban officials," the Heraldreported. Those involved in the programs said the move showed the Obama administration is "toughening its posture after Havana's recent abuses."

The Associated Pressreported further on the scrutiny surrounding the USAID Cuba programs, pointing out that Creative Associates International, which was awarded the largest contract of $6.5 million in 2008 and is now being considered for another $2.5 million, hired Caleb McCarry, the Bush administration official tasked with bringing a "transition to democracy in Cuba," just two months after the company won its first contract.

It notes that Creative Associates International and Development Associates International, the company that hired Alan Gross, had no experience in Cuba prior to receiving large grants in 2008 and have not published the work on their websites.

In late March of this year, Sen. John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Rep. Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, put holds on the funding, asking the administration to clarify concerns they have with the program. "We are asking hard questions about fraud, waste and what actually works to benefit the Cuban people," said Berman, who has also long been opposed to the U.S. embargo of Cuba.

Meanwhile, Cuban state media continued to criticize the program as "political-ideological subversion against the Cuban Revolution." Outlining the history of funding for the programs, Prensa Latinasaid the funds are used "to offer financial support to supposed human rights activists, those who call themselves independent journalists, and non-governmental organizations opposed to the revolutionary government."

Castro, Granma defend the government's position on hunger strikers

Cuba is saying that it will not be "blackmailed" by hunger strikers' demands. Cuban President Raúl Castro made his strongest statement yet regarding the political opponents on hunger strikes in Cuba, Reutersreported. Castro said the dissidents are being used as tools of the U.S. in an effort to oust Cuba's communist system. "Everything possible is being done to save (striker Guillermo Fariñas') life," Castro said in a speechat the Communist Youth Summit. "But if he does not change his self-destructive attitude, he will be responsible, together with his backers, for the outcome we don't want."

"We will never give in to blackmail by any country or any group of countries no matter how powerful they are, no matter what happens," Castro said. Fariñas responded that he is prepared to die for his cause.

In a front-page editorial, the Communist Party newspaper Granma accused the strikers of launching a "new crusade to demonize" the island and "discredit the revolutionary process, destabilize the country and provoke conditions for the destruction of our social system."

Relatedly, dissident Franklin Pelegrino del Toro announced that he has ended the hunger strike he began 40 days ago to press for the release of political prisoners, EFEreported. "The demand and the clamor of the internal opposition, my family, who needs me, and even the churches and the brothers in exile, convinced us that I'm needed here alive, to fight for Cuba," Pelegrino said by telephone from the eastern city of Holguin. He started his hunger strike in February, five days after Orlando Zapata Tamayo died from an 85-day hunger strike. Another hunger-striker, Guillermo Fariñas, said he will continue to refrain from eating.

U.S. satisfied that Spain is unable to change EU's common position toward Cuba

The U.S. Ambassador to Spain, Alan Solomont, said that "it would be a shame" if democratic countries like Spain don't support the role that political dissidents are playing in Cuba or defend the importance of respecting human rights to Cuban authorities, Europapressreported. Speaking at a breakfast with reporters in Madrid, Solomont said that the Obama administration is satisfied that Spain has been unable to modify the EU's common position toward Cuba, Nuestro Paísreported.

Miguel Moratinos, Spain's Foreign Minister, defended his country's position on Thursday, saying that Spain and the rest of the EU should maintain a "critical dialogue" with the Cuban government and all sectors of society, including the dissidents. "The unilateralism of the Common Position is no longer 'common,'" said Moratinos. "A bilateral approach is essential in order to have a dialogue with Cuban authorities about the necessary reforms that need to be enacted and respect for human rights."

Policy Makers and Ag Experts Urge Passage of Peterson-Moran Legislation

The Center for Democracy in the Americas, working in coalition with groups in Washington to open Cuba to travel for all Americans, hosted a media conference call during which U.S. Representatives Jo Ann Emerson and Marion Berry, former Agriculture Secretary John Block, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson, and Parr Rosson, an agriculture economist at Texas A+M, spoke about the economic and political advantages of opening Cuba to trade and travel.

Participants noted that Congress is currently considering legislationby Congressmen Peterson and Moran and 40 cosponsors to remove barriers to agriculture exports to Cuba and to end the travel ban.

The call included these comments by the participants:

Rep. Marion Berry:You just don't have to be all broke out in brilliance to understand and figure out the value of opening up trade to Cuba and travel to Cuba. It's a very simple matter.

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson:The only way that I believe that we can deal with (the human rights issue on Cuba) is that we shouldn't hold our policy and American citizens' freedom to travel hostage to the Castro family. And I think that the only way that Americans can actually stand with the "Ladies in White" in Havana is to reform travel policy. We have lots of dissidents that we know support the ending of both travel restrictions and export restrictions.

Sec. John Block:For 50 years, we've been trying to isolate Cuba in order to leverage them into getting rid of Communism and doing, whatever, this or that. It has failed, totally failed. Now is the time to try a different policy which would be engagement - that means trade and travel. And there are a lot of positive things that can come from that. It can mean markets for agricultural products which can be jobs here in the United States that we desperately need today. We could more than double our exports of food - I'm talking food to Cuba and agricultural products - if we just have normal trading relations. So this policy with Cuba doesn't make any sense. It's time to just take a new look, turn the page. Let's get on with the future. It'll be good for everybody.

Roger Johnson:This could mean as much as a billion dollars worth of new sales for the U.S. It used to be that Cuba imported 60% of all their food from the U.S. and we certainly should return to that position. This bill really only does two things: it lets our citizens travel there like we can travel anywhere else in the world; and secondly, it allows for us to sell, as Congressman Moran said at the hearing the other day, it isn't even about trading with Cuba. It is just about us selling one way - us selling to the Cubans. So it's a win-win for us.

Dr. Parr Rosson: We would expect our exports to increase by about $365 million per year and that's from a base in 2009 of about $528 million. And in addition to those exports they would also create additional economic activity of about $1.1 billion a year, and about 6,000 new jobs. The fact that we need to create jobs at home, and the fact that we've lost the dominance of U.S. products such as soybean meal, corn, and wheat, not even to mention rice which we haven't shipped to Cuba in a number of years.

As Sarah Stephens, executive director of CDA said, "there are important principles at stake in that debate. We believe that opening Cuba to trade and travel is in the interests of the United States. At this time of recession in the U.S. and political challenge in Cuba, expanding travel and trade will help American farmers and provide direct benefits to the Cuban people."

A complete transcript from the call can be found here. An audio recording can be heard here.


Castro addresses the economic situation

Speaking at the Ninth Congress of Young Communists, President Raúl Castro outlined the challenges of a "very complex economic situation," hinting at more economic changes to come, but warning that it will take time to implement economic reforms. Some excerpts from his speech are below:
  • Without a sound and dynamic economy and without the removal of superfluous expenses and waste, it will neither be possible to improve the living standard of the population nor to preserve and improve the high levels of education and healthcare ensured to every citizen free of charge.

  • If the people do not feel the need to work for a living because they are covered by extremely paternalistic and irrational state regulations, we will never be able to stimulate love for work or resolve the chronic lack of construction, farming and industrial workers; teachers, police agents and other indispensable trades that have steadily been disappearing.

  • We know that the budgeted and entrepreneurial sectors have hundreds of thousands of workers in excess; some analysts estimate that the surplus of people in work positions exceeds one million. This is an extremely sensitive issue that we should confront firmly and with political common sense.

  • We are convinced that we need to break away from dogma and assume firmly and confidently the ongoing upgrading of our economic model in order to set the foundations of the irreversibility of the Cuban socialism.

  • Those who are asking us to go faster should bear in mind the list of issues that we are studying, of which I have mentioned only a few today. We cannot allow that haste or improvisation in the solution of a problem lead to a greater one. With regards to issues of strategic dimension for the life of the entire nation we cannot let ourselves be driven by emotion and act losing sight of the necessary comprehensiveness. As we have said, that is the only reason for which it was decided to postpone for a few other months the celebration of the Party Congress.
Cuba sugar industry to be reformed

Cuba has announced plans to close its Sugar Ministry in the near future. According to Reuters, it will be replaced by a state-run corporation which will allow for foreign investment. Plans to close inefficient sugar mills on the island are also near completion. The move marks the latest reform by President Raúl Castro to restructure the economy and the way that government institutions run.

One Cuban economist told Reuters that "the new structure will give decision makers in the industry more autonomy and allow them to keep a percentage of revenues for re-investment."

While Cuba was once the largest exporter of sugar in the world, the industry's collapse began with the folding of the Soviet Union in 1991. Also, in 2002 Cuba massively downsized its sugar industry, closing 71 of the country's 156 mills and moving 200,000 sugar workers to different occupations. Today sugar sales make up just 5% of Cuba's foreign exchange earnings.

Young communists in Cuba debate ways to "preserve the revolution"

The Union of Young Communists met this week in Havana. According to La Jornada, the focus of the meeting was to discuss methods of preserving the revolution. Over 800 members attended the two day congress, most between the ages of 15 and 35.

La Jornadanotes that the average age of high-ranking Cuban governmental officials is 79.5 years old, but the Union discussed strategies for youth participation in economic and political processes. Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez recently noted that "the concepts of socialism and revolution are distant to Cuba's youth."

According to AFP, one notable participant in the meetings was Elián Gonzáles, now 16 years old. A Cuban government website, Cuba Debate, ran a headline after the two-day meeting which read "Young Elián Gonzáles defends his revolution in the youth congress."

Dissident Adrian Leiva drowned while trying to return to Cuba

In an attempt to re-enter Cuba illegally by boat, Cuban opposition figure and Miami journalist Adrian Leiva drowned last month, Spain's ABCreported. According to Leiva's colleagues in Miami, he wanted to return to the island after divorcing his wife, but had not received permission from the Cuban government to do so. Leiva left Cuba for Miami in 2005 as a political refugee with his wife, but returned to the island for a three-month visit in 2008, the Associated Pressreported. According to his friend, Miguel Saludes, Leiva left Florida at night on March 22nd with "a person who agreed to take him to Cuba and leave him at a point on the northern coast, between Matanzas and Havana."

There is much speculation surrounding Leiva's death. The Miami Heraldreported that Cuban authorities detained three people who were traveling with him. 'Conexión Cubana,' the website for which Leiva worked , said in an article that "he died in strange circumstances." He was criticized with impunity by other Cubans who say they are leading the liberation of Cuba; they accused him of being a "spy infiltrated by the Cuban government," the article stated. Leiva favored easing restrictions against Cuba.

Fewer Canadian visitors, more Cuban-Americans

Tourism to Cuba fell by 3.4 percent in the first two months of 2010 compared to the same period last year, Reutersreported. About 513,000 tourists arrived in January and February, down from 531,000 during the same period in 2009, The National Statistics office reported on its website. According to Reuters, the reduction can be attributed to a decline in visitors coming from Canada, the group that generally supplies more tourists to Cuba than any other country. The decline may have been caused by a "pricing spat with a major Canadian tour operator," tourism experts said, resulting in Canadian tourists choosing to vacation in the Dominican Republic and Mexico early this year, where prices are now lower than those of Cuba.

However, a jump in arrivals by Cuban-Americans since travel restrictions were lifted last spring has helped offset the drop in Canadians. Tourism and related businesses earned Cuba $2 billion in 2009, about 20% of its foreign exchange income.

The Associated Pressreported further on Cuba's ability to handle an influx of U.S. tourists. According to Cuban Tourism Minister Manual Marrero, "with the available capacity, we could be receiving the American tourists without any problem." At least nine large hotels are set to break ground this year in Cuba, which could help handle increased numbers of tourists, especially from the U.S. Cuba is also seeking investment partners for 10 golf courses and luxury hotels aimed at Americans, the AP reported. "Havana has been the forbidden city for so long that it will be a boom destination even in the low season," said Jose Manuel Bisbe, commercial director for the Tourism Ministry.

Cuban laboratory presents advances against cancer

Jose Antonio Fraga, president of a business group in Cuba, announced this week that a pre-clinical study suggests that proteins within the toxins of a scorpion have the ability to fight cancer. According to EFE, Fraga claims the proteins are being patented and cloned in preparation for further tests on rats in September. Fraga is the nephew of Raúl and Fidel Castro.

Yoani Sánchez running blogging classes out of her home

The Global Postreported on a blogging academy that Yoani Sánchez has set up in her home in Nuevo Vedado, Havana. The course doesn't grant an accredited degree, and the classroom is Sánchez's living room which has no access to the Internet. And there's a possibility that the next knock on the door might be the police, reported the Post. About 30 students show up twice a week to take the classes to learn how to use Twitter, or write code in WordPress for their own blogs.

Sánchez remains largely unknown on the island, but has "become a potent symbol of opposition to a one-party socialist system run by men in their 70s and 80s," the Post reported. The Cuban government views Sánchez's international fame as part of the broader U.S.-funded campaign to foment anti-Castro activity on the island.


Cuba hardliners continue to control policy

Despite changing dynamics in Florida, where Cuban-Americans now favor lifting restrictions on travel for all Americans to Cuba and engaging the Cuban government, Cuba hardliners continue to control U.S. policy toward Cuba. According to the National Journal, "while the hardliners' ranks may be thinning, the passion and campaign cash that fuel their success are still in plentiful supply."

According to Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), a long-time advocate for overhauling Cuba policy, "Embargo boosters in Congress horse-trade and twist arms to get their way." A crucial factor is Cuban-American campaign cash, which "continues to push undecided lawmakers into their column," reported the Journal. The U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC gave $828,000 in the 2008 election cycle to 205 House and Senate candidates. It plans to give similar amounts to candidates in this year's elections.

Rivera tries to keep Cuba-bound exports from receiving certificate of approval

Staunchly anti-Castro Florida lawmaker David Rivera (R-West Miami) has introduced a bill that would keep exports going to Cuba from being sent with a "certificate of free sale" label. As the Miami Heraldreported, the sale, which accompanies all exports from Florida, certifies that the exports were indeed manufactured in Florida.

Sending goods with the certificate, according to Rivera is like "sending a virtual stamp of approval" to the Castro regime. While it is not a legal mandate that exports from Florida be sent with the certificate, should the bill pass, it is possible that Florida products will become less attractive to Cuban importers, thus "reducing the flow of goods." Rivera is running for the U.S. Congress in Florida's 21st District. He has authored several bills regarding Cuba in the past, including legislation to require expensive bonds for travel agents dealing with Cuba, which the Florida Supreme Court found unlawful.

Bacardi wins lawsuit in Havana Club rum case

A U.S. judge in Delaware rejected a lawsuit by Pernod Ricard SA (PERP.PA) to stop rival Bacardi Ltd. from selling "Havana Club" branded rum in the United States, Reutersreported.
Both companies sell rum under the Havana Club name, Pernod outside the United States and Bacardi within it, and they have been battling in courts for more than 13 years over which company controls the trademark. Pernod also accuses Bacardi of false advertising by misleading consumers into believing that its rum is made in Cuba, as Pernod's is, when in fact it is made in Puerto Rico. Pernod officials plan to appeal this week's decision, BusinessWeekreported.


Chinese oil exploration in Cuba

TheSt. Petersburg Timesreported this week on Chinese involvement in Cuban oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. Responding to a statement on the website of Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) saying that China will soon be drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the Times says his statement is only half true. According to Stearns' campaign website, "Cuba wants to let the Chinese drill in some of the very parts of the gulf that American producers are currently forbidden to touch, as close as 45 miles off the Florida coast." However, the Times points out that Cuba has leased exploration blocks to oil and gas companies based in Spain, Norway, India, Malaysia, Venezuela, Vietnam and Brazil, but not China.

Jorge Piñon, a former oil executive with Shell and Amoco who is an expert on Cuba's energy sector, said China has an onshore, land-based lease in Cuba but not an offshore lease. The China National Petroleum Corp. is negotiating a lease for four areas in the waters northwest of Cuba, Piñon said, but they are blocks farther away from the U.S. In 2008, then-Vice President Dick Cheney made headlines when he said "oil is being drilled right now 60 miles off the coast of Florida. But we're not doing it, the Chinese are, in cooperation with the Cuban government." His statement was completely false.

Cuba and Iran to increase cooperation in biotechnology and sugar

After meetings this week between the vice-chancellors of Cuba and Iran, an agreement to further cooperation regarding biotechnology, the iron and steel industry and sugar production has been reached, Reutersreported. "Both countries have elevated their commercial exchange, and, through economic cooperation, have been able to reach a considerable advancement," said Seyed Amir Mansoor Borghei, Iran's vice-chancellor. Terms of the new agreement between the two countries were not released. In 2008, commercial exchange between Cuba and Iran was valued at $50 million dollars - a little over double the amount in 2007.

Venezuelan opposition complains about Cuban presence in the country

Members of the opposition to the Chávez government in Venezuela continue to raise their concerns about the presence of Cubans in the country. As "never before in history have citizens of other countries been allowed to assume key positions associated with national security," said Venezuelan politician Julio Borges, coordinator of the Primero Justicia political party, El Universalreported.

Borges claims that Cuban officials have been given positions "in the administration of ports, communications, oil and energy, immigration, policy, health...and the armed forces," and demanded an explanation. In February the opposition complained about the presence of Cuban vice-president Ramiro Valdes, whom Chávez had invited to take part in a commission made up of advisors from various Latin American countries to analyze the electricity problems in Venezuela. There are around 30,000 Cubans in Venezuela serving as doctors, teachers and sports trainers.

Cuban Public Health Care Cooperation with Haiti

Together with Venezuela, Brazil and several other countries, and in close coordination with the Haitian government, Cuba has proposed a comprehensive program for the strengthening of the Haitian health system. Officials from the U.S. and Cuba have met briefly on numerous occasions recently to discuss coordinating efforts.

On Wednesday, April 21st The Center for International Policy and MEDICC (Medical Education and Cooperation with Cuba) will host a panel discussion concerning the role of Cuban medical personnel in Haiti before and after this year's tragic earthquake, and the potential for U.S.-Cuba cooperation in the recovery process. More information on the Washington, DC event is available here.

Recommended Reading:

"Las presiones externas refuerzan la ortodoxia,"Entrevista con Rafael Hernández

Rafael Hernández, director de la revista Temas, defiende el sistema socialista cubano pero pide su democratización desde dentro. Asegura que durante medio siglo la política de Washington hacia su país ha sido nefasta y cree que eso explica muchos enroques oficiales, también la "desconfianza" hacia todo lo que lleve el apellido disidente.

Castro & Co. deaf to Cubans' frustration, The Miami Herald

On Sunday, Raúl Castro said: ``Today, more than ever before, the economic battle is the main task.'' Yes, the economy is a battle but only because the regime stubbornly refuses to take the market by its horns. Yes, state enterprises need to shed up to a million people from their payrolls, but the regime balks at legalizing the small-business sector. Yes, the state is paternalistic and agriculture woefully unproductive, but who's to blame if not those in power for far too long?

Around the Region:

Remembering the Romero Assassination, Open Society Institute Blog

Carlos Dada, editor of, an online news outlet in El Salvador, is interviewed by OSI's David Holiday about a recent 10,000-word articlebased on an exclusive interview with a former death squad member who participated in the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero.

Decades Later, New Details in Oscar Romero Death, NPR

Thirty years after the death of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, new details are coming to light about his assassination and the men behind the plot to kill him. Melissa Block talks to Geoff Thale, program director of the Washington Office on Latin America. He led a delegation to El Salvador last month to mark the anniversary of Romero's death.

Venezuela arrests 8 alleged Colombian spies, Associated Press

President Hugo Chávez said Tuesday that Venezuela has arrested eight Colombians as suspected spies and charged that several carried identification indicating they are members of neighboring Colombia's military.

Hu's visit significant to relations with Latin America: diplomat, Xinhua News

Chinese President Hu Jintao's upcoming visit to Brazil, Venezuela and Chile will be significant to furthering comprehensive development of China-Latin America relations, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Wednesday.

Venezuela's socialist cities: A solution to poverty or step in abolishing private property?Global Post

Just last year Sudeibi Salazar lived with her husband and son in a rat-infested shack. Today her home is a three-bedroom apartment in a gleaming white block a few miles up the road.

Until next week,

The Cuba Central Team

Spanish Night at Fiske Planetarium in Boulder, CO

The planetarium on campus at CU does a really cool thing for Spanish speakers by offering a star show in Spanish every now and then. You can see more details here:

Here is the description for the next event tomorrow night:

Navegación Estelar Nuestro estado es rico en lugares para excursionar y acampar. Pero qué nos pasaría si nuestros instrumentos de guía no funcionaran. En esta noche aprenderemos técnicas sencillas para encontrar nuestra ruta usando solo estrellas y constelaciones.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spanish Instructors in Colorado

Vocabulary for Business Spanish - Banking

Here is some vocabulary you will encounter as you do banking in Spanish speaking countries. Keep in mind that each country may have its own set of words it uses.


account - la cuenta
account balance - el saldo
bad check - el cheque sin fondo
balance - el balance
bank - el banco, la banca
bill - el billete
branch - la sucursal
business day - el día hábil
cash ratio , liquidity ratio- el coeficiente de caja
check - el cheque
checking account - la cuenta corriente, la cuenta de banco
clearinghouse - la cámara de compensación
code - el código
correspondence - la correspondencia
deposit - el depósito
devaluation - la devaluación
due date - la fecha de vencimiento
electronic transfer of funds (ETF) - la transferencia electrónica de fondos
entity - la entidad
exchange rate - el precio de cambio
foreign currency - las divisas
funds - los fondos

hours - el horario

loan - el préstamo
maintenance - el mantenimiento

mortgage - la hipoteca

number - el número

operations - las operaciones

overstatement- la sobrevaloración

password - el código de seguridad

portfolio - la cartera

reserve - la reserva

safety box - la caja fuerte

savings account - la caja de ahorro

signature - la firma

teller machine - el cajero automático
time deposit - el depósito a plazo largo

title - el título

transaction - la transacción

transfer - la transferencia

window - la ventanilla


The following can be made feminine by adding an a to the end of those that end in r.

auditor - interventor, el auditor
banker - banquero
bearer - portador
creditor - acreedor
customer - cliente
debtor - deudor
legal representative - apoderado
manager - gerente
teller - cajero


bounced - rechazado, rebotado
branch - sucursal
counterfeited - falsificado, falso

holiday - feriado
maximum - máximo
minimum - mínimo

monetary - monetario

mortgage related - hipotecario
payable - pagadero
private - privado


to cancel - cancelar
to cash - cobrar
to deposit - depositar
to endorse - endosar
to fix - fijar
to guarantee - garantizar
to withdraw - retirar, sacar
to transfer - girar dinero
to loan - prestar
to issue - emitir

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Group Spanish Classes in Boulder

Hola amigos,

We have a new group Spanish class starting soon. Give us a call at 303.997.9207 if you would like to reserve a space in either session.

BEGINNING LEVEL 1 - You will learn how to make simple sentences in the present tense with regular and irregular verbs, articles, verb to be, common expressions, and idioms. You will learn cross cultural topics and vocabulary in order to use them in dialogs for different situations and scenarios.

Beginning level 1: April 20th through May 25th. We will meet Tuesdays from 6:45 to 8:15 pm; 6 sessions. Location: 1122 Red Oak Dr. Longmont 80504

You will study past tense , you will learn prepositions, regular and irregular past tense verbs, common expressions, idioms, and progressive tense. Along with this we will have fun games and interactive exercises that involve role playing.

Intermediate level 1: April 12th through May 17th. We will meet Mondays from 6:15 to 7:45 pm; 6 sessions. Location: 3350 Chisholm Trl, Boulder, CO 80301 -in the clubhouse-

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dulces Latinos: La Raspadura y su Historia

La panela, raspadura, rapadura, atado dulce, chancaca (del quechua chankaka), empanizao, papelón, piloncillo o panocha, es un alimento típico de Brasil, Colombia,Chile, Ecuador, México, Cuba, Panamá, Perú, Venezuela, y varios lugares de Centro América, también de algunas provincias de Argentina (Tucumán, Misiones, etc.) y Bolivia, cuyo único ingrediente es el jugo de la caña de azúcar. Su nombre se debe al acto de panificar el juego de caña, deshidratándolo y solidificándolo en paneles rectangulares o moldes de diferentes formas. Para producir la panela, el jugo de caña de azúcar es cocido a altas temperaturas hasta formar una melaza bastante densa, luego se pasa a unos moldes en forma de cubo donde se deja secar hasta que se solidifica o cuaja. La panela también es producida en algunos países asiáticos, como la India y Pakistán, donde se le denomina gur o jaggery.

Se utiliza para elaborar bebidas. Una bebida tradicional de Colombia, Venezuela y Ecuador, es la Aguapanela, o "Papelón con Limón" o Aguadulce, que se prepara dejando disolver un bloque de panela en agua hirviendo, a la cual se agrega limón, pudiéndose consumir fría o caliente. Otra bebida que se hace a partir de la panela es cierta variante del guarapo: el guarapo es una bebida alcohólica producto de la fermentación alcohólica del agua de panela. También es usada como un edulcorante sucedáneo del azúcar, principalmente en las zonas rurales.

A la panela se le atribuyen efectos muy benéficos en el tratamiento de resfriados, tomándola en forma de bebida caliente de 'aguapanela' con limón, la cual hidrata y disminuye el malestar. El 'agua de panela' fría, es comúnmente utilizada por algunos deportistas como una bebida hidratante natural, que refresca y aporta calorías y sales minerales, para un mejor rendimiento corporal y una mayor resistencia física

La panela se considera un alimento que, a diferencia del azúcar, que es básicamente sacarosa, presenta además significativos contenidos de glucosa, fructosa, proteínas, minerales como el calcio, el hierro y el fósforo y vitaminas como el ácido ascórbico.

La elaboración de la panela, por lo general, se realiza en pequeñas fábricas comúnmente denominadas trapiches en procesos de agroindustria rural que involucran a múltiples trabajadores agrícolas y operarios de proceso. En Colombia se estima la existencia de cerca de 20.000 trapiches paneleros que vinculan directa e indirectamente cerca de 350.000 personas en las actividades de cultivo de la caña, elaboración de la panela y su comercialización en las áreas rurales y centros urbanos.

En el proceso se utilizan tres vasijas de cobre o bronce. La primera vasija es donde se da comienzo a la cocción del líquido proveniente de la caña (guarapo no fermentado); en la segunda vasija se va traspasando la espuma y otras impurezas del hervor de la primera; y así consecutivamente de la segunda a la tercera.

La tercera vasija es la de menor calidad y con más porosidad en estado sólido. La primera vasija -con la mejor calidad- es un sólido semitransparente de color marrón claro, casi anaranjado, y de gran temple. Se requiere de una potente herramienta para partirla. Normalmente la gente en Colombia posee en su cocina una piedra de río muy resistente llamada la piedra de la panela o simplemente la piedra.

En Colombia, es muy usada como edulcorante, en postres y bebidas tradicionales como el guarapo, la chicha y la natilla (en su forma artesanal). Además es consumida directamente o como bebida (aguapanela), de dos formas, con limón o con leche. Se comercializan, además del tradicional bloque, diversas presentaciones de panela, como la circular, en polvo, o en pastillas (similares a las del chocolate para taza).

En Venezuela se utiliza para endulzar postres y bebidas (ejemplo de ello es la variante de la limonada llamada Papelón con Limón). Cabe destacar que aquí el nombre de panela se aplica para el de forma prismática, y el de papelón para el de forma cónica. Así mismo, este último suele ser un poco más oscuro que el primero.

En Costa Rica se conoce como "Tapa de dulce", y los moldes que se utilizan tienen forma de cono truncado. A la bebida caliente se le llama "agua dulce" y la bebida fría con limón se conoce como "agua de sapo".

En Ecuador se conoce como "panela" al jugo deshidratado de caña de azúcar en panes prismáticos, redondos o conos truncados que para su distribución artesanal se envuelven en hojas secas de plátano. La "raspadura" es el producto de raspar la panela para usarla como edulcorante, o para la preparación de postres. En la década de los 60 todavía su uso era popular, pero actualmente es raro gracias al azúcar refinada y productos derivados e industriales con que cuenta el país.

En Guatemala se le conoce como "rapadura" o "panela" propiamente, y se utiliza para preparar postres típicos de la región, como café de olla o el dulce típico de coco con panela.

En México, la melaza sólida de azúcar se vende en forma de cono truncado, con el nombre de piloncillo (en el centro y norte del país) o panela (en el sur), y es la base de varios postres mexicanos muy estimados como el atole, los camotes enmielados, las calabazas en piloncillo, los frutos cristalizados y el ponche, que es una bebida a base de frutas hervidas como la guayaba, manzana, tejocote, caña de azúcar y canela acompañada por el piloncillo y se toma en invierno, etc. También se usa para preparar chiles chipotles, los cuales se ponen a hervir junto con el piloncillo (panela) y cebolla; se obtiene así una "salsa" de sabor picante y dulce a la vez que es muy utilizada, en el centro del país, para acompañar platillos salados.

En Panamá se la conoce como "raspadura" o "rapadura" y en Bolivia como "chancaca" o "empanizao", en Argentina y Chile como chancaca o raspadura, en Brasil se la llama "rapadura".

En el Perú la chancaca se usa para endulzar el champús, como ingrediente importante de la miel que acompaña a los picarones, el célebre Turrón de Doña Pepa, sopaipillas, la calabaza al horno, el ranfañote y muchos dulces serranos como la "mazamorra cochina".

La chancaca en Chile se hace no sólo a partir de azúcar de caña, sino también de miel. Éstas se funden juntas y se solidifican una vez frías en bloques. Para su uso se disuelve en agua caliente y se le añade canela, clavos de olor, zestes de naranja o limón y otras especias, según el gusto del consumidor. La consistencia debe quedar como de una salsa, pero ello también depende del gusto del consumidor. En Chile se consume chancaca en sopaipillas, lo cual se denomina "sopaipillas pasadas", o con picarones, pero ello es menos habitual y también en los alfajores rellenos con chancaca típicos en septiembre. También suele utilizarse tanto para endulzar como para dar color al almíbar que se produce de los "Huesillos" (duraznos deshidratados) para la bebída típica de "Mote con Huesillos".

En el noroeste de Argentina, principalmente en la provincia de Tucumán, donde una de las principales producciones es la caña de azúcar, se prepara a modo de golosina que se moldea como chocolatines de forma rectangular y sólido, llamado chancaca o tableta de miel de caña (porque también se prepara de igual manera la tableta de miel de abejas).

Beginner Salsa Workshops in Denver - On1 & NY On2

When: Saturday, April 17, 2010 1:00 PM

Motion En Fuego
2828 N Speer Blvd #101
Denver, CO 80211

Hi Everyone!
These workshops are the last installment of workshops for the Winter Semester of Universidad Del Baile Latino - my semi annual weekend workshops for Social Latin dances. The Senior year is full of great patterns, footwork, styling for men and women when you're dancing Salsa, both On1 and On2. Finally, learn the difference between these two popular ways to dance Salsa. Dance them both and decide for yourself what your preferred dance style is.

Saturday, April 17th
1-2 PM - On1 Salsa Basics: What the heck is "on1" and why should you dance this style? Commonly known as "LA Style Salsa", on1 is a very common way to dance in Denver and around the world. It's style is evolving as we speak and in this class we'll learn all about what that means, how to hear the "1" in the music and start on that every time! We'll also learn the basic steps of Salsa with some extra technique tips only Bridget can teach.

2-3 PM - On1 Salsa Patterns: Ok, so we've got the basics covered, now let's make it exciting. This class will introduce you to very cool, easy to lead and follow combinations that will show you how to dance with fluidity!

3-3:30 PM - Break

3:30-4:30 PM - On1 Salsa Footwork Shines: Salsa isn't just the patterns, it's about feeling the music and showing it in your body's movement. Learn how find your dance style thru footwork movement, rhythm changes and body movement. You'd be surprised how much this affects your overall

Sunday, April 18th
1-2 PM - NY On2 Salsa Basics: Known around the world as New York On2 Salsa (sometimes called Mambo) this style of Salsa was pioneered by the great Eddie Torres. Eddie Torres is known to have kept social Salsa dance alive and helped develop it into the style of dance you see today. New Yorkers have been dancing On2 for decades but NY ON2 Salsa has enjoyed huge popularity around the world and some of today's best dancers are On2. You'll feel how this style really fits into Mambo music
and how it really brings the music alive in your movement.

2-3 PM - NY On2 Salsa Patterns: Yes, you can transfer all of your On1 patterns to On2 but if you are used to dancing On1 this can present a challenge. Don't get discouraged, the end result will be worth it. In this class we'll cover a typical On2 basic pattern and you'll understand how the movement style of On2 differs from On1.

3-3:30 PM - Break

3:30-4:30 PM -NY On2 Salsa Footwork Shines: NY On2 is characterized by its connection to the music. Footwork is essential to show your understanding of the music. On2 footwork open the door to complete experimentation with the music through a sometimes complex mix of taps, slides, spins, suzy q's and many other footwork elements. Give it a shot and expand your horizons!

Pricing: single workshop: $15 - one day pass:$35 - full weekend pass:$70

All classes held at Motion En Fuego Dance Studio---> 2828 n speer blvd #101 denver 80211
To register go to or email me at

Learn more here:

Bi-Lingual Beginner Salsa Class and Open Dance in Denver

When: Saturday, May 15, 2010 7:00 PM

Motion En Fuego
2828 N Speer Blvd #101
Denver, CO 80211

This will be a fun night. I'm combining this meetup event with folks from the Denver Free Spanish Network Meetup group. A fellow instructor, Mauricio Leon will be assisting me with teaching the class. He'll be teaching in Spanish and I'll be teaching in English. I think this will be a fun way to brush up on your Spanish as well as learn Salsa at the same time. Salsa and Spanish go together like PB & J! cool We'll provide some food and drink but feel free to BYOB or BYOFood. We'll do the class from 7:30 - 8:30 and dance until 9pm after the class. Anyone interested in dancing more after that can head over to La Rumba! Hope to see you there!

The Details:

* 7:00pm- Doors open - Mingle, eat, drink, etc
* 7:30-8:30pm - Salsa class en Espanol and English
* 8:30-9pm - Open dance, mingle, eat, drink
* Cost: $10/person

Learn more here:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spanish Conversation in Boulder, CO

Join the Boulder Spanish Meetup Group here:

*English Translation below*

Te invitamos reunirse con nosotros a nuestra próxima Meetup para disfrutar bebidas y comidas y para practicar su español con otros hablantes de todos niveles.

Cada reunión es diferente pero siempre es muy informal y una gran manera de practicar su español en un ambiente divertido.

El grupo fue formado para practicar español. Por favor sólo habla en español a menos que esté incapaz de expresar una cierta idea en español.

***Para ellos que son nuevos al groupo, miembres llegan a los reuniones desde 7pm y después entonces si no puedes encontrar el groupo inmediatamente, espera un poco porque el groupo formará brevemente.


You are invited to join us at our next meetup to enjoy some comidas y bebidos and practice your Spanish with speakers of all levels!

Every meetup is different but always very informal and a great way to practice your Spanish in a fun environment.

The group was formed to practice Spanish. Please speak only in Spanish unless incapable of expressing a certain idea.

***For those that are newer to the group, please note that members arrive at various times from 7pm and on so if you arrive at 7pm and cannot find the group right away, hang around as others will slowly arrive.

Afro Brazlian Dance in Boulder, CO

You are cordially invited to attend “NeXus 2010,” a dance concert which
provides an opportunity for artistic interaction between the University and the
professional dance community characterized by choreographic diversity and
innovation. This year’s concert promises an unforgettable performance with
choreography by community artists KC Chun-Manning, Lyra Mayfield, David
Michael and Glenda Monasch, Rosangela Silverstre, Nancy Smith, and Gina
Jacobs Thomas and student work by Sarah Bowers, Cortney McGuire and Charlie
Dando, DeShawn Marshall, and Stephanie Tuley. “NeXus 2010” will take place
April 9-10 at 7:30 pm and April 11 at 2 pm at the Charlotte York Irey Theatre,
at the Department of Theatre and Dance on the University of Colorado at
Boulder campus.

“NeXus 2010” is a distinct concert filled with numerous dance styles. An
exhilarating, delicate aerial piece meets a post modern, humorous and
explosive duet. A touching and powerful contemporary ballet solo meets a
dance piece, inspired by movements and rhythms from Brazil. The evening also
includes eurythmy, a European form that was part of a cultural and artistic
upheaval in the early 1900’s. "NeXus 2010" provides a stimulating variety of
offerings that should not be missed!

In celebration of dance month, 3rd Law Dance/Theater and The CU Theatre &
Dance Department are collaborating on a mutual discount. With the ticket or
ticket stub of one show you can receive a discount to the other ($2 OFF: Nexus /
$3 OFF: 3rd Law). Redeemable only at respective box offices. For more
information contact

More on how to get there...

Attached is the official flyer and below are links to the CU Campus map in Boulder. The Irey Theatre (also University Theatre) is closest to Broadway and College Ave. The link to the campus map is: (it's building # 96). You can also check out and put in your starting address for directions to campus. If you're coming from Denver, I would recommend using mapquest or google maps and enter Broadway and College ave, Boulder, CO. as your end address.

If you choose to park on campus, an evening/weekend parking map can be found here:
It looks like you would have to pay to park on campus after 5pm weekdays, Sat and Sun. If you don't want to have to pay, you can park close to Broadway and College and walk in.

What does Globalization mean to you and your role in business?

I found this discussion online and wanted to share it with Bolder Languages' supporters. By reading the responses, you can appreciate how important it is to learn a new languages and step out of your own cultural norms.

This question was asked by Philo Holland senior globalization advisor, philos collaborative partnerships, on LinkedIn recently.

Please feel leave us your comments below too!

* Include industry you’re working in, your profession or function, your country of origin(s) – Where were you born? Where did you live until the age of 7?

Here are some of the responses:

Babu Mohanan

CEO Phykon Solutions

I will say that globalization has changed my life totally. Now I am able to exchange ideas with a global community and it has give me a lot of hope and confidence in myself. Coming to my business, I am in the IT field and its very existence in my country depends on the globalization.
I am heading a company(as CEO) in a little known small town in India. Until the age of 7 I was living in a remote village close to a forest. I still hold memories of people going into forest to collect firewood.

Tanja Marchman

Owner of English & German Virtual Services

Industry: Virtual Assistant
Title: Owner
Birthplace/until 7 yrs.: Nuernberg, Germany. Small village about 20 min. outside of Nuernberg.

In my industry globalization is a big part of the business. Since the idea of the Virtual Industry is that you can get assistance with your administrative needs from someone that is not located in your city or state or even country. So many things can be exchanged virtually these days, that I can promote my business to companies of all sizes in every corner of the world. And in this rather slow economy at the moment, it works to my clients advantage to use my services, rather then hiring a part time or full time person in their office, who they have to pay overhead expenses for. Since there are no overhead expenses to be paid for an independent contractor like myself, this can mean tremendous cost savings for my clients, plus they have more time in turn to focus on promoting their business globally, if they so desire.

Alvaro Arias

Regional Sales Manager at Schneider GmbH & Co. KG

I have lived in four countries. Am married to a lady born in a different continent where I was born. I email daily in different languages with people in different countries. I Skype with my parents, and talk to them regularly as if we would be sitting in the same table, as we did when we were living in the same city, some years ago.

At work, I am responsible for a geographical region which comprises many countries and cultures and obliges me to speak several languages. I take several planes every week, and can even take each meal in a single day in three different countries, and still sleep at home.

I would say this is globalization at 100% brought down to a quite basic level.

Denise Pirrotti Hummel

Founder and Managing Director at Universal Consensus

Without globalization, my company wouldn't exist. I am the Founder and Director of Universal Consensus, one of the largest cross-cultural training institutes and global development consultancies on the globe (we're in 14 countries). As for the answers you wanted (let me know why you're interested especially in where I was living until 7 years old.

Profession/Title: Cross-Cultural Consultant, Trainer & Curriculum Designer (Director)
Birthplace/until 7 yrs.: Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.

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