Travel Journal

Bailey Herrera 3rd Period

Merida, Mexico: Culture

Today I will be visiting the city of Merida, Mexico. Carlos will be taking me on a tour of the city. We pass the historic center and I am informed that it is a great place to sing folk music at. On Mondays the city invites people to dance the Jaranas at city hall. The Jaranas dance is a mixture of European and Mayan music and rhythms. Females wear a full white dress, white high heel shoes and a Santa Maria shawl. Men wear white white shirts, white pants and panama hat and a red scarf and yucatan leather sandals.

Throughout the year many festivals take place. Jarana orchestra's have 3 uses. The Vaquera rhythmn which offers to the tunes for bull fights. Some orchestra's are known as Charangas and can be found in many Mexican cities that play music. Some are school bands, 2 trumphets, 2 clarinets, double bass and a sax horn.

The cooking in this lovely city has a mixture of European and Mayan ingrediants and style of cooking. The spanish in Europe bought corn to my city Carlos says and now we use it in every meal. Some of the resturaunts offer international cusine and offer food from France and countries in the middle east like Turkey.

Merida is one of the biggest known cities for fashion in Mexico and in the world. Using silk that is found from Merida's silk worms they create many dresses and suits that are shipped throughout the whole world. What makes the clothes here so original is the fact that they have a mix of traditional and modern.

Merida has many folk rhymes and tunes to sooth the heart of the everyday tourist. One song La Bomba talks about the use of bombs and tricking people into thinking they are a toy. It was made during the time of Texas fighting Mexico for independence in which a soldier who had lived in Merida had had his leg blown off by a stick of dynamite. He came home as a great warrior and introduced the song to all. Merida is a very spirited town Carlos says, I think that everyone is home in Merida and everyone can find happiness

Havana, Cuba: Government

I will be taking you on a tour of Havana, Cuba and the government set up there. As you may know Cuba is a communist country who has had issues with the U.S in the past. In the 1960's the U.S placed an embargo on Cuba and can not trade with them. This is due to a man named Fidel Castro who was the former leader of Cuba. He took American land and destroyed it. To this day nothing American, including people, have been to Cuba.

The U.S had control over all of Cuba until 1902 when the first president, Tomas Estrada Palma, took office. He allowed the U.S too create many casinos and tourist attractions in Cuba. Pretty soon people from the U.S, including the mafia, traveled to cuba to enjoy clubs and casino's, but brought much crime to the country. This caused Cubans like Fidel Castro to become angered by American presence.

Mr. Fidel Castro tells me that all of this angered him so much that he wanted all American things kicked out of the country. So I led a revolution in 1959 to take over and destroy American parts of the country. When I took over I knew I needed someone to get support from so I looked to the U.S.S.R for help. When John F. Kennedy heard about my plans and who was supporting me he was furious. He was so mad he stopped trading with me and placed an Embargo on my beloved country. This started the bay of pigs invasion were the U.S and U.S.S.R had a very heated moment during the Cold war. The U.S wanted me dead.

Unfortunately, the U.S.S.R fell apart in the 1990's. this caused my country to fall apart. I left the leaders role in Cuba in the late 2000's and my brother Raul took over. Today our legislature has 612 members. We hold a government only only election for legislature every 5 years. The peoples supreme court is the highest judicial body and deal with government issues. The next is superior Court who deals with issues between the people. We have a president and a vice president also. That is all I can tell you and he steps out and is greeted by his brother Raul Castro who waves goodbye as I go down the road.

Brasilia, Brazil: History

Today I am in Brazil's capital Brasilia studying the history of the famous Latin American Country. My tour guide, Alberto Reyes will be taking me around the city. He says that Brazil was taken over by spain during the 1500's when Pedro Cabral sailed in search of land with his crew. Alberto tells me that he found some of our ancestors but found no interest in them because all they did was fight. Culture was the only really formed part of life which resulted in Tribal warfare and people eating other people for rituals.

Other Portugese found Brasil which is used to make red eye. Most Portugese set up ports for trade but never found agriculture that they thought was valuble enough to use. In the later years the Portugese brought Africans to work on plantations with the sugar they brought to Brazil. The Africans and Natives often got married which has resulted in Brazil's heritage being European, African, Amerindian, Asian, and Middle Eastern.

During the 1690's gold was mined in the central region of the country but it was not enough for the Portugese standards. By the 18th century the focus had returned to the coastal region. In 1807 Napolean Bonaparte went to Lisbon, the capital of Portugal to create conflict. The prince of Lisbon then shipped off to Brazil. In 1821 Europe had stopped fighting enough for Don Joao the, princes father, to come to Brazil. When he tried to make Brazil a colony his son told him no and declared independence at sword point.

When the prince took control Coffee became the main agricultural crop. In 1889 the government was over thrown and Brazil became an imperial country. In 1989 Brazilians had their first democratic election and chose poorly. Fernando Collar De Mello did nothing in office but waste money.

Brazil has the 6th biggest population in the world. 148 million people live in Brazil. Fernando smiles and says we are all one big happy family united under god.

Caracas, Venezuela: Economy

Today I will be visiting Venezuela with Havnada Herinia who will tell me about the Venezuelan economy. Venezuela's economy is suffering he says. The only thing we have is our oil which is getting tougher and tougher to export each year due to rising world prices for shipping and trade.

Oil used to make everything work out for us back then. Oil was our main export and we were making billions a year off of it. Since Hugo Chavez died our government has no clue what to do with our economy. Electricity blackouts are frequent and the police are not being able to fight crime due to low funding. Inflation is the highest it has been in years and the monthly inflation rate is up 2.8% since March. This is was most countries rarely see in a one year period. Due to this inflation the government has been forced to bring down the currency rate twice within this year.

The cost to export oil and natural gas is 24 billion in direct tax payer money a year. It is getting harder to find sugar, cooking oil and corn flower which are a major part of our cooking diet. He tells me that 1/5 of the products we need are missing from the shelves.

The governments only way of fighting crime in Venezuela is putting our military on the streets. This causes more problems than it prevents because it makes certain areas inaccessible. The military is also not used to using law enforcement tactics and is used to deadly force and is corrupt by most standards.

Havnada tells me that he hopes it gets better. The government will hopefully figure out what to do to head towards the future and make Venezuela what he and others have come to love and know as their homeland.