Central America

Polyethylene bags are used to protect bananas from pests and blight on a plantation in Costa Rica.

The shadow of the United Fruit Company still reaches across the globe today

About a hundred years ago, the Boston-based banana company, United Fruit, reigned supreme in Central America. It didn’t just own banana plantations, but also railroads and telephone lines. The company even dictated national policies and overthrew governments. For his podcast “Under the Shadow,” about US involvement in Central America, Michael Fox traveled to Guatemala, where he looked at the legacy of United Fruit and its impact on the global fruit industry today.

People marching in street with a Panamanian flag

Copper mine protests roil in Panama

The cover to "Solito" by Javier Zamora.

New memoir speaks to the trauma of migration and the potential for healing

Harris at the podium in Guatemala on a diplomatic visit

Addressing migration requires long-term commitment, says analyst on Harris visit to Guatemala

Sergio Armas, a Nicaraguan immigrant living in San Francisco, built an altar to the Virgin Mary in the corner of his yard after the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Pandemic disrupts remittances, leaving immigrants’ families without lifelines

Protesters around a flower wreath

Workers’ movements advocate for rights on May Day; Saudi activists allege man killed over megacity plans; Doctors wait hours as Venezuela faces fuel shortages

Top of The World

As May Day celebrations and rallies have been curtailed, workers around the world are pushing for their rights. Fuel shortages are making life harder for Venezuelans, especially essential workers. And even as Lebanon teeters on the edge of economic collapse, some Americans are choosing to ride out the pandemic there. Meanwhile, Sweden’s gardeners have become real party poopers.

Migrants are seen at temporary shelter in the village of La Penita, Panama, on August 23, 2019.

‘We’re dead here’: Migrants stranded in Panama rainforest amid coronavirus


With borders closed and entire countries on lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, some 2,000 migrants — many of them children under age 5 — have been detained for months in Panama, near the rainforest separating South and Central America.

A worker wears a protective face mask works while cleaning the interior of a public bus, amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Guatemala City, Guatemala, March 15, 2020.

In Central America, efforts to slow spread of coronavirus could lead to ‘autocratic tendencies’


While public health and medical workers worldwide agree on the urgency of the pandemic, human rights observers say they are becoming increasingly concerned with how some political leaders in Central America may use their emergency powers.

Rainforest biotic pump

Rainforests are ‘worth more alive than dead,’ according to science — and economics


Earth’s rainforests are astonishingly biodiverse ecosystems that can drive the climates of faraway continents, but they’re disappearing in the name of the kind of economic development that values rainforests more when logged, mined, or turned into farmland. A new book argues that the world’s rainforests are most valuable when kept intact.

A female protester raises her fist as she takes part in a march to protest against the decision of Guatemala President Jimmy Morales to end the mandate of the UN-backed anti-graft commission, the CICIG, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, January 12, 2019.

Guatemala shut down its anti-corruption commission. Now its people worry about impunity.


President Jimmy Morales, who is under investigation, shut down Guatemala’s popular anti-corruption commission. Now the country is embroiled in a battle over its legacy.