The Smithsonian Institution is considering building a National Museum of the American Latino in Washington, DC, but is facing controversy over the idea.
The museum is planned for the National Mall, shown here in this image courtesy Andrew Bossi, and would complete a set of museums that include the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The latter museum is due to open in 2015. While a museum to the contributions of Latinos to American history and culture makes sense, it’s meeting opposition in Congress over funding and the concept itself.
Jim Moran (D-VA) says he doesn’t want each minority group going to their own museum and skipping the others. This reasoning would hold water if the other museums hadn’t been established already, but it seems a bit late in the day to be bringing forth this argument now.
The current financial crisis is a more persuasive argument against a new museum. The National Museum of African American History and Culture sported a $500 million price tag. Half of that was paid for with Federal dollars, something that’s not going to go over well in the current Congress. There’s also talk of a national woman’s museum, but that’s likely to face the same hurdles as the Latino Museum.
Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States and have been here since well before the country was founded. Many modern states, such as Florida, Arizona, even Missouri, were Spanish colonies before they became U.S. states.
Do you think there should be a National Museum of the American Latino? Should it be paid for with tax dollars? Tell us what you think in the comments section!
Latin America is one of the world’s most budget-friendly regions for visitors. There are very cheap places to stay across the region–most notably across Central America–where a few dollars will get you a bed for the night and dinner.
But in a budget-friendly region like Latin America there are also huge divides in terms of quality. How do you do your research to make sure that you come up with decent accommodations and an itinerary that delivers the best value for your money?
There’s a big difference between a guesthouse that’s cheap, clean, and cheerful and one that’s filthy and barely fit for a hedgehog. There’s a big difference between good cheap restaurants and bad cheap grub, too. How do you make the right planning decisions to make sure that you end up pinching pennies in a manner that’s both high-value and high-quality?
In the video below I discuss how I planned my budget-friendly adventure to Antigua, Guatemala.
Check back tomorrow for my story and video on Antigua, Guatemala. On April 12 I’ll extend the same treatment to Suchitoto, El Salvador. All my videos were shot by Gadling’s own Stephen Greenwood. On April 19 Jeremy Kressmann will apply the Latin American budget magic to Bogotá, Colombia.
Latin America on a Budget is proudly sponsored by Delta Air Lines.
… not Disney World!
Despite the theme park’s claim, Costa Rica actually takes the top spot, according to the New Economics Foundation. This Britain-based independent research firm uses the “Happy Planet Index” to determine and rank the countries with the happiest people. The organization’s goal is to build a new economy that focuses on people and the environment.
This year’s survey covered 143 countries, with Latin American claiming nine of the top 10 positions in the study. The Dominican Republic took second, followed by Jamaica, Guatemala and Vietnam.
If you live in a developed nation, it seems, you’re probably unhappy. Great Britain took 74th, and the United States came in at 114. But, the latter is happier than it was 20 years ago. China and India are also fairly unhappy, but mostly because they are pursuing aggressive economic growth.
Now, the results are skewed because ecological implications account for a substantial portion of how happy a country is. The study assumes that the further you are from carbon-neutral, the unhappier you are. I’m down for going green, but I really struggle to see how it plays such a large role in a country’s happiness.