7 Facts about: The Bahamas

Sandyport Beach, circa 2010

Things you may or may not have known about the archipelago that is know as the Bahamas.

lucayans7. Lucayans (Indians who are believed to have migrated from South America) ruled the Bahamas for several hundred years before Columbus arrived in 1492. When he did arrive, he abducted and enslaved all the Lucayans to work and they died in the gold mines of Cuba, or diving for pearls in shark-infested waters. Spain had little interest in the islands, which had no precious metals or stones.

6. On October 12, 1492 Christopher Columbus (in search of China) changed the world when he dropped anchor on the island known as San Salvador (Holy Savior). The island was claimed for the King and Queen, Ferdinand and Isabel.

5. On July 10, 1973, the Bahamas became a sovereign nation, being previously under British rule.

4. Its government is based on the Westminster model– including Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, a 2 chamber Parliament and an appointed Governor General, representing the symbolic head of state.

3. The archipelago (cluster of islands) consist of 700 islands, most are which uninhabited.

2. One of the local delicacies, known as the “snail of the sea” is conch. Conch is the firm white meat of a mollusk, and cooked any way you want it. It comes in conch fritters, conch chowder, conch salad, conch burgers, and even cracked conch. (Source)

1. Tourism is the driving force of the economy in the Bahamas. The tourism sector is worth an estimated $2.3 billion. A new resort mega resort, Baha Mar, is scheduled to open in December 2014.

The-Bahamas-FlagEXTRA FUN FACT: The Bahamian tri-color flag: black stands for a unified people, gold is for the natural resources of the land and aquamarine is for the country’s ocean water.

7 Facts about: The Bahamas

5 Things I Learned from #PassportDC

Passport DC is a FREE cultural event celebrating May which is International Cultural Awareness Month. The District of Columbia is home to more embassies than any other city in the world, and Passport DC honors the diversity of cultural influences in the District by providing tourists and residents alike to learn more about the international community. Along with the “Around the World Embassy Tour” there are Street Fairs, film screenings to round out the affair.

I participated this past Saturday on the Around the World Tour and traveled to: Haiti, Japan, Belize and Brazil. I visited a mosque as well.

Here’s what I learned from the embassy visits.

5.  Japan manufactures everything. Land (Toyota), air, or sea they got it all covered!

The MRJ, coming to an airport near you!
Security was tight outside of the Embassy

And if that wasn’t enough, they also make these:

4. Venezuela’s official name is The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. This does not mean that it is ‘owned’ by Bolivia, which I originally assumed. Upon further research, the name was imposed by Hugo Chavez as part of his revolutionary project to change Venezuela’s constitution. Bolivarian refers to the figure and national hero Simon Bolivar, which Bolivia was also named after.

3. Bolivia’s official name is the Plurinational state of Bolivia. According to Wikipedia, this name acknowledges the multi-ethnic makeup of the country, and the “enhanced position of Bolivia’s indigenous people under the new constitution.”

2.  I may or many not be able to pass for an Arab woman.


1. Quinoa is a grain-like crop (plant) that is cultivated for its seeds. The crop is mostly grown in Andean regions. 2013 is the International Year of Quinoa, and on the tour Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela featured some aspect of the crop at their embassies. At the Venezuelan Embassy, I tried some Quinoa juice and bread pudding. The juice was very different, not sweet nor sour, but the pudding was alright!


20130504_141636 20130504_142116

All in all, the trip around the world was a good time.

I don’t see what other reasons I may have to visit an Embassy (unless I get excited to some uber exclusive party) so this was a nice way to be introduced to places I hope to see in real life soon!

5 Things I Learned from #PassportDC

Happy 190th Birthday, Costa Rica!

What kind of Tica would I be if I didn’t post on Costa Rican’s 190th Day of Independence? WHEW! Where has the time gone? Last year on Tica Embracing the Globe, I talked about how a Tica transplant celebrates Independence Day in NYC (there’s even a clip of me here spitting some poetry!) This year, I’m answering this question:


Yes. I think Costa Rica is probably getting better with age because not only are we growing economically due to steadily rising tourism rates, but we are tackling tourism in a way that is the least detrimental the Rich Coast. Unlike most Latin American countries where you know tourism is heavy but you land in their airports, or look at their cities and scratch your head wondering ‘Where is all the money going?’ It’s obvious that most of the tourism revenue stays national. Costa Rica is known as one of the most comprehensive countries in eco-tourism which basically means, whatever type of  conservation or ecological ‘adventure’ you might be looking for, you will most likely find it here.

There are probably environmentalists who would disagree with me. They probably think all the attention Costa Rica is getting is not so great, since tourist traffic is encouraging business owners/investors to make real estate sky-rocket and build more properties, and the foot traffic is affecting environmental homeostatis. My opinion is that as long as Costa Rica continues to strive to be entirely carbon-neutral (which basically means they want to eliminate carbon dioxide gas emissions that come from burning fuels and gases) by the year 2021, and continue with eco-tourism incentives for new developments and businesses they should be alright.


Send me my sash and one-way ticket!

Today and probably continuing into the weekend, there will be plenty of celebrating to be done not only in Costa Rica, but for neighboring nations like Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico since they all share this very important date.

Although I’ve never spent Independence Day in Costa Rica, I can still pretend like I’m back home. The sun has set over Upstate, New York and it’s about 54 degrees Fahrenheit outside. I am sitting in my school library streaming live music from Costa Rican’s local radio station online, sorting through pictures of my past trips. In my 26 years of life, I’ve only been to Costa Rica in 2008, 2010 and this year twice (two very critical trips). There’s no doubt I feel closer to mi patria (my homeland) now that I’ve got to experience living there for an extended period of time. And although right now it’s 70 degrees Fahrenheit in San Jose, and I’m about miles and miles away from that reality, I can still put a smile on my face when I go back to my apartment downtown and see my flag hanging from the window…remembering that warm feeling I get everytime I’m blessed enough to get on a plane. There really is no place like home.

Here are some of my favorite memories:

Tarmac Walk
A Very Snotty Looking Tica

A very proud Costa Rican,

She Traces

Happy 190th Birthday, Costa Rica!