Things That Matter

17 What-If Scenarios: What If The British Had Colonized Latin America 

Processes of European colonization around the world shaped global politics since Christopher Columbus landed on current day Caribbean islands, and continue to shape the cultural identity of the lands they colonized. Let it there be no mistake: colonization was brutal, illegal, unjust and bloody, and indigenous populations in what are now the Americas were decimated by centuries of abuse at the hands of Portugal, The Netherlands, France, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom.

Latin America was shaped by the mix between Spanish, Portuguese and French colonizers and ancient civilizations such as the Quechua, the Maya, the Aztec and the Inca. The flavors, rhythms and social imaginaries of the region are colorful and respond to the particularities of the European and Indigenous civilizations that clashed.

But what is the British had colonized today’s Latin America? We do not want to banalize colonization, but sometimes it is kinda fun to wonder about the what-ifs of world history.

1. The region would not be called Latin America at all

Credit: Latin+America+stretches+for+5,500+miles+from+the+Rio+Grande+River+in+Mexico+to+Cape+Horn+at+the+southern+end+of+South+America..jpg. Digital image. Slide Player.

Latin America is called so because Portuguese, Spanish and French all derive from Latin and are the most widely used colonial languages in the region. If English ruled, then perhaps the region would be called Anglo America or something similar. Sounds like out of Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.

2. Everyone would have morning and afternoon tea

Credit: morning_tea-0qt3ptk6ilp22598qm2_ct677x380. Digital image. Warwick Daily News

The British love rituals and good manners and rituals, and the everyday pauses for tea or coffee and cake and biscuits. It would be great to enjoy coffee and ginger snaps watching the Pacific ocean.

3. In fact, té de coca would be made by appointment of the queen

Credit: te-de-coca-1. Digital image. Expo Indigenas

Indigenous Bolivians drink a concoction of coca leaves to deal with altitude. The tea would be loved in the UK and the royals would love it.

4. Harry and Meghan would have gotten married in Machu Picchu

Credit: Machu-Picchu-Classic-View-2-1. Digital image. NOMADasaurus

The British would have savaged the Incas just like the Spanish, but they would have held on to political power by incorporating the region into the Commonwealth. Harry and Meghan would have organized a lavish wedding in the Andean hotspot.

5. The queen would have a pair of Xoloescuincles!

Credit: 635885090580c438b00b437.11522973-breed-550. Digital image. Perfect Pets

Move over corgis! The Queen would have pet Xolos and parade them in Buckingham Palace. So cute.

6. Aztec-Indian cuisine would be a thing

Credit: 606_02_2. Digital image. Mexiclore

Let’s be honest: British food is very boring, so they have incorporated the ingredients from their former colonies in their own culinary traditions. Chicken tikka masala is the national dish of England thanks to the incorporation of Indian spices into their cupboards! Aztec ingredients would be fused with cardamom, cumin, fenugreek, and chives to produce curry mole!

7. Afro-American culture would have spread out even more

Credit: 3526183_1425435360.6653.jpg. Digital image. Go Fund Me.

Perhaps the most horrible legacy of British colonialism was slavery. Even though the Spanish, French, and Portuguese illegally traded with African populations, the British were even more brutal. African culture would have spread farther and deeper into the continent as a result.

8. The Brits would eat tortillas and marmite for breakfast

Credit: bc70e0577e8e20b4701f7b099a1b92e5. Digital image. Yahoo Finance

The English love to have yeast extract over toast for breakfast. Marmite is salty and definitely an acquired taste. It would be made better over warm white corn tortillas. This would certainly brighten up their mornings.

9. Salsa would have some Celtic dance thrown in

Credit: lord-of-the-dance-lst173350. Digital image. The List .

African influence would have eventually led to the creation of salsa music. However, the Brits would have brought Irish migrants and their Lord of the Dance moves. One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-maaaaaaambo.

10. Mexico would have been called New Loch Ness

Credit: 58559-istock-457394005. Digital image. Mental Floss

The British would have arrived at the ancient Tenochtitlan and upon realizing it was a lake, they would name the territory New Loch Ness in honor of the famous lake. Centuries later, people would claim to see giant sea monsters in both places and conspiracy theories would abound.

11. Cuba would be The New Isle of Mann

Credit: map1. Digital image. Visit Isle of Mann

Cuba would not be Cuba, but the New Isle of Mann, due to its similarity to the island stuck in between Liverpool and Dublin. This would have triggered a generous migration of Irish folk to the Caribbean and give birth to CariCeltic culture!

12. The region would be crazy for rugby!

Credit: Springboks_Reuters NewsHub. Digital image. News Hub.

Move over soccer! As part of the Commonwealth, most countries in the region would be head over heels over rugby. It is practiced in Argentina today, but in this alternate reality teams like The Mayas, The Sioux, The Inca, and The Quechua Eagles would have millions of hinchas.

13. Everyone would do a year abroad in Australia. G’day mate!

Credit: aussiewordoftheday. Digital image. Sion Nagh

As part of the Commonwealth, the region would send its youngest, brightest and most desmadroso minds to the land Down Under. Saying G’Day to everyone on the street would be common and some Australian colonies would start to pop up near surfing-prone areas. Everyone would have BBQs on hot days. Very similar to Argentinian asados!

14. Clocks everywhere and no siesta!

Credit: SyncronizedClocks-166311698-(1). Digital image. Wired

It is no secret that the British are a bit anal when it comes to time. The whole continent, from Canada to Patagonia, would run like clockwork over a single timezone. Siestas? Are you kidding? No time for that! Efficiency would be the norm, but life would be a bit more boring. Puaj.

15. Harry Potter would conjure up an ancient Mayan god to defeat Voldemort

Credit: mayagoddeathahpuch11. Digital image. Ancient Pages

Our favorite wizard would not only resort to Anglo-Saxon lore, but also to Mayan ancient scriptures. He would call an ancient Mayan God to be able to finally defeat the one that shall not be named. Just look at how badass the dude on the picture is. Ay, nanita! Also, Hermione would look like a tiny cute Frida Kahlo. Ron would still be a redhead.

16. Shakira would be called Lady Shakespeare

Credit: Instagram. @shakira

Shakira would still exist (because she is a wonderful force of nature that escapes the rules of time and space, thank you very much), but she would have played homage to the great bard by calling herself Lady Shakespeare. Thou hips shall not lie! Just see how at home she looks in London in this picture.

17.  Mr. Bean would have worked with Chespireetou

Credit: ap815014119540. Digital image. MSNBC

Could you imagine a crossover between the great Chespirito and the uncanny Mr. Bean? They would have formed one of the best comedic duos of all time as if Chaplin and Buster Keaton had teamed up. Damn, we now wanna watch that!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

These Were The Moments That Defined Latin America In 2020 That Weren’t About COVID-19

Things That Matter

These Were The Moments That Defined Latin America In 2020 That Weren’t About COVID-19

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2020 will easily go down in manny of our memories as the year that just wouldn’t stop. As the year started, it all seemed to be sort of fine as the world came together to battle record-breaking Australian bushfires and worked to hopefully contain an outbreak of a strange new virus in China.

However, as the year comes to a close things have gone de mal a peor for the world in general, but for the Latino population in the United States and Latin America as a region in particular. Though it’s hard to realize just how much we all witnessed and experienced since so much of what happened seems like it was a lifetime ago.

Here’s a look back at some the defining moments from 2020 across Latin America.

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira kicked off the year hopeful with a history-making performance at the Super Bowl.

Yes, believe it or not, this happened in 2020. The pair put on what many have called the best half time show in Super Bowl history. They were also joined by J Balvin and Bad Bunny.

Bolivia’s Evo Morales was forced into exile, only to return to the country in November.

After being forced into exile at the end of 2019 for attempting to illegally run in upcoming presidential elections, Morales spent a year abroad – first in Mexico and then in Argentina.

Mexico’s President AMLO made his first trip abroad to visit Donald Trump at the White House.

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is a staunch populist and has long said his primary focus is domestic policy within Mexico. Therefore, despite two years in office, AMLO hadn’t left Mexico once. So it came as a surprise when his first trip abroad was a visit to the U.S. leader who had long disparaged Mexico, the government, and Mexicans – not to mention his trip came in the middle of a global pandemic.

Migrant caravans continued to make their way towards the U.S. despite interference from Mexico and Covid-19.

Migrants attempting to make their way to the U.S. isn’t unique to 2020. For decades, migrants have long banded together for safety in numbers along the treacherous journey to the north. However, they became larger and better organized in 2020, perhaps owing to the new dangers of Mexican interference.

Mexico’s AMLO vowed to stop migrants from reaching the U.S.-Mexico border, adhering to Trump’s request. It was also noteworthy because the caravans continued despite the Covid-19 crisis, which has hit the region particularly hard.

Peru saw three presidents in the span of a few weeks after massive protests.

Peru is facing one of the greatest crises the nation has faced. Just as the country seemed to be emerging from the worst of its battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, the country has entered a severe political crisis.

The country’s elected president, Martin Vizcarra, was impeached and removed from office. His predecessor responded with a heavy hand to the protests that ensued resulting in his resignation less than 24 hours later. The government then had to find someone willing to take the job which proved to be a tough sell.

In fact, massive protests swept across Latin America.

From Mexico in the north to Cuba in the Caribbean and Chile in the south, protests were seen all across the region. Although each movement had it’s own stated goal and objectives, many were largely borne out of the same purpose: to fight back against corruption.

Brazil’s President Jaír Bolsonaro tested positive for Covid-19 but it did nothing to change his approach to the pandemic.

Jaír Bolsonaro has long been compared to Donald Trump, with many calling him the Donald Trump of South America. The two were also strongly aligned in their responses to the Coronavirus pandemic, with the pair largely downplaying the severity of the crisis.

Then, Bolsonaro became infected with the virus and many hoped it would change his view on the crisis. It didn’t.

A growing feminist movement developed in Mexico, demanding protection from a shocking rise in violence against women.

Mexico has long been battling endemic violence and the country has continued to see record-setting rates of homicides. But it was the growing rate of violence against women, particularly femicide, that gained national attention.

Women banded together and started large nationwide protests. Over the summer, women in the capital of Mexico City occupied government buildings and destroyed many of the city’s most popular monuments to hopefully get their message across. Although the movement has gained more recognition by Mexicans, the government has still failed to address their concerns. Let’s hope things are different in 2021.

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In A Post-Covid World, Here Is Where You All Said Want To Travel

Culture

In A Post-Covid World, Here Is Where You All Said Want To Travel

©Marco Bottigelli / Getty Images

Covid put a stop to our travel plans for 2020. After almost a year in lockdown, we have had time to plan fantasy trips and explore the world. We asked you where you wanted to visit and here are some of the places you all can’t wait to see.

Argentina

Argentina offers something for everyone. As on of the southernmost countries in the world, Argentina offers natural sights that will make nature lovers swoon. Into architecture? Cities like Mendoza offers a look at the art-deco style that will make you feel like you are back in time. Don’t forget to try to make a trip down to Ushuaia, the End of the World for a spectacular view.

Cuba

Cuba is a tricky one but a beautiful place to see. The country is filled with old buildings and cars that make it feel like a time capsule. Now, the island is old because they are oppressed and don’t have much. But you can always find ways to make sure that you help people of the island instead of giving the money to government approved businesses.

Costa Rica

This is about as wild and wondrous as it gets. Costa Rica will give everyone a chance to really be one with nature. The Central American country is a rainforest oasis with nature everywhere you look. The country prides itself on how development is not encroaching on nature and has even outlawed zoos and aquariums.

Honduras

Honduras is an underestimated place to visit. The food and people are warm and inviting. There has been some unrest in the country in recent years and a series of hurricanes has devastated the population. Tourism is a great way to bring money into a place the needs it. Just don’t take advantage of them while you are there.

Mexico

Mexico is a country filled with wonders new and old. You can experience the ruins of some of the oldest civilizations and bask in the modernity of Mexico City. The food is as diverse and vibrant as the people with delicious moles in Oaxaca and experimental fusions in Mexico City. Valle de Guadalupe is home to some farm to table restaurants and exquisite wineries. It truly is a journey of the sense if you take time to see the country.

Colombia

Colombia is one of South America’s gems. After years of internal conflict, the nation is growing and quickly becoming a destination. Bogotá and Medellín are great but make it a point to visit Cali. The city is one of the place everyone should visit if they make their way to Colombia.

READ: Mexico Announces 11 New Pueblos Mágicos And It’s The Post-COVID Travel Lust We All Need Right Now

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com