Things That Matter

These Two Women Shared Their Stories About Traveling And Falling In Love Abroad

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Booking a flight to another country and immersing yourself in the local culture can give you some serious 😍 eyes. New sights, new sounds, perhaps even new phrases or a new language can all heighten the senses and stir up the heart strings. From a coming-of-age story of love and self acceptance, to realizing that sometimes falling in love abroad is dreamier than moving together abroad, these two women share stories of falling in love in Latin America and with Latinos traveling abroad.

A family friend sparks an incredible romance that helped her move on to her next chapter.

Eleven years ago I was 21 years old and slowly approaching what I have jokingly referred to as my “quarter life crisis”. Since I had not attended college, I found myself dissatisfied with my fallen-into career. I also had now outgrown my only relationship, which stemmed from high school. Feeling lost, I was anxiously trying to find my way. It was during a family trip to Mexico upon arrival at a party, that I saw my father’s closest friend, Jorge and his son Eduardo. It had been years since I last saw them. When I was younger I enjoyed visiting Mexico and spending time with Eduardo’s family. Admittedly, I had a small crush. However since he was 5 years older, that’s all it was. He was very attractive and athletic, having excelled competitively in the tennis community. Although we were now both in our 20s, as we talked and caught up I realized that some things really hadn’t changed. Eduardo always reminded me of a young Enrique Iglesias, whose mocha colored skin and bright smile presented a stunning contrast. This combo somehow still made me blush. We exchanged information, and maintained contact once I returned home. Eventually a romance ensued, but more importantly a friendship. We were both excited when he received a job offer in Tijuana, as that meant a two-hour drive versus a two-hour flight. This gave me the opportunity to show him around my hometown of Los Angeles, where we created some great memories. Eventually the romance slowly fizzled down mainly due to our different paths. However, we remain close friends. I hadn’t realized how much my self-esteem was being impacted by my circumstances. In a time where I was beginning to experience self-doubt in my abilities, he provided me with excitement and confidence that sparked the fuse which propelled me into my next chapter.”

—Submitted by *Alexzia

A college fling in Cuba fizzled out while moving to Spain.

Doesn’t everybody? 😉 Fell in love with a Cuban during graduate studies in anthropology in Havana. He had a job offer in Spain. I figured I’d finish my thesis and go teach English in Argentina. His sister suggested I do that in Spain instead, seeing how when you date a Cuban, you kinda date the whole family and they were all headed to Spain eventually. The breakup started right after he got to Madrid, but by then I was getting little job leads and a chance to study journalism there – in Spanish. I went anyway. We ended before my arrival, tried to muster a friendship but it was weird – and also hard, both of us rather alone as immigrants in a foreign country. I would learn through other Cuban connections that lots and lots of relationships don’t survive such migrations, even Cubans with Cubans because the change is so radical. I graduated from El País School of Journalism about a year and a half later. He married and had a baby almost immediately. —Submitted by Julienne


READ: J.Lo And A.Rod *Fall In Love* While PR and DR Brawl On Twitter

Have you ever fallen in love while traveling in Latin America? Share your stories with us!

Cancun Has a Major Algae Problem and The Cause Could Be Global Warming

Culture

Cancun Has a Major Algae Problem and The Cause Could Be Global Warming

@newsnest00 / Twitter

For the past several years, Cancun has notoriously become one of The Summer Spots. With promises of cheap beer, crystal clear surf and fun hangs, tourists typically flock to the vacation destination for good times in the spring and summer in troves. The location’s sands, beaches, and resorts are typically packed by this time of year, but a nasty visitor is washing up on the shores of these beaches, scaring off the usual summertime travel industry.

For the past several months, an invasion of seaweed-like algae hasn’t been just an eyesore for tourists, it’s also been a nasal deterrent.

Hundreds of pounds of seaweed-like algae is washing up on the shores of Cancun and it’s ruining the city’s tourist season.

Twitter / @tictoc

The past several months, the sunny resort town has been inundated with slimy, brown seaweed-like algae. It’s name is sargassum and it has washed up all along the coast around Cancun; stretching all the way down to Playa del Carmen and even further to Tulum. With the stench of rotten eggs, the algae smells just as gross as it looks and makes for a pretty unappealing soggy mess. It’s definitely not the sort of beach conditions that encourage tourists to visit.

Though Cancun businesses are feeling the effects of this invasion, the president of Mexico isn’t as concerned. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has reportedly called the problem controllable and has only allocated 2.6 Million for the removal of the algae. The removal is a slow process — being shoveled away by city workers — but the lack of resources makes the task even more difficult. Also, the endless onslaught of fresh algae with every tide doesn’t help. Even using front loaders and trucks for the cleanup, the work takes several hours and results in an algae-covered beach only moments later.

Officials aren’t certain what the cause of this algae is but there are clues that point to it being caused by major global issues.

Twitter / @DKaimowitz

Scientists have suggested that the increase in algae is caused by the warming of our Earth because of the global climate change we are currently experiencing. This is the same hypothesis that has been suggested to explain Florida’s Red Tide. Earlier this month, scientists at the University of South Florida used satellite imaging to discover the largest bloom of the algae in the world. It’s being called the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt and it is impacting beaches along North, Central, and South America.

Others believe that deforestation is to blame for the assault of algae on these beaches. Due to the logging and increased use of herbicide and fertilizers by Brazilian lumber companies in the Amazon forest, dangerous runoff flows into the ocean. The nutrients in these fertilizers encourage the growth of the algae; causing super blooms to occur.

In a release about a study of these super blooms, Dr. Chuanmin Hu of the USF College of Marine Science expressed concern about the state of the Atlantic ocean. He has predicted that:

“The ocean’s chemistry must have changed in order for the blooms to get so out of hand.”

Regardless of what the Mexican president and scientists say, locals who face this problem every day are the ones most impacted by the algae.

Twitter / @newsnest00

Tourism in the community has taken a major hit during a time when Mexico is already heading towards a recession. The first three weeks of June, hotel occupancy in the area dropped by 3.4%. Air travel to the city also saw numbers that aren’t as optimistic as Cancun usually sees during this time of year. It only claimed 1.2%, the smallest amount of growth that the area has seen since 2011.

It isn’t just the international travel industry that loses money to the algae. In a city like Cancun, as much as 40% of jobs are tied to tourism alone. Events like this — that impact the beaches so severely — threaten the livelihood of locals. The Mexican transportation industry, local artisans, restaurants, beach resorts, and sight-seeing locations depend on this busy season to provide the bulk of their yearly income. In order to lure travelers, hotels in the area are even running specials. In many places in Cancun, tourists can get as much as 20% off rooms and free transportation to unaffected beaches.

Cleaning up after this mess will take a lot more than a few hundred shovels.

Twitter / @ElCanaco

Reversing the effects of climate change can not really be accomplished on an individual level. Realistically, a single person does not cause this damage. Instead, it is large conglomerations that hurt our Earth with their anti-environmental policies. Until the governments of the world decide to hold these companies accountable, nothing productive will be done to stop this damage.

Right now, we’re seeing this onslaught of algae but who knows what is in store for our environment if we don’t make major improvements soon. It’s more than just our Cancun vacations that are counting on these changes.

This Argentine Doctor Saved Millions Of Lives With A Groundbreaking Surgery And Now He Has His Own Google Doodle

Culture

This Argentine Doctor Saved Millions Of Lives With A Groundbreaking Surgery And Now He Has His Own Google Doodle

Google

Google has become well known for it’s regularly tributed to some of the most famed people in history. Unsurprisingly, Latinos make up a massive bundle of Google’s over 900 doodles.

And today, Google is honoring an Argentine doctor who contributed one of the most commonly used medical procedures to the world – saving millions of lives in the process.

The legacy of Argentine surgeon Rene Favaloro is being remembered by a Google Doodle today on what would have been his 96th birthday.

Credit: @CleClinicNews / Twitter

René Favaloro, a pioneering Argentine heart surgeon, is being remembered with a Google Doodle for his contributions to coronary bypass surgery on what would have been his 96th birthday.

Born in La Plata, Argentina, in 1923, Favaloro started his career as a doctor in the farming community of Jacinto Arauz, where he built his own operating room, trained nurses and set up a local blood bank.

In 1962 he moved to the United States where he pioneered coronary bypass surgery, a technique used to restore blood flow to the heart when the vessel supplying it is blocked.

René Favaloro was a pioneer in cardiac surgery and his discovery has saved countless lives.

Credit: @American_Heart / Twitter

Favaloro developed a method using a vein from the leg, implanting it to bypass the blockage in the coronary artery. He performed the first operation of this kind on a 51 year-old woman at the Cleveland Clinic in 1967. The historic operation was a success and the procedure has saved countless lives since then.

Today, coronary artery bypass surgery is one of the most common operations. Doctors performed 213,700 in the U.S. in 2011.

But who was René Favaloro?

Credit: @newscientist / Twitter

Rene Favaloro was born in 1923 in La Plata, Argentina and went on to earn a degree in medicine from the National University of La Plata in 1948.

He worked as a doctor in his home country for a time before moving to the US to study thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at the Cleveland Clinic

Favaloro returned to Argentina in 1972, where he would later found his own medical institution, the Favaloro Foundation.

While Favaloro himself was reluctant to be known as the “father” of coronary bypass surgery, his work played a fundamental role in introducing the procedure into the clinical arena.

Of his legacy, Favaloro wrote: “’We’ is more important than ‘I.’ In medicine, the advances are always the result of many efforts accumulated over the years.”

Today, the Favaloro Foundation serves patients based on their medical needs rather than their ability to pay and tecaches Dr Favaloro’s innovative techniques to doctors all over Latin America.

Sadly, his clinic pushed him into debt and he took his own life in 2000.

Credit: @Bravp_MD / Twitter

He took his own life on July 29, 2000 at the age of 77. The day before his death he sent a letter to then-Argentine President Fernando de la Rúa (who died three days ago) asking him for help to secure funding for his foundation, which had become mired in debt as a result of a national economic crisis.

Many took to Twitter to share in their Argentine pride.

Credit: @CleClinicNews / Twitter

Many were excited to see such an important Argentine figure getting global recognition for this contributions to the world.

While other doctors expressed how much they owe to Dr. Favaloro.

Credit: @TIME / Twitter

Without the work of Dr. Favaloro, many doctors pointed out that we could be living in a world where there are a lot more preventable deaths because of heart disease.

READ: 25 Times Latinos Have Graced The Google Doodle

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