Some of our hemisphere's emerging leaders in politics, business, civil society, and the arts.
The Chocó region in western Colombia is one of the most mineral-rich places in the hemisphere. It is also ecologically rich, boasting species of flora thought to be unique to Chocó. But due to years of commercial gold and platinum mining that have leached mercury and cyanide into local rivers, the Chocó region has also become one of the most threatened natural areas in the world.
Ruben Kihuen, 33, is used to winning. As a rising Mexican-American politician in Nevada—where Latinos have played a major role in deciding the last two U.S. presidential elections—Kihuen has attracted attention far outside his home state.
And with good reason: both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama courted him during their 2008 presidential campaigns, and Kihuen’s political mentor, U.S. Senator Harry Reid, has called him “a rising star in Nevada and the Democratic Party.” After winning two successive terms in the state assembly, Kihuen, a Democrat, became Nevada’s youngest state senator in 2010. This year, he served as senate majority whip and chairman of the Senate Revenue Committee.
Puerto Ricans often feel that they are part of an invisible nation. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, there are now 4.7 million Puerto Ricans living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia—more than on their ancestral Caribbean archipelago of 3.7 million. But because Puerto Ricans living abroad are not distinguished from other U.S. citizens, the true size of the Puerto Rican diaspora has long been impossible to determine.
A mother and child load the week’s dirty clothes into a washing machine. Nearby, a young man stuffs his dry clothes into a hamper. An old woman methodically folds children’s socks and T-shirts. It’s a typical scene at laundromats around New York City—except for one difference: while waiting for their clothes to spin dry, a handful of neighbors are learning how to make batik-dyed T-shirts with a local artist.
This facility happens to be one of a dozen coin-op washaterias participating in The Laundromat Project, a not-for-profit enterprise that blends art and community spirit with the most ordinary of household chores. Its tagline: “wash clothes, make art, build community.”
Since 2006, The Laundromat Project has commissioned 27 public art projects in 23 laundromats.
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