Vanishing Homelands


From the Bolivian jungle to the tip of Chile, from the sugar cane fields of the Dominican Republic to Colombia’s Andean highlands, and finally to the frozen expanse of Antarctica, “Vanishing Homelands” chronicles the loss of land and culture across Latin America and the Caribbean in the 500 years since the arrival of Columbus.

SORT: Newest Oldest Name A-Z Name Z-A
  • Flowers for Export

    Flowers for Export

    Outside Bogotá, some of Latin America’s best soils have been covered with a sea of greenhouses for growing flowers for export.

  • Caribbean Dreams

    Caribbean Dreams

    Different sorts of dreams collide in the Dominican Republic, where industrial parks, sugar cane fields, and a posh resort all belong to a single U.S. corporation.

  • Sustainable Colonization

    Sustainable Colonization

    In Brazil, a peasant cooperative has planted native crops using methods designed to preserve the delicate forest soils. But the farmers have little formal education, and even less experience managing a business.

  • Escaping the Tourist Trap

    Escaping the Tourist Trap

    In the Mexican state of Chiapas, Chamula Indian artisans are trying to create a tourist economy on their own terms.

  • Rainforest Crunch

    Rainforest Crunch

    Deep in the Brazilian Amazon, seasonal rubber tappers harvest Brazil nuts to sell to Ben & Jerry’s. But the tappers aren’t happy, and the relationship with their NGO sponsor has frayed.

  • Life on the Edge of the Ozone Hole

    Life on the Edge of the Ozone Hole

    The world’s southernmost population, in Chile’s Magallanes province, finds itself on the brink of a deepening danger that may one day force them from their beautiful homeland – and eventually imperil us all.

  • Yacyretá


    A giant dam project on the border of Paraguay and Argentina raises questions about the social and environmental impact of major infrastructure projects.

  • Refugees from a Fallen Landscape, Part 2

    Refugees from a Fallen Landscape, Part 2

    Part 2 of a two-part report from Honduras examines attempts by foreign and private relief agencies to regenerate the soil and help farmers stay on their lands.

  • Refugees from a Fallen Landscape, Part 1

    Refugees from a Fallen Landscape, Part 1

    Part One of a two-part feature about the effects of deforestation and desertification follows poor farmers in Honduras who are fleeing their damaged lands to an uncertain life in Tegucigalpa.

  • Shrimp Cocktail

    Shrimp Cocktail

    Backed by U.S. government funds, salt flats along the southern Honduran coast have been converted into giant shrimp farms where lax enforcement of environmental, social, and labor laws are the norm.

  • Ecuador’s Golden Cities

    Ecuador’s Golden Cities

    During the 16th century, the hills of southern Ecuador were a center of gold production for the Spanish. Today the region booms anew, its mines worked by thousands of desperate peasants.

  • In Panama, a Clash of Cultures on the Frontier

    In Panama, a Clash of Cultures on the Frontier

    The construction of a road and hydroelectric dam in eastern Panama has threatened the survival of Guna Indians who live in the area.

  • Quichua Indians and Oil

    Quichua Indians and Oil

    In the Amazon of Ecuador, two native villages have radically different attitudes toward oil development.

  • Ecuador’s Amazon

    Ecuador’s Amazon

    Faced with crushing debt and pressure from lenders, Ecuador is rushing to open its section of the Amazon to oil development. But spills and dumping threaten settlers, indigenous people, and the land itself.

  • Argentina’s Guaraní Indians

    Argentina’s Guaraní Indians

    Once the largest tribe in South America, the Guaraní have nearly all left their native forests. But one last band is holding out.

  • Saving Jungle Souls

    Saving Jungle Souls

    The story of Bolivia’s nomadic Yuqui Indians and the American Evangelical Christians who coaxed them out of the jungle. The first story in the Vanishing Homelands series.

  • Celebrating the Discovery

    Celebrating the Discovery

    Preparations for the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas raise questions about the value of celebrating the event that led to the European conquest.

  • Homelands Regained

    Homelands Regained

    In Colombia, the Paez Indians have resorted to guerrilla insurrection to reclaim their ancestral territory from the great landed families of Spanish descent.

  • Miskito Coast

    Miskito Coast

    On Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast, Miskito Indians and American investors face off in a battle over the future of the region’s resources.

  • Oil in Ecuador’s Amazon

    Oil in Ecuador’s Amazon

    A U.S. oil company has a controversial plan to build a new road and oil pipeline into some of the most remote Indian lands in the Amazon.

  • Sugar and Sorrow in Hispaniola

    Sugar and Sorrow in Hispaniola

    Haitian sugar cane workers in the Dominican Republic live in squalid conditions. Although the sugar they produce is exported to the United States, the U.S. government has declined to intervene.