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[Editing] Nomads unite for Andú

ORIGINAL Wandering around the mural and stray dog sprinkled streets of Santiago is a fairly new band called Andú. A colourful mix of vagrants, musicians and instruments, they tour the city playing their lilting gypsyesque tunes wherever they go. The band is comprised of four guys. The vocalist and founder, Sebastian Castillo plays guitar with an Andean style. The French accordionist, Corentin Restif conveys the harmonies of his country. Alvaro Maturana’s cajón (large wooden box-like Peruvian drum) has a Brazilian flavor, Jon Toselli’s darbuka (a Middle Eastern goblet shaped hand drum) adds an Arabian air, and together, they are a…

Anita Alvarado: Chile’s Geisha takes a low profile

Published Aug. 7, 2008, on The Santiago Times   (Ed. Note: Anita Alvarado is most commonly known as the Chilean Geisha. From a poor background, she gavebirth to her first child at a young age and began working as a prostitute to support her child. In 1992, when she was only 19, she emigrated to Japan, where she continued to sell her sexual services, but quickly became one of Japan’s VIP prostitutes, involving herself with mafia clients and eventually marrying into money. She is a well known, controversial figure, often in the Chilean spotlight for being born a poor woman…

[Unpublished] Trade in the eyes of Africa

Written in Accra, Ghana, in summer 2007 for New York University’s specialized reporting program   Sylvia Ashie sat among a dozen empty tables at her open-air restaurant in Tema, an industrial town outside of Ghana’s capital Accra, writing check after check, signing invoice after invoice. After a few moments of silence, still looking down at her checkbook, she asked, “Do you think people in the U.S. want to do business in places like this?” In the early ‘90s, Ashie, 57, owner of Sylvia’s Catering Services and restaurant, opened up a second business selling food ingredients to feed the factory workers at…