More consolidation as Red Label Holdings confirms itravel2000 purchase Posted by MISSISSAUGA — The number of players in the OTA market just got smaller – and one company got a whole lot bigger – with Red Label Holdings’ purchase of online retailer itravel2000.Red Label Holdings Inc., parent company of TravelBrands and Redtag.ca, announced this morning that it had reached an agreement to acquire itravel2000. itravel2000 was previously owned by the London-based Westminster Group. A Red Label purchase brings the company back in Canadian hands under the direction of the DeMarinis brothers.“This deal marks a significant milestone for our retail business. itravel2000 has built a trusted brand and loyal client base for over 20 years. With our scale, we have the opportunity to move itravel2000’s business forward even faster,” said Joe DeMarinis, Vice President of Red Label Holdings. “I am pleased to have reached this agreement. We can provide itravel2000 with more options, differentiated products and services created specifically for the Canadian market.“We look forward to continuing our long-term business relationships with our partners and suppliers, and to serve Canadians with the best value and services in travel.”More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Dean Moore, President & CEO, itravel2000, said itravel2000 “has been at the forefront of the Canadian online travel agency space for over two decades and the acquisition by Red Label Holdings Inc. creates a platform to ensure one of Canada’s most instantly recognizable brands continues to flourish.”Moore added that “Enzo, Joe and Frank DeMarinis have a long and distinguished track record in the Canadian retail travel industry and their skills and experience will be a tremendous asset to the business going forward.”itravel2000 hit the headlines in 2006 when it was purchased by Travelzest for $51.5 million. Things got interesting when itravel2000 co-founder Jonathan Carroll took over as interim CEO of Travelzest in 2009 (and left in 2013, instigating legal action). Westminster Group bought itravel2000 in 2013.The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions. Tags: itravel2000, Red Tag, TravelBrands << Previous PostNext Post >> Wednesday, July 20, 2016 Share Travelweek Group
Tags: Fathom Friday, September 16, 2016 Posted by MIAMI — Fathom’s ‘Agents of Possibility’ incentive offers early booking deals for clients on 2017 sailings to Cuba and the D.R., plus opportunities for agents to earn points for prizes.“Throughout the campaign, we will award two agents per month with the gift of a Fathom cruise they can pass on to a client they feel deserves new possibilities,” said Ron Fenska, Fathom’s VP, Sales. “Every day travel professionals deal in a world of possibilities, helping to open up the world to their clients through amazing travel experiences. Fathom believes in the potential of travel to create meaningful connections with people and places in the world and we want to give our travel professional partners the opportunity to feel the joy of sharing this experience with someone special.”Now through Dec. 31 agents can register to take part in Agents of Possibility. Once registered travel agents will be eligible to earn points for their agencies for every 2017 passenger booked with Fathom. Two points will be awarded for each passenger booked aboard a 2017 Fathom sailing to the D.R. and one point will be awarded for each 2017 Cuba passenger booked.More news: Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckPoints will accrue by agency, and each month the agency with the most points will win a chance to select a valuable prize from the Agents of Possibility prize list. When the campaign concludes in December, the agency with the most overall points will be awarded a mystery grand prize.In addition to prizes that will be awarded for points earned, each month Fathom will select at random two agencies to receive complimentary travel for two aboard the MV Adonia to the D.R. Fathom invites winning agencies to pass the sailings forward to clients they believe deserve an opportunity to experience Fathom. Travel professionals must register for the Agents of Possibility promotion to be eligible.To help agents earn points and win prizes, Fathom has rolled out several early booking deals for clients. Fathom will provide Agents of Possibility registered travel professionals with per-person dollar-off discounts by cabin category. Discounts apply per person for the first and second passenger and are based on double-occupancy standard Fathom published best fares.For sailings to the D.R. between Dec. 4, 2016, and May 21, 2017:US$400 discount off interior cabins$600 discount off ocean view cabins$800 discount off balcony cabins$1,200 discount off suitesMore news: Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksFor sailings to the D.R. between June 4, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2017:$200 discount off interior cabins$400 discount off ocean view cabins$600 discount off balcony cabins$1,000 discount off suitesFor sailings to Cuba between Jan. 1, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2017:$200 discount off interior cabins$400 discount off ocean view cabins$600 discount off balcony cabins$1,000 discount off suites“Travel professionals truly understand how meaningful travel can be to help drive cultural exchange, economic growth and human understanding, and we believe they are an important part of selling the Fathom experience,” said Fenska. “Travel professionals do not just make a difference they are the difference in delivering inspiring journeys. It is gratifying to have a promotional campaign that draws agents into a world of potential, exploration and excitement, while giving them the tools and incentive to attract new clients.”For more details visit fathom.org/agents-of-possibility/. << Previous PostNext Post >> Fathom’s ‘Agents of Possibility’ promo offers client deals, agent prizes Share Travelweek Group
Tags: NewLeaf Travel NewLeaf offers Interac Online payment option Wednesday, March 22, 2017 Posted by WINNIPEG — NewLeaf Travel Company is now allowing passengers to pay for fares using Interac Online.Customers with access to Interac Online through their financial institutions can now use their debit card to purchase flights with funds directly withdrawn from their bank account, said the company. “Canadians use Interac more than any other payment brand and providing this option for NewLeaf Customers enhances, streamlines and offers a cost effective alternative for booking travel.”The Interac Online option is available when passengers are booking through GoNewLeaf.ca. NewLeaf airport check-in counters are also equipped with Interac for ancillary purchases.“NewLeaf is proud to offer Canadians more choice in payment methods when booking air travel. This option, which is not available through all Canadian airlines, demonstrates the resourcefulness and agility to respond to customer feedback,” said the company. Share Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>
About Latest Posts Cindy SosroutomoDeputy Editor at TravelweekCindy is Deputy Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 2007. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Kenya, Morocco, Thailand and Turkey among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Cindy Sosroutomo (see all) Frustrations mount over elusive consumer-pay model: Will it ever happen? – July 16, 2019 “It’s in everyone’s best interest to stay open”: Beaches Turks & Caicos will not close in 2021 – May 15, 2019 Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy – April 29, 2019 Friday, May 12, 2017 Share Cindy Sosroutomo Tags: Air Canada, Houston << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by TORONTO — Let’s taco ‘bout Houston, shall we? The city hosted an industry event in Toronto yesterday during which tourism partners and media were invited to build their own breakfast tacos, a local staple that reflects Houston’s growing Hispanic population.According to Pilar Florez, Director of Tourism for Visit Houston, 38% of the city’s population has Hispanic roots, which speaks to its incredible diversity. In fact, the Kinder Institute For Urban Research has officially designated Houston as the most diverse city in the United States, a title it certainly wears with pride.It’s in this way that Houston shares similarities with Toronto, also known for its diversity, which Florez hopes will inspire Torontonians to visit their American counterpart this year. And with Air Canada providing a bevvy of flights, Canadians are in a prime position to book more leisure vacations, something Florez says the city hopes to increase.“We’ve always had an historic connection with Canada thanks to the oil and gas industries, with much of our traffic coming from Calgary,” she told Travelweek. “But with Air Canada’s flights, we’re now focusing on Eastern Canada and, specifically, leisure travellers.”Air Canada offers nonstop service from three Canadian cities to Houston: Montreal, Calgary and Toronto. In total, the airline flies over 100 flights each week from Canada to Houston, making it the carrier with the most flights and the most seats between Canada and the state of Texas.“We’re now focused on growing our U.S. network as part of our efforts to expand on a global scale,” said Jennifer Backus, Senior Key Account Manager at Air Canada. “It’s key for us to service both directions, to not only bring Canadians to Houston but also bring more people from Houston to Canadian hubs.”More news: Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterWith convenient airlift, Florez also hopes that travellers who’ve traditionally used Houston as a transit hub will now stop, stay and explore the city. Approximately 18 million people travel through Houston’s two international airports and onward to other global destinations.“We have to ask ourselves, how can we work together to get people to stay,” she said, noting that Houston’s incredible value and family-friendly attractions are huge selling points for Canadians.“Over the past year or so, we have noticed a bit of a dip in visitation, largely due to the poor exchange rate,” she said. “But Canadians should know that we are one of the most affordable cities in the U.S., with many free attractions. A meal that would cost US$25 in New York would cost $9.99 in Houston.”Here’s a list of other selling points that you can share with clients:Houston is the 4th largest city in the U.S.The city welcomes over 20 million visitors annually, of that 125,000 are CanadianIt’s easily combinable with Texas’ other major cities like San Antonio and Austin, with a suggested 10-day flight/drive route proving popular among leisure visitorsAir Canada’s direct flights make Houston an ideal weekend getawayIt’s home to the 2nd largest theatre district in the U.S.The hit musical ‘Hamilton’ will be arriving this yearIt’s widely considered the culinary capital of southern United States, with over 10,000 restaurantsThe Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, held each year in March, is the world’s largest rodeoHouston CityPASS ticket booklets contain discounted, prepaid admission to major attractions, including Space Centre Houston and Downtown AquariumAll major attractions in the downtown core are interconnected by a 12-mile underground tunnel systemHouston has 12 craft breweries and over 350 golf coursesOn Fridays at Space Center Houston, visitors can have lunch with an astronautHouston is a tax-free shopping destination Why sell Houston? Food, family and direct flights with Air Canada
Monday, October 2, 2017 LONDON — Agents should warn clients looking to get around London this Thursday – or get to or from Heathrow – that there will be a 24-hour strike work stoppage impacting the London tube.According to TravelMole, the day-long strike, set for Oct. 5, will affect the entire underground system. “We are advising customers that the whole Tube network will be substantially disrupted on Thursday 5 October should planned strike action by Aslef members go ahead,” said a Transport for London spokesperson. Aslef is the union that represents the subway train’s drivers.“All other TfL services will be unaffected by many will be busier than usual as customers seek alternative routes.” Share Posted by London subway strike set for Oct. 5 Travelweek Group Tags: England, London << Previous PostNext Post >>
SACRAMENTO — California’s Highway 1 has officially reopened 18 months after sections of the iconic roadway were closed due to eroded hillsides and mudslides.The iconic highway reopened fully in late July after a year and a half of roadway closures, which resulted in economic losses for businesses along the iconic corridor, especially in northern San Luis Obispo County as travellers rerouted their trips en masse.This week’s celebratory caravan – included a historic convoy of cars, from classic vintage, to sleek and modern, to hydrogen-fueled and electric models – highlighted the highway’s historic past connecting California’s northern and southern regions on one of the world’s most spectacular coastal drives, says Visit California.“Driving Highway 1 is a bucket-list experience many travelers dream about, and its closure made headlines around the world,” said Caroline Beteta, Visit California President & CEO. “Many communities along this stretch have suffered while the road has been closed. We’re proud to announce to the world today that Highway 1 is open and better than ever, and the Central Coast is ready to welcome travellers looking for the ultimate California road trip.”More news: Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthNearly 200 tourism industry leaders, media from around the world and automotive enthusiasts participated in the Dream Drive, which kicked off at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey with a commemorative lap around the raceway track.The convoy proceeded down Highway 1, across the new US$54 million, quarter-mile mudslide repair, before ending with a sunset beach barbecue in the shadow of Morro Rock in the coastal town of Morro Bay.The event was presented by Visit California in partnership with Caltrans, Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visit SLO CAL, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, AAA, Google Street View, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Avis and Hertz.Highway 1 has served as a main throughway for Central Coast locals since the 1930s, and as a scenic drive and tourist attraction for visitors from around the world since the route’s more formal incorporation and official numbering in 1964. The highway is designated as an ‘All-American Road’, and at 665 miles (1,070 kilometres) is the longest state route in California. Highway 1 reopens along CA’s Central Coast with ‘Dream Drive’ from Monterey to Morro Bay Share Posted by Travelweek Group Friday, August 10, 2018 Tags: California, Highway 1 << Previous PostNext Post >>
Posted by Thursday, April 25, 2019 Just You has 41 new tours for solo travellers Tags: Just You, New Tours Share TORONTO — Just You has announced 41 new tours in its latest brochure, giving solo travellers even more choice when booking their vacations.From New Zealand to the Rhine, the new tours span six continents around the world, says Nick Roberti, National Sales Manager.“We are excited to offer solo travellers 41 new tours, with brand new destinations and a whole new continent to explore,” he says. “By popular demand, our brochure will now show airport codes, maximum group sizes on each tour and more freedom to choose the experiences that are right for you.”Roberti adds that the company’s Italian tours have been the most popular thus far, particularly among Canadians. “We anticipate Italy still being an extremely popular destination as we move into 2020, and we are excited to learn which new destinations will be a hotspot for solo travellers.”Here is a roundup of what’s new:Colours of Nepal, 10 days, from $3,449: This trip visits Sarangkot for breathtaking views of the Himalayas and also includes a sightseeing tour of Kathmandu. The tour helps support the SASANE Sisterhood of Survivors project, which helps women and young girls who have been the victims of human trafficking.Breathtaking New Zealand, 15 days, from $8,749: New Zealand is a brand new destination for Just You. On this itinerary, guests will marvel over the landscapes and hot geysers of the North Island before journeying to the South Island for a tour of Waitomo glo worm grotto and sightseeing in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Napier. Guests can also explore Milford Sound on an cruise.Jordan, A Land of Ancient Treasures and Empires, 8 days, from $3,229: Highlights include a tour of Amman, a night under the stars in Wadi Rum, and optional excursions including Petra by candlelight.Croatia and the Makarska Riviera, 8 days, from $3,229: Croatia’s stunning coastline is on full view while on this tour, which also explores the ancient walled cities of Zadar and Dubrovnik as well as the islands of Hvar and Brac.Walking The Amalfi Coast, 8 days, from $1,949: In Italy, guests can discover the Amalfi Coast on a walking tour, including Sorrento and Ravello, plus walk the Path of the Gods.Classic Cities of the Rhine, 6 days, from $2,649: Even more river cruising options are available with Just Your. ‘Cities of the Rhine’ embarks on the four-star, all-inclusive A-Rosa Aqua Premium ship. Guests can explore the flower markets of Amsterdam as well as tour Antwerp and Dusseldorf.More news: Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaJust You is reminding agents and clients that its existing guarantees are still included. Guaranteed Departures are available on over 500 individual dates, while the Guaranteed Price Promise and Guaranteed Price Match are available on every holiday.Just You also offers clients a Protected Deposit; if travel plans change, their deposit can be used at a later date.For more information go to justyou.com or call 1-800-280-1795. Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>
On Sunday at approximately 3:30 a.m., U.S. tourist Stephen Rutkiewicz was shot at least twice in his car in front of Kokomo Bar in the beachside village of Brasilito. He then drove to a nearby bar before bleeding to death while waiting for an ambulance.Those are the few facts that have emerged as rumor and speculation swirl in the sleepy beach town located in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. Conflicting police reports were issued, erroneous news reports were released and many locals who knew Rutkiewicz refused to comment, citing potential danger. Night guards at Kokomo Bar and another nearby business, however, were willing to recount what they saw.Kokomo Bar’s Heiner López was resting on a barstool when he heard two gunshots at about 3:30 a.m., he said. Ten or 15 seconds later, he saw a car peel out from across the street towards him, take a sharp right onto the bridge and speed off toward the beach. Related posts:Tourist killing likely unrelated to victim’s testimony in New York murder case U.S. Embassy: Pot legalization back home won’t change Latin America drug policy Nicaragua deports U.S. fugitive wanted for child porn He never came home After being shot at least twice, police said, Rutkiewicz managed to drive the car about 400 meters along the curved road to Don Brasilitos. There, another night guard who asked to remain anonymous tried to assist the injured Rutkiewicz.“It started when I heard two gunshots from what sounded like a 9 millimeter pistol,” he said. The car, a Nissan Tilda rental, soon stopped in front of Don Brasilitos bar just meters from the beach. “The car was missing a big chunk, like it had already crashed into something,” he said.According to the guard, a Costa Rican woman in her early 30s got out of the front seat and started screaming for help. Then a man jumped out of the back seat and sprinted off into the darkness, the guard said, and then he ran over to help. It was the guard who called 911.“When I saw the wounded man, he was definitely alive,” the guard said. “He was moving and blinking his eyes, as if trying to ask for help.” He saw Rutkiewicz had wounds on his sternum.“Every time he breathed, you could see blood bubbling in his wounds,” he said. “It took the ambulance almost an hour to get there. If only they could have arrived sooner.”Recalling how long the ambulance took, the guard became upset. “The guy died about 10 minutes before anyone got here. When I saw the lights of the police coming down the road, he had already passed away. By the time they got here there was nothing to be done. The ambulance didn’t do anything but take his pulse and leave,” he said.The woman in the car was shaken up, the guard said, and she told him that Rutkiewicz was a stranger giving her a ride home. She also told the guard that the car was parked in front of Kokomo when three or four armed men attacked them. She curled herself into a ball and tried to hide beneath the dashboard, she said.The guard had seen Rutkiewicz in Don Brasilitos before, but said he was always “tranquilo” and never caused problems. “I’d seen him maybe once or twice that month, but he always seemed calm. He came alone, never with lots of people.”Sources say Rutkiewicz was 52 years old, from New York and a fairly frequent tourist to the Guanacaste area. Police reports from the Tourist Police, the Judicial Investigative Police (OIJ) and the Public Security Ministry differed in their accounts of time of the incident, along with the correct spelling of Rutkiewicz’s name and his age. A report from the OIJ stated that Rutkiewicz was shot twice in the face, but the guard who was with Rutkiewicz when he died only noticed blood coming from his chest. Diario Extra misidentified Rutkiewicz as “Ruth Kiewigcz” and reported that the victim had been shot twice in the head.According to C.A. Santos, a friend of Rutkiewicz and a local dentist, Rutkiewicz was a U.S. tourist who visited Potrero two to three times a year for periods of two to four weeks each time. Santos said Rutkiewicz’s uncle owns a house on Mango Street in Surfside, Potrero – just 10 minutes away from Brasilito – which Rutkiewicz would check on several times a year. He also said that the uncle lives in the U.S. and is frequently hospitalized. “Stephen loved his uncle very much and would always be offended when people didn’t inquire about his uncle’s health.”Rutkiewicz was introverted and had very few friends, Santos said, “but he was a close friend of mine. I am a recovering alcoholic and so is he, so when he was in town we hung out a lot and talked about Alcoholics Anonymous. We always went to church together on Saturdays.”Santos speculated that Rutkiewicz might have relapsed when he declined to go to church with him on Dec. 21 – the day before his murder.“He didn’t want to go to church that day, so I thought something might be up,” Santos said. “That maybe he’d fallen off the wagon. He asked me to go alone and to please pray for him and his uncle.”According to Santos, Rutkiewicz was supposed to fly out Dec. 18, but postponed his trip because he had to tie up some loose ends with the house. He died in Brasilito around 4:30 a.m. He was scheduled to fly out that morning at 7.“He was a good guy,” Santos said, fighting tears. “He was my neighbor. I knew him for a year. To me it was a nice friendship.”If you have any information on the shooting, please contact the author of this report at firstname.lastname@example.orgCorrection: A previous version of the story had a wrong spelling for Stephen Rutkiewicz’s last name. Facebook Comments Satellite photo by Google
Costa Rican hotel operators expect occupancy rates of an estimated 82 percent during Easter Holy Week, according to a survey released Thursday by the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR).Hotel owners at Central Pacific beaches and at the Monteverde Cloud Forest area are the most optimistic, reporting an average occupancy expectation of 95 percent, while those in the Central Valley showed the lowest with 67 percent.Easter Holy Week this year runs from April 13-20, but April 11 also is a holiday celebrating Costa Rica’s national hero, Juan Santamaría.“An extended vacation period during high season is key for entrepreneurs to project of an increase in hotel demand,” CANATUR President Isabel Vargas said.Despite the positive numbers, only 38.1 percent of those surveyed expected occupancy figures to be better than last year, while 45 percent said occupation rates will be similar. Just under 17 percent said occupancy rates will be lower.The survey also found an unusual behavior in occupancy numbers just two weeks before Easter, as hotels in mountainous regions showed the highest occupancy rates at 58 percent, while beach hotels reported 56 percent and city hotels reported 37.89. Tourists during dry season traditionally prefer beach hotels.The CANATUR survey was conducted during the third week of March among 126 lodging businesses in Guanacaste, Puntarenas, Limón, the Northern Region and the Central Valley. Facebook Comments Related posts:World Cup caused a drop in hotel occupancy during mid-year vacations, survey shows Tourism entrepreneurs urge President Solís to block retroactive sales tax Costa Rica tourism minister calls cruise ship industry a ‘cornerstone’ for economic recovery Upbeat outlook for Costa Rica tourism, as visitors, revenue up in 2014
Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Hundreds of Ticos gathered in downtown San José’s Plaza de la Democracia to watch the World Cup opener against Uruguay on a large LED screen. Once Costa Rica emerged victorious — a stunning, 3-1, win over one of the top-ranked team’s in the world — the crowd exploded with joy. Spectators erupted in cheering, dancing and high-fives. Red, white and blue vuvuzelas buzzed ubiquitously.“Ole, ole ole ole. Ticos! Ticos!” everyone sang. Fans gather in the Plaza de la Democracia to watch the game on the big screen. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico TimesJoel Campbell, Óscar Duarte and Marco Ureña all scored to lead La Sele to the historic win. Oddsmakers barely gave Costa Rica a chance in brutal Group D, where the Ticos are competing against former World Cup champions Uruguay, Italy and England. Costa Rica plays its second match Friday morning against Italy. La Sele’s final group stage match is June 24 against England.After falling behind 1-0 in the first half, Costa Rica dominated the final 45 minutes. Campbell badgered the Uruguayan defense all match, scoring at the 54th minute. The Ticos’ second goal — a header by Duarte at the 57th minute — was one of the finest shots so far this World Cup. Ureña slid in the final goal at the 84th minute. And with that the celebration was on. A worried La Sele fan watches the game after Uruguay’s first goal. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico TimesLa Sele fans encircled the Rotunda de la Fuente de la Hispanidad, a fountain in east San José and the city’s default party headquarters for widespread celebrations. The cheering and flag waving started from the two balconies of the adjacent Mall San Pedro, but quickly spread into the streets where crazed fans blocked traffic. Drivers waved their own Costa Rican flags out of their windows. Once the cars cleared, the crowd began doing victory laps around the rotunda.“The game was excellent, it was too good! We didn’t expect it but we played how we had to play!” said Erica Miranda, 24, who waved the country’s flag and took selfies with the crowd while in pink high heels.Costa Rica hopes to qualify for the knockout round of the World Cup for the second time in the country’s history. And while nothing is guaranteed with two games remaining, fans basked in the unexpectedly fantastic start.“They showed they have claws, the drive and love for their country,” said Ana Maduro, 53. “It’s important to be realistic, but for now this is a party, we have gotten farther than we ever hoped.”Out on the plaza, festive hats ranged from Thor-style to Cat-in-the-Hat-esque, and included messages like “100% Costa Rican” and “Vamos Ticos.” Presiding over the top of the crowd were tired kids perched on shoulders and seemingly confused about the fuss. Meanwhile, men wearing Costa Rican flags as capes pretended to fly.When a Channel 7 cameraman began filming the scene live, the Ticos went even more berserk. Their image was broadcasted on the screen where they had just watched Costa Rica stun the world. Ashley Harrell/The Tico Times Ashley Harrell/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Related posts:VIDEO: Fans in the last excruciating moments of Costa Rica vs. Netherlands 26 photos from Costa Rica’s tremendous post-victory celebration in San José VIDEO: Even in defeat, Costa Rica celebrates VIDEO: World Cup 2014 Retrospective!
Related posts:Central American foreign ministers meet in Washington to lobby Obama on immigration crisis For Central America’s migrant women, life can change in a second Honduras brings homicide rate down Crisis at the border: Costa Rica weighs its options after Nicaragua violently turns back Cuban migrants Imagine working for the police in Honduras, the country with the highest per-capita murder rate in the world. In a place that doesn’t have an outright war raging, a violent death still takes place every 74 minutes.The shocking amount of crime, fueled by gangs and drug-trafficking, is one of many factors contributing to the mass exodus of Central Americans to the United States. Tens of thousands of Hondurans, most of them children, make the 1,400-mile trek to escape the dire conditions in their country. U.S. President Barack Obama recently requested $3.7 billion in emergency funds to help alleviate what he declared a “humanitarian crisis” at the U.S. border.Gang violence is behind most of the crime in Honduras, and police officers work in dangerous conditions to try to combat criminal activity. Most wear masks to shield themselves from becoming targets of the violence.Photographer Sean Sutton spent almost three weeks in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, traveling with a police investigative unit and watching officers tackle violent crime in one of the most dangerous regions of the world. Here are his photographs. As a young girl looks on, police on June 4, 2014 raid a home in the Barrio Abajo district of Tegucigalpa, Honduras where gang members were believed to be residing. Police raids involve an average of 25 officers, but the number can sometimes go as high as 260. Gangs in the Honduran capital constantly battle for control of neighborhoods and the trade in drugs and arms. Photo by Sean Sutton/Panos Pictures for The Washington Post A man lies dead June 4, 2014 in Honduras’ capital, Tegucigalpa, after gunmen drove up and opened fire while he was reading a newspaper with his car door open. The man was shot 13 times at close range outside his workplace. The reason for the killing was unknown, but many businessmen have been slain for failing to pay fees extorted by the gangs. Photo by Sean Sutton/Panos Pictures for The Washington Post A refrigerated unit at a morgue in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, contains five bodies, all the result of killings that took place before lunchtime on June 3, 2014. Photo by Sean Sutton/Panos Pictures for The Washington Post Police officers, wearing masks to shield themselves against becoming targets of violence, guard a suspected drug dealer after a June 4, 2014 raid in the Barrio Abajo district of Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras. Photo by Sean Sutton/Panos Pictures for The Washington Post Guns used in crimes line the shelves at a police storage facility on May 28, 2014 in Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras. There are many such facilities across the city, holding weapons that will later be used as evidence. Photo by Sean Sutton/Panos Pictures for The Washington Post© 2014, The Washington Post Facebook Comments
Have you ever wondered the process that your clothing has gone through before reaching your hands? That’s the question that the second-annual Fashion Revolution campaign, taking place today, urges participants to ask major clothing brands worldwide.To join the campaign, in which Costa Rica is participating for the first time alongside 70 other countries, simply upload a selfie on Instagram in which your clothing labels are visible. Tag the photo @Fash_Rev and use the hashtag #whomademyclothes.Fashion Revolution strives to support social justice within the fashion industry by acknowledging the work of farmers and garment workers.Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro, co-founders of Fashion Revolution, chose April 24 as the date for the campaign to commemorate the Rana Plaza disaster that occurred in Dhaka, Bangladesh two years ago today. An eight-story commercial building housing clothing factories collapsed because of a structural failure, killing 1100 people and injuring 2500 others.In the aftermath of the tragedy, it was revealed that garment workers in the building were ordered to ignore the cracks in the walls and return to work. The event drew attention to the substandard work conditions of garment workers in Bangladesh and other countries around the world.“Fashion Revolution is about building a future where an accident like this never happens again. We believe knowing who made our clothes is the first step in transforming the fashion industry,” de Castro said in a statement from the organization.The fashion industry has also affected the environment, spending two billion dollars in chemical pesticides for cotton crops each year, according to the statement. Meanwhile, in Cambodia, recent years have seen incidents of mass fainting by malnourished and impoverished garment factory workers.“When everything in the fashion industry is focused on making a profit, [then] human rights, the environment and workers’ rights get lost. This has got to stop, and we plan to mobilize people around the world to ask questions,” Somers said.The campaign also includes a series of ‘social media takeovers,’ or scheduled events hosted on Twitter at @Fash_Rev so people interested in issues such as revamping old clothes, finding out where leading brands produce their garments, and hearing first-hand accounts of garment workers’ experiences can share information.For more information, visit Fashion Revolution’s website. Facebook Comments No related posts.
Related posts:Apple releases Apple Watch, new supersized iPhones with payment system Robin Williams is Google’s top search trend; in Costa Rica, it’s Keylor Navas Smartphone taxi service hits Costa Rica Costa Rica app attracts Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban’s attention In an age when we need phones to remind us to say “happy anniversary,” it’s little surprise that two new apps —Binder and HeroBoyfriend — have arrived to assist with the whole “relating” part of “relationships.”Both apps, launched independently in the past month, claim the right-swipe, left-swipe dating app Tinder as their inspiration. Like Tinder, they aim to cut down on the effort, thought and time that relationships require. Like Tinder, they may prove divisive.Binder sells itself as “Tinder for breaking up,” which is maybe the most depressing collection of words you’ll read all day.Binder is less a dating app and more an un-dating app. If you’re too chicken to break up with your significant other IRL or over the phone or even over email, you enter said sadsack’s name, gender, phone number and photo, then swipe right to “bin” him/her. (Get it? Bin? Bin-der? Tinder? Bingo.)You select from a variety of breakup rationales — “I don’t want you close to me, emotionally or geographically,” “It’s not me, it’s you,” etc. — and then Binder texts the unbeknownst on your behalf. It also leaves an automated voicemail, Scottish accent and all.“I’m just a voice in an app, but … yeah, she dumped you,” the Scottish voice murmurs broguishly. “In like, the most brutal way possible.”And then, after the text and call and voicemail, Binder somewhat cruelly invites you to “bin again.” (It probably goes without saying, at this point, that there’s more than a little tongue-in-cheek jokiness to the operation.) (Screengrab from heroboyfriend.com)HeroBoyfriend is much less Scottish, but perhaps even more grating. In reverse of Binder’s mission, the Australian app claims to make you a more compassionate significant other, with prompts and reminders and suggestions to boost your romance.“The whole digital dating industry is focused on acquisition and nobody is working on retention. It seems crazy,” founder Dan Groch told News.com.au. “With Tinder, it’s easy for people to just throw you back on the heap and you go back to swiping. It has made finding someone easier, but also less valuable.”HeroBoyfriend is still waitlist-only, but its website promises a couple invaluable features. After filling out a short questionnaire about you and your S.O., HeroBoyfriend will ping you with important calendar notifications, personalized gift suggestions, date ideas and even advice for sweet-talking your sweetie, as if you could not come up with any of these things yourself.Worth noting: The app is marketed strictly to dudes. (The name is “HeroBoyfriend” after all, not “HeroGirlfriend.”)These apps, with their sassy messages (Binder: “It’s time they got the message,” HeroBoyfriend: “Step up your boyfriend game”), paint an interesting picture of Future Relationshipland: You find your S.O. with the help of Tinder, care for them with the help of HeroBoyfriend and then … dump them with the help of a Binder.All the while, you’re safe on the other side of the screen.© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Comments
Related posts:Teatro Espressivo brings message of peace to National Theater anniversary U.S. Independence Day Concert, ExpoVida 2015 and other happenings around Costa Rica Choreographers Festival begins Thursday at San José’s National Theater ‘Tunnel of Science’ dazzles in Desamparados https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wujGfRevDOE&feature=youtu.be“Battlefield,” from acclaimed director Peter Brook, premieres tonight at San José’s National Theater. Read our full story here. Facebook Comments