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First Latino Pope Francis I: History in the making

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope today, becoming the first pontiff from Latin America and taking the name Pope Francis.

The white smoke, accompanied by the pealing of bells to eliminate any confusion, billowed from a flue on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, prompting the huge gathered in the square to erupt in applause and cheers.

Pope Francis I - Papa Francisco PrimeroPope Francis becomes the first pope to hail from outside of Europe. He is also the first Hispanic Pope and the first Latin American Pope as well as the first Argentinean Pope. Latin America is one of the biggest bastions of Catholicism in the world but more bets were being placed on the Cardinal from Brazil.

Pope Francis I (Papa Francisco Primero) appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica after the pronouncement ‘Habemus Papam’ – “We have a pope.”  He spoke in Latin, Italian and in Spanish.

This pope is the 266th successor Pope to the Catholic churches original apostle St. Peter.  White smoke appeared at 7.:05 p.m. local Vatican time indicating 115 cardinals had been made after five rounds of cloistered voting.

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez called his thinking harkened back to “medieval times and the Inquisition.”

Personally, what resonated with me the most was when he said: “Let’s pray for the whole world because it is a great brotherhood.”

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

quotes motivation hope

quotes motivation hope

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Selling online from North America to Latin America

A grow­ing number of U.S. online retailers and consumer brand manufacturers are taking that challenge on by setting up shop and selling online in Latin America.

It wasn’t quite the same as graduating from the e-commerce school of hard knocks, but after six years of trial and error Tradercom USA Inc. has learned some valuable lessons about what works—and what doesn’t—in selling online in Latin America.

In 2006, Tradercom CEO Federico Torres set out to build an online retailing business in Latin America from a base in the U.S. To carve out a niche in Latin America’s growing business-to-consumer e-commerce market, which eMarketer estimates will grow about 110% from $29.70 billion in 2011 to $62.42 billion in 2016, Tradercom had ambitious plans to build a web store in multiple countries and offer steep discounts on well-known American products such as Fossil watches and Weber grills that are not always available through merchants in Latin America.

Latin America E-Commerce - Selling Online to Latin America

Latin America E-Commerce – Selling Online to Latin America

But selling online in a foreign country is never easy, especially in Latin America, a fast-growing and still-developing e-commerce arena where U.S. merchants face several substantial barriers to entry, including big tariffs and government red tape, sketchy local delivery options, and plenty of cultural differences. “There is a huge opportunity for U.S. web merchants such as us to develop a significant e-commerce business in Latin America, but there are significant challenges that we had to work our way through.” Torres says. “It took us a long time, lots of patience and a willingness to always try a new approach to build up a steady base of shoppers.”

Tradercom is one of a grow­ing number of U.S. online retailers and consumer brand manufacturers setting up shop and selling online in Latin America. The market already includes 25 U.S. companies ranked in the Top 300 Latin America, which in 2011 had combined web sales of $1.43 billion, up 32.4% from $1.08 billion in the prior year.

And more North American online retailers are seriously eyeing Latin America for a new interna­tional opportunity or expanding their existing base of operations. For example Apple Inc. (No. 11), which has been selling computer hardware online in Latin America for several years, in December 2011 launched an iTunes store with a catalog of 20 million song titles for Brazil and 15 other countries in Latin America.

Consumers in Latin America also are big fans of mobile commerce and social media, and looking to conve­niently shop online for the products they can’t find in local stores, says Kent Allen, principal and founder of The Research Trust, a San Francisco-based e-commerce and retailing industry research firm with clients in the U.S. and Latin America. “There’s only a handful of global e-commerce markets left where there are still lots of ground-floor opportunities to be the next category-killer web store, hot niche player or even the next Amazon, and that’s Latin America,” Allen says. “E-commerce in Brazil, Mexico and other parts of the region are still in an early growth stage and that’s attracting the attention of lots of U.S. merchants.”

Source: Internet Retailer

#wordsofwisdom

#wordsofwisdom

The meaning of gestures: body language in Brazil

Body language in Brazil

Body language in Brazil

Let’s cover Brazil now as our next country and explore their gestures and body language in Brazil a bit.

Body language in Brazil

  • When conversing, good eye contact is important. To not do so is considered impolite.
  • In a marketplace, if a vendor holds his hand out, fingers extended and flips the thumb back and forth it merely means, ‘There isn’t any left; I don’t have any more.’
  • A good, warm handshake is the traditional greeting in Brazil. However, the Brazilians show affection easily.
  • People in Brazil will also shake hands when arriving and departing. There may also be a touching of the forearm or elbow, and often a pat on the back.
  • If you are conducting business, be certain to bring a plentiful supply of business cards because these are always exchanged. Also, during business meetings expect to be served (often) small cups of very strong coffee.
  • Since this is more of a touching society, people stand close together when conversing or when standing in lines.
  • To add emphasis to a statement, a Brazilian may snap the fingers while whipping the hand down own and out.
  • To express appreciation, a Brazilian may appear to pinch his earlobe between thumb and forefinger. For example, if you’ve enjoyed a meal this gesture may be used. Among Brazilians, to dramatize it even further, they will reach behind the head and grasp the opposite earlobe.
  • Body language in Brazil figa

    Body language in Brazil “figa”

    When carrying any article along the streets-a pair of shoes, a bottle, a box of candy-it is customary to have it wrapped in a bag or some paper.

  • There are many common friendly gestures in Brazil. One is the thumbs up gesture, which is also popular in America. In Brazil it is meant to mean “good” or “positive.”
  • When two people are close to each other, they will show it by rubbing two index fingers together.
  • Sometimes nonverbal communication can be very different than what is expected in other countries. One example is the “O.K.” symbol one can make with their hands. It is regarded as just meaning “O.K.” in the American culture. In Brazil however, this is seen as a very obscene gesture. It is equivalent to giving the middle finger in America. This is seen as one of the rudest gestures you can make in Brazil and should always be avoided.
  • Another obscene hand gesture is called the “corna” which historically means “your wife is cheating on you.” It is popular in Brazil and is often used when disagreeing with a football referee.
  • One gesture that is also used is one to say “screw you.” It s consists of making a fist with one hand and slapping it on top of the other hand once or twice. It is used commonly around Brazilian friends but can be rude if used any other time.
  • Same as in Argentina, a close friendship or an incipient relationship is indicated by rubbing the two index fingers together.
  • A very unique body language in Brazil is the “figa”, represented by inserting the thumb between the middle and index finger. This gesture is supposed to keep away pain, suffering and envy and it is an amulet that protects against the “evil-eye.”

If you are interested in Brazilians engagement on Social Media Campaigns, I suggest you read this brilliant example of an Advertising campaign and Social Media success story with flawless  execution and outstanding social media results: The campaign “One Thousand Casmurros,” made for the biggest TV network in Brazil, Rede Globo.

Dig This Poem

Dig This Poem

 

Body language meaning in Colombia

Today we will discover the body language meaning in Colombia

  • Colombian women will often substitute the gesture of holding forearms for a handshake.
  • Men shake hands with direct eye contact.
  • Once a friendship has developed, greetings become warmer and a lot more hands on –  men will embrace and pat each other on the shoulder (known as an “abrazo”) and women kiss once on the right cheek.
  • If you are visiting on business and happen to tour a factory, it is polite to shake hands with those workers nearest you.
  • Etiquette and propriety are important that is why these Colombian girls sit up very straight! - Body language meaning in Colombia

    Etiquette and propriety are important that is why these Colombian girls sit up very straight! – Body language meaning in Colombia

    Etiquette and propriety are important in Colombia, therefore, avoid placing your feet on a table or other piece of furniture, and avoid yawning in public and eating on the streets.

  • Tapping the underside of the elbow with the fingers of the other hand suggests that someone is ‘stingy.’
  • To indicate that you have finished eating, place the knife and fork horizontally across the plate.
  • Hands should be kept visible when eating.
  • Resting elbows on the table is considered bad manners.
  • Women visitors should be especially sensitive about making any glance or gesture that might be considered flirtatious.
  • Colombians are termed as ‘indirect communicators’ – this means there is more information within body language and context rather than the words, i.e. if you ask someone to do something and they reply ‘I will have to see’, it would be up to you to read their body language and realize that they can not do it.
do your thing

do your thing

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

The next country and second on the series of understanding body language and Hispanic culture.

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

  • As in most Latin countries, people tend to stand close to one another in any social or even business setting. This relates to a different perspective on ‘personal space,’ with North Americans and many Europeans believing that people should stand about an arm’s length from one another. If you tend to move away from a Latin first, it could be considered as offensive or insulting.
  • Men tend to smile and stare at women, which is considered acceptable, but the reverse is not.
  • Puerto Ricans tend to interrupt each other frequently and are not upset when this occurs.
  • If someone wiggles their nose, it probably means he or she is saying ‘What’s going on here?’
  • You will hear restaurant patrons signal for waiters by making a ‘psssst’ sound.

We hope you enjoyed from the meaning of gestures Puerto Rico and feel free to send us a comment if you know more of these gestures that belong only to Puerto Rico. :)

confidence

confidence quote

Photo courtesy: Ballet Majestad Negra of Piñones at the city of Loíza, Puerto Rico

Females More Likely Than Males to Buy Online in Latin America

Consumers in Brazil and Argentina Most Likely to Make Purchases Online, Females More Likely Than Males to Buy Online in Latin America

comScore, Inc. released results from a study of the e-commerce landscape in Latin America. The study, which surveyed nearly 800 respondents, looked at e-commerce activity across Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru as well as online banking behaviors, mobile activity and Twitter usage. The study found that although the majority of visitors to e-commerce sites in Latin America make purchases online, retailers still face obstacles in converting many consumers to online shoppers due to concerns over transaction security, availability of payment options and the selection of goods available online. The results of the study were also presented to the Latin America E-Commerce Association event held in Bogota on December 1.

Consumers in Brazil and Argentina Most Likely to Make Purchases Online, Females More Likely Than Males to Buy Online in Latin America

Consumers in Brazil and Argentina Most Likely to Make Purchases Online, Females More Likely Than Males to Buy Online in Latin America

“Relative to other global regions, the e-commerce industry in Latin America is still in its infancy, but consumers are showing encouraging signs of adopting the channel,” said Alejandro Fosk, senior vice president of Latin America for comScore. “With 3 out of 5 Internet users in Latin America visiting retail sites each month, it is clear that consumers are interested in online shopping. In order to convert these browsers to buyers, retailers need to address consumers’ concerns about purchasing online in order to help the e-commerce industry develop to its full potential in this region.”

E-Commerce Site Visitors in Brazil Most Likely to Make Purchase

Among those who visited e-commerce sites in Latin America, 79 percent of males reported making an online purchase, while 88 percent of females reported doing so. Across the markets included in the survey, Brazil showed the highest percentage conversion of online e-commerce site visitors to purchasers with 94 percent of visitors in Brazil making an online purchase. Argentina followed at 89 percent, with 84 percent of e-commerce site visitors in Colombia doing so.

Question: Do you make purchase online, in addition to your offline purchases? (Of those that visit e-commerce websites)October and November 2010Source: comScore, Inc.
Percent E-commerce SiteVisitors that MadePurchases Online
Latin America by Gender
Males – Latin America 79%
Females – Latin America 88%
Country
Brazil 94%
Argentina 89%
Colombia 84%
Mexico 82%
Chile 71%
Peru 63%

Security Reasons the Main Concern for Prospective Online Shoppers

Of those that did not purchase online, security ranked as the main concern among prospective shoppers. Specifically, 68 percent of females listed security concerns as a reason why they do not make purchases online, with 48 percent of males reporting this as a reason. Preferring to shop in person rather than online was also a main deterrent to online shopping, with 38 percent of males and 32 percent of females reporting this as a reason. Consumers also reported that type of payment options offered hindered their adoption of online purchasing (35 percent of males, 32 percent of females) as well as shipping costs (30 percent of males, 42 percent of females).

Question: Why do you not make purchases online? (Of those respondents that did not make purchases online)October and November 2010Source: comScore, Inc.
Percent of Latin AmericanConsumers
Reason for Not Purchasing Online Males Females
Security reasons 48% 68%
Prefer shopping in person rather than online 38% 32%
The type of payment options offered 35% 32%
Shipping costs 30% 42%
Not as good of a selection online as offline 13% 5%

3 out of 4 Online Shoppers in Argentina Prefer to Make Purchases at Local Websites

An analysis of consumer preferences regarding purchasing at international versus local e-commerce websites revealed that consumers in Argentina have the strongest preference to shop at local websites with 3 out of 4 consumers preferring this option. More than half of consumers in Brazil and Colombia also preferred shopping at local websites, while slightly more than half of consumers in Mexico, Chile and Peru preferred international websites for online shopping.

Question: If given one option, would you prefer to shop on International or Local Websites? (Of those respondents that make purchases online)October and November 2010Source: comScore, Inc.
% of Consumers
LocalWebsites InternationalWebsites
Brazil 58% 42%
Mexico 49% 52%
Argentina 76% 24%
Chile 49% 51%
Colombia 55% 45%
Peru 48% 52%

Mr. Fosk added, “Across most markets, consumers show little preference for shopping at international versus local e-commerce Websites, revealing that this differentiation is of minor consideration in consumers’ online buying decisions. Both local and international retailers have the opportunity to penetrate the Latin America region.”

i have a feeling that my guardian angel

i have a feeling that my guardian angel

SOURCE comScore, Inc.

Papatel Launches Free Phone Service Nationwide to Hispanics

Patented Technology Represents First Non-Internet Based Free Phone Service

Papatel Launches Free Phone Service Nationwide for US Hispanics

Papatel Launches Free Phone Service Nationwide for US Hispanics

Papatel, a new long-distance service that allows customers to call anywhere across the globe for free, today announced that it has launched nationwide after experiencing exponential growth during its test phase. In less than one year, Papatel has garnered more than 80,000 customers who use the service to call loved ones back home at no cost. The service is easy-to-use and takes less than five minutes to join, by logging on to www.papatel.com or calling 1-(866) PAPATEL.

Enrique Baiz, Founder and President of Papatel, commented; “many of us have families abroad, and keeping in touch with them internationally can be very costly. Particularly in this difficult economic climate, Papatel makes it free and easy to keep in touch with loved ones.”

It is so easy. Users establish an account by simply providing basic information including the numbers they will be calling from to make their long-distance calls (whether it be from the cell phone or landline) and they can start using Papatel immediately, with no strings attached. The registration, which takes less than five-minutes, is strictly confidential and the information is never shared with any other entity.

The free service is made possible through an innovative model in which advertisers place ads at the beginning of the calls and after long segments of conversation. Every week, users can acquire 1,000 free points, which allows users to call loved ones in Argentina or Mexico and talk up to 1.5 hours for free. Each time customers listen to an advertisement, they earn points, which provides them with more free long-distance minutes. Consumers can also hear weather reports or their horoscopes if they choose to.

In addition, Papatel offers users Papatel+, which is the company’s prepaid service that provides long distance rates with absolutely no advertisements. Rates to call anywhere around the world start as low as $.01. And, unlike other prepaid phone services, the balance never expires, and there are no hidden fees.

“It is the best deal a user can get for free international calls every week with no strings attached, and our prepaid and pinless international program is truly the top long-distance service in the market today,” added Baiz. “We want potential customers to know Papatel is committed to our promise, that is to offer completely free long distance service always.”

Today, Papatel has nearly 10 patents for this innovative technology, making it the world’s only free long distance service that does not require internet use. For more information or to register for the service, visit www.papatel.com, or call (866) PAPATEL.

About Papatel

Papatel is the world’s first non-internet based free phone service. Based in Miami, FL, the company currently has over 80,000 users in its first year of operation, and is rapidly expanding nationwide. For more information, visit www.papatel.com.

SOURCE Papatel

Hispanic Immigrants’ Children Fall Behind Peers Early, Study Finds

A great example of a study (or its interpretation) that misleads readers. This is a problem that stems from poverty and parents with a low educational level. This is definitely not related to the parent’s immigration status. Children from Hispanic immigrants whose parents have a very high level of education do even better than their American counterpart. Feel free to comment.

Claudia Goffan

Here is the article:

The children of Hispanic immigrants tend to be born healthy and start life on an intellectual par with other American children, but by the age of 2 they begin to lag in linguistic and cognitive skills, a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, shows.

Hispanic Immigrants’ Children Fall Behind Peers Early, Study Finds

Hispanic Immigrants’ Children Fall Behind Peers Early, Study Finds

The study highlights a paradox that has bedeviled educators and Hispanic families for some time. By and large, mothers from Latin American countries take care of their health during their pregnancies and give birth to robust children, but those children fall behind their peers in mental development by the time they reach grade school, and the gap tends to widen as they get older.

The new Berkeley study suggests the shortfall may start even before the children enter preschool, supporting calls in Washington to spend more on programs that coach parents to stimulate their children with books, drills and games earlier in their lives.

“Our results show a very significant gap even at age 3,” said Bruce Fuller, one of the study’s authors and a professor of education at Berkeley. “If we don’t attack this disparity early on, these kids are headed quickly for a pretty dismal future in elementary school.”

Professor Fuller said blacks and poor whites also lagged behind the curve, suggesting that poverty remained a factor in predicting how well a young mind develops. But the drop-off in the cognitive scores of Hispanic toddlers, especially those from Mexican backgrounds, was steeper than for other groups and could not be explained by economic status alone, he said.

One possible explanation is that a high percentage of Mexican and Latin American immigrant mothers have less formal schooling than the average American mother, white or black, the study’s authors said. These mothers also tend to have more children than middle-class American families, which means the toddlers get less one-on-one attention from their parents.

“The reading activities, educational games and performing the ABCs for Grandma — so often witnessed in middle-class homes — are less consistently seen in poor Latino households,” Professor Fuller said.

The study is based on data collected on 8,114 infants born in 2001 and tracked through the first two years of life by the National Center for Education Statistics. The findings will be published this week in Maternal and Child Health Journal, and a companion report will appear this fall in the medical journal Pediatrics.

The analysis showed that at 9 to 15 months, Hispanic and white children performed equally on tests of basic cognitive skills, like understanding their mother’s speech and using words and gestures. But from 24 to 36 months, the Hispanic children fell about six months behind their white peers on measures like word comprehension, more complex speech and working with their mothers on simple tasks.

The study comes as the Obama administration has been pushing for more money to help prepare infants and toddlers for school. In September, the House passed an initiative that would channel $8 billion over eight years to states with plans to improve programs serving young children.

In addition, the economic stimulus package included $3 billion for Head Start preschools and for the Early Head Start program, which helps young parents stimulate their children’s mental development.

Eugene Garcia, an education professor at Arizona State University, said the Berkeley-led study confirmed findings by others that the children of Hispanic immigrants, for reasons that remain unclear, tend to fall behind white students by as much as a grade level by the third grade.

“It seems like what might be the most helpful with Latino kids is early intervention,” Dr. Garcia said.

Carmen Rodriguez, the director of the Columbia University Head Start in New York City, said there was a waiting list of parents, most of them Hispanic, who want to take Early Head Start classes with their children.

Dr. Rodriguez said the study’s findings might reflect a surge in interest in early childhood education on the part of middle-class Americans, rather than any deficiency in the immigrant homes.

“Any low-income toddler is disadvantaged if they don’t get this kind of stimulation,” she said.

Source: The New York Times – By James McKinley Jr.

Día de la Raza or Columbus Day?

Día de la Raza - Columbus Day

Día de la Raza – Columbus Day

What do you really know about Día de la Raza? Where was it first celebrated? Why Raza and Columbus Day? How do they celebrate in Spain? Read it and find out

The date of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas is celebrated in many countries in Latin America, although not in Brazil, (and in some Latino communities in the United States) as the Día de la Raza (“day of the race”), commemorating the first encounters of Europeans and Native Americans. The day was first celebrated in Argentina in 1917, Venezuela in 1921, Chile in 1922, and Mexico in 1928. The day was also celebrated under this title in Spain until 1957, when it was changed to the Día de la Hispanidad (“Hispanicity Day”), and in Venezuela until 2002, when it was changed to the Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance) by President Hugo Chavez. Día de la Raza in many countries is seen as a counter to Columbus Day. It is used to resist the arrival of Europeans to the Americas and is used to celebrate the native races.

Día de la Raza in the U.S.

In the U.S. Día de la Raza has served as a time of mobilization for pan-ethnic Latino activists, particularly in the 1960s. Since then, La Raza has served as a periodic rallying cry for Hispanic activists. The first Hispanic March on Washington occurred on Columbus Day in 1996. The name has remained in the largest Hispanic social justice organization, the National Council of La Raza.

Thought of the Day

small minds

small minds

Social Media Success Story Flawlessly Executed

A brilliant example of an Advertising campaign and Social Media success story with flawless  execution and of how to measure social media results:

Social Media Success Story: media exposure equaled $6.67 million in ad spend

The campaign “One Thousand Casmurros,” made for the biggest TV network in Brazil, Rede Globo. It was the agency’s first entry in Cannes.

Commemorating 100 years since the death of one of the greatest writers Brazil has ever seen, Machado de Assis, Rede Globo launched a miniseries inspired by one of his best-known books, “Dom Casmurro.” In order to promote it, LiveAd divided the book contents in a thousand pieces and organized a collective reading of the entire text, inviting people to upload their homemade videos reading in front of their webcams. The videos were posted on a special social network.

To pay tribute to one of Brazil’s most respected writers, Machado de Assis, the largest TV network in Brazil was launching a mini-series based on one of his books, Dom Casmurro.

Through the launch of the mini-series, we needed to build up TV Globo’s reputation with a new generation, disconnected from the television.

We created a website with the book and divided it into one thousand excerpts. In the website, people could choose and record pieces in real time with their webcam. We enabled a large scale collective reading.

At the same time, we hid one thousand DVDs with unique scenes in public places for people to find them and hide them again once they had seen it.

The results were astonishing: Spontaneous media exposure equaled $6.67 million in ad spend.

One Thousand Casmurros from Livead on Vimeo.

In less than a month, the reading was completed ending in a total social media success story.

Influential admirers talked about it in public. 33 million viewers watched the series’ first episode. The media called it the best tribute to Machado de Assis of 2008.

Almost 106 million people were exposed to press notes related to the mini-series.

The subsequent media exposure was worth the equivalent of 6,7 million dollars in advertising spend.