Was Santa Elena the First Colonial City?

DiggingMost everyone is familiar with the story of how the United States began its journey into what it is today. We learn about the history of the United States in school, through our parents, grandparents and other influential people. A common known fact is that Jamestown, Virginia was American’s birthplace. But now a new place was deemed as the first colonial capital, Santa Elena located in South Carolina.

Since realizing this piece of history, archaeologists are now resuming digs properly to uncover what was ultimately forgotten. The site where the archaeologists are interested in is within the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island. Tourists are also attracted to this area when they visit South Carolina.

This discovery is going one step further. According to a news source, The National Park Service “plans to release a curriculum this fall on Santa Elena for middle and high school teachers. Spain has offered to provide software, documents and other artifacts to help tell the town’s story, as part of an agreement the U.S. signed with Spain last year on the initiative.”

Also, Santa Elena was named a National Historic Landmark in 2001. Despite this, the history books give an interesting timeline of the beginning for the United States. The history books talk about Christopher Columbus, to the 1607 to Jamestown and to the landing in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620.

The Santa Elena Foundation is a non-profit organization that was created in 2013 and hopes to open up a temporary center in 2014, with a permanent center in 2016. The Marine Corps expectations before the center opens that the artifacts found be collected, re-packaged and re-cataloged.

Victor Gonzalez Jr. To Make NASCAR History This Weekend At Sonoma Raceway


This Sunday Victor Gonzalez, Jr. will become a part of NASCAR history when he takes part in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race as the first Caribbean driver to take part in the competition. The Puerto Rican driver will join Juan Pablo Montoya in the race as one of the two Hispanic drivers to compete at the highest level of NASCAR.

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Gonzalez began his racing career on the island participating in touring car competitions. Gonzalez has a record of over 30 wins to his name, and is the only driver from Puerto Rico to be approved to compete in NASCAR’s top two divisions.

Back in 2009, Gonzalez made history being the first Puerto Rican to ever compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series finishing at 14th place in his NASCAR debut.

This Sunday, the 23rd of June, in Sonoma, California Gonzalez will be racing the #36 Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.

And if you’re interested in reading about other NASCAR drivers look for LatinTRENDS July/August issue for our interview with NASCAR’s German Quiroga.

Book Discussion: The Economic Development of Latin America since Independence by José Antonio Ocampo

Economics may not be the most interesting thing to talk about on an everyday basis for some people, but to have an author that studied and knows a lot about it, is something different. Author, José Antonio Ocampo, presented his book, The Economic Development of Latin America since Independence on March 14th, 2013 at the American Society/Council of Americas.

Ocampo’s book is about economic reforms in Cuba and looks at the history of the economic development since it has gained its independence. He was very knowledgeable about the book and took the time to state facts about each participating country on how they played a part in Cuba’s independence. Several topics that were included in the discussion were income distribution, human development, equality, labor unions, gross domestic product, and social and economic convergence. The book furthers looks at strengths and weaknesses, services, imports, exports, and other countries that had helped for Cuba’s independence.

Ocampo was able to explain the book in a way that was interesting, insightful and informative. The audience was engaged and seemed to be more informed about the economic development of Cuba after the discussion. After the discussion, there was opportunity for question and answers as well as Ocampo signing his book and talking with the guests.