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Playlist: Ruxandra Guidi's Portfolio

People at a soccer stadium, La Paz, Bolivia Credit: Roberto (Bear) Guerra
Image by: Roberto (Bear) Guerra 
People at a soccer stadium, La Paz, Bolivia
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Autos Katrina

From Ruxandra Guidi | 03:39

Over the last 6 months, cars damaged by Hurricane Katrina and discarded by the U.S., have been ending up in Bolivia.


One of the many, many indelible images of the disaster was all those cars and trucks tossed around by the storm. Sometimes deposited on rooftops, or atop a telephone pole. Some of those cars ended up in the unlikeliest of places: Bolivia. They're sold on the cheap and look almost new on the outside, but many of these so-called "Katrina cars" aren't exactly the bargain they seem.

Coca Si!

From Ruxandra Guidi | 10:39

The government of Bolivia would like it understood that it is not in the cocaine business. It's in the coca business.

Coca Si!
Ruxandra Guidi

Cocaslide1_10 The U.N.’s International Narcotics Control Board has asked Peru and Bolivia to outlaw the chewing of coca. Those are fighting words in Bolivia, where coca leaves are widely grown and part of traditional Andean culture. Bolivia’s president Evo Morales is a former coca grower who has pushed for increasing the legal uses of coca leaves — while clamping down on the illegal uses. He calls his policy “Coca Yes — Cocaine No” — that means encouraging legal coca growers — but cracking down on drug traffickers.

Cocaina No!

From Ruxandra Guidi | 05:36

Bolivia's controversial "Coca Yes, Cocaine No" program" is designed to fight illegal cocaine production and trafficking, while allowing the cultivation of coca for legal purposes.

Cocaslide1_23 For years, Bolivia has been considered to be only a transit point for cocaine — but in the last five years it has increasingly become involved in cocaine production as well. The recent U.N International Narcotics Control Board annual report chided Bolivia’s government for allowing an increase in coca production. But president Evo Morales has repeatedly fought efforts to eradicate coca in his country, saying that an increase in coca doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in cocaine.

Bolivarian Slogans

From Ruxandra Guidi | 09:43

In Venezuela, slogans are supposed to influence how the people feel about their president.

P1090928_small Slogans have been a big deal in Venezuela for the past decade. Despite his loss in the constitutional referendum and regional elections of the last couple of years, President Hugo Chavez wants everybody to continue chanting from the same book of praise for his socialist politics.

Haitian Bank for the Poor Rewards Advancement

From Ruxandra Guidi | 03:12

The idea is simple: Haitian women take a small loan and commit to improving their family’s standard of living. The better they do, the more money they can borrow at no interest. So far, it’s helped tens of thousands of Haitians.

P1130522_small In the town of Lenbe, in Northern Haiti, there is a sprawling street market like any other where you can find food, used clothes, charcoal and car parts, among other things. Most of the people selling are women who couldn't come up with the money to start their own simple businesses as recently as two to three years ago. But by giving away "Ti Kredis" or "Little Credits" -- as little as $10 a month -- Fonkoze has helped create a new generation of street vendors in Lenbe who can now send their children to school, afford food for their families, and become more financially independent.

South-South Cooperation in Haiti

From Ruxandra Guidi | 03:32

Brazil, South Africa and India are joining forces to clean up Haiti. In a partnership dubbed the “South-South” cooperation, they’re overhauling Haiti’s thoroughly inadequate state trash collection system.

P1130770_small Haiti's state trash-collection system is largely inadequate. There is so much garbage on the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince, that it obstructs transit and clogs the city’s drainage system and canals. International aid to Haiti has looked for solutions to the trash problem over the years. But a new partnership, by the governments of India, Brazil and South Africa, is offering a different approach to old problems -- they call it "South-South" cooperation.

Caring for Rio's Favela Residents

From Ruxandra Guidi | 10:13

The first clinic for direct and indirect victims of violence opens in one of Rio de Janeiro's most dangerous slums.

Br08-18-28_small Despite Brazil’s allure for tourists, showdowns between drug gangs and police make Rio a dangerous place. The city has more gun deaths than any other in the world, and yet it can’t — or won’t — build emergency clinics in the worst of its neighborhoods. So someone else did. A charity. One more often found in world’s war zones.

The Silent AIDS Epidemic in Bolivia

From Ruxandra Guidi | 03:41

The South American country of Bolivia has the lowest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the region. But its mix of tradition and cultural diversity are proving to be major challenges when it comes to fighting AIDS there.

Sida08-04-07_small Bolivia has the lowest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the region — even though the epidemic is growing rapidly. The country faced its AIDS problem later than many of its neighbors, including Brazil. Only in the last three years, has the Bolivian government made a concerted effort to educate the public about the disease, and provide free AIDS drugs who those who need it. But Bolivia’s mix of tradition and cultural diversity are proving to be major challenges when it comes to fighting AIDS there.

Chat with a Muslim

From Ruxandra Guidi | 04:11

Mohammad Al Bedaiwi uses the web to make himself available to non-Muslims and chat with them, face-to-face, about Islam.

P1140076_small There's a man in Austin, Texas, who has taken on a large mission: to answer any questions people may have about Islam. Mohammad Al Bedaiwi created something called "Chat with a Muslim" shortly after September 11th, 2001, when he realized that most people from his city knew little and were even afraid of his faith. To this day, hundreds have chatted with him -- including Ruxandra Guidi, who met him at a local mosque.