“Creating Freedom in the Americas, 1776-1826”

In honor of the bicentennials (200 year anniversaries) of the nations of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, and of the shared history and values of the US and South America, the symposium “Creating Freedom in the Americas, 1776-1826” was celebrated in Washington, DC on November 19, 2010.  The symposium was co-hosted by the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress, and featured leading historians of the revolutionary periods in Latin America, Brazil, Haiti and the US. The symposium’s panel sessions included:  The Americas on the Eve of the Independence Movements, Comparing Independence Movements in the Americas, and Constitution-Making in the Western Hemisphere. A recording of the symposium is available free at http://www.ustream.tv.  (Image of the Hispanic Reading Room at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Resources are available online at www.LOC.gov.)

The Ultimate Burrito 2010

Sometimes, you just cannot have too much of a good thing, particularly when you’re trying to set a Guinness World Record. This dictum also applies to a favorite Mexican immigrant, the burrito.  The largest burrito on record was prepared on November 3, 2010 in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico.  The burrito was made from a single flour tortilla that weighed over 2 tons and measured 1.49 miles (2.4 kilometers). The tortilla was filled with fish, onions, chilies, and refried beans. Over 3000 volunteers and 54 restaurants participated, under the leadership of the national Mexican food industry association, CANIRAC (Cámara Nacional de la Industria Restaurantes y Alimentos Condimentados). The machine used to roll out the tortilla was specially designed and adapted by Blas Avila, and required 9.5 hours to cover the full 1.49 miles. The final delicious dish weighed 12,786 pounds (5,799 kilograms).