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Jamaica’s national dish: Ackee and saltfish with a side of breadfruit

Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica and one of the main ingredients in the national dish, ackee and saltfish. The fruit is not native to the Caribbean island, and is rumored to have come over on a ship from West Africa. While it has been introduced to Central America, Florida and nearby islands, Jamaica is the only place where the plant produces enough fruit to be canned and exported throughout the world. The canned ackee is primarily sold to expatriate Jamaicans living abroad, as very few other cultures include the fruit on their menus.

Fresh ackee, if prepared improperly, can be toxic, but there is nothing to worry about when it comes from a can, so expatriates can pick some up at the market to prepare a traditional Jamaican breakfast. Many Jamaicans who are working abroad send money to Jamaica so their families can buy the ingredients to make their own ackee and saltfish. Nothing brings families together like sharing a meal, even if they are doing so over long distances.

To make the national dish of Jamaica, you will need saltfish, ackee, a hot pepper (traditionally Scotch Bonnet peppers are used), onion, tomato and spices. The fish is sauteed with all of the vegetables and spices while the ackee boils. The fruit is added last and the entire concoction is heated thoroughly, and then it's ready to be gobbled down.

Since the dish is a bit on the spicy side, roast breadfruit can compliment it nicely. The fruit gets its name from the flavor it has once it has been cooked, which is said to resemble that of bread or potatoes. Breadfruit trees can be found around the world in countries near the equator, and since one tree can produce as many as 200 fruits in a season in certain regions, it is a very popular source of food.

Roasting a breadfruit is simple. All you do is remove the stem and roast it. Traditionally it is done over an open fire, but throwing it in the over at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour ought to do the trick if you don't have a fire pit. Once the skin has turned brown, just slice it, peel away the skin and serve.


U.S. attempting to decrease visa waiting time

More stringent policies placed on visas in the wake of 9/11 have discouraged many from visiting the U.S. and slowed down tourism, according to the Wall Street Journal. Fortunately, the Obama administration is looking into ways to improve this situation and allow more people to visit America.

The Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, formed by Obama to look at ways to increase the number of jobs in America, made several recommendations to invest in visa-granting capacity. With more people to process visas, the U.S. hopes to get more people to visit America and expand the tourism industry.

"If you were running a business with a line out the door of people who wanted to come in and buy your product, you would do everything you could to get them in there," Geoff Freeman, executive vice president of the Corporation for Travel Promotion, told the news source.

As of now, the wait for a visa can be excessive, depending on the country. In Brazil, the time can often exceed more than four months, according to the news source.

Whether you're living in America or just visiting for a bit, using an online money transfer service to send money back home can make the separation from one's family a bit easier. 


¿Cómo funciona Xoom en Colombia?

Nunca fue tan rápido y fácil enviar dinero a y recibir dinero de Colombia. Puedes enviar dinero desde la comodidad de tu hogar y el destinatario puede recogerlo en efectivo a los pocos minutos en más de 981 puntos de pago en cualquier departamento del país o simplemente recibirlo como depósito en su cuenta bancaria.

Los puntos de pago en ventanilla son los siguientes:

Bancolombia: Los envíos de dinero normalmente están disponibles en 15 minutos para recoger en efectivo en pesos colombianos. Lo mismo ocurre con los envíos a cuentas bancarias si la transacción se envía entre las 6:00 AM y las 11:00 PM horario de Colombia.

El horario de atención varía según la sucursal. Por lo general es de lunes a viernes de 9 AM a 8 PM, sábados de 8 AM a 4 PM y domingos de 9 AM a 4 PM.

BTS-Davivienda: Los envíos de dinero generalmente están disponibles para recoger en efectivo en 15 minutos.

El horario de atención de Davivienda es de lunes a viernes de 9 AM a 4 PM y de 5 PM a 8 PM, y sábados de 10 AM a 4 PM. No se ofrece el servicio los domingos.

MMT-Macrofinanciera: También conocido como Cambios Country. Los envíos de dinero están disponibles en 15 minutos para que los destinatarios puedan recogerlos en efectivo.

El horario general de Macrofinanciera es de lunes a viernes de 9 AM a 4 PM y de 5 PM a 8 PM, y sábados de 10 AM a 4 PM. Los domingos se encuentra cerrado.

Aug Offers Fee-Free Money Transfers to the Dominican Republic to Help Victims of Hurricane “Irene”

Help Victims of Hurricane "Irene"

Fee-Free Money Transfer Service to the Dominican Republic.

To help the victims of Hurricane Irene in the Dominican Republic,, a leading online money transfer company, announced a “Fee-Free Money Transfer” pricing initiative when sending money to the Dominican Republic from the United States.

Money transfers can be sent with no fee through August 31, 2011 by going to the website and entering the coupon code IRENE.

“We understand the importance of sending money to family and friends and especially now, in the Dominican Republic, where the funds are vital in offering emergency support to loved ones,” said Eugenio Nigro, Vice President of Business Development, Latin America, for  “The thoughts of all of employees go out to those affected by this disaster.” pays out in Dominican Pesos and US dollars in Dominican Republic at Caribe Express and Banco BHD locations.


How to Send Money to the Dominican Republic

If you've never used Xoom to send money online before, you'll likely be surprised by how simple it is to quickly and securely transfer funds anywhere in the world, including the Dominican Republic. For those who have family or friends back home in the D.R., Xoom offers a number of different ways to send cash fast.

Those sending money to the Dominican Republic have three options: home delivery, cash pick-up and bank deposit. Home delivery is very secure and convenient and is available seven days a week. Money sent in this fashion usually arrives at your recipient's doorstep in about three hours.

You can also arrange a cash pick-up, where your recipient will go to a branch to receive their funds. Xoom is supported at more than 300 locations, including Caribe Express, Banco BHD, Remesas Dominicanas (ReD) and Banco del Progreso. This usually takes about 20 minutes.

Finally, you can securely deposit the money directly into your family or friend's bank account. The time for this option varies – the transaction is processed at different times throughout the day, so it depends on when you send the funds.

Currently, $1 is equivalent to about 38 Dominican pesos. When you send money via Xoom, the exchange rate will be clearly displayed, and you'll be able to lock in the rate you've selected.


How to Send Money to Colombia

If you have family or friends back in Colombia and you need to send money to them, it's easier than ever with Xoom. Sending money online is fast, secure and simple to complete, and you can get set up in not time at all.

First, you'll have to decide how you wish to send money to Colombia. You can either do this via bank deposit or by cash pick-up. Bank deposit adds the money directly to your recipient's account, although you'll need their account number in order to complete this transaction. A cash pick-up allows your friend or family member to stop by one of the many bank branches or money transfer locations and receive their funds in cash.

If you choose a bank deposit with Bancolombia, the money will usually clear within 15 minutes. For all other banks, your receipient will have to wait a full business day before the funds are available to them.

Xoom has nearly 1,000 locations across Colombia for cash pick-ups. You can send money to Bancolombia, Macrofinanciera or Davivienda, and the funds will typically be available within 15 minutes.

At the moment, $1 is equal to 1783 Colombian pesos. When you use Xoom to send money online, you'll be able to see the current exchange rate and lock that price in.


How to Send Money to Peru

It's incredibly easy to send money to Peru online using Xoom international wire transfers, and in just a few clicks of the mouse, your family or friend will have the cash they need quickly.

Xoom offers two services to Peru: cash pick-up or bank deposit. With a cash pick-up, your recipient will need to head into a branch location and get the money in-person. If you plan on using Scotiabank, this happens nearly instantaneously – your cash will be available right away. Other banks, such as Banco de Credito BCP, Interbank and BBVA Banco Continental, are also supported, but they may take slightly longer.

With a bank deposit, the money will instead be credited directly to a bank account (you'll need the bank account number for this type of transaction). Your recipient will have access to their money at an ATM. Again, this is instant with Scotiabank and slightly longer with the other banks – but everything will likely be processed within 15 minutes during normal working hours.

If you plan on sending money to Peru via Xoom, you can choose between converting to nuevo soles or keeping your money in American dollars. The most you can send in this fashion is $2,999 at once. If you do plan on sending in nuevo soles, Xoom will display the exchange rate when you log on and you'll be able to lock in that rate, so you don't need to worry about market fluctuations. 


Premio Nobel de Paz, Rigoberta Menchu, candidata a la presidencia de Guatemala

Fue anunciada la aprobación de la candidatura presidencial de Rigoberta Menchu por el Registro de Ciudadanos del Tribunal Supremo Electoral para las próximas elecciones a realizarse el 9 de Septiembre próximo.

“Es una noticia muy grata, algo que esperábamos y que hoy el Tribunal ha resuelto a nuestro favor, nuestro binomio va a estar recibiendo las credenciales el próximo miércoles y lo haremos con júbilo con una fiesta acompañados de nuestros cuadros” dijo Menchu.

La acompaña en su candidatura como vicepresidente Aníbal García. Ambos están en el Frente Amplio, integrado por Alternativa Nueva Nación, Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca y Winaq.

La candidata también señaló que es una oportunidad para la democracia en Guatemala, y también festejó que haya más oportunidad para las mujeres en la participación de cargos públicos.

Su plan

Su propuesta es la de un modelo económico de bienestar “que incluya equidad, reducción de la pobreza y atención al ser humano”. Pretende alcanzar su objetivo con una ley de desarrollo rural integral y de seguridad y alimentaria nutricional.

Según organismos estatales, el 80 por ciento de la población en Guatemala vive en condiciones de pobreza o pobreza extrema, siendo su principal fuente de ingreso las exportaciones de productos agrícolas como el café y las cosechas de algodón, plátano y caña de azúcar, y los envíos de dinero provenientes en su mayoría de Estados Unidos. Esta pobreza genera una deficiencia en la alimentación de la población.

También pretende apoyar la cultura y lengua de los pueblos indígenas.

¿Quién es Rigoberta Manchú Tum?

Activista de los derechos humanos de Guatemala, nació en Chimel, Uspatan en 1959 en una numerosa familia indígena maya-quiche. Desde niña fue testigo de la explotación y discriminación del pueblo indígena.

A los 19 años comenzó a militar en el Comité de Unidad Campesina (CUC), Salió del país y se refugió en México a los 21 años. Desde allí inicio sus viajes donde participó en el grupo de trabajo de la ONU sobre poblaciones indígenas.

En 1992 fue galardonada con el Premio Nobel de la Paz, premio que significaría una mayor exposición de la lucha contra la injusticia hacia los indígenas. Fue la primera mujer indígena y la más joven en recibir este premio por lo que también fue reconocida en el record mundial de guines.

En 1998 recibe el Premio Príncipe de Asturias de Cooperación Internacional por su lucha tanto en la defensa como en la dignificación de la mujer.