Some of our hemisphere’s emerging leaders in politics, business, civil society, and the arts.
To some, Santiago is a city of smog, congestion and contaminated waterways. But David Assael wants the world to know that Chile’s capital city is also home to world-class green spaces, vibrant cultural centers and eco-friendly design. If you don’t believe it, check out Plataforma Urbana (www.plataformaurbana.cl), a website that has become a world-renowned window into Santiago’s innovative community of architects and urban planners.
Assel, a 30-year-old Santiago-based architect, launched the site with David Basulto, 30, in 2005. “Seventy percent of Santiaguinos want to leave, and it’s due to a lack of information about what we have here,” says Assael. The founders were not only interested in distributing information; they wanted to improve their city as well.
Voters in the Dominican Republic may know Faride Raful best as the face of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano’s (PRD) daily official television program, “PRD TV,” which she has produced and hosted since 2003. But the 30-year-old lawyer from Santo Domingo is pursuing another and potentially more far-reaching goal: encouraging Dominican youth to play a more prominent role in the politics of her country.
As Brazil’s economy has expanded, the number of Brazilians connected to the Internet has soared from 5 million in 2000 to 67 million in 2008. That represents a rich opportunity for companies hoping to connect to a growing online consumer market. But how? In Brazil, the person to call is Gustavo Caetano, a 28-year-old former computer gamer who is at the forefront of Brazil’s expanding digital streaming industry.
Aurelio Martínez, a musician from the village of Plaplaya on Honduras’ Caribbean coast, has bridged the worlds of music and politics to bring greater recognition to the Garifuna people. Ultimately, it’s through his art that Martínez has had the greatest impact. Thanks to his work, listeners around the world have been introduced to the traditional music of the Garifuna, the descendents of slaves and indigenous Caribs who settled in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.