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Americas Quarterly Magazine Explores What It's Like to Be 18 in Latin America Today

July 25, 2017

New York, July 25, 2017—Today’s young Latin Americans are the first generation in the region’s history more likely to grow up in the middle class than in poverty—and they have high expectations for what they hope to achieve and who they want to be. But are their expectations realistic? What might hold them back?

For its third issue of 2017, Americas Quarterly (AQ) shadowed the daily lives of four young adults over the course of eight weeks in the cities of Guadalajara, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, and San Salvador to learn about their ambitions, dreams, and the obstacles they face. These remarkable profiles tell a larger story of a region where demographic and economic change have opened a window for social transformation, but point to a potential mismatch between reality and expectations that must be urgently addressed. See the profiles here.

“To grow up in Latin America today is to believe anything is possible,” says AQ Editor-in-Chief Brian Winter. “But there’s a real risk that these great expectations will end in disappointment. Youth unemployment is rising, and some governments are failing to prioritize education, skills training, and other necessary steps to ensure this generation’s dreams become a reality. We believe that policymakers and society at large would do well to look at these issues, because the prospects of these young Latin Americans are also those of Latin America as a whole.”

In the Americas Quarterly’s "Great Expectations: What It’s Like to Be 18 in Latin America Today" issue, Citi’s Foundation Brandee McHale and Azita Berar Awad delve into ideas to tackle youth unemployment; the Peterson Institute for International Economics’ Monica de Bolle explores how governments spend too much on the elderly and not enough on the young; former President of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a protagonist of two great periods of upheaval in Brazil, reflects on what today’s activists can learn from history; Brian Winter travels to Chile to understand why more young people are not active in politics; and young activists, politicians, entrepreneurs, and artists tell AQ what they consider to be their generation’s most pressing challenges.

President of Peru Pedro Pablo Kuczynski will keynote the launch event of AQ’s new issue on Wednesday, August 2 in Lima. The presidential address will be followed by panels with private- and public-sector experts and entrepreneurs who will discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by young Latin Americans, as well as the actions governments and communities can take to improve this generation’s chances for success. Join us in person or via live webcast. This event will be held with the support of Citi Foundation. Follow the conversation on @AmerQuarterly | #JóvenesdeHoy

To learn more, register for the launch event, or to request interviews with the authors, please contact: |1-212-277-8384| 1-212-277-8333.

Other articles in this issue include:

  • AQ’s Top 5: Latin American Journalists who set the bar high for excellence in difficult or hostile environments.
  • An essay examining the Farroupilha Revolution, a nineteenth-century massacre in southern Brazil that reveals fault lines coursing through the country today.
  • Our revamped sections on travel, film, and news from around the region.

The complete issue will be available online on August 2, 2017 at

Americas Quarterly is an award-winning publication dedicated to politics, business, and culture in the Americas. Borrowing elements from The Economist, Foreign Affairs, and National Geographic—but with a focus on Latin America—AQ is dedicated to covering the region in all its diversity and promise. AQ's elite, agenda-setting readership includes CEOs, senior government officials, and thought leaders, as well as a general-interest audience passionate about the Americas. Launched in 2007 and based in New York City, AQ is an independent publication of Americas Society/Council of the Americas, which for more than 50 years have been dedicated to dialogue in our hemisphere.