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Guide: President Obama's Trip to Latin America

March 11, 2011

Updated March 23, 2011. With President Barack Obama set to commence a five-day, Latin American tour on March 19, AS/COA offers resources and analysis to shine a light on priorities for his first presidential visit to Central and South America. First announced during the president's 2011 State of the Union address, the trip will take Obama to Brasilia (March 19), Rio de Janeiro (March 20), Santiago (March 21), and San Salvador (March 22).

Join AS/COA Online for our daily coverage of President Obama's March 19 to 23 trip to Latin America. His trip takes him to:

Also visit our AS/COA Online Guide and www.AmericasQuarterly's "Issues in Depth" page about the president's trip.

Americas Society and Council of the Americas analysis covering President Obama's upcoming trip:

  • "Obama's Latin American Trip: Unlocking Hemispheric Partnerships," Susan Segal, March 14, 2011
    "A successful trip could be measured as one in which Obama and the leaders of the visited countries better understand the shared vision before us," writes AS/COA President and CEO Susan Segal in an article about President Barack Obama's March 19-23 trip.
  • Exclusive Interview: COA's Eric Farnsworth on Obama's Latin American Tour,” March 10, 2011.
    U.S. President Barack Obama heads to Latin America from March 19 to 23, visiting Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador. COA Vice President Eric Farnsworth talks with AS/COA Online about why Obama chose those three countries, the trip’s timing, and the White House's top priorities for the tour.
  • President Obama's Trip: Hope for Latin America's Race and Inclusion Challenges,” Viewpoints Americas, Christopher Sabatini, March 10, 2011
    Sharing ways to boost social inclusion and address unequal access to quality education should be priorities during President Obama’s March trip to Latin America.
  • "Latin America Weighs Nuclear Energy Options," AS/COA News Analysis, David Gacs, March 20, 2011
    The Japanese nuclear crisis cast its shadow over a U.S.-Chilean energy agreement signed days before President Barack Obama’s arrival in Santiago. How will Latin American countries move forward with nuclear energy ambitions?
  • "Obama's Travel: Opportunities in a Changing Americas," Eric Farnsworth, The Huffington Post, March 18, 2011
    "The United States faces a new moment in the Americas: no longer can we take economic partnership or political influence for granted," writes COA's Eric Farnsworth for The Huffington Post.
  • "Obama's El Salvador Stop Could Spell out Security Strategy," AS/COA News Analysis, Roque Planas, March 18, 2011
    Central American security concerns will be on the agenda during the U.S. president’s March 22 stop in San Salvador. His visit coincides with plans to bump up funding for the region’s struggle against rising gang-related violence.
  • "Obama’s Moment to Get It Right in Latin America," AQ Web Exclusive, Cynthia Arnson, March 15, 2011
    President Obama’s trip to Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador this weekend is the right moment to chart a new course with strategic hemispheric partners. Here’s what should be on his radar screen.
  • "Brazil's Rise Can Be to U.S. Benefit," Eric Farnsworth, The Miami Herald, February 6, 2011
    "With an economy the size of the rest of the region put together and rapid growth, Brazil is leading Latin America’s conscious and confident outreach to partners beyond the United States," writes COA Vice President Eric Farnsworth in The Miami Herald.
  • Brazil Attracts Obama's Attention,” AS/COA News Analysis, Roque Planas, March 8, 2011
    President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit serves as a signal of the administration’s interest in Brazil, as the country continues its economic and political rise.
  • Obama's Latin Spring,” AS/COA News Analysis, Roque Planas and Carin Zissis, February 28, 2011
    U.S. President Barack Obama meets with heads of state from four Latin American countries in March—first when Mexican President Felipe Calderón visits Washington, followed by Obama's tour of Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador later in the month. AS/COA Online explores topics on the agenda in each case.

Recent AS/COA papers, briefs, and programmatic materials relevant to the president's March 2011 meetings with Latin American heads of state:

  • Addressing Systemic Challenges to Social Inclusion in Health Care,
    Jason Marczak, Nina Agrawal, Gustavo Nigenda, José Arturo Ruiz, Ligia de Charry; March 7, 2011
    A new white paper released under Americas Society’s Social Inclusion Program looks at private sector efforts to expand health care access for underprivileged groups.
  • Building Inclusive Societies through Access to Quality Education,
    Christopher Sabatini, Edward J. Remache, Sandra Ribeiro, Brigitte Davey, February 23, 2011
    An Americas Society white paper explores public-private partnerships in education and ways to increase access to quality education for underprivileged groups. The report is part of a multi-year research initiative, funded by the Ford Foundation, focused on social inclusion in the Americas.
  • "A Preview of President Obama's Latin America Trip," Prepared by Drew Westervelt, March 10, 2011
    COA and The Heritage Foundation held a panel discussion with ambassadors from Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador to preview the president’s trip. Watch a video of COA Vice President Eric Farnsworth's remarks.
  • Issue Brief: Dilma Rousseff and Brazil's Oil Sector,” Susana Moreira, March 9, 2011
    This AS/COA Energy Action Group issue brief describes the recent reforms to the management of Brazil’s pre-salt oil reserves and the challenges ahead for new President Rousseff as she works to implement the changes.“
  • Social Inclusion and the Next Generation: Building Opportunities for At-risk Youth,” Program Summary, Flavia Ferreira and Danielle Renwick,” February 23, 2011
    Americas Society and Viva Rio partnered for a discussion on how Rio’s government and civil society can create opportunities for youth mobility in the city’s favelas.
  • "Cheap Chinese Imports Stoke Brazilian Fears," AS/COA News Analysis, Roque Planas, February 1, 2011
    Even as Beijing becomes an important source of investment, Brazil frets over how an undervalued yuan has led to a flood of Chinese goods. Will Chinese inflation resolve Brazil’s worries?
  • "Brazil: What's Next?", Americas Quarterly, Albert Fishlow, Winter 2011
    The post-Lula, or Dilma, era promises both change and continuity.
  • "Brazil's Rousseff Rethinks French Jet Fighter Deal," AS/COA News Analysis, Roque Planas, January 21, 2011
    When Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva left office, a deal to purchase 36 Rafale jet fighters was near completion. Three weeks into her presidency, Dilma Rousseff has reopened debate over who will receive the lucrative defense contract.
  • Video: "Public Forum with Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, President of Mexico,” March 3, 2011
    AS/COA, in collaboration with the Woodrow Wilson Center, hosted a public forum with President of Mexico Felipe Calderón Hinojosa during his March 2 and 3 trip to Washington. View his remarks regarding Mexico's economy, health and education, immigration, and the U.S.-Mexican relationship.
  • Audio Podcast: "Breakfast Seminar on Brazil-China," March 1, 2011
    AS/COA hosted a program exploring the growing trade, economic, and energy ties between Beijing and Brasilia.

News and analysis from

Americas Quarterly highlights innovators from across Latin America. Read about these innovators in context of President Obama's visit to the region:

  • Marcio Schittini and Luiz Felipe Pereira, from Brazil.
    These Brazilian innovators are finding ways to turn sewage and biomass into energy—all while turning a profit.
  • Virginia Gerretón, from Chile.
    Chilean molecular biologist Virginia Garretón is developing cost-effective ways to use science to support Chile’s salmon and wine industries.
  • Paulo Rogério, from Brazil.
    Technology advocate Paulo Rogério’s Instituto Mídia Étnica works to boost connectivity for Brazil’s marginalized Afro-Brazilian communities.
  • Diego Valenzuela, from Chile.
    Chilean Diego Valenzuela is senior vice president and general counsel of investment firm Meck, Ltd. and works to expand disadvantaged communities’ access to top-quality education.
  • Gustavo Caetano, from Brazil.
    Brazilian Gustavo Caetano is the founder and CEO of Samba Tech, a Belo Horizonte-based online video platform that manages companies’ Internet video presence.
  • Pamela Chávez, from Chile.
    Chilean Pamela Chávez, marine biologist and founder of Aguamarina S.A., is working to revolutionize mineral extraction processes and improve mine safety.