Miami, Florida, USA

The Gateway to Latin America


Atlantic Skies
Emergency
10th Street
Stars & Stripes
The corner
The Biltmore
Cavalier
Cuban Style
Miami Beach Beach
The Freedom Tower
Welcome Recifes
Beach Selfie
Skyline II
Art Deco
the Carlysle
Miami All
In Marina
Miami Skyline
Not only is the privileged location, between a lush ocean and the green of the Everglades, with the vast Caribbean just to the south. It is tropical, climate and cultural comfort and exemplary urban modernity. Increasingly in Spanish, in a Latin American context.

The Atlantic crossing from Lisbon takes nine hours.

We spent almost all of our time above salty, bluish water. With luck, even in the first half of the route, we caught a glimpse of some Azorean islands. From May to the end of October, in the middle of hurricane season, the flight proves to be somewhat more turbulent, nothing that causes apprehension.

Almost ending the arc route aimed at the latitude of the Tropic of Cancer, over the north of the Bahamas archipelago and on the edge of the Florida peninsula, the plane's window frames an unexpected landscape compensation.

In an area left behind by a hurricane that breaks to the north, hundreds of small, ethereal clouds hover over the smooth, translucent sea.

Their shadows seem to float just below, in abundant patches that dwarf those of a few patches of reef.

We progress southwest.

These patches give way to a long barrier, covered by waves of coral sand, so white that the surface dyes them cyan.

The flyover keeps us in that tone and in absolute wonder for another fifteen minutes.

Until we passed over a true tongue of land, consolidated to the point of supporting vegetation and buildings.

Miami: Gateway to Latin America in Sight

It's the trendy fringe of Miami Beach.

A lagoon dotted with islets, almost all of them built, it is connected to adjacent Florida by four or five roads and bridges imposed on the lagoon.

At least three of them lead to the core of the great metropolis that we had as our final destination. The direction of the wind dictated that, to land, we still had to enter and circle the Everglades, the flooded prairie that contains the city to the west.

The landing and incursion into the immense airport reinforces what we had already seen on previous visits. We are arriving in the United States.

The people who process the entrance and who we encounter almost all have Spanish-American looks. They talk in Spanish softened by the warmer climate.

When they approach us, they have difficulty concluding whether or not we are “like them”. Accordingly, they switch to the accented English required by professional protocols.

The linguistic dominance we feel upon arrival is a symptom of a broader reality. In the USA, only New York welcomes more annual visitors than Miami.

If, as in our case, Europeans and even more North Americans disembark there, the bulk of the foreigners come from the broad southern half of the Americas, which, like Florida, was discovered for the New World by the Spanish and which has remained Hispanic.

The great exception to this universe lies in the millions of Brazilian passengers, divided between tourists, immigrant workers and recent American converts.

Cuban Protagonism in Miami

Due to the proximity and the intense exodus that followed Fidel Castro's takeover of power in 1959, there are more than 1.2 million Cubans. The fact that Miami's most famous Cuban neighborhood is called Little Havana proves to be illusory.

Almost half of Miami County's population is of Cuban origin. The wealthier refugees flew from Cuba as soon as they realized that the island's Revolutionary-Communist turn would doom them. Over the decades, many more followed us, as best they could, some aboard planes and large boats.

Others, the balseros, on improvised rafts that, in some tragic cases, betrayed them.

domino park

The dominoes and conviviality center where thousands of Cubans socialize daily.

Little Havana, with its bars, murals, cigar bars and Máximo Gomez Park where Cubans play noisy domino games and tournaments, discussing the latest sporting and political news in their new homeland, displays the picturesque side of Cuban migration .

All over the county, monuments to the entrepreneurship of these newcomers stand out.

Jorge Mas Santos was born in Miami (in 1962), the son of Cuban immigrants. He is the president of MasTec, a multinational specialized in construction and infrastructure, based in Coral Gables.

Even if he is considered a billionaire, in the incredible financial success of the people of Miami, he does not even appear in the Top 10. Even so, his fortune estimated at 1.3 billion dollars allowed him to acquire the football club Inter Miami and, in July 2023, hire for extraterrestrial values ​​(read between 50 to 60 million annually), the Argentine star in decline Lionel Messi.

Miami and its Other Latin Americans

Miami's other large Latin American community is made up of the ever-creative Puerto Ricans, now numbering more than two hundred thousand. Colombians and Mexicans follow. In recent times, only Madrid can match Miami in welcoming Spanish-Americans.

Both assimilate, without hesitation, the real estate investments they make there. Both offer, in return, sophisticated and cosmopolitan experiences.

In meteorological terms, the taint of Madrid's winter cold is on par with the excessive heat, humidity and hurricanes of Miami's summer.

So excessive in recent times that the authorities decided to appoint a pioneer Chief Heat Officer.

Year after year, as winter arrives in the northern hemisphere, another, usually seasonal, community joins Miami's Latin American community. It is made up of North American retirees and digital nomads (Americans and Canadians) who take shelter, in Miami, from the freezing winter of the great North.

Since Venezuela took the same ideological path as Cuba, Venezuelans have arrived and settled in considerable numbers, attracted by the endless possibilities of this sultry south in the Land of Opportunity.

Miami Beach, the Waterfront and Miami Bay

Discovering Miami, we wandered through the Art Deco domain of Miami Beach, which the authorities transformed into an island with space for art, culture, and a healthier multinational coexistence.

Although it doesn't seem like much anymore, from what was a festive den filled with the vices fought on TV and in the city by the brigades "Miami Vice” and, in his bloodthirsty way, later, by “Dexter”.

Over the years, this evolutionary tide spread to other parts of Miami. He inspired other cities in Florida and neighboring states to follow his example.

Even the abandoned and degraded Wynwood neighborhood gave way to a vast urban art gallery. And, with this metamorphosis, its streets and buildings gained enormous value in the real estate market.

Wynwood Walls in Wynwood, Miami, United States of America

The portico of the Wynwood Walls dreamed of by Tony Goldman.

We explored the Miami Waterfront and the Miami Bay that stretches between them.

A guided boat ride through these backwaters reveals to us – now from bottom to top – the prolific skyline of Miami, made up of measured skyscrapers, exuberant enough.

Later, from one of the islands in the bay, we would close the day admiring how, with the afterglow, its grayish profile was converted into a festival of light, two of its bridges lit up in an almost fluorescent blue.

The countless golden squares of the skyscrapers reflected in the water, shining against the ultimate sky blue.

Still in the morning, behind the buildings and above, a front of cumulus nimbusloaded and bluish, they were preparing to invade the city, to rain, flash and make the residents sweat.

If we take into account Florida's appetite for attracting and suffering from hurricanes, they were all minor evils.

Little Haiti and the Historical Genesis of Miami

On other days, we delve into different, less visited neighborhoods in the city, because they are less safe and, above all, less touristy.

In Little Haiti, we find a counterpart to Little Havana, much further away, to the north, from the city's CBD.

There, in the so-called Lemon City, a large part of Haitians, Bahamians and Caribbeans from other places were concentrated, many of them ancestral immigrants from the city, arriving since the beginning of the 30th century. Today, gathered in a predominantly African-American community of almost XNUMX thousand inhabitants.

The people of Little Haiti live in an expansion of small single-story houses, on streets with French-Creole names. We see them, humble, degraded, but, like Miami in general, airy and refreshed by a generous layer of trees that the weather irrigates.

In architectural terms, the bright market building and the statue in honor of Toussaint L'Ouverture, the black general who triggered the Haitian Revolution, stand out.

It is said that Miami is one of the few cities in the United States founded by a woman, in this case, Julia Tuttle, a citrus producer who, faced with the need to transport her fruits, convinced a tycoon named Henry Flagler to to make the railway he built pass through his lands.

The rails increased the value of plantations and properties. In an instant, due to migration, Miami's residents increased from a mere three hundred to many thousands. However, over two million.

The emblematic and sonorous name it bears comes from the term Mayami (great water) that the Calusa and Tequesta natives used for the current lake Okeechobee and for the Mayami ethnic group who also inhabited its banks.

It preserves its ironic touch that, two centuries after – from the Spanish conquerors to the US army – the invaders of America subjected the natives of these parts, the World seems to be divided between two divergent ways of pronouncing the name of the city: between the original Mayami and the Hispanic Míami.

For Miami, it makes little difference. The city has a whole world to seduce and welcome.

 

 

HOW TO GO

Book the flight Lisbon – Miami (Florida), United States, with TAP: flytap.com per from €620.

Florida Keys, USA

The Caribbean Stepping Stone of the USA

Os United States continental islands seem to close to the south in its capricious peninsula of Florida. Don't stop there. More than a hundred islands of coral, sand and mangroves form an eccentric tropical expanse that has long seduced American vacationers.
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coasts concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the extreme southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessible via six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is meager for the number of souls who desire it.
Everglades National Park, Florida, USA

Florida's Great Weedy River

Anyone who flies over the south of the 27th state is amazed by the green, smooth and soggy vastness that contrasts with the surrounding oceanic tones. This unique U.S. marsh-prairie ecosystem is home to a prolific fauna dominated by 200 of Florida's 1.25 million alligators.
Little Havana, USA

Little Havana of the Nonconformists

Over the decades and until today, thousands of Cubans have crossed the Florida Straits in search of the land of freedom and opportunity. With the US a mere 145 km away, many have gone no further. His Little Havana in Miami is today the most emblematic neighborhood of the Cuban diaspora.
Saint Augustine, Florida, USA

Back to the Beginnings of Hispanic Florida

The dissemination of tourist attractions of questionable taste becomes superficial if we take into account the historical depth in question. This is the longest inhabited city in the contiguous US. Ever since Spanish explorers founded it in 1565, St. Augustine resists almost anything.
Kennedy Space Center, Florida, United States

The American Space Program Launch Pad

Traveling through Florida, we deviated from the programmed orbit. We point to the Atlantic coast of Merrit Island and Cape Canaveral. There we explored the Kennedy Space Center and followed one of the launches that Space X and the United States are now aiming for in Space.
Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
San Juan, Puerto Rico

The Highly Walled Puerto Rico of San Juan Bautista

San Juan is the second oldest colonial city in the Americas, after the Dominican neighbor of Santo Domingo. A pioneering emporium and stop over on the route that took gold and silver from the New World to Spain, it was attacked again and again. Its incredible fortifications still protect one of the most lively and prodigious capitals in the Caribbean.
Key West, USA

The Tropical Wild West of the USA

We've come to the end of the Overseas Highway and the ultimate stronghold of propagandism Florida Keys. The continental United States here they surrender to a dazzling turquoise emerald marine vastness. And to a southern reverie fueled by a kind of Caribbean spell.
San Juan, Puerto Rico (Part 2)

To the Rhythm of Reggaeton

Restless and inventive Puerto Ricans have made San Juan the reggaeton capital of the world. At the preferred beat of the nation, they filled their “Walled City” with other arts, color and life.
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Island Cape Verde

A "French" Clan at the Mercy of Fire

In 1870, a Count born in Grenoble on his way to Brazilian exile, made a stopover in Cape Verde where native beauties tied him to the island of Fogo. Two of his children settled in the middle of the volcano's crater and continued to raise offspring there. Not even the destruction caused by the recent eruptions deters the prolific Montrond from the “county” they founded in Chã das Caldeiras.    
Passo do Lontra, Miranda, Brazil

The Flooded Brazil of Passo do Lontra

We are on the western edge of Mato Grosso do Sul but bush, on these sides, is something else. In an extension of almost 200.000 km2, the Brazil it appears partially submerged, by rivers, streams, lakes and other waters dispersed in vast alluvial plains. Not even the panting heat of the dry season drains the life and biodiversity of Pantanal places and farms like the one that welcomed us on the banks of the Miranda River.
Castro Laboreiro, Portugal  

From Castro de Laboreiro to Raia da Serra Peneda - Gerês

We arrived at (i) the eminence of Galicia, at an altitude of 1000m and even more. Castro Laboreiro and the surrounding villages stand out against the granite monumentality of the mountains and the Planalto da Peneda and Laboreiro. As do its resilient people who, sometimes handed over to Brandas and sometimes to Inverneiras, still call these stunning places home.
Big Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe, Endless Mystery

Between the 1500th and XNUMXth centuries, Bantu peoples built what became the largest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa. From XNUMX onwards, with the passage of the first Portuguese explorers arriving from Mozambique, the city was already in decline. Its ruins, which inspired the name of the present-day Zimbabwean nation, have many unanswered questions.  
Izamal, Mexico

The Holy, Yellow and Beautiful Mexican City

Until the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, Izamal was a center of worship for the supreme Mayan god Itzamná and Kinich Kakmó, the one of the sun. Gradually, the invaders razed the various pyramids of the natives. In its place, they built a large Franciscan convent and a prolific colonial houses, with the same solar tone in which the now Catholic city shines.
Cape Coast, Ghana

The Divine Purification Festival

The story goes that, once, a plague devastated the population of Cape Coast of today Ghana. Only the prayers of the survivors and the cleansing of evil carried out by the gods will have put an end to the scourge. Since then, the natives have returned the blessing of the 77 deities of the traditional Oguaa region with the frenzied Fetu Afahye festival.
Fish River Canyon, Namíbia

The Namibian Guts of Africa

When nothing makes you foreseeable, a vast river ravine burrows the southern end of the Namíbia. At 160km long, 27km wide and, at intervals, 550 meters deep, the Fish River Canyon is the Grand Canyon of Africa. And one of the biggest canyons on the face of the Earth.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
Safari
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Escort when the last snow faded.
Colonial Church of San Francisco de Assis, Taos, New Mexico, USA
Architecture & Design
Taos, USA

North America Ancestor of Taos

Traveling through New Mexico, we were dazzled by the two versions of Taos, that of the indigenous adobe hamlet of Taos Pueblo, one of the towns of the USA inhabited for longer and continuously. And that of Taos city that the Spanish conquerors bequeathed to the Mexico: Mexico gave in to United States and that a creative community of native descendants and migrated artists enhance and continue to praise.
lagoons and fumaroles, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand
Adventure
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
Moa on a beach in Rapa Nui/Easter Island
Ceremonies and Festivities
Easter Island, Chile

The Take-off and Fall of the Bird-Man Cult

Until the XNUMXth century, the natives of Easter Island they carved and worshiped great stone gods. All of a sudden, they started to drop their moai. The veneration of tanatu manu, a half-human, half-sacred leader, decreed after a dramatic competition for an egg.
Frederikstad-Saint-Croix-American-Virgin-Islands-Freedom
Cities
Frederiksted, Saint Cross, US Virgin Islands

The Emancipation City of the Danish West Indies

If Christiansted established itself as the capital and main commercial center of the island of Saint Croix, the “sister” of the leeward side, Frederiksted had its civilizational apogee when there was the revolt and subsequent liberation of the slaves that ensured the colony's prosperity.
Meal
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
Pitões das Junias, Montalegre, Portugal
Culture
Montalegre, Portugal

Through Alto do Barroso, Top of Trás-os-Montes

we moved from Terras de Bouro for those of Barroso. Based in Montalegre, we wander around the discovery of Paredes do Rio, Tourém, Pitões das Júnias and its monastery, stunning villages on the border of Portugal. If it is true that Barroso has had more inhabitants, visitors should not miss it.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines
Sport
Philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Las Cuevas, Mendoza, across the Andes, Argentina
Traveling
Mendoza, Argentina

From One Side to the Other of the Andes

Departing from Mendoza city, the N7 route gets lost in vineyards, rises to the foot of Mount Aconcagua and crosses the Andes to Chile. Few cross-border stretches reveal the magnificence of this forced ascent
Aswan, Egypt, Nile River meets Black Africa, Elephantine Island
Ethnic
Aswan, Egypt

Where the Nile Welcomes the Black Africa

1200km upstream of its delta, the Nile is no longer navigable. The last of the great Egyptian cities marks the fusion between Arab and Nubian territory. Since its origins in Lake Victoria, the river has given life to countless African peoples with dark complexions.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Composition on Nine Arches Bridge, Ella, Sri Lanka
History
Yala NPElla-Kandy, Sri Lanka

Journey Through Sri Lanka's Tea Core

We leave the seafront of PN Yala towards Ella. On the way to Nanu Oya, we wind on rails through the jungle, among plantations in the famous Ceylon. Three hours later, again by car, we enter Kandy, the Buddhist capital that the Portuguese never managed to dominate.
Moorea aerial view
Islands
Moorea, French Polynesia

The Polynesian Sister Any Island Would Like to Have

A mere 17km from Tahiti, Moorea does not have a single city and is home to a tenth of its inhabitants. Tahitians have long watched the sun go down and transform the island next door into a misty silhouette, only to return to its exuberant colors and shapes hours later. For those who visit these remote parts of the Pacific, getting to know Moorea is a double privilege.
St. Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia, Caucasus
Winter White
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
Literature
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

In 1993, frustrated by the Portuguese government's disregard for his work “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago moved with his wife Pilar del Río to Lanzarote. Back on this somewhat extraterrestrial Canary Island, we visited his home. And the refuge from the portuguese censorship that haunted the writer.
Coin return
Nature
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Vila Velha Paraná, Paraná Tropeirismo Route
Natural Parks
Vila Velha Park a Castro, Paraná

On the Paraná Tropeirismo Route

Between Ponta Grossa and Castro, we travel in Campos Gerais do Paraná and throughout its history. For the past of the settlers and drovers who put the region on the map. Even that of Dutch immigrants who, in more recent times and, among many others, enriched the ethnic assortment of this Brazilian state.
New Orleans Louisiana, First Line
UNESCO World Heritage
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

The Muse of the Great American South

New Orleans stands out from conservative US backgrounds as the defender of all rights, talents and irreverence. Once French, forever Frenchified, the city of jazz inspires new contagious rhythms, the fusion of ethnicities, cultures, styles and flavors.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Characters
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean, Punta Cahuita aerial view
Beaches
Cahuita, Costa Rica

Dreadlocked Costa Rica

Traveling through Central America, we explore a Costa Rican coastline as much as the Caribbean. In Cahuita, Pura Vida is inspired by an eccentric faith in Jah and a maddening devotion to cannabis.
self-flagellation, passion of christ, philippines
Religion
Marinduque, Philippines

The Philippine Passion of Christ

No nation around is Catholic but many Filipinos are not intimidated. In Holy Week, they surrender to the belief inherited from the Spanish colonists. Self-flagellation becomes a bloody test of faith
Train Fianarantsoa to Manakara, Malagasy TGV, locomotive
On Rails
Fianarantsoa-Manakara, Madagascar

On board the Malagasy TGV

We depart Fianarantsoa at 7a.m. It wasn't until 3am the following morning that we completed the 170km to Manakara. The natives call this almost secular train Train Great Vibrations. During the long journey, we felt, very strongly, those of the heart of Madagascar.
Tokyo, Japan catteries, customers and sphynx cat
Society
Tokyo, Japan

Disposable Purrs

Tokyo is the largest of the metropolises but, in its tiny apartments, there is no place for pets. Japanese entrepreneurs detected the gap and launched "catteries" in which the feline affections are paid by the hour.
Daily life
Arduous Professions

the bread the devil kneaded

Work is essential to most lives. But, certain jobs impose a degree of effort, monotony or danger that only a few chosen ones can measure up to.
Asian buffalo herd, Maguri Beel, Assam, India
Wildlife
Maguri Bill, India

A Wetland in the Far East of India

The Maguri Bill occupies an amphibious area in the Assamese vicinity of the river Brahmaputra. It is praised as an incredible habitat especially for birds. When we navigate it in gondola mode, we are faced with much (but much) more life than just the asada.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.