Stories: Development

  • Guatemalan women transform their town one brushstroke at a time

    Lidia Florentino Cumes Cumez greets visitors to her small, bright office with a giggle before grabbing a brochure and launching into a well-honed explanation of what it means to paint this entire town on the banks of Guatemala’s majestic Lake Atitlán.  “These are the base colors,” she said recently, displaying a palette...

  • IRP Group Trip to Senegal

    The International Reporting Project (IRP) hosted a group reporting trip focusing on gender, human rights and civil society issues in Senegal in November 2017. About Senegal Senegal, one of Africa’s most prosperous and democratic countries, has enjoyed an economic boom since the late 1990s, primarily reliant on agriculture. Political stability, religious tolerance and rich culture bind...

  • Suharto Museum Celebrates Dictator’s Life, Omitting Dark Chapters

    KEMUSUK, Indonesia — Indonesia’s former dictator looms in bronze over the entrance to the small museum set amid the palm trees and emerald rice fields of central Java. Depicted in a military uniform and peaked officer’s cap, he radiates calm authority over the village of his birth. To many, the New Order government that Suharto led...

  • With a forgotten temple city, Myanmar hopes to strike tourism gold

    When time began there lived a lonely monkey who met a peacock, who laid an egg from which was born a mighty prince who built a city on the spot of his birth and called it “monkey egg”. Whatever the myths around its creation, by the 15th century, Mrauk U (Monkey Egg) was the capital of a powerful...

  • Inside Bolivia’s long struggle to unlock the world’s largest lithium supply

    At the heart of South America, the long-struggling nation of Bolivia sits atop an unlikely gold mine: the world’s largest lithium reserves. It’s been nearly a decade since the Bolivian government first set out to capitalize on this precious natural resource. Yet while the booming tech industry has recently sent lithium prices soaring, Bolivia appears to...

  • Olympic Abandonment

    The behemoth sports stadiums on the sprawling grounds of Rio’s Olympic Park were built to impress international visitors for the 2016 Summer Games. Today, they are eerily deserted. The space re-opened as a public recreation area in January, but aside from the occasional security guard, there is hardly a human in sight at the 2.5 billion real ($800 million), 300-acre complex. ...

  • Trump Towers Rio still hasn’t been built—and the residents it pushed out couldn’t be happier

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil –– José Paulo Simplicio de Souza was devastated when the government forced him out of his home near the commercial center of Rio de Janeiro to make way for a luxury waterfront property three years ago. The 33-year old food-vendor’s sorrow later turned to disgust when he found out the 45th U...

  • Rio hits the brakes on controversial favela cable car

    The black cables scarring the skyline of Complexo do Alemao stopped running months ago. For the residents of the favelas below, they're a constant reminder of how even one of Rio de Janeiro's most ostentatious projects built ahead of the 2016 Olympics has fallen victim to the financial crisis gripping the state. From the start, plans for the...

  • Inside Bolivia’s long struggle to unlock the world’s largest lithium supply

    You can watch the video from Laura Klairmont's reporting trip here.

  • In Uganda, Fostering a World Without Adoption

    In 2011, a young Ugandan woman I’ll call Evelyn learned she was HIV-positive when she was six months pregnant. Her husband’s family blamed her for the diagnosis, and declared they would find him a new wife. Newly alone and vulnerable, Evelyn was at a loss when she learned her newborn son “Joshua” was positive...