The rich culture of the native peoples of the Americas, is abundantly captured throughout Central and South America. This colorful culture and traditions of the native peoples have managed to keep the two regions from decadence and flaring war in recent years. Yet, a stunning violent streak will continue into 2016 to pester nations like Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, where the murder rate is high - nudged upward, by drug wars and gangs as well as by tribal and land issues that remain hot issues.
But Central and South America in 2016 remain full of romanticism, attractive exotic people and places, and full of hope, prosperity and further development.
Costa Rica, in 2016, will remain as Central America's best model to peace, stability and prosperity. Costa Rica's modern transformation to peace and as a role model was developed by former President Oscar Arias during his first presidency, 1986-90, a time of much turmoil in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Arias was able to promote democracy and peace on the isthmus of Central American at a time when the whole region could have been devoured and consumed by civil war. Arias won a Noble Peace prize in 1987 for his efforts toward peace. Costa Rica's democratic model toward stability and security with free elections every 4-years, has paid off with the country becoming the most popular tourist destination in Central America. Record tourism arrivals have blessed the country since two million people visited in 2008 and another record 2.4 million in 2013.
Sadly, the other countries of Central America that have fallen short in developing and operating on the Costa Rican model of democracy, will continue to experience ongoing problems in 2016. Violence and record numbers of murders in Honduras to Guatemala to El Salvador stand as explicit barriers to stability in these countries. Belize and Panama have good chances to evolve out of the violence associated with the drug trade in 2016. And Nicaragua, which has endorsed a controversial new canal route in a deal with a Chinese company, could expect protest from its native people and environmentalists over the project in 2016.
The sultry eye-beholding culture of the Brazilians most people view at Carnival, is not just flesh and tongue-salivating lust, it speaks more of an inner strength and resilience of the Brazilian people's abilities to adapt and to cope with arrays of circumstances. And this characteristic of the Brazilian people will be tested in 2016 from Carnival to the hosting of the Summer Olympics with all the political, economic and social dramas in between.
Politicians and economic crises come and go in Brazil from time to time, but the culture and strength of Brazilians remain constant. However, environmental issues that impact culture more so than economics and politicians, must be addressed by Brazilians in 2016. Polluted rivers, seas and lands have a direct correlation to the continuity of Brazilian culture and life. Brazilians will have to answer the question as to whether or not they wish to have offspring in 2016 and beyond.
This country of enchanted scenery and unmatched beautiful people stands at the threshold of long term peace in 2016. FARC rebels and the Colombian government could wipe away generations of insecurity and violence by observing ceasefires and honoring a new peace. Such a peace in Colombia could transcend the borders of its neighbors to reduce narco violence.
An Opposition parliamentary majority in Venezuela could furnish President Nicolas Maduro with a paranoid exit from government in the land of angelic beauties. Maduro, who has accused the United States(US), of threats against him, could now finally withdraw from power in Venezuela and allow a new era of democratic processes to bring needed relief to the Venezuelan people in 2016.
Bolivia and Ecuador:
Apart from Venezuela, these two countries could see more political and governmental wrangling in 2016.
Paraguay and Uruguay:
These two nations will have refugee questions to answer per their admittance of Syrian refugees in 2016. Paraguay, with some economic deals with China, will face a steeper economic downturn should the Chinese market fall farther in 2016.
Argentina, Peru and Chile:
Economic stability appears to heading to Argentina in 2016 as a new president there seeks to repair falterings of the past. Chileans and Peruvians will address matters pertaining to their political pasts in 2016. Both appear stable enough to weather environmental and political storms.
South America continues to sit in an era of political, social and economic transition. Next year and beyond, will set the tone for what the region will end up looking like by 2050. Environmental issues will factor very high in 2016, from the Amazon to logging, to pollution and fishing. This year's and 2016's El Nino could become very harsh upon the region.