Friday, March 5, 2010

Costa Rica-Guatemala March 4-5

We left Costa Rica this morning and I'm sitting now in the Presidential Palace in Guatemala City, a gorgeous Victorian building made out of a luminous greenish stone and replete with "hacienda"-style balconies, dim marble hallways, and murals of ancient Mayan goings-on.

Costa Rica didn't leave much of an impression, mostly because we spent the entire time at the Intercontinental hotel. We stayed there, the conference was there..I didn't leave the grounds --

The conference itself ("Pathways to Prosperity") was pretty news-free -- just lots of gassing about economic development and spreading opportunity. I don't know what the "deliverables" are for an organization like that, but if they have any they aren't well publicized.

We finished up around dinner time and age with some of the Clinton people. One good thing about these trips is the chance to talk to gov't types that we are kept well away from back in DC. They've all got so much on their plates -- and progress on the big issues (Iran, Mideast etc) is elusive...must be frustrating.

We left this morning for Guatemala. Nice flight up the Pacific Coast, and then into town for Clinton's last set of meetings. Compared to Costa Rica, Guatemala looks poor but interesting. There were lots of uniformed children marshalled to yell and cheer as Clinton arrived.

We did a short story on U.S. pledges to boost aid against drug trafficking. I also noticed this odd little "jacket" they'd crafted for the electric coffee pours from where you think it pours.

Home later..looking forward to it