Mark A. Bonta

Cultural geographer and educator Mark A. Bonta covers ecology, democracy, local self-reliance and community-based solutions to global problems.

Coffee bean prices have collapsed, and it’s a humanitarian crisis

By Mark A. Bonta / November 13, 2019 / 0 Comments

Small farmers are losing their shirts over the latest coffee-bean bust. Put in hard numbers, that’s about 100 million people — both farmers and their dependents — in 40 countries across the tropics who have seen their incomes cut by two-thirds in this decade. The reduction in coffee-bean prices is due to several factors, including […]

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Refugees from the last British colony want to go home

By Mark A. Bonta / November 12, 2019 / 0 Comments

Exiled for more than 50 years, Chagossians may yet return to their island home. The British government first removed all 2,000 residents of the Chagos Archipelago, then leasing the newly renamed British Indian Ocean Territory to the United States, which installed its Diego Garcia military base. They had been part of Mauritius, but, the latter […]

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Hopes for a high-end ‘eco city’ in South Africa turned out to be hype

By Mark A. Bonta / November 7, 2019 / 0 Comments

Easy access to commuter rail, pedestrian-friendly, community centers, schools, eco-friendly — what’s not to like? The lack of affordable housing, it turns out. The city of Johannesburg rejected Chinese developer Zendai’s plans for a self-contained, luxury residential zone on par with those found in world cities such as Shanghai, Hong Kong and New York. The […]

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Anti-immigrant Poland actually loves cheap foreign workers

By Mark A. Bonta / November 6, 2019 / 0 Comments

Even as Poles stream out of their own country for higher-paying jobs elsewhere in the European Union and abroad, Poland has become one of the world’s most coveted destination for economic migrants. This is happening despite the rise of the right-wing Law & Justice Party, which has exploited anti-immigrant sentiment to gain power — but […]

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What’s the problem with Evo Morales?

By Mark A. Bonta / November 5, 2019 / 0 Comments

By all accounts, modern Bolivia is an economic and cultural miracle — so what’s all this talk about coups and electoral fraud? The problem is that Evo Morales — a former labor-union leader and Latin America’s first contemporary indigenous president — appears to be behaving like a dictator. Extension denied — and appealed Morales is […]

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The schools of El Salvador are neglected and abandoned, with glimmers of hope

By Mark A. Bonta / November 4, 2019 / 0 Comments

In one school, there is only one outhouse for 343 students — and no electricity, so the school must pirate it. Another school finds itself in a “neutral zone” between warring gangs, whose members play ordinary games of soccer against each other on school grounds. Yet educators there risk their lives if they try to […]

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