In her introduction to The Heart that Bleeds, Alma Guillermoprieto encapsulates my love of Latin America: it's chaotic, often corrupt, and has one of the biggest problems with income distribution in the world, but it's also eccentric, exciting, and deeply passionate. A collection of articles from the New Yorker spanning from 1989 to 1993, The Heart that Bleeds dives into Latin American societies with different angles by which to examine the society: the thriving glass replacement industry in Colombia, the hierarchy of the trash-pickers in Mexico, Coca farmers in Bolivia. Guillermoprieto is a true scholar: she lets the stories speak for themselves and offers context and history to the reader in order to fully understand the culture. While it is a few years old, The Heart that Bleeds is one of my favorite books about Latin America, and gives you more than interesting anecdotes, but a real window into the politics, history, and struggles of Latin America.
The Heart that Bleeds - by Alma Guillermoprieto