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De Todo un Poco: Carmen Miranda and Air Highways to Latin America
by Jerry W. Bird

Jerry W. BirdSongstress Carmen Miranda's colorful biography was featured on the History Channel recently, and I am sure it brought tears to many eyes, and a smile to the face of those who've captured her image in the theater of their minds. For generations Carmen was not only "Chiquita Banana" to millions of us kids (from 9 to 90), she was South America's unofficial Ambassador to the world. And the pert, petite and peppy Miss Miranda never faltered through the decades. Her fruit salad headpiece didn't lose a single grape, as she performed the tango, samba or a hip-swaying version of "Cuban Pete, the man with the rumba beat" ...and "South America- take it away" Ole.

Americas MapThe history of travel from the USA and Canada on silver birds, big bellied flying boats and cruise ships to Central and South America, reads like a romance novel, with a touch of mystery thrown in. All of this travel happened during turbulent, earth shaking times. Hopefully things will improve on the political scen with a focus on better governance - a key 'Summit of the Americas' topic (see page one). While the number of visitors has increased in droves, it still hasn't really tapped the bucket. This section of our Aviation and Travel Web site is dedicated to providing a small, but delicious taste on this fabulous destination area, and provide direction to carriers, accommodation and travel tour operators. Like the title of my first High School Spanish text book, "De todo un poco, " this site will offer you a 'little bit of everything.' The rest is up to you. Hasta la vista! For starters with, here are some key connections:
Directory of South American Web sites http://www.specialdepartures.com/samerican_tourism_links.htm