Spain

Spain is a developed country in Southwestern Europe. The literacy rate in Spain is a high 98.1%. The official language is Castilian Spanish. 94% of spain is follows the Roman Catholic church. This large percentage of Catholics is due to the Christian reconquest in spain. When Spanish Christians took control of Spain all Muslims and Jews were expelled from Spain, leaving the population mostly Roman Catholic. Spain is located in a Mediterranean climate zone.

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Madrid is the capital of Spain, it is the largest and most populated city in Spain. The city is filled with culture and art. While in Madrid, contestants will be able to see a small piece of Spain’s culture at the Reina sofia museum and the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. The Reina Sofia Museum is Spain’s national museum for 20th century art. This museum features artwork from Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and many more.  The contestants main purpose in going to the museum is to view Pablo Picasso’s painting, Guernica. This painting is one of the most significant relics from the Spanish Civil War. The war lasted between 1936-1939, it was between the Nationalist, supported by Nazi Germany, and the Republicans, supported by Russia. The Guernica shows the destruction of a small basque town by aerial bombardment. After the Reina Sofia Museum, contestants will visit the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. This is the location that the soccer team Real Madrid plays all of their home games. Soccer is the largest sport in Spain so the contestants will be able to witness a large part of the Spanish culture.

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The contestants will also visit Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain. Here in barcelona they will go to the Gothic Quarter. This neighborhood is named the Gothic Quarter due to its distinct architecture style. In the Gothic District Contestants will need to find a group of people dancing the Sardana. This is a very important Catalan dance that symbolizes unity and pride. After witnessing the Sardana, the contestants will visit the UN Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility in Barcelona. This institute’s mission is to research globalization, culture and mobility in countries to promote cultural diversity. They also aim to promote development especially focusing on gender inequality.

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http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/europe/visit-madrids-civil-war-sites-70-years-on-525514.html

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sp.html

http://www.donquijote.org/culture/spain/history/the-spanish-civil-war

http://gospain.about.com/od/barcelon1/tp/gothic_quarter.htm

http://gcm.unu.edu/about/vision-and-mission#overview

http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/cultural/dancing/catalan-dancing-sardana.html

Haiti

Haiti, located in the Caribbean is currently the poorest country in the world and is constantly fighting political stability. They are still trying to overcome the massive earthquake that hit in 2010. The earthquake was a 7.0 and killed around 300,000 people with 7.8 million dollars in damages. Haiti has a free market economy, so the government does not have much power over the people. 80% of the people living in Haiti are below the poverty line. 2/5 of the country relies on the agricultural sector however only 36.28 is arable land for the crops.

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Port-au-Prince Is Haiti’s largest and capital city. Our contestants will visit a museum called Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien. It represents the history and culture of the country. This museum is filled with interesting artifacts and beautiful art displaying the people’s lifestyle. Another must see sight in Port-au-Prince is Marche de Fer, which is an indoor market where you can bargain with some of the local sellers. This is excellent place to buy items made by the native people.

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https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ma.html

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g147307-Port_au_Prince_Ouest_Department_Haiti-Vacations.html

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g147307-d4451984-r187286713-Musee_du_Pantheon_National_Haitien-Port_au_Prince_Ouest_Department_Haiti.html

Cuba

Cuba is located in Central America in the Caribbean. Cuba has experienced a recent economic downturn in the 1990’s because of their withdrawal from the Soviet Union and is also a socialist state.  Cuba has a large variety of natural resources which include cobalt, nickel iron ore, chromium, and copper. Their climate is tropical dry, moderated by trade winds.  Compared to the United States, Cuba is slightly smaller than Pennsylvania. Cuba is a less developed country and their official language is Spanish.

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Havana is Cuba’s capital, known for their Spanish colonial architecture. Their total population is 2.1 million, making it Cuba’s largest city. It was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century, and it is the center of Cuba’s government. Surprisingly, Havana is a popular destination for health tourism because they offer a wide range of treatments such as eye surgery and treating neurological disorders. Contestants will be visiting Plaza de Catedral and Fusterlandia. Plaza de Catedral is one of the five main squares in Havana and Cathedral of Havana is located their. Originally it was a swamp, but after the construction of the Cathedral in 1727 it was home to some of their largest mansions. Fusterlandia is a life-size studio and art canvas where the artist Jose Fuster lives.

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Santa Clara is the capital city of the Cuban province of Villa Clara. It was founded by 175 people on July 15, 1689. The population density is 1,200 per square mile. Contestants will be visiting Mausoleo del Che Guevara and Teatro La Caridad. Mausoleo del Che Guevara is a memorial in Cuba and it houses the remains of Ernesto “Che” Guevara and twenty nine of his soldiers. He was executed in 1967 when he was trying to end and uprising in Bolivia.

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http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147271-d207816-Reviews-Plaza_de_la_Catedral-Havana_Cuba.html

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147271-d2461860-Reviews-Fusterlandia-Havana

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http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g671534-d2267566-Reviews-Mausoleo_del_Che_Guevara-Santa_Clara_Villa_Clara_Province_Cuba.html

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g671534-d5757344-Reviews-Teatro_La_Caridad-Santa_Clara_Villa_Clara_Province_Cuba.html

United States

New York City is located in New York state which is within the United States. Its relative location is east of the Atlantic ocean and west of New Jersey. New York’s urban area is the largest, consuming the most land, in the world. Also, it contains a population of 8.406 million comprising the highest population density in the United States of 27,012 per square mile. Some demographic information based on the city’s population: 44% White, 25.5% African American, 12.7% Asian, and 28.6% Hispanic/Latino. 37% people within the city are foreign born. The city attracts many visitors from many different countries and cities around the world. This is very beneficial to the city’s economy because it has a $55.3 billion impact.

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New York City has plenty of activities to do. A key site to see is the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty was a gift from France to the United States. It is displays the democracy and freedoms we are able to have in the United States. It was given to America on October 28th, 1886. Now, many people visit this National Monument to experience the symbol of our great nation’s freedom. September 11th, 2001 was a tragic day in America’s history that should never be forgotten. The 9/11 memorial, and museum, was built in order to help no one forget. The two massive fountains are about an acre in size and are thirty feet deep. The pools are the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. Inside the museum is where the events that happened on 9/11 come to life. Comprised of 10,000 artifacts,there are many exhibits within the museum such as the survivors staircase, Virgil’s quote, recordings of people sharing what they were doing that day, and many more.

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Washington DC’s exact location is 38.9047 North and 77.0614 West. It is location in a more developed country, the United States. Its population is 658,893 people, seems small compared to New York City. Demographics based on race include: 43.4% White, 49.5% African American, 3.9% Asian, and 10.1% Hispanic/Latino. The sex ratio is 47.3% males and 52.7% female. The city is America’s nation’s capital where the President, Senators, Representatives and other political people live. The White House is the where the president lives and makes executive decisions for our nation. The house is comprised of 132 rooms, 32 bathrooms, and 6 levels. There are approximately 6,000 visitors each day. You are able to see where the president lives and the rooms his important duties are performed. The Washington Monument is a national park and was built to honor our nation’s first president, George Washington. It is made out of marble, granite, and sandstone. It is a very important part of America’s history and many people visit the park to see its beauty.

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http://www.recreation.gov/tourParkDetail.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=77811

https://www.whitehouse.gov/about/inside-white-house

http://www.911memorial.org/museum-exhibitions

http://www.nps.gov/stli/learn/historyculture/liberty-island-a-chronology.htm

Welcome Contestants! This season of the amazing race you will be traveling the world and visiting cultural and political sites in some of the most developed and least developed countries. This blog will follow your travels around the world, documenting all of the significant sites and things you see along the way. Good Luck and happy travels!