Jason Beaubien

Jason Beaubien is NPR's Mexico City Correspondent. In his current job, he covers Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

Beaubien joined NPR's Foreign Desk in 2002 after volunteering to cover a coup attempt in the Ivory Coast. Over the next four years, Beaubien worked throughout sub-Saharan Africa, visiting 27 countries on the continent. He reported on poverty on the world's poorest continent, HIV in the epicenter of the epidemic, all-night acapella contests in South Africa, Afro-pop stars in Nigeria and a trial of white mercenaries in Equatorial Guinea. He covered the famines and wars of Africa, but also its inspiring preachers and Nobel laureates.

Beaubien was one of the first journalists to report on the huge exodus of people out of Sudan's Darfur region into Chad, as villagers fled some of the initial attacks by the Janjawid. He reported extensively on the steady deterioration of Zimbabwe and still has a collection of worthless Zimbabwean currency.

In 2006, Beaubien was awarded a Knight-Wallace fellowship at the University of Michigan to study the relationship between the developed and the developing world.

From Mexico City he's filed stories on politics in Cuba, hurricanes in Haiti, the FMLN victory in El Salvador, the world's richest man and Mexico's brutal drug war. For his first multi-part series as the Mexico City correspondent, he drove the length of the U.S./Mexico border making a point to touch his toes in both oceans. The stories chronicled the economic, social and political changes along the violent frontier.

He grew up in Maine, started his radio career as an intern at KQED-FM in San Francisco and worked at WBUR in Boston before joining NPR.

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1:11pm

Tue February 7, 2012
Latin America

Can Vaccines Break Cholera's Deadly Hold On Haiti?

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:05 am

Haitians suffering from cholera symptoms rest at the treatment center in Mirebalais, a dusty town north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, last June. The cholera epidemic in Haiti began in Mirebalais, believed to be the result of overflowing bathrooms from a nearby U.N. compound.
Eduardo Verdugo AP

The cholera outbreak in Haiti is currently the worst ongoing episode in the world.

Over the past 15 months, it has sickened more than half a million people and killed roughly 7,000. The bacteria has now spread throughout the Caribbean island, and medical experts say it will be around for years to come.

Partners in Health, a Boston-based nonprofit, is planning to launch an unprecedented cholera vaccination campaign to try to curb the outbreak — but it faces many challenges, including a shortage of the vaccine.

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10:01pm

Mon February 6, 2012
Latin America

Drought Ravages Farms Across Wide Swath Of Mexico

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 2:51 am

A vulture picks at a dead steer. Ranchers say many cattle have died because of the drought that has ravaged much of Mexico.
Jason Beaubien NPR

In the central Mexican state of Zacatecas, 76-year-old Genaro Rodarte Huizar rides his donkey along a dry riverbed. On his left is a dried out pasture; on his right is what used to be a cornfield; now it's just long furrows of gray, dusty dirt.

Rodarte says that for the past two years, the crops that he's planted here have failed. Normally, he plants beans and corn to feed his family, and oats to sell. He says he hasn't harvested anything because the land is too dry and there's no water.

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3:22pm

Tue January 31, 2012
Music Interviews

Rodrigo Y Gabriela's Havana Nights

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 8:39 am

Rodrigo y Gabriela's new album, Area 52, was recorded in Havana with a full Cuban orchestra.
Tina Korhonen

It's a Monday night at an old movie theater that's been renovated into a nightclub in the heart of Mexico City. Rodrigo y Gabriela are on stage with their signature nylon-string acoustic guitars. Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero are from here. They started playing music together in Mexico City as teenagers in a thrash-metal band in the 1990s. But more than a decade ago, they went off to Europe to busk in the streets.

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10:01pm

Thu January 26, 2012
Latin America

State-Of-The-Art Hospital Offers Hope For Haiti

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 8:04 am

A worker pushes a wheelbarrow past the new National Teaching Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti, on Jan. 10. When it opens this summer, the 320-bed facility will be Haiti's largest hospital and provide services and a level of care well beyond what's currently available.
Dieu Nalio Chery AP

Even before the devastating earthquake in 2010, Haiti's public health care system was perhaps the worst in the Western Hemisphere. Then the quake knocked down clinics, killed medical workers and severely damaged the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince, the capital.

Now, the Boston-based group Partners in Health has set out to build a world-class teaching hospital in what used to be a rice field in the Haitian countryside.

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4:33am

Sun January 22, 2012
Latin America

Church Broadcasts Hope; Haitians Flock Post-Quake

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 7:24 am

Pastor Junior Antoine on stage at Shalom Tabernacle of Glory evangelical church, in front of a congregation that grew rapidly after the earthquake two years ago.
Jason Beaubien NPR

On Jan. 12, for the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake, thousands of people flocked to the Shalom Church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The "church" is just a plywood stage under a patchwork of tattered tarps.

The crowd was so large that it spilled down a muddy hill toward a tent camp for earthquake victims. Most of the singing, swaying congregation were so far away they couldn't even see the podium.

The evangelical mission now claims to have more than 50,000 members and one of the most popular radio stations in Haiti.

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