Travel and journalism are the markers of my life – the former has fulfilled my curiosity about the world; journalism has allowed the opportunity to write about it.
I devoted my earlier life to formal education and free-form travel – to seeing the world with scarce funds and few preconditions. I went to Paris and studied at the famed Sciences Po, which trains French diplomats, and L’Institut de Hautes Etudes de L’Amerique Latine, which helps post- graduate students deepen their knowledge of Latin America.
I then took to the road, hitchhiking through the Maghreb countries of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Next, I lived in West Berlin, where I worked as a cook before setting off on a hitchhiking journey through Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.
After this incredible and wonderful travel experience, I studied for a master’s degree at the University of California at Berkeley and then established myself in New York City. Eventually, I married a tall, handsome Englishman and together we abandoned our jobs (mine as an economist with Exxon and my husband's as a magazine art director) and set off in a Volkswagen bus to drive to Brazil and Argentina, then back to New York. During that journey I wrote articles about financial innovations in Guatemala, Panama’s thriving Canal business, the textile industry in Colombia, politics in Chile and innumerable other fascinating topics. That year-long journey gripped and informed my intellect and emotions. I found Latin America's rich culture, amazing resources, splendid scenery and delicious food very compelling.
My interest in Latin America continued to deepen, and I was named editor of the best-known business publication on the region. As such, I had entrée to the highest levels of government. Among others, I met with Fidel Castro, who applauded the book I wrote, Cuba at the Crossroads, inviting me to visit Cuba to teach his ministers how to write more effectively. Another highlight was traveling through the Andean Highlands with President Fujimori of Peru, visiting schools, orphanages and hospitals. He invited me to join him in inaugurating a school in a remote and extremely poor Andean village, a touching occasion that inspired me in the future work I did with micro-lending.
I answered the call of entrepreneurship. Together with my Venezuelan partner, I founded Latin American Information Services, Inc. Our clients were multinational companies and banks, for whose top leadership we analyzed the economic and political risks confronting the region.
As editor, I traveled throughout Latin America, meeting with our twelve correspondents and interviewing political and business leaders who were trying to resolve massive bankruptcies, soaring inflation, devaluation, and recession. Deep structural reforms eventually led to much-needed policy changes and better-balanced development. As a journalist of note, I met with presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton. I collaborated with an international news organization, writing articles from Bangkok, Nagoya, Amsterdam, Guadalajara, Cartagena, West Berlin and elsewhere. I wrote as well for Institutional Investor, Latin Finance, Corporate Finance, Nation’s Business and many other publications.
I changed geographies to join a think-tank focusing on economic issues in the US, Europe, Japan, China and India. That led me to expand my travel horizons to these countries as well as to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.”
I enjoy collaborating with non profit organizations, such as the Micro Credit program Pro Mujer, where I served as Chair of the Board and presently as a member of the Global Advisory Board of Education for Sharing. This program helps children to become fair-minded responsible citizens through the power of schoolyard play.
Copyright © 2021 Rosemary Werrett. All rights reserved