PBS: Special Presentations Focus On The Latino Experience In New York


Thirteen’s Broadcast Day runs from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m.
(FB indicates future broadcasts during the month)

Saturday, September 2
6-6:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: America Ferrera – Honduran American actress America Ferrera caught the attention of critics and fans alike with her portrayal of Ana, the curvaceous Mexican American girl in the independent film Real Women Have Curves. Ferrera’s portrayal earned her the Special Jury Prize for Best Actress at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002. Other films include Lords of Dogtown and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Ferrera, who was valedictorian at her high school, is studying at the University of Southern California. She is on an academic scholarship, majoring in international relations and theater. In her conversation with host Ilan Stavans, Ferrera talks about the pressures and demands of show business. (Premiere) (FB: Friday, September 8 at 3:30 a.m.)

9-10:30 p.m.: CINEMA THIRTEEN: VOCES: The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in Hollywood – This comprehensive documentary reveals the engaging, entertaining and largely untold story of Latino contributions to the Hollywood motion picture industry. It charts the struggle of many gifted artists to bring a measure of reality to their screen images and transcend crudely clichéd movie stereotypes. It features interviews with Ruben Blades, John Leguizamo, Cheech Marin, Ricardo Montalban, Rita Moreno, and Edward James Olmos. (Premiere) (FB: Friday, September 8 at 2 a.m.)

Monday, September 4

12:30-1:30 a.m.: VALLEY OF TEARS – An examination of race, class and corruption, this film offers a vivid account of a strike by Mexican-American migrant farm workers in a small town. In 1979, a group of Mexican-Americans – the majority population of Raymondville, Texas – demonstrated their outrage at unequal treatment by protesting against the influential group of “Anglo” farmers that controlled the town. Archival footage and interviews with townspeople on both sides of the long struggle help tell the story. (Encore)

Tuesday, September 5

1-1:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Julián Zugazagoitia – Julián Zugazagoitia is the director of El Museo del Barrio, New York’s leading Latino museum. Zugazagoitia is no stranger to the world of art exhibition. He served as the curator of numerous exhibitions internationally, was a member of the Director’s Office at the Guggenheim Museum, and served as the director of special projects at the Getty Conservation Institute. A native of Mexico City, Zugazagoitia holds a doctorate from the Sorbonne and is a graduate of L’Ecole du Louvre. Zugazagoitia talks with Ilan Stavans about the role of cultural institutions in the Latino community. (Premiere)

Friday, September 8

2-3:30 a.m.: VOCES: The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in Hollywood – See Saturday, September 2 at 9 p.m.

3:30-4 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: America Ferrera – See Saturday, September 2 at 6 a.m.

Saturday, September 9

6-6:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Julia Alvarez – Author Julia Alvarez was born in New York City but spent the first four years of her life in the Dominican Republic. Much of her work is still connected in some way to the Caribbean island even though she now lives in Vermont. Alvarez discusses 1994’s In the Time of the Butterflies, her fictionalized account of the four Mirabal sisters, who grew up in the Dominican Republic under the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship. No one in the Dominican Republic was untouched by Trujillo’s reign of terror. Alvarez’s own family was forced to flee the island after her father’s political work put them in danger. Alvarez and host Ilan Stavans discuss the evolution of her work and her status as a successful author. (Premiere) (FB: Saturday, September 9 at 3:30 a.m.)

2-3 p.m.: MI COLOMBIA – Colombian singer/songwriter Soraya narrates this spectacular journey through Colombia, a country steeped in rich history, colorful traditions and stunning natural beauty. This one-hour special visits Colombia’s world-famous Barranquilla Carnival, the beloved Flower Festival in Medellin, vibrant Christmas celebrations and passionate sporting events. Images blend together with the distinctive sounds of the vallenato and cumbia music. Interviews with families and some well-known Colombians highlight fond memories that paint a vivid portrait of a remarkable country. The program features interviews with Juanes, Rafael Escalona, Edgar Renteria, Luis Carlos Perea, Enrique Córdoba, and Eucario Bermúdez, among many others. Also featured are Colombians in South Florida who are working hard to keep their traditions alive. (Premiere)

1:35-3:30 a.m.: THE BLUE DINER – A Puerto Rican mother and daughter living in Boston cope with complicated relationships, their murky pasts and the daughter’s sudden inability to speak Spanish, her native language. Everyone has a theory about the origin of Elena’s linguistic misfortune, but no one knows for sure what caused the tragic and absurd event. As Elena’s language disappears, her boyfriend’s painting inexplicably appears at the Fine Arts Museum, where her mother works. In a misguided attempt to obtain an artist’s visa, his actions unleash a world of misunderstanding and trouble for Elena and her mother. (Encore)

3:30-4 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Julia Alvarez – See Monday, September 4 at 2:30 a.m.

Tuesday, September 12

5-5:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Richard Montoya – Richard Montoya is a founding member of Culture Clash, a Latino/Chicano comic theater group that started in San Francisco in 1984 and gained a place in the national spotlight with the 1988 play, The Mission. Claiming Charlie Chaplin, Bertolt Brecht, Cantinflas, and the Marx brothers as influences for their blend of social and political satire, Culture Clash has appeared at prominent venues across the country, and on television and in film. Montoya talks with critic Ilan Stavans about Culture Clash’s television specials and comedy series; their movies and short films; their artwork and visual style; and most recently, the publication of their collected works, Culture Clash: Life, Death, and Revolutionary Comedy (1998) and Culture Clash in AmeriCCa: Four Plays (2003). (Encore)

Wednesday, September 13

12:30-1:30 a.m.: GLORIA ESTEFAN LIVE & UNWRAPPED – Gloria Estefan performs her vibrant blend of pop and Latin music in a lavish, colorful performance filmed live at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, in October 2003. Backed by her 23-piece band, The Miami Sound Machine, and joined by a host of dancers and percussionists, Estefan fuses traditional pop with exuberant Latin rhythms, creating a truly spectacular show. (Premiere)

Thursday, September 14

8-9 p.m.: BRAGGING RIGHTS: STICKBALL STORIES – Played on the streets of New York since the 1920s and known as “the poor man’s baseball,” stickball is much more than an urban pastime. This uplifting documentary tells personal stories, revealing how the game has helped to promote healthier lifestyles and even break down racial barriers. It focuses on players in the Bronx, including Steve Mercado, who died on September 11th, 2001. (Premiere) (FB: Thursday, September 14 at 1 a.m.)

9-10 p.m.: VOCES: From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale – This musical panorama examines the rhythms that blossomed in the South Bronx from the late 1940s when mambo burst onto the scene through the birth of hip hop in the ’70s. It chronicles two generations that grew up on the same streets and used rhythm as their form of rebellion – the older generation took their sound from Cuba and their children created rap. The film features such celebrated artists as Eddie Palmieri, Ray Barretto, Benny Bonilla, Willie Colon, Africa Bambaata, Kool Herc, and Kid Freeze. (Premiere) (FB: Thursday, September 14 at 2 a.m.)

1-2 a.m.: BRAGGING RIGHTS: STICKBALL STORIES – See Thursday, September 14 at 8 p.m.

2-3 a.m.: VOCES: From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale – See Thursday, September 14 at 9 p.m.

3-4 a.m.: LARRY HARLOW AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF SALSA – This lively and rhythmic documentary explores the phenomenon known as salsa via Larry Harlow, a Brooklyn-born Jewish musician considered one of the most talented and colorful personalities of the scene. It features rare photographs and classic film footage. As this program shows, salsa has a long and distinguished tradition and continues to thrive today. (Encore)

Saturday, September 16

6-6:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Luis Alberto Urrea – Mexican-born author Luis Alberto Urrea is the son of a Mexican father and an American mother. Since he was a child, when his parents registered him as a U.S. Citizen Born Abroad, he has had one foot in the U.S. and the other in Mexico. His work as an author reflects that duality. His most successful book, The Devil’s Highway: A True Story tells the tragic story of a group of Mexican migrants who risked walking across the Arizona desert for a chance to enter the U.S. – 14 of them died. Urea talks with Stavans about the painful process of researching and writing The Devil’s Highway: A True Story. (Premiere) (FB: Monday, September 18 at 5 a.m.)
2-3 p.m.: VISIONS OF PUERTO RICO – Rita Moreno hosts this journey through “the Jewel of the Caribbean,” from the timeless plazas of Old San Juan to the lush El Yunque rainforest, to the heights of Cerro Punta, to carnival in Ponce, and the beautiful beaches of Culebra and Vieques. There’s even golf at Dorado and many more surprises. This visually stunning film features aerial and ground footage. (Premiere) (FB: Wednesday, September 20 at 3 a.m.)

Sunday, September 17

2-3 p.m.: CUBA MIA: JEWS OF CUBA – This film tells the story of a group of Cuban Jews who live in America and embark on a mission to Cuba through the Jewish Solidarity Foundation. The past and present collide as they journey back to their homeland, an island that has hardly changed in the 40 years they have been gone. While the politics of Castro’s Cuba exist as an undercurrent in this story, the film strikes a more personal note as viewers share the subjects’ rediscovery of their lost childhoods while they retrace their history in Cuba. (Premiere) (FB: Monday, September 18 at 3 a.m.)

Monday, September 18

12:30-1:30 a.m.: INDEPENDENT LENS: Mirror Dance – Identical twins Margarita and Ramona de Saá became acclaimed ballerinas with the National Ballet of Cuba. Once inseparable, their relationship disintegrated as one sister left for America while the other embraced the Cuban revolution. This program is the story of two women forever linked by birth and dance, but struggling to overcome rifts not only between sisters but also between nations. (Encore)
1:30-2 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Melinda López – The work of actress and playwright Melinda López explores the complexities of the Cuban Diaspora. Her latest work, Sonia Flew, centers around a young girl who is put on a plane bound for the United States soon after Fidel Castro rises to power. Boston University’s Huntington Theatre Company gave Sonia Flew its world premiere in 2004; it received rave reviews. López is also a recipient of the Elliot Norton Award for her plays God Smells Like a Roast Pig and Midnight Sandwich. (Premiere) (FB: Tuesday, September 19 at 5 a.m. and Saturday, September 23 at 6 a.m.)

2-3 a.m.: P.O.V.: 90 Miles – In 1980, Juan Carlos Zaldívar was a 13-year-old loyalist of the Cuban Revolution jeering in the streets at the thousands of “Marielitos” leaving the island by boat for the United States. Within weeks, he was a Marielito himself, headed with the rest of his family for a new life in Miami. Now a U.S.-based filmmaker, Zaldívar recounts the strange twist of fate that took him across one of the world’s most treacherous stretches of water in 90 Miles. (Encore)

3-4 a.m.: CUBA MIA: JEWS OF CUBA – See Sunday, September 7 at 2 p.m.

5-5:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Luis Alberto Urrea – See Saturday, September 16 at 6 a.m.

Tuesday, September 19

5-5:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Melinda López – See Monday, September 18 at 1:30 a.m.

Wednesday, September 20

2:30-3 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Osvaldo Golijov – Osvaldo Golijov has been making music all of his life. A descendent of Eastern European Jews who emigrated to Argentina, Golijov has lived and studied in Latin America, Israel and the United States. Golijov has a Ph.D. in music and is a celebrated composer of operas, symphonies, folk songs, and now film scores as well. His latest work will be used as the basis of Francis Ford Coppola’s film Megalopolis. In this La Plaza conversation, Golijov speaks about his upbringing, historical influences and passion for music. (Premiere) (FB: Saturday, September 23 at 2 p.m.)
3-4 a.m.: VISIONS OF PUERTO RICO – See Saturday, September 16 at 2 p.m.

Thursday, September 21

8-9 p.m.: VOCES: Yank Tanks – This film explores the phenomenon of classic American cars in Cuba. Like an exotic, endangered species, these colorful cars cruise around the island. As beacons of individuality in a sea of government conformity they represent freedom for those who own them, and their owners will do almost anything to keep them running. After decades with no spare parts and an embargo by the United States, these determined Cubans maintain them through sheer ingenuity. Yank Tanks offers a rare glimpse into the underground world of Cuban cars, and introduces viewers to a gallery of eccentric characters – the curators of the largest, living, automobile museum in the world. (Premiere) (FB: Saturday, September 23 at 2 p.m.)

12:30-3:30 a.m.: DARKNESS INTO LIGHT – Narrated by Edward James Olmos, this series presents three documentaries filmed on location in several Mexican states. Each hour-long film is complete in itself, but together they present the Mexican people as they have persisted in their spiritual journey from pre-Christian times until today. The first film, Guadalupe: Mother of all Mexico, examines how veneration of the Virgin Mary has been a vital part of Mexican life for almost 500 years. It shows that today, millions of Mexican devotees make their way to shrines to the Virgin throughout the country. They travel in buses and cars, on bicycles and on foot. The second film, Semana Santa, San Miguel, was filmed in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, a colonial town in the hills of central Mexico. This program traces the history of local Lenten and Easter observances, and documents the contemporary celebrations with a representative and moving selection of events. Following the Spirit, the final film, looks at the struggles of the Mexican people for religious liberty in the 19th and 20th centuries. To understand the role of public devotions in Mexican life today, it is necessary to understand their cost. Conformity to political and religious authorities marked the 300 years of Spanish rule in “New Spain.” After Mexico won the War for Independence in 1821, anarchy and religious suppression followed. (Premiere)

3:30-4:30 a.m.: GLOBE TREKKER: Ultimate Mexico – Ian Wright, Justine Shapiro and Zay Harding explore Mexico’s many facets. Shapiro and Wright trek into the mountains and jungles, climbing the mighty pyramids in search of the remains of the Mayans, Aztecs and other pre-colonial cultures. Wright investigates the arrival of Cortez near Acapulco and tests his bull-riding abilities. Shapiro joins the annual pilgrimage to the Basilica of Guadalupe and discovers the origins of maize, tequila and chocolate. Wright celebrates during the Day of the Dead Festival and then comes nose-to-nose with whales in Baja. Harding sweats it out with the Tarahumara Indians in Copper Canyon and rafts the whitewater rapids of Vera Cruz. Wright concludes his trip in the jungles of Palenque with a visit to the Lancandon Indians, the last descendants of the Mayans. (Encore) (FB: Saturday, September 23 at 4 p.m.)

Friday, September 22

9-10 p.m.: WIDE ANGLE: An Honest Citizen – Colombia’s five-billion-dollar-a-year cocaine trade is funding the country’s brutal civil war involving leftist guerillas, right-wing paramilitaries and a national government undermined by corruption. Unable to maintain control in whole swaths of the country, the government is ill-equipped to curb the culture of violence and lawlessness. Every year 1,500 citizens are kidnapped and up to 3,000 lives are lost in the war. This documentary, filmed in 2004, follows Maria Cristina Chirolla, the courageous head of the Colombian attorney general’s anti-money laundering office in her struggles to fight the extraordinary reach of drug money in her country. During the course of the film, Chirolla is promoted to the position of chief of all anti-drug and anti-crime operations after two of her colleagues are fired for alleged corruption. (Encore) (FB: Sunday, September 24 at 2 a.m.)

Saturday, September 23

6-6:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Melinda López – See Monday, September 18 at 1 a.m.

2-3 p.m.: VOCES: Yank Tanks – See Thursday, September 21 at 8 p.m.

4-5 p.m.: GLOBE TREKKER: Ultimate Mexico – See Thursday, September 21 at 3:30 a.m.

Sunday, September 24

4-5 p.m.: LA COCINA CUBANA: SECRETOS DE MI ABUELA – This film pays tribute to Cuba’s best chefs: its abuelas, or grandmothers. Colorful characters from the Cuban-American community reminisce about the flavors and aromas from their childhoods. During the program, mouth-watering recipes and desserts from chefs Maricel Presilla and Douglas Rodriquez, Univision star Chef Pepín and others transport viewers to a different time and place. Narrated by poet and actress Teresa Maria Rojas, it explores Cuban culinary traditions which remain alive and well despite the passing of time, the introduction of foreign customs and even exile. (Premiere) (FB: Friday, September 29 at 2 a.m.)

7-8 p.m.: MI MAMBO – The Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts is changing lives in East Harlem. This documentary profiles the vibrant cultural institution, and shows how powerful and positive a force music can be for young people at risk. It focuses on students whose hard work pays off in performances of the Latin rhythms that have become an integral part of American society. The film also introduces the Conservatory’s director, Ramon Rodriguez, a passionate advocate of Latin music. (Premiere) (FB: Tuesday, September 26 at 12:30 a.m.)
8-9 p.m.: NATURE: Cuba: Wild Island of the Caribbean – The island of Cuba contains some of the strangest creatures on Earth, including the terrifying “high-jumping” Cuban crocodile, the world’s tiniest bird, and land crabs that migrate by the millions across forests and fields to spawn in the sea. But Cuba’s political and economic isolation has afforded the outside world little opportunity to see these indigenous animals, until now. Recently, Cuban authorities lowered a significant cultural and science barrier, giving an outside film crew unrestricted access to the island’s protected wildlife preserves for the first time since Fidel Castro took power nearly a half-century ago. The intriguing results of this breakthrough are on display in this documentary. (Encore) (FB: Saturday, September 30 at 6 p.m.

2-3 a.m.: WIDE ANGLE: An Honest Citizen – See Friday, September 22 at 9 p.m.

Monday, September 25

12:30-1:30 a.m.: COUNTDOWN: REFLECTIONS ON A LIFE IN DANCE – For over 40 years, Rudy Perez has moved, invigorated and perplexed audiences. In the early 1960s, he was hailed as a post-modern pioneer when he was a founding member of the groundbreaking Judson Dance Theater in New York City. Today he lives in Los Angeles and defies definition as he continues to create provocative new work. This documentary follows the engaging give-and-take of the rehearsal of one of Perez’ signature dances, Countdown. Throughout the rehearsal process, Perez’ life and career are revealed through evocative home movies, rare stock footage of New York and visually exciting experimental films. Interviews with dance critics, former dancers and collaborators are a testament to Perez’ impact and influence. Archival videos showcase significant selections from his extensive body of work. The documentary concludes with his protégé Victor Quijada performing an emotionally powerful version of Countdown. (Premiere)

Tuesday, September 26

12:30-1:30 a.m.: MI MAMBO – See Sunday, September 24 at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, September 27

10:30-11 p.m.: EL DOCTOR – This film by Suzan Pitt is an animated poem wrought with magic realism and set in a crumbling Mexican hospital around 1920. The surreal characters include a man shot with a hundred holes, a girl who sprouts morning glories and a woman who thinks she is a horse. The bitter and ailing alcoholic doctor takes a dark and twisted journey, prompted by the Saint of Holes and a mysterious gargoyle. The film celebrates the nature of perception and the miraculous. More than five years in production, it was entirely hand-painted by artists in Los Angeles and Mexico. (Premiere) (FB: Saturday, September 30 at 2:30 p.m.)

12:30-1:30 a.m.: PASAJERO, A JOURNEY OF TIME AND MEMORY – This authentic and uplifting documentary follows a group of young inner-city Mexican-American musicians to Mexico where they seek a deeper meaning of its traditions. They accompany their teacher, an elderly violinist, on his homecoming to his pueblo in Jalisco. The group tours a musical presentation of a long-forgotten style of pre-commercial mariachi in Mexico and California’s Central Valley where they meet fascinating characters that embody the spirit of old Mexico. At its heart, this film is a heartfelt reminder of the vital role that music plays in defining our identities. (Premiere)

Thursday, September 28

8-9 p.m.: VOCES: The Republic of Baseball: The Dominican Giants of the American Game – This film celebrates the achievements of the first great Dominican stars of Major League Baseball, including Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marachal; Felipe Alou, the first Dominican Major League star and current manager of the San Francisco Giants; and Manny Mota, the Los Angeles Dodgers legendary player and coach. It also includes interviews with today’s Dominican star players, including Pedro Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero, Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano, and Miguel Tejada. (Premiere) (FB: Thursday, September 28 at 1 a.m.)

9-10 p.m.: VOCES: Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano – Lalo Guerrero is the beloved “father of Chicano music.” This film celebrates his extraordinary life and career, while documenting the contemporary history of Mexican Americans through his music. It features interviews with singer Linda Ronstadt, actor Edward James Olmos and producer Ry Cooder, among others, who discuss his impact and influence. Guerrero, himself, offers his own insights and inimitable humor in interviews conducted for the film a year before his death in 2005. Rare photographs and performance footage complete the portrait. (Premiere) (FB: Thursday, September 28 at 2 a.m.)

10-11:30 p.m.: INDEPENDENT LENS: The Devil’s Miner – Basilio Vargas, 14, and his 12-year-old brother Bernardino work in the ancient Cerro Rico silver mines of Bolivia. Raised without a father and living in extreme poverty with their mother and 6-year-old sister on the slopes of the mine, the boys assume many adult responsibilities. It takes two months’ work just to afford the clothing and supplies vital to their education. Without an education, the brothers have no chance to escape their destiny in the silver mines. The Vargas boys chew coca leaves to stave off hunger and keep their wits about them during their long hours in the mines, where they also present offerings to El Tío, the malevolent spirit that is believed to reside there. Each mine has its own statue of the horned demon who guards the mine’s riches. According to local legend the mines are the exclusive province of El Tío, the protector and destroyer of the miners. El Tío is a miner’s only hope of salvation in this heavily Catholic region, where the people believe that the spirit of God does not exist in the hellish underworld inside the mountain. (Premiere) (FB: Thursday, September 28 at 3 a.m.)

1-2 a.m.: VOCES: The Republic of Baseball: The Dominican Giants of the American Game – See Thursday, September 28 at 8 p.m.

2-3 a.m.: VOCES: Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano – See Thursday, September 28 at 9 p.m.

3-4:30 a.m.: INDEPENDENT LENS: The Devil’s Miner – See Thursday, September 28 at 10 p.m.

Friday, September 29

2-3 a.m.: LA COCINA CUBANA: SECRETOS DE MI ABUELA – See Sunday, September 24 at 4 p.m.

3-3:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Maricel Presilla – Maricel Presilla has been exploring the cuisines of Latin America for more than thirty years – since the time politics forced her out of her beloved Cuba. Since then, this Ph.D. in medieval history has traveled several times from Mexico to Argentina, collecting recipes from contemporary chefs and historic archives. The result is a view of Latin American cooking loaded with context but with an eye to the future. Stavans and Presilla discuss a compelling question – what is the meaning of Latino food in the 21st century United States? (Encore)

Saturday, September 30

6-6:30 a.m.: LA PLAZA: CONVERSATIONS WITH ILAN STAVANS: Lila Downs – Mexican singing sensation and Latin Grammy Award-winner Lila Downs burst on to the music scene with her stunning performance of a song from the film Frida at the 75th annual Academy Awards. But this native of the Mexican state of Oaxaca has made music all of her life. Downs, the daughter of a Mixtec-Amerindian mother and a U.S. filmmaker/academic father, started singing Mariachi music at the age of 8, and began a formal music education at the age of 14. She recently released her fourth album, Una Sangre. (Premiere)

2-2:30 p.m.: EL DOCTOR – See Wednesday, September 27 at 10:30 p.m.

4-5 p.m.: GLOBE TREKKER: Central America – Neil Gibson visits the Costa Rican capital of San José, where he gets caught up in election fever, samples traditional cuisine and visits volunteers trying to combat poverty in the city. He cruises to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and encounters tarantulas, deadly snakes and rare birds before arriving at the Arenal volcano, where he relaxes in the hot springs. In Liberia, Gibson attends a bull fiesta. He crosses the border into Nicaragua and stops at El Castillo, site of the only castle in Central America. He plays baseball on the island of Mancarron, rolls cigars in Granada and explores Managua, site of a devastating earthquake. He ends his trip at the Masaya volcano, known by the Indians as the “land of the gods” and by the Spanish as “the mouth of hell.” (Encore)

6-7 p.m.: NATURE: Cuba: Wild Island of the Caribbean – See Sunday, September 24 at 8 p.m.

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