Kenya Openarms!



Name: Republic of Kenya


Johanna from Concepción, Chile with Baraka; “a Black Tamed Rhino”, Kenya Openarms!

(“Baraka was the first rhino to be born in the wild on Ol Pejeta, Kenya”)

Land area: 219,788 sq mi (569,251 sq km); total area:224,961 sq mi (582,650 sq km)

Masai mara, Kenya

Ralf from Santiago de Chile at the Maasai Mara, Kenya Openarms!


Population (2012 est.):43,013,341 (growth rate: 2.444%); birth rate: 31.93/1000; infant mortality rate: 43.41/1000; life expectancy: 63.07

Capital and largest city (2009 est.): Nairobi, 3.375 million & Mombasa, 966,000

Monetary unit: Kenya shilling

National name: Jamhuri ya Kenya

Languages: English (official), Swahili (national), and numerous indigenous languages

Ethnicity/race: Kikuyu 22%; Luhya 14%; Luo 13%; Kalenjin 12%; Kamba 11%; Kisii 6%; Meru 6%; other African 15%; Asian, European, and Arab 1%

Religions: Protestant 45%, Roman Catholic 33%, indigenous beliefs 10%, Islam 10%, others 2% (note: estimates vary widely)

National Holiday: Independence Day, December 12

Literacy rate: 87.4% (2010 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP(2011 est.): $72.34 billion; per capita $1,800. Real growth rate:5%.

Inflation: 14%.Unemployment: 40% (2008 est.).Arable land: 8.01%. Agriculture:tea, coffee, corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruit, vegetables; dairy products, beef, pork, poultry, eggs. Labor force: 18.39 million; agriculture 75%, industry and services 25% (2007 est.).Industries: small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, soap, cigarettes, flour), agricultural products, oil refining; aluminum, steel, lead; cement, commercial ship repair, tourism. Natural resources: limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, wildlife, hydropower. Exports: $5.768 billion (2011 est.): tea, horticultural products, coffee, petroleum products, fish, cement.Imports: $13.49 billion (2009 est.): machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, motor vehicles, iron and steel, resins and plastics. Major trading partners: Uganda, UK, U.S., Netherlands, Tanzania, UAE, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, India, China, Congo

Member of Commonwealth of Nations

Communications: Telephones:main lines in use: 460,100 (2009); mobile cellular: 24.969 million (2009). Broadcast media:about a half-dozen privately-owned TV stations and a state-owned TV broadcaster that operates 2 channels; satellite and cable TV subscription services available; state-owned radio broadcaster operates 2 national radio channels and provides regional and local radio services in multiple languages; a large number of private radio stations, including provincial stations broadcasting in local languages; transmissions of several international broadcasters available (2007). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 69,914 (2010).Internet users: 3.996 million (2009).

Transportation: Railways: total: 2,066 km (2008). Roadways:total: 160,886 km; paved: 11,197 km; unpaved: 149,689 km (2008).Waterways: none specifically (the only significant inland waterway in the country is the part of Lake Victoria within the boundaries of Kenya; Kisumu is the main port and has ferry connections to Uganda and Tanzania) (2011).Ports and terminals: Kisumu, Mombasa. Airports: 194 (2012).


Japan Openarms!



Japan is located in the North Pacific off the coast of Russia and the Korean peninsula.

Eva Packlé from Holland & Eugenio Morán from Spain at Temple Fushimi Inari, Kyoto Openarms!

The area of Japan is 377,873km², which makes it slightly smaller in land mass than California.

Japan consists of four main larger islands and more than 4000 smaller islands. The main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Honshu is the largest with an area of 231,000km². A modern railroad system connects the major islands with Japan’s high-speed Shinkansen connecting major urban areas.

Government: Parliamentary with constitutional monarchy

Prime Minister: Yoshihiko Noda (elected Aug 2011)

Capital: Tokyo

Population: 127,078,679 (July 2009 est.)

Population Growth Rate: -0.191% (2009 est.), World Rank: 219th

GDP: 4.34 Trillion (2008)

Electric Power Generation: Conventional thermal (coal, oil, natural gas) 60%, Nuclear 29%, Hydroelectric 9%, Renewables 2%

Industries: Consumer electronics, motor vehicles, machine tools, steel, and nonferrous metals

Exports: Motor vehicles, semiconductors, and office machinery

Agriculture: Rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit, pork, fish

Currency: Yen

Life Expectancy: Average: 82, Male: 78.8, Female: 85.6

GDP per Capita: $33,800

Literacy Rate: 99%

Unemployment Rate: 4%

Oil imports: 5.425 million bbl/day

Internet Users: 87.5 million

Environmental Issues: Acid rain; Japan is the largest consumer of Amazon rainforest timber

Japan is over 70% mountainous terrain with approximately 18% of the land mass suitable for settlement. Japanese cities are typically sprawling and densely populated. Tokyo, a megalopolis and capital of Japan, is located on Honshu island. Central Tokyo has a population of 12 million people, with the population of the Greater Tokyo Area estimated at over 35 million people.

The islands of Japan are located in an area known as The Ring of Fire in the Pacific. This is an area with many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Japan is very seismically active with over 1,500 earthquakes per year. In 1923 the Great Kanto Earthquake killed more than 143,000 people in the Tokyo area. Tsunamis and volcanic eruptions are other natural destructive forces in Japan. In 1896 in Sanriku, Japan, 27,000 people were killed by a Tsunami caused by an earthquake.

There are over 127,078,679 (July 2009 est.) people living in Japan. For most of Japan’s history its borders were closed to foreigners. As a result, Japan’s society is very homogeneous, composed of 98.5% ethnic Japanese. The remaining 1.5 percent are mostly Korean, who number around 1 million. There are also considerable numbers of Brazilians, Chinese, and Filipinos residing in Japan. There is also an ethnic minority of indigenous people, called Ainu, who live mostly in northern Hokkaido.

Japanese is the official language of Japan. Many Japanese also have some ability in writing and speaking English as it is a mandatory part of the curriculum in the Japanese educational system. Japanese uses four different writing systems; Kanji (Chinese characters), Hiragana (phonetic alphabet for native words), Katakana (phonetic alphabet for foreign words), and Romaji (western alphabet used to write Japanese). Japanese vocabulary has been strongly influenced by loanwords from other languages, with most loanwords coming from Chinese and English.

The climate of Japan varies considerably depending on the region and season. Summer is usually very hot and humid, known to the Japanese as “mushiatsui”. From mid June there is a rainy season which lasts around one month. Winters are usually mild, with the northern areas of Japan receiving more snow. Spring and autumn are usually sunny with mild temperatures.

The two major religions in Japan are Shinto and Buddhism. Religion does not play a major role in the life of the average Japanese, but people usually have religious ceremonies at births, weddings, and funerals. On New Year’s Day visiting a temple or shrine is also a common custom. About 1% of the population follow Christianity, which was heavily persecuted in Japan prior to the Meiji Restoration in 1873.

Thailand Openarms!



Capital: Bangkok with a population of 8 million people

Yariv from Israel, owner of ,close to Chantaburi. Thailand Openarms!

Major Cities: Nonthaburi, population 265,000, Pak Kret, population 175,000, Hat Yai, population 158,000, Chiang Mai, population 146,000

Thailand’s currency is the baht.

Government: Thailand is a constitutional monarchy under the beloved king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has reigned since 1946. King Bhumibol is the world’s longest-serving head of state. Thailand’s current Prime Minister is Yingluck Shinawatra, who assumed office as the first ever female in that role on August 5, 2011.

Language: Thailand’s official language is Thai, a tonal language from the Tai-Kadai family of East Asia. Thai has a unique alphabet derived from the Khmer script, which is itself descended from the Brahmic Indian writing system. Written Thai first appeared around 1292 A.D. Commonly used minority languages in Thailand include Lao, Yawi (Malay), Teochew, Mon, Khmer, Viet, Cham, Hmong, Akhan and Karen.

Population: Thailand’s estimated population as of 2007 was 63,038,247. The population density is 317 people per square mile. The vast majority are ethnic Thais, who make up about 80% of the population. There is also a large ethnic Chinese minority, comprising about 14% of the population. Unlike the Chinese in many neighboring Southeast Asian countries, the Sino-Thai are well-integrated into their communities. Other ethnic minorities include the Malay, Khmer, Mon, and Vietnamese. Northern Thailand also is home to small mountain tribes such as the HmongKaren, and Mein, with a total population of less than 800,000.

Religion: Thailand is a deeply spiritual country, with 95% of the population belonging to the Theravada branch of Buddhism. Visitors will see gold-spired Buddhist stupas scattered all across the country. Muslims, mostly of Malay origin, make up 4.5% of the population. They are located primarily in the far south of the country, in the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and Songkhla Chumphon. Thailand also hosts tiny populations of SikhsHindus, Christians (mostly Catholics), and Jews.

Geography: Thailand covers 514,000 square kilometers (198,000 square miles) at the heart of Southeast Asia. It is bordered by Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. The Thai coastline stretches for 3,219 km along both the Gulf of Thailand on the Pacific side, and the Andaman Sea on the Indian Ocean side. The west coast was devastated by the Southeast Asiantsunami in December of 2004, which swept across the Indian Ocean from its epicenter off Indonesia. The highest point in Thailand is Doi Inthanon, at 2,565 meters (8,415 feet). The lowest point is the Gulf of Thailand, at sea level.

Climate: Thailand’s weather is ruled by the tropical monsoons, with a rainy season from June through October, and a dry season beginning in November. Average annual temperatures are a high of 38° C (100° F), with a low of 19° C (66° F). The mountains of northern Thailand tend to be much cooler and somewhat drier than the central plain and coastal regions.

Thailand’s currency is the baht.

People Openarms!



Adela & Germán from Chile, Openarms!

Celene & her family from Mexico visiting Switzerland. Openarms!

Denisse & her frinds from Argentina. Openarms!

Germán & Friends from Chile. Openarms!

Paulina from Chile. Openarms!

Pauly, Adela & Moni from Chile. Openarms!

Party Night Openamrs!

The white party Souey (Canada) & Amy (Great Brittain) Openarms

Vanessa Openarms!

Buggie Openamrs

Pía, Pauly, Maca, Denise & Alvaro Openarms!

Sandra from Argentina, Openarms!

Fans at “The Fallas” in Valencia. Openarms!

Andrea from Argentina in Buenos Aires. Openarms!

Rodrigo from Brazil with a Back Openarms!

Kissing Openarms!

Halloween Openarms!

Julio from Mexico. Misthic Openarms!

Dancing Openarms!

Johanna, Adela & Moni. Karaoke Openamrs!

Czech Republic Openarms!



St. Vitus Cathedral. Prague Openarms!

Population: 10,212,000

National Museum. Prague Openarms!

Capital: Prague; 1,170,000

Area: 78,866 square kilometers (30,450 square miles)

Wencelas Square, Prague Openarms!

Language: Czech

Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant, atheist

Currency: Czech koruna

Life Expectancy: 75

GDP per Capita: U.S. $15,300

Literacy Percent: 100

Breaking a nearly 75-year union with the Slovak Republic in 1993, this independent country in Central Europe consists of the regions of Bohemia and Moravia—once part of the Great Moravian Empire formed by Slav tribes in the early ninth century. The Bohemian kingdom arose here during the tenth century, its 600-year reign a highlight of Czech history. Bohemia is a plateau surrounded by mountains, and Moravia, to the east, is mostly hills and lowlands. Austria’s Habsburgs took control of both regions at the start of the 16th century.

With the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, the Czechs and Slovaks came together to create Czechoslovakia.

Separated again in 1939, Czech lands were annexed by the Nazis during World War II, while Slovakia became a puppet state of the Germans. Communists took charge of a reunited Czechoslovakia in 1948, crushing an attempt at liberalization in 1968, only to be forced out in 1989.

After its break with the Slovak Republic, the Czech nation rapidly privatized state-owned businesses. State ownership of businesses was at about 97 percent under communism—today it is less than 20 percent. The country is also reducing its dependence on highly polluting brown coal as an energy source, turning more toward nuclear energy.

Tourism is a rapidly developing sector, and millions come to Prague to visit castles, palaces, and spas.

Although the political and financial crises of 1997 eroded somewhat the country’s stability and prosperity, the Czech Republic succeeded in becoming a NATO member in 1999 and a European Union member in 2004.

Industry: Metallurgy, machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, glass, armaments

Agriculture: Wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, hops; pigs

Exports: Machinery and transport equipment, intermediate manufactures, chemicals, raw materials, fuel