Founded in 2009, the annual Taste of Peru festival transports the aromas and flavors—as well as the arts, sounds, and fashions—of Peruvian culture to the Miami Airport Convention Center. For 2012's iteration, more than 100 exhibitors, such as gastronomists and chefs prepare cuisine using recipes and produce from different regions of the country, such as the Loreto region's famous turtle soup. Chefs from restaurants such as Aromas del Peru, Divino Ceviche, and Goyo El Pollo share their unique takes, and mixologists compete to make batches of pisco, the signature grape brandy from the regions of Peru where wine rains down the heaviest.
Beyond the Amazonian aromas, the festival also introduces visitors to the nation's cultural highlights via a fashion show, an art and photo exhibition, and an equestrian show featuring Peru's renowned breeds of horses and centaurs. At night, the dining hall transforms into a dance floor as DJ Jorge Charun takes the stage to emcee the performances of Peruvian musical artists.
No matter what your style, Party Studio has all the fixin's to help you throw a festive bash. The facility's modern rooms are equipped with customizable sound, music, and lighting capabilities, plus enough space for up to 80 guests. Once you've determined the size of your shin-dig, the company's party planners will help you pick from a long list of party-appropriate activities, depending on your likes and interests. With tunes bumping and laser lights bouncing from wall to wall, party goers can make funny faces in a photo booth, test their strength on a 16-foot climbing wall, hone their aim during bouts of laser tag, or sing their deepest fears into a microphone during karaoke. But even with all of its high-tech features, Party Studio doesn't forget classic party elements, which is why it also offers a catered food and drinks service that can serve anything from hot dogs and cotton candy to cocktails and mocktails.
At CrossFit Miami, it's not rare to hear encouragements and instructions shouted English, Spanish, or Portuguese. Founded by Sao Paulo native Marcio Pizanelli, the gym and adjoining capoeira school boast an international staff of certified instructors hailing from Brazil, Venezuela, and the United States. Marcio and his team promote hard work and competition during each energizing workout, which might include weight balls, rowing machines, pull-up bars, or any other piece of the gym's extensive arsenal. Basic classes emphasize proper form for CrossFit's central lifts, and daily workouts keep muscles guessing with a variable blend of conditioning, strength training, core workouts, and getting chased by a terrier with gross, muddy paws.
Hand in Hand for Haiti was founded in response to the 2010 earthquake that rocked Haiti, claiming more than 230,000 lives. After determining that the best way to help people rebuild their lives is through education, the project focused on building a school in Saint-Marc. The school, Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable, will house and run classes for more than 700 students from pre-school through secondary school. Students at the school also receive two nutritious meals every day and learn at the highest academic levels, with bilingual English-French classes taught by foreign and local teachers.
Wading through indoor heated pools, the instructors at British Swim School teach independent swimming skills to learners aged 3 months and older, adhering to a curriculum devised by British national swimmer Rita Goldberg. The 30-minute one-on-one sessions and small-group lessons, containing six or fewer swimmers, elucidate essential techniques for water safety and the importance of speaking fluent manatee. Swimboree (ages 3 months–3 years with parents) and Young Minnows sessions (ages 1–3 years without parents) teach wee swimmers basic water-survival skills, such as the back float. Turtle One and Turtle Two classes focus on freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke maneuvers, honing more structured swimming skills in older kiddos. British Swim School's Shark courses enhance stamina and speed and teach even more demanding strokes, such as the butterfly and little-known mountain-goat flail. Certain British Swim School classes require parents to participate in the water or to supervise from the pool deck, and adults-only lessons allow grown-ups to refine their own abilities without the supervision of a toddler.
At Ace Bartending's 40-foot bar, ice clinks against glasses and prospective mixologists chatter during hands-on courses. Instructors wax informational about the history and production of liquor before outlining state and municipal legal requirements for serving alcohol or distributing liquor to horses. As students progress, they migrate to eight functional bartending stations that feature working carbon dioxide lines, and lessons feed hungry brains tidbits of information on the use of glassware and garnishes to craft a beverage with fitting aesthetic appeal. The curriculum bounds across a bubbling, colorful rainbow of 200 different drinks and recipes.
In addition to hands-on demonstrations and role-playing exercises, courses hand down lessons on how to land a job as a bartender and give tips for job interviews. The classroom's walls, like those of a real bar, are crowded with colorful bottles, lit by crackling neon beer signs, and held together by flyers for bands seeking bassists.