Comments by people in some of the countries that a Gallup poll ranks as the world's most and least positive:
"We're naturally very happy. We have our problems in life but we forget them quickly and we start over; it's a question of culture." — Hildaura Ortega, 30, English professor, Panama City.
"The farmers, the peasants, they are happy and joyful despite the problems of everyday life, but the city dwellers, those used to the city routine, are very individualistic and colder because life is too fast and competitive." — Franca La Carrubba, dean of psychology, Paraguay Autonomous University.
3. EL SALVADOR
"Salvadorans are positive, very contented, friendly people, but that doesn't mean we're happy. We live in a country with low salaries, where many are out of work and we're threatened by gangs and drug dealers." — Juan Carlos Hernandez, bank worker, San Salvador.
5. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
"As a people, we are laid back, even on serious matters. To take life that way even if you're facing difficult situations is good for your health." — Hugo James, 35, copywriter for advertising agency.
"I don't aspire to be the king. I just want to have enough — a house, a car, a bit of money saved up. That's enough to make me happy, whereas some wealthy people just keep wanting more." — Natthinee Sriboonmee, 32, clothing vendor in Bangkok.
"We're so used to these problems that we ignore what's going on and live our lives despite them." — Estefani Brolo, singer, 28, Guatemala City.
"Just being with my family makes me happy ... We have fun together as a family. ... We have bonding time and we say prayers together. ... They are my inspiration. As long as we are all healthy, I am happy. There is nothing better than that." — Felicio Sayat, 35, security guard who works 12 hours a day at parking lot, Manila.
"There's a lot of pressure to perform to expectations and conform to norms here so I think that overrides our personal happiness ... Most of my kids are very focused and spend long hours dedicated to school. As a teacher you want what is best for your students but you can't help but feel they miss out on a childhood." — Fung Yeewai, 25, part-time teacher.
"As for me, I feel fine and see no reason to be unhappy. But many people I know feel unhappy about various problems." — Lilit Babadzhanian, 28, medical worker, Yerevan.
"There have been so many conflicts after the Soviet collapse, and so many refugees." — Marina Kupreishvili, 52, doctor.
"What is there to be happy about? Poverty, no jobs and even the possibility of more wars? No way. The only strategy for many young people here is to get out as soon as possible. The sooner, the better." — Petar Jovanovic, medical student, Belgrade.
"I want to go abroad. It's stupid to live in a dictatorship in the middle of Europe. It's fear that makes Belarusians unhappy. Everyone is afraid of being crushed by the state. Living in Belarus means no freedom, no money and no future." — Maxim Luksha, 20, university student.
"Lithuanians feel unhappy, because they believe that there is no sociological justice in the country. The conditions for family business are not conducive, and the basis of Lithuanian economy is big business. The wages of employees are low, and the whole social situation is unfair. This makes the main difference between Lithuania and other countries in Europe." — Vladas Gaidys, director of public opinion firm Vilmorus, Vilnius.
Associated Press writers Juan Zamorano in Panama City; Pedro Servin in Asuncion, Paraguay; Marcos Aleman in San Salvador; Tony Fraser in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad; Romina Ruiz-Goiriena in Guatemala City; Oliver Teves in Manila, Philippines; Heather Tan in Singapore; Misha Dzhindzhikhashvili in Tbilisi, Georgia; Dusan Stojanovic in Belgrade, Serbia; Gary Peach in Riga, Latvia; and Yuras Karmanau in Minsk, Belarus, contributed to this report.
Source: Gallup Inc., http://www.gallup.com/poll/159254/latin-americans-positive-world.aspx
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