Trip Highlights

5 Reasons to make Valparaiso a part of your Chile trip

Posted by on December 30th, 2013
Valpo

When I first came to Chile about 10 years ago, I was excited for my first trip out to the Central Coast.  I had heard about Valparaiso (or Valpo, as it’s affectionately called in Chile) and was anxious to get out of Santiago, where I’d been for my first 3 months in the country.  To […]

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Recap of IGTOA’s 2013 Galapagos Guide Training Course

Posted by on December 20th, 2013

During the week of November 18-22 I had the good fortune to attend the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association’s Five Star Guiding in Five Days course at the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora. The course was led by Sam Ham, who is a renowned guide training expert, and Tom O’Brien, a highly experienced and knowledgeable […]

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Pro Mujer: Changing Lives Through Microloans

Posted by on December 20th, 2013

Microfinance has proven to be a powerful engine of change in the fight against global poverty.  The idea is that with a small loan for use as startup capital, individuals who have no collateral and are considered “not credit-worthy” by traditional financial institutions will be able to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.  […]

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Latin American Music as a force for political change

Posted by on December 4th, 2013
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A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog that looked at a few of the musical genres which define a very musical continent, but this week I’m going to focus specifically on two genres which have wrought social and political change. Both music and political instability are ubiquitous in South America, so it goes […]

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Environmentalism in Patagonia

Posted by on November 28th, 2013

A few years ago, bumping along an unpaved road in Argentine Patagonia, I found myself reflecting on just how different this desolate grassland was from my urban home in Oakland, California.  We passed a gaucho trotting along on his horse, hours from any sign of civilization, and I wondered about his lifestyle.  Was his way of […]

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Fernando de Noronha

Posted by on November 28th, 2013
Fernando de Noronha

Brazil has a guide to beaches known as the Guia Quatro Rodas Praias.  In all of Brazil, only four beaches received a rating of five stars from this guide, and three of them are located on Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago located 525 kilometers off the coast of Pernambuco in northern Brazil. There are 21 […]

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¡Arriba! Some famous genres of Latin American music

Posted by on November 20th, 2013
the-brazilian-carnival-begins-46-days-before-easter-and-parades-are-usually-led-by-samba-schools

Anyone who has spent any time in Latin America will have been struck by the constant presence of music. It’s on buses and in waiting rooms; in hair salons and on ferries. It’s played as loudly first thing in the morning as it is late at night. Music isn’t so much listened to in Latin […]

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Cape Horn: The Southern Tip of South America

Posted by on November 18th, 2013

What is it about the geographic extremes of the earth that appeal to us so much as human beings?  Several years ago, while teaching and traveling in India, I visited one of these extreme sites: Kanyakumari, the southern tip of India, where the the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean converge.  […]

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Four South American dishes

Posted by on November 12th, 2013

You wouldn’t visit Italy without having a pizza, and there’s no way you’d be able to avoid sushi during a vacation in Japan. Every country has some dish you absolutely have to try, so – without further ado – let me introduce you to four South American dishes which are culinary superstars in their own […]

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Icons of Buenos Aires: Evita Peron

Posted by on November 5th, 2013
Maria-Eva-Duarte-Peron-EVITA

Argentina has produced a few global icons – Che Guevara and Maradona spring to mind – but perhaps no one epitomizes the nation more than Evita Peron. Evita is known the world over thanks to the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Evita, and the Hollywood blockbuster of the same name starring Madonna. But she was actually […]

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