Central & South America

Home is a State of Being: Studying Abroad in Costa Rica
by Ana Astri-O’Reilley

I wake up from a nap disoriented and sweaty. The ceiling fan beats at the highest level, but the air it moves is hot… Read more >>

The Cave of the Glowing Skulls
by Meghan Morton

A moment of darkness. Eyes adjust. A vague perception of bats overhead in the dim light at the mouth of the cave… Read more >>

The Art of the Asado
by Shannon Bradford

“There’s a couple things you need to know about asados,” my friend Louie told me, another American living abroad who had become a resident expert on the subject matter… Read more >>

Echoes and Footprints
by April Jensen

I do not believe in the ghosts of the dead – believing instead that it is by walking in their footprints, reading their words, holding close their memories, that we can be close… Read more >>

Nineteen Stories
by Stephanie Burke Lewis

“You can’t be serious.” I stared at the motorcycle leaning on the sidewalk outside my apartment building… Read more >>

A Cruise to the Falklands
by Lucy Grewcock

“Act like a penguin and you will be accepted as a penguin,” Frank Todd, our expedition ornithologist, briefed us… Read more >>

LlamaOnPeruvianMountainLuck, Llamas and a Peruvian Shaman
by Sharon Spence Lieb

In the Peruvian Andes at 15,000 feet, a 100-year-old shaman waits for me. Peering up the steep peaks of Mt. Waccratanka, I doubt I can make this arduous Andean ascent… Read more >>


A Failed Attempt to Conquer Cotopaxi
by Angela Allman

Two grueling hours of climbing through ashy volcanic dirt, each frustrating step taken, I slid backward half a step. We progressed slowly… Read more >>


Across the River
by Leila Kalmbach

When Paola waded in the family’s drinking and washing water supply, I could sympathize. The small Nicaraguan girl had few pleasures in life… Read more >>


In Uruguay, There’s Lots of Time to Horse Around
by Liz Fleming

The sweeping, isolated landscape at the Panagea underscores how tiny we humans are. Rolling hills and an endless horizon seem to stretch out forever… Read more >>


How not to do the Monkey Trail
by Lindsay Fendt

The general consensus was that we should not be doing what we were doing. It was starting to rain and our electric blue Yaris was stopped outside the walls… Read more >>

Cabarete Burning

Crisis Creates A Community
by Tasha Hacker

When the fire gets within 200 meters of our little rental house in the Dominican Republic, I begin thinking about what to pack… Read more >>

Cuba Cowboy

Ask Fidel
by Mandy Huggins

In the midday heat, we slow down alongside a rugged cowboy with a handsome moustache. His dusty felt hat is tipped low, and he sits astride a dappled mare, leading a long-legged gelding… Read more >>


Roof Dog and the Tree Rooster
by Robin Noelle

It took two solid weeks of knocking on doors and confusing people with my butchered Spanish before I found a suitable rental. My new place was palatial compared to the last hovel I had rented… Read more >>

San Miguel de Allende

Walking with El Señor
by Melani Nagao

For two hours, I had been sitting on the hard edge of the uneven curb, wedged between two squirming toddlers and a plump grandmother. Knees behind me jabbed my shoulders and banged my head… Read more >>

Tayrona National Park

Lost in the Jungle
by Kristin Wegner

It was the fourth day of our trip and we were hopelessly lost in the jungle of Tayrona National Park, Colombia. “I just don’t get how this happened,” Ben said, hovering on the boulder while lowering my backpack to me. I grimaced as I caught the straps, carefully maintaining my balance… Read more >>


An American-style Thanksgiving in Paraguay
by Joanna Johnson Madden

I’ve heard of people who, if presented with an option, would choose to receive their meals in pill form. For them, food represents nutrition and nothing more. I do not understand these people… Read more >>


To the Ends of the Earth
by Karen Snyder

“Patagonia? Like the outerwear company?”
Such was my first response to Vic’s proposal to tour Argentina by car. Never a dull moment, that’s for sure. My second response was, “How soon can we leave?” Read more >>


Broken Glass and Futbol
by Diane Gantenhammer

As our red and white bus bumped and clattered over the rough dirt track, I couldn’t help feeling like an unwanted intruder in the vast silence of this top-of-the-world plateau. The altiplano: a stretching sea of purple-green lichen and mustard-grey moss… Read more >>

Pacaya VolcanoUs Vs. the Volcano
by Catherine Ryan Howard

I’m not cut out to be a backpacker. Backpacking, if you’re not familiar, is a form of traveling popular with twenty-somethings looking to see some of the world, broaden their horizons and have regrettable sex with strangers… Read more >>

Woman in PeruWorlds Apart: Chavin, Peru
by Jules Atkins

As our red and white bus bumped and clattered over the rough dirt track, I couldn’t help feeling like an unwanted intruder in the vast silence of this top-of-the-world plateau. The altiplano: a stretching sea of purple-green lichen and mustard-grey moss… Read more >>

Woman in El SalvadorCleansing for the Soul in El Salvador
by Mari Suyama

Navigating the uneven streets of Salvador da Bahia under the fierce sun sends visitors into a daze of exhaustion and overworked senses. In the wild maze of narrow avenues and street vendors, every turn of a corner reveals a well crafted display of drumming, dance, cuisine or folk art… Read more >>

Frog in the AmazonAmazonas
by Lara Flynn

“We’re lost,” the old German confirmed simply and mopped the perspiration from his brow, his face etched deeply with concern. “My son knows a little Spanish, and he understands some Portuguese. He says we’re off course and the sun is fading.”… Read more >>

onionsThe Onion Truck
by Janie Starr

The dented dusty Blue Bird bus stood waiting by the side of the road, like a promise. With some degree of trepidation, we decided to jump aboard and venture into Guatemala… Read more >>

Bare FeetNever Judge a Man by His Shoes
by Becky Cardwell

I call him the shoeless Mexican. Clearly that is not his real name. I don’t know his name, or anything else about him for that matter… Read more >>

Cassie SilvaHola Comida!
by Cassie Silva

Little Jesus tugs at my hand, gesturing for me to follow him into the shed. I look at the boy curiously and allow myself to be dragged along. At the door to the backyard shed, a mangy dog tied to a stake in the ground leaps to his feet, barking at us furiously from the end of his frayed rope… Read more >>

Sea TurtleSea-turtle Spotting in Suriname
by Corina Milic

She looms close, lit by the moon. Her head reminds me of an old woman’s wrinkled face wrapped in a shawl. She’s one meter long, weighs about 150 kilograms and is moving fast… Read more >>

Cuban ManCuban Encounters
by Annika Hipple

“Which hotel are you staying at?” The immigration official at Havana’s José Martí International Airport puts down my passport and peers at me through the glass of his booth. “I’m not staying at a hotel,” I answer unsuspectingly. “I’m staying with a friend.”… Read more >>

Antigua GuatemalaCoffee and Cake
by Lisa McCallum

The hulking green army truck pulls up in front of the café like an angry elephant-belching and crushing and stomping. I’m humiliated when people on this main street in Antigua turn to stare-like, “Who’s going to ride in that thing?”… Read more >>

Woman in PeruLocals, Llamas and Lots of Laughs
by Kate Reid

I arrived in Peru, an 18 year old, mobile phone clutched in hand, designer jeans donned and expectations high. The ancient land of the Incas was to be my home for 6 months, the children of the Urubamba region my project… Read more >>

FarmaciaOn Guard Against Giardia
by Kelly Westhoff

Standing in line, Michelle and I prayed we’d chosen a good pharmacy. The white tiled floors had been freshly mopped, customers were being helped at each service window, and most importantly, every employee sat behind a computer. It was the computers that had drawn us in, made us choose this pharmacy over others we’d passed… Read more >>

Car in Havana CubaWhat We Leave Behind
by Kelly Westhoff

The man walking towards me looked familiar. No, wait. It wasn’t his face. It was his shirt that looked familiar. It was black with white letters that read: Dunn Bros. Coffee, Minneapolis-St. Paul… Read more >>

AmantaniMeeting Mama – A Homestay with the Amantani on Lake Titicaca
by Cassie Silva

“Welcome to Amantani Island. One of these women standing before you will be your new Mama for the rest of your stay here,” our local guide Roger yells above the whistling warm wind of the approaching thunderstorm… Read more >>

Motorcycle PoliceWhen All You Have is Your Body
by Julie Schweitert Collazo

I am hurtling down Avenida Reforma, one of Mexico City’s main arteries, in one of the ubiquitous green and white Volkswagen taxis that everyone-tourists and locals alike-waits for. I favor nostalgia and its slight discomforts over the newer red and white Nissan Sentra taxis, which have no personality as far as I’m concerned… Read more >>

Peru riverDon’t Let Your Generosity Kill You
by Betty Ann Boeving

I was once on-duty in Peru as a freelance tour manager. I had exchanged my high heels for knee-high irrigation boots that I sported while I gingerly walked on extremely muddy trails deep in the Amazon rainforest… Read more >>

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