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Latin America Issue Focus:
Travel, Study, Work, Teaching, Volunteering, and Living

Featured TAzine Articles
Volunteer vacation in Latin America
The author, "Connected Traveler" columnist for TransitionsAbroad.com, Amy E. Robertson, helping to build a home in Honduras. Photo ©Amy E. Robertson.
Prepare a turtle hatchery in Costa Rica. Teach English in Mexico. Build a home in Brazil. Whether you call it a volunteer vacation, a service trip, or voluntourism, combining travel and volunteer work is an increasingly popular way to see the world... Read more
Latin America cultural immersion
...Sometimes when I’m in a renowned part of Latin America, such as Lake Atitlán in Guatemala, I meet people on their round-the-world trip. They stay two days; I stay two months. They see the highlights of countries all over the world, often look stressed out, and perhaps never backpack or revisit the site again. I relax, learn Spanish, make friends, find the best clubs and restaurants, and save so much money that I can do it again next year in another part of the world... Read more
Manage your money
I can’t speak for the whole world, but where I live and travel in Mexico and Central America, the U.S. dollar is king. You will always get better exchange rates at borders, and dollars can be exchanged almost everywhere... Read more
Authentic Mexican food
The author has literally eaten his way across Mexico, and describes many of the wide variety of delicious national and regional dishes to be enjoyed, including where to find the most authentic food... Read more
Market at Sucre, Bolivia
Whether traveling with children, as a couple, or solo, here are selected spots in some of the top countries to move or enjoy an extended stay in Latin America. Many have extensive expatriate groups and International schools for children and also allow for full cultural immersion... Read more
Costa Rica swimming hole
I first visited Guatemala in 2008. Having signed up to teach for eight months, May to December, my plan was to finish my contract and head down to South America. In February of 2014, I finally reached Colombia. In my book, that’s long-term travel in Central America... Read more
Fruit stand in Guatemala
Like many independent travelers, I harbor a loosely rooted fantasy of one day disappearing from the grid and settling somewhere at the end of a dirt track in the jungle. I will carve out an acre or two to fill with fruit trees and grow an organic garden, learning by textbook and pirated Internet signal. I will build thatch huts, make my own wine, and harvest a cornucopia of food year-round... Read more
A slow tirp in Columbia
Jonathan Engels describes his experience in a land full of paradoxes. The country is beautiful, the people warm and hospitable, and the culture rich. Yet the country is still reeling from years of crime and systemic poverty, even as some civil disputes continue. But it is a very seductive land which is home to some cities as progressive as any in South America... Read more
Volunteering in Central America
Like many independent travelers, I harbor a loosely rooted fantasy of one day disappearing from the grid and settling somewhere at the end of a dirt track in the jungle. I will carve out an acre or two to fill with fruit trees and grow an organic garden, learning by textbook and pirated Internet signal. I will build thatch huts, make my own wine, and harvest a cornucopia of food year-round... Read more
The Death of the Red Devils
The Culture of the Diablo Roso Buses of Panama City
by Darrin DuFord
(2014 Narrative Travel Writing Contest 1st Place Winner)
Bus travel in Panama City
The diablos rojos, literally red devils, have been counterbalancing the drab concrete of the city for over four decades with their artwork-plastered bodies and obnoxious outlines of lights. Having served out their first lives as American school buses, the vehicles were bought secondhand and shipped to Panama, their ribbed walls becoming weatherproof canvases. Their mounted speakers drown out honks with salsa, reggaeton, or anything with a vigorous rhythm. Each bus is as distinctive as the tastes of its owner... Read more
Witness a Crucifixion: Semana Santa in Mexico by Ted Campbell
(2014 Narrative Travel Writing Contest 3rd Place Winner)
Semana Santa Mexico - Christ with Cross
The whipping begins after the final judgment. Flanked by two Romans on horseback, Jesus hoists the heavy wooden cross onto his bare back. It drags six feet behind, scraping against the cracked concrete of the main road in this quiet rural Mexican town... Read more
Columns by Contributing Editors
TAzine Editorial
In this issue of TAzine, we cover a selection of travel, study, work, volunteer, internship, and other possibilities in Latin America, which are part of our core mission as an educational travel resource, in the broadest sense. Latin America as a continent offers many options, some of which we explore in this issue (with some more articles to be added in the coming days) as we have in previous webzines and in articles and reports over the years.
  • We wish to welcome Amy E. Robertson, who has written a variety of books for Moon and other renowned publications as a new paid columnist called the "Connected Traveler." Amy has had an incredibly diverse background from a young age, when she started volunteering in Latin America. In her feature piece, she discusses some of the many options upon which her book and ebook elaborate, and also writes her first column on How to Connect Locally while Traveling Internationally
  • Prolific expat and author Tim Leffel writes on Why, How, and Where to Move to Mexico as well as on How to Get a Legal Non-working Visa in Mexico.
  • Lies Ouwerkerk writes and takes vivid photos on her cultural immersion experience at the network of Bed and Breakfasts (casas) in Cuba.
  • Wandering Educator columnist Dr. Jesse Voights writes a brilliant piece on Educating Your 5 Senses Through Travel.
  • Author and columnist on How to Enoy the World, Robert Reid, writes a serious but ironic piece he calls How to Dislike a Destination.
  • John Clites, our ESL columnist, helps explain the requirements and obscure terms involved in educating yourself and finding a job teaching English abroad.
  • We have further contributions from other fine columnists in this issue, which we think will prove to be extremely valuable to our readers.

In addition, we publish two of the top winners of the 2014 Narrative Travel Writing Contest which relate to Latin America, excellent overviews on travel in Central and Latin American on a Budget, How to Manage your Money Safely in Latin America, and Volunteering with and without the WWOOF organization. More articles are to come in the coming days from some excellent freelance contributors as well-written material just keeps pouring in about the region. Thank you!.

Please browse TAzine and let us know what you would like to see, and where you would like to see us expand our coverage. Since 1977, we have been all about ideas, not comprehensive guidebook-like information. We hope that we will inspire you to take a trip, volunteer, study, work, or live in places you may never have considered.

TAzine is a monthly Webzine which continues the 30-year tradition started by Transitions Abroad magazine. TAzine features many of the same columnists who wrote for the magazine, a growing group of new columnists, while featuring talented freelance writers who wish to share their experiences and expertise within the context of our pioneering coverage of work, study, travel, and living abroad.

Founded in 1977 by Dr. Clayton Allen Hubbs, Transitions Abroad magazine was the only print publication dedicated to work, study, living, volunteering, and immersion travel abroad. Its purpose—in print and now as a Webzine—is the dissemination of practical information leading to a greater understanding of other cultures through direct participation in the daily life of the host community.

As always, while your preferred form of enjoyment is often, and should be, a primary motivation,, we urge all travelers to follow the "golden rule" when traveling in accordance with our editorial since 1977. Please try to ensure that your money remains in the local community and respect those who are hosting you in their "home" country.

Gregory Hubbs, Editor-in-Chief

Living in Mexico: The Why, Where, and How
Resourceful Travel Columnist Tim Leffel
Tim Leffel
Mexico is a relatively easy country to move to compared to many, however, partly because of how easy it is to get to from the U.S. or Canada. While income requirements have gone up for a non-working residency visa, the process is relatively straightforward and unlike in much of Europe, getting a work visa is not difficult either once you have a job offer... Read More
How to Get Legal Non-working Residency in Mexico
Resourceful Travel Columnist Tim Leffel
Tim Leffel
Mexico is a relatively easy country to move to compared to many, however, partly because of how easy it is to get to from the U.S. or Canada. While income requirements have gone up for a non-working residency visa, the process is relatively straightforward and unlike in much of Europe, getting a work visa is not difficult either once you have a job offer... Read More
Lies Ouwerkerk
The network of bed and breakfasts, or casas, are a great way to explore and immerse yourself in the incredible culture and people of the country of Cuba which she illustrates vividly with many great photos. So writes our Canadian Senior Contributing Editor—who therefore has an easier time to enter the country increasingly visited by tourists worldwide... Read More
How to Connect Locally while Traveling Internationally
The Connected Traveler Columnist Amy E. Robertson
Amy E. Robertson
Our motorized canoe approached the beach, and a few young men waded into the water to grab our bags. My parents, my two young kids and I disembarked at Chachauate, twelve miles off the north coast of Honduras... Read More
Educating Your 5 Senses Via Travel
Wandering Educator Columnist Dr. Jessie Voigts
Jesse Voights
Would you like to have a travel experience like no other? One that will exhilarate, entrance, and stay with you? It’s a different way to look at travel (and life, actually), and one that can change the way you travel. What is it? Well, I call it 5 senses travel. How? Take a look… Read More
How to Dislike a Destination
How to Enjoy the World Columnist Robert Reid
Robert Reid
Good travelers do not treat a destination like a restaurant, like impatient consumers, and offer peoples and cultures every chance with an open mind, even if initial experiences are not always equally overwhelming... Read More
Requirements for Teaching English Abroad
TEFL Abroad Columnist John Clites
John Clites
John Clites, based in Brazil as an English teacher and freelance writer, walks you through the alphabet soup of acronyms which you will encounter as you educate yourself and seek work in Latin America and worldwide... Read More
The Wired Expat: How to Navigate the Web While Living Abroad
Living Abroad Columnist Volker Poelzl
Volker Poelzl
Being connected to the web and having high-speed and instant access to the Internet, data and information has become a way of life for millions of people around the world. The number of people accessing the mobile internet is growing at an enormous rate. In 2014 there will be an estimated 1,750,000 million mobile internet users worldwide... Read More
Nora Dunn
"These days, traveling without some kind of access to an Internet connection is almost unheard of. Increasingly travel-friendly laptops are being released, and smart phones and other handheld devices make Internet access a cinch. But how do you store all of your user names and passwords and back up your data securely?" Read More
Featured Organization and Programs
Volunteer in Latin America with United Planet

Volunteer in Latin America

United Planet's Quest Volunteer Abroad program offers you or your group a life-changing opportunity to build relationships with local communities through customized volunteer work, enriching cultural activities, and home stays with local families. Our programs in Latin America run from 1 to 52 weeks and welcome volunteers of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds. You can volunteer in education, healthcare, environment, and more. Visit our website for more information!.

Current Issue and Focus:
Travel, Study, Work, Teaching, Volunteering, and Living in Latin America, 2014
Previous Issue and Focus:
Travel, Study, Work, Teaching, Volunteering and Living in Asia, 2014
Webzine cover for Latin America 2014
Webzine cover for Asia 2014
To view all TAzine back issues, see our archive.
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