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So You Want to Volunteer in South America?

“I’m going to teach English in Ecuador!” This gleeful announcement was made to my dad in the summer of 2013, just three days after I’d flown back home to London from South East Asia. Still in the travelling mindset, I was already plotting my next volunteer move. Although it may sound like a spontaneous decision, the […]

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Sexism and Machismo: the Attitude to Women in Latin America

Travelling as a woman will always open up avenues that are unavailable to men. Despite being foreigners and strangers, women often connect with local children, young mothers, and old ladies with an immediacy borne from an innate trust in our gender. We are invited into Indian wedding ceremonies and Thai family kitchens, and given privileges that a […]

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Still in Love with South America

“So you don’t know when you’re coming back?” I remember the face of my best friend, slightly astonished, as she took in what I was saying to her. Finally making that decision – to not buy a return ticket, to lay myself open to the possibilities of whatever the road had in store for me […]

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The Dark Side of the Galapagos

The Galápagos Islands are infamous for their scenery and wildlife. They’re a dream destination for thousands of people around the world who crave the crystal clear waters, the multitudes of colourful fish, the diving and snorkelling opportunities, the bizarre plethora of confident sealions and skittering iguanas, and the chance to sit back and relax on […]

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A Dorito Flavoured Drama of When Travel Drives You Crazy

Sometimes it's not the object that's stolen from you that's important: it's the action itself. And sometimes, perhaps at the start of a long distance bus journey to cross the Ecuadorian-Colombian border; perhaps when you're in the midst of days filled with similar bus journeys, the act of theft affects you much more than it […]

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A Last Minute Galapagos Cruise

“So what do you want to do for your birthday then?” Josh said, as we journeyed across the Ecuadorian countryside on yet another long bus ride. With only a week to go before I turned 26, the options were becoming somewhat limited. And after volunteering in Cuenca for five months last year, I’d been to […]

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Salinas de Guaranda: a Community of Co-operatives

Salinas is cold. Nestled in the mountains at an altitude of 5,300 metres, the temperature warrants the wearing of every piece of relatively warm clothing I own, topped with a waterproof jacket to combat the sudden downpour that rolls in with the cloud cover every afternoon. I can see my breath in the confines of […]

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Modern Day Life in the Amazon Jungle

“We’ve seen more of the world in one day than she has in her whole life,” said Sam, disbelievingly, as we trudged back through the humid Amazon jungle. We’d been out on a day’s hike to reach a secluded waterfall, and the young Ecuadorian girl skipping along beside us had acted as our guide for […]

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The Spanish Challenge: Achieve Fluency Before Leaving South America

Six months ago, I relocated to Ecuador, a Spanish speaking country, with little to no Spanish speaking skills of my own. I moved in with a host family, started volunteering as an English teacher at a local high school, and attempted the task of learning Spanish. Half a year later and I’m sad to say […]

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Lessons Learned from 200 Hours of Teaching English Abroad

“¿Tres ensaladas de frutas, por favor?” I leave the tiny serving hatch, where three women wearing hair nets and harried expressions rush back and forth. Plates of food scattered around the kitchen are ferried to the multitude of teenage hands reaching through the bars at a speed my eyes can’t even keep up with. Heading […]

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