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Showing posts from August, 2011

Robbed!

This is painful to talk about considering I just recently made a blog post about staying safe in Latin America, although I guess I wasn’t physically harmed. All of the new teachers are staying at a nice hotel in Quito for 7 days with all meals provided. The cafeteria is normally packed with our people and maybe one or two tables of businessmen. Yesterday, after apartment hunting all morning, we came into the cafeteria and set our bags down on our table to reserve it, and then went up to the salad bar. When I came back to the table two minutes later, my purse was gone. This only goes to show that even in a secure hotel surrounded by coworkers, stuff can go missing down here. One of my friends was sitting at the table when the purse was stolen and didn’t even see the sneaky bandit take it! Someone later told me they saw two teenage girls who didn’t fit in hovering around the table; it was probably them. I was lucky for many reasons. While they did get my iPod, 5 dollars, one debit card, a…

Best/Worst Public Transportation in the World!

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I already miss the accessible, easy, cheap, and sometimes completely horrifying public transportation in Guatemala. For around a dollar, you can get pretty much anywhere in Antigua via tuk-tuk or chicken bus. Tuk-tuks can be found all over the planet, I know I recently saw some in India on Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods and was all “HEY! I KNOW THOSE CRICKETY CARTS!” One wheel in the front, two in the back, it’s basically a pod on wheels that functions like a motor bike. This is one of two options in Guatemala for getting around.  A lovely tuk-tuk of Antigua, Guatemala The other option is the chicken bus. Retired American school buses, these are sent to Guatemala and repainted in fabulous colors, and given upgraded engines to make them go faster. This also means they puff out thick black smoke in your face as you walk down the streets. The buses in Ecuador aren’t old school buses, but they perform the same black smoke monster magic tricks as the buses in Guatemala. With buses in Latin Am…

Stay Safe in Latin America

Some tips/habits I have picked up while traveling in Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, Peru, Ecuador, and Argentina: No jewelry. I have a little diamond ring from my grandma that I just won’t wear while traveling. Wooden bangles and cheap costume jewelry is ok if it isn’t over the top. Think each time before you leave the house- how much would it suck if this bag was stolen? Probably not best to be out and about with your Macbook, external hard drive, wallet and 3 debit cards, iPhone, iPod, keys, and passport in your backpack. Carry only what you need. On that note, try to only bring as much cash as you need for the day. This way, if/when you get mugged, you aren’t losing a week’s budget. I either wear a crossbody bag or my backpack on the front when in marketplaces. Super nerdy? Yes. A bit over the top? Maybe. Have I ever been robbed in a market? No! Girls, and probably boys too: Don’t walk around alone at night. If you are going to take a taxi, figure out which taxis are reliable in the co…