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5 Highlights of the Holidays in Puerto Rico

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There may be no snow - and precious little ice skating or hot cocoa - on this lush, tropical Caribbean island, but there’s certainly holiday cheer, and lots of it, for a good long time – in fact, Puerto Rico takes pride in having the world’s lengthiest season of Navidad (Christmas), around 45 days or so, beginning right after Thanksgiving (meaning the third Friday in November) and lasting through mid-January. Along the way are various festivities, activities, and highlights not to mis

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Stranded by Hurricane Tomás in Costa Rica

Here's how bad Hurricane Tomás is: The outside world barely notices that Costa Rica has been hit – and hit hard – because Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and other countries are getting hit even harder. It's an eco disaster and a human disaster, and I can see it from the window.


I'm writing this from an office in Puerto Jiménez, in Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, where they've been kind enough to let me crib some wi-fi waves. I'm stranded in this tiny, tumble-down Pacific Coast village. Just outsid

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Top 10 Reasons to Volunteer in Peru

Volunteering your time to an organization and dedicating some of your time to a cause is one of the most noble and meaningful things a person can do. Whether assisting the poor, taking care of abandoned children or helping communities grow, the simple and generous act of participation is a rewarding experience to both the volunteer and the people they help.


Being that our own volunteer program is only months away we thought it a good idea to highlight why volunteering in Peru is such a special an

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10518854666?profile=RESIZE_930xMichelle Mariani



There’s a stereotype in Colombia that the country’s fourth-largest city, a bustling but somewhat nondescript bit of business on the Caribbean coast about an hour east of Cartagena, is also their country’s “happiest.” Well, like any broad generalization, this one’s greatly exaggerated. But it doesn’t come from nowhere.

Costeños – the folks who live on and near the coast, not just Barranquilla but also Cartagena and other cities and towns like Santa Marta –  are indeed a bit of

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