I started my two year trip through Latin America in early 2008. The first country I visited was Brazil, where I spent half a year. I lived the first three months in São Paulo learning Portuguese, then travelled throughout nearly every state in the country. Memorable sections from the writing include a description of the largest gay pride parade in the world (which drew nearly four million people), a visit to a family living in a three story home constructed entirely out of garbage in the largest slum on the continent, and participating in one of the most exotic festivals in the country (Boi-Bumbá, which takes place on an isolated island in the middle of the Amazon Jungle).

Half a year later, I spent three months and a grand total of one thousand dollars “couchsurfing” through Venezuela. After a brief discussion of this new low-cost, high-value travel style that is revolutionizing modern life, I relate a litany of interesting adventures in the country, like my visit to a secret Mecca of black magic, a meeting with a Nobel Prize-nominated local writer, a game of co-ed underwater rugby, and a run in with a manic-depressive lucha libre wrestler. (Note that Venezuela, is spite of being a particularly interesting and sui generis country, is particularly underrepresented in the travelogue genre)

My writing on Colombia follows, involving a nastier take on the country than that given by most casual travellers, as I lived for three months in one of the foulest slums of the narcotics utopia of Medellín. My neighbours were almost entirely prostitutes, thieves, and indigents who entertained themselves with howling screwdriver fights inside my building at all hours, while paramilitaries on the streets outside conducted murderous social cleansing every night.

The next section involves my travels through Mayan Central America, where I wandered through two months of street fights, vendetta murders and general insanity. In Nicaragua I stayed with a group of local squatters, met a porn star, and got mugged in the capital. Then I passed through Honduras shortly after the 2009 coup d’état, where chaos reigned and I witnessed a contract killing. Later I moved on to Guatemala, where all hell seemed to break loose everywhere I went, including a citywide riot and an acquaintance’s sudden death by heart attack.

After that, I rode nearly 1,000 miles by bicycle through the island of Cuba, hitting many small towns and nearly every major urban centre on the way. Due to my appearance and the fact I speak fluent Spanish, I was often mistaken for a local, receiving unique insight into the tourist-segregated lives of the people. After doing a homestay with a family of Havana journalists and celebrating the 51st anniversary of the Cuban revolution, I toured the entire island on two wheels.

Extensively researched appendices are also included at the end of the book, discussing Latin America sexuality, hand gestures, politics, history and economics. Again, I have rights to all photos and maps that appear in the manuscript.

This book would be marketable to hundreds of thousands of people planning trips to Latin America. Anyone interested in getting an uncompromising and up-to-date understanding of this fast-changing region of the world’s culture, people and history would find it an invaluable resource.

Excerpts:

Those interested in reading selections may click on the links below:

Sorte Mountain, Venezuela: This is one chapter of my treatment of a three month trip through Venezuela. It describes a visit to the secret mecca of that nation’s black magic, the mountain of Sorte.

Panajachel, Guatemala: A couple of pages taken from my writing about my perambulations through Central America. The excerpt deals with a riot that I witnessed in the city of Panajachel on December 6, 2009.

Pinar del Rio, Cuba: A chapter from my 2010 bicycle tour through the island of Cuba. Discusses the Cuban lifestyle from a relatively non-tourist angle, as many people I met thought I was a local and I was able to get some insights most visitors never can.

On Latin American Women: A somewhat facetious discussion of female aesthetics and sexuality in Latin America. The full text runs  more than fifty pages, but I have only put the first few here. The map in the middle was made by myself specifically for the writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: