Central American Travel Primer

elsalwizard's picture

A primer for those traveling/volunteering/possibly relocating to El Salvador, Guatemala and the rest of Central america for the first time.

http://www.Viajero.com/ features photo gallery and travel tour information of every country in Latin America and a good section on El Salvador, in Spanish, English and French, click on El Salvador section http://www.viajero.com.sv/ Guatemala www.viajero.com.gt/ etc. Another good resource online is the Alfa Travel Guide (English, Spanish, Swedish) based in El Salvador for all Central America click on http://www.alfatravelguide.com/english/index.htm Finally refer them to Roberto's (El Gringo en Suchitoto) websites based in Suchitoto, El Salvador, both in perfect English and Spanish. Roberto has the cybercafe and hostel in Suchitoto. CS Member. http://www.theotherelsalvador.com/ http://www.gaesuchitoto.com/ This information 'bloq' courtesy of: 'Welcome to Cinquera in El Salvador' http://www.vivatravelguides.com/central-america/el-salvador/el-salvador-... Rural Eco and Cultural Tourism, Native Crafts and more... contact our organization, non profit, registered in el Salvador, via e mail if interested..message me in English or Spanish for contact info. and more information if desired.

e mail elsalvadorinfo at g mail. com for more information If traveling alone or in a pair, especially Women, join the "Hospex" (Hospitality Exchange) non profit portals Hundreds of bi and multi lingual members in Central America, some of whom will host you in their homes a night, two or more, others will meet up with you and gladly show you around their area...avoid taxistas, travel hustlers, scammers and cheap "local guides" in and around bus stations, parks and travel destinations, hotel employees rarely have much information either!!

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Click on: Couch Surfing http://www.couchsurfing.org/ Be Welcome http://www.bewelcome.org/ Hospitality Club http://www.hospitalityclub.org/ ----------------------------------------------------------------------- The &#39;Really Real&#39; El Salvador we know and love! Don&#39;t miss this super travelouge!!!!! http://www.supertouchart.com/2008/08/12/road-trippinkelsey-brookes-on-th... -------------------------------------------------------------------- A bit of what you may need to know. &quot;The rest is showing up!&quot; Woody Allen..&quot;80% of life is showing up...&quot; Now, *About Central America WikiPedia Central America Travel Guides ****************** http://wikitravel.org/en/Central_America http://wikitravel.org/en/Belize Belize http://wikitravel.org/en/Costa_Rica Costa Rica http://wikitravel.org/en/El_Salvador El Salvador http://wikitravel.org/en/Guatemala Guatemala http://wikitravel.org/en/Honduras Honduras http://wikitravel.org/en/Nicaragua Nicaragua http://wikitravel.org/en/Panama Panama **Wikipedia Guides, though not 100% reliable nor up to date in a few cases, will give you several importatnt links (enlaces) on the web relating to places you may want to visit within that particular country, many locations are off the tourist trail. To those traveling on to South America: http://wikitravel.org/en/South_America GoCentralAmerica Portal and Forums http://gocentralamerica.about.com/ plus... GoSouthAmerica Portal and Forums (join on www.about.com/) http://gosouthamerica.about.com/ Best Ex Pat and Traveler&#39;s Forums in South America http://poorbuthappy.com/colombia archives. -------------------------------------------------------------- Why not El Salvador and Guatemala?? Guatemala - The Director of INGUAT, Institute of Tourism of Guatemala, estimates that is possible for the country to reach an increase of 3 to 4 percent in the tourism industry for 2009. The current financial crisis in developed countries could make Guatemala, neighboring El Salvador and the rest of Central America a very attractive travel destination suiting all budgets. World renowned publications like Forbes Magazine and others have described how much &#39;bang you get for your travel buck&#39; in Guatemala. Guatemala&#39;s advantage is that we are considerably cheaper than Costa Rica and we have much more to offer.

Actually factual. Pacific Ocean destinations like Monterrico are a favored tourist hot spot. The new surfing madness brings young visitors to the beaches. There is sports fishing, a newly developed industry that is taking of with great success, so are the newly discovered opportunities for whale watching. For water and adventure lovers there is river rafting in river Cahabon and many others. Guatemala will have the usual culture travelers. The Mayan culture is a magnet that brings hundreds of people from all over the world to explore Tikal, Chichicastenango and many archeological sites all over the country. One of the favorites is Tak alik ab Aj, down on the pacific coast near Rethaluleu.. There are so many sites that the time is usually not enough to visit them all. El Salvador El Salvador boasts &#39;The Pompei of the Americas&#39; Joya de Ceren, the Pyramids of San Andres and Tzumal and the recently excavated Ruins of Ciuhatan, City of Women. Back in Guatemala, for nature lovers, Bird watching tours are also a trend that is developing, so is the visit to the natural reserves like Laguna del Tigre and la Lechua. In El Salvador don&#39;t miss the nature preserve of Parque El Imposible and the Cloud Forest of Montecristi in Parque El Trifunio, summit is located where the borders of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras meet. On a clear day one can view the Heart of Central America from the Carribbean to the Pacific! Awesome! No &#39;tourist hordes&#39; Lake Atitlan in the Highlands of Guatemala is more majestic than ever, it is recommended as a phenomenal natural wonder and some funky tourist towns like Panajachel and San Marcos, a pristine Lake village, where continental travelers have a lot of fun and rub shoulders with our &quot;Living Maya&quot;. And Antigua is as beautiful and charming as ever. In El Salvador 330 km. (220 miles) of unbroken pristine Pacific beaches, bays, islands and mangroves await, along with World class surfing, and yes El Salvador boasts charming colonial towns such as Suchitoto, indingenous villages of Panchimalco and Santo Domingo de Guzman , volcanoes, cloud forests and much much more. Uncrowded. The world is in crisis, so is Guatemala, so is El Salvador, so is the rest of Central America, so what! Tourism, travel must go on. Tourism is a motor for development.

The recommendations or precautions to not visit Guatemala and even more so El Salvador are unfair and geopolitically motivated. The following lists of countries are promoted to the wazoo by &quot;the powers to be&quot; and they share every single problem that both Guatemala &amp; El Salvador possess; some of them additionally have terrorism. Really. Sad but true. China, India, Mexico, Colombia, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, Vietnam, Turkey, Malaysia, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, are all on the list of the 50 most visited countries in the world. Last time we checked they had crime, drugs, human rights violations, organized crime, poverty, inequality; etc. So what makes Guatemala and El Salvador different from these other countries? One thing: the patronage they have, the promotion they get. &quot;PR&quot; Rumors and bad press are nothing more than cheap online gossip, written mainly by those who never even have traveled to Guatemala, El Salvador or the rest of Central America! There are of course security issues, as everywhere one will travel way from home, however out of thousands of visitors evey month only a handful experience problems and even some of those are preventable by using common sense and being aware! Entonces, le esperamos&hellip;&hellip; The week that Mumbai in India was taken hostage by terrorist, &#39;CNN&#39; ran advertisements to promote &quot;The exotic adventure of India&quot;. Colombia, who still exports the same amount of drugs as 10 years ago, is also being promoted in the US, sponsored by the US. The same applies for Mexico, never mind the atrocities of the internal drug war that is now spilling over its borders. So, if anyone can give me a specific reason to not visit Guatemala or neighboring El Salvador, or Honduras or Nicaragua if you prefer, using comparative objective criteria, I will listen. &iexcl;Digame!

The Myth: &quot;El Salvador is the most dangerous country for travelers in Central America....&quot; The Reality: NOT SO, even in the congested capital city of San Salvador are many small and affordable Guest Houses, Bed &amp; Breakfast and small Hotels catering to budget travelers on pleasant tree lined streets, in fact, next to San Jos&eacute; in Costa Rica, San Salvador, El Salvador turns out to be the safest and most pleasant capital city to base in, in all of Central America, the Beaches of La Libertad are a 45 minute drive or less and Suchitoto is about an hour. Slightly more time on public transportation. The entire country can be seen in a few days, no &#39;all day&#39; bus rides or drives, where you arrive exhausted. People are friendly here in El Salvador, willing to help out travelers in a pinch. There exist now in El Salvador dozens of CS members, so if traveling here try to contact a few CS hosts well in advance of your arrival, especially if arriving holiday seasons such as December &amp; New Years. Neighboring Guatemala and nearby Costa Rica boast many CS members while the number of members in Nicaragua has almost tripled in recent months. &#39;Traveling to Central America made easy&#39;! I the writer, a long term El Salvador and Guatemala resident, am suprised myself, despite the ongoing &#39;bad press&#39; and &#39;bad rep&#39; of El Salvador, how many travelers are now making El Salvador their first or second Central American destination. Few go away dissapointed. Of course there exist serious security issues in many parts of Latin America so be aware, especially when traveling alone, and use common sense. The more Spanish you know, the easier AND less expensive your journey becomes..... A stressed, lonely and tired traveler is a VULNERABLE traveler to pickpockets, thieves and scammers, one can only do and see so much in one day! If requiring a bi or multi lingual local guide, driver/owner..pay by the day or hour, no liabilty as in Car rental, unique lodging places, free travel advices then log onto to: Localyte.com (170 countries, so site is in English) http://www.localyte.com/ type in your destination and ask a question of locals!!! Trumps those 2 year old &quot;Lonely Planet Guidebooks&quot;. LOL. CENTRAL AMERICAN LINKS www.travelingo.org/south-america/el-salvador/san-salvador/fo&hellip; www.worldtraveltips.net/centralamerica/ Select your region and country to view tips, i.e. www.worldtraveltips.net/centralamerica/view.cgi?country=El+S&hellip; www..gocentralamerica.about.com/od/elsalvadorguide/El_Salvador.ht&hellip; www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Caribbean_and_Central_America/ www.studentuniverse.com/i-central-america-travel.html (Student Travel, has Student Airfare Booking on line) www.travel-journal.org/ central-america/ Airfares.... http://www.airfare.bootsnall.com/ Good Airfares, Bootsnall can help you &#39;plan&#39; your trip RTW or just to one city and return! http://www.exitotravel.com/ Consolidator, Airfares, Hotels, Tours , Latin America only. US Based consolidator website with toll free number USA/Canada.

BUSES http://www.goodtimebob.com/buseslinks.htm Central American Bus Links http://www.ticabus.com/ Tica Bus International serving all Central America http://www.kingqualityca.com/ King Quality International buses Guatemala to El Salvador , Honduras and Costa Rica Website in Spanish only. Excellent Service. http://www.hedmanalas.com/ Hedman Alas 1st Class Buses, Services all around excellent services to major cities and destinations in Honduras and Guatemala

GENERAL TRAVEL INFORMATION http://www.xelapages.com/ Excellent Guatemalan Web Portal based in Quetzaltenanago http://www.atitlan.com/ All you need to know about Lake Atitlan in Guatemala http://www.aroundantigua.com/ All you need to know about Antigua , Guatemala http://www.antiguatours.net/ Walking tours of the Colonial City of Antigua and more. http://www.nimpot.com/ All you need to know about Guatemalan Textiles, Portal based in Antigua . http://richarddetrich.wordpress.com/ Panama Weblog for Ex Pats and Travelers alike. http://www.therealcostarica.com/ Everything you need or want to know about Costa Rica , common sense advice, no bull. http://www.ticotimes.net/ Costa Rica &#39;s weekly newspaper http://www.amcostarica.com/ Costa Rica&#39;s on line Daily News Mon.-Fri. http://www.insidecostarica.com/ Costa Rican Daily News and Travel Information. http://www.hondurasthisweek.com/ The Weekly English Language Newpaper of Honduras , on line edition. http://hondurastips.honduras.com/index.htm Honduras Tips....a complete guide to traveling Honduras http://www.moon.com Moon&#39;s Travel Guides in Print, easily the best for Central American Travel, check bookstore or Amazon.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- http://www.vianica.com/

Best Travel Portal for Nicaragua English &amp; Spanish Also check out: http://www.moon.com/catalog2/la_nicaragua.html &#39;Living Abroad in Nicaragua &#39; Central America Information and Maps: http://www.enjoycentralamerica.com/ Lots of links on this site: http://www.travel.org/central.html Surf this lengthy and informative website for Central America only information: http://www.alfatravelguide.com/english/index.htm in English, Spanish, Svenska Surfing these websites, then if you wish, posting and asking questions on the various travellers forums and asking questions should be a good start. Most of the websites feature an array of links to other local and regional travel sites. -------------------------------------------------------- I, the the writer, am a long term resident in El Salvador, Guatemala and some time as well in Honduras and Nicaragua since 1985. So I know the local customs, culture, language and many subtle things travelers may have not have the time to learn. presently I am a volunteer co ordinator/translator working with small projects based in El Salvador assisting these small non profit organizations to implement their receptive eco and rural tourism projects as well as native crafts projects. More information contact me by private message in English, Spanish, German, Italiano or Portuguese. --------------------------------------

MORE ON TRAVEL&hellip;.. Hotels and Lodgings&hellip;depends on your budget, upscale 2-5 Star accommodations in Central America may be easily booked on line, http://www.tripadvisor.com/ For those travelers on Medium Budget, Low/Moderate Budget to Upscale I would also recommend the &#39;Alpha Travel Guide to Central America &#39;, a no nonsense, practical portal about and for all the Central American countries in English, Spanish and Swedish (see list above also) www.alfatravelguide.com/english/index.htm No &quot;bells and whistles&quot;

LOW BUDGET TRAVEL If traveling on a low/backpacker budget you&#39;ll find many small hotels and other unique lodging places in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, as well Costa Rica &amp; Panama (a bit more expensive) that are quite economical compared to European/North American prices, for comfort and safety I would check out the B and B&#39;s and Guest Houses in the cities and large towns and even cheaper &#39;hostel/backpacker&#39; style accommodations are plentiful in travel destinations such as Antigua and Lake Atitlan in Guatemala , Granada in Nicaragua and many of the popular beach and mountain destinations in Costa Rica .

EL SALVADOR, CENTRAL AMERICA&#39;S HIDDEN GEM.. There are many lodging bargains in El Salvador , but make sure you do not stay in the crowded, dangerous and polluted &#39;Centro&#39; or Downtown, when in San Salvador , stay in the western part of town near Metrocentro Mall and the National University, the lodgings located on pleasant tree lined streets in nice areas, near San Salvador &#39;s &#39;Bohemian District&#39; for overview of nightlife check out: La Luna Casa y Arte in San Salvador. http://www.lalunacasayarte.com/ (espa&ntilde;ol) View the articles and all the ads on the El Salvador section of Revue Magazine in English: http://www.revuemag.com/ in pdf format. View www.theotherelsalvador.com/ excellent bi lingual website for El Salvador with dozens of links. English &amp; Spanish Click on http://www.gaesuchitoto.com/ f for information on the Colonial City in El Salvador. also http://www.travelpages.com/el-salvador/san-salvador/guides/87001.html http://elsalvador.travelreality.com/home.asp en espa&ntilde;ol! San Salvador city guide&hellip;.An amazing city with lots of cultural and night life! www.cityguides-worldwide.com/ElSalvador/35653.htm Upload in pdf the &#39;Guatemala Revue Magazine&#39; online&hellip;. You shall view many, many Adverts and a few very excellent Articles on this on line edition, same as print edition, which will give one a good overview of Guatemalan and El Salvadorian travel, all the articles Are archived. pdf format online. url:http://www.revuemag.com/ The Guatemala Revue Magazine boasts large Guatemala section, El Salvador section and smaller Belize and Honduras sections. Monthly, in English. ------------------------------------------------

PRINT GUIDEBOOKS Now, here&#39;s where your Guidebook(s) come in!! Unless you&#39;ve been here a dozen times or have a Salvadorian or Central American spouse and planning on a family visit, you&#39;ll require a good up to date Guide Book or two or three, which I recommend you read and study and re-read again before your arrival, magically on arrival you&#39;ll know more about the native culture, customs, history and getting around El Salvador , Guatemala, etc. than most natives. I lived in New York City 12 years and never took the time to visit many of the &#39;touristic&#39; sites. Guide Books and Maps, regional and country specific for Central America usually available in travel section of large bookstores or Amazon.com www.footprint.com/ The Mexico &amp; Central America Handbook www.lonelyplanet.com/ Lonely Planet Guide Books http://www.moon.com/ Moon Travel Guides - Excellent http://www.roughguides.com/website/shop/products/Central-America.aspx Rough Guides to Central America --------------------------------------------------------

TO THOSE INDEPENDENT TRAVELERS WHO SPEAK SPANISH When Central Americans do travel within the region, usually on weekends or holiday periods, they travel with family members in large groups. This is called &#39;turismo interno&#39; - internal tourism. There are many fine local guides, tour operators and driver-owners in El Salvador that advertise locally and will take visitors on tour with advance notice at reasonable prices. If you speak Spanish you are able to save a lot of money rather than go with the more expensive inbound tourism outfits, as well as meeting and travelling with locals, at times the locals may invite you to their home after the tour, especially in El Salvador or Nicaragua ! The local tour operators advertise in the classified sections of the daily newspapers and on Spanish language local Internet portals.During holiday periods El Salvadorian operators conduct excursions in Mexico , Guatemala , Honduras, Nicaragua , Costa Rica and some go as far as Panama, prices and quality vary so check around, always ask to inspect the vehicle first and inquire with local friends as to which companies are reliable or contact writer of this bloq. Many locals in El Salvador often travel weekends to make pilgrimages to Catholic Shrines in Antigua and Escuintla, Guatemala, etc. Religion is practiced here in El Salvador by a large majority of people, Roman Catholic or Evangelical, be polite and respectful of other&#39;s beliefs and opinions at all times. ----------------------------------------------------------

TO THOSE LEARNING TO SPEAK SPANISH Speaking Spanish. .If you don&#39;t at all start learning at home before your departure, tapes, a tutor, conversation club, classes, whatever, if on a basic conversation level or above find someone to practice with, it is my opinion that if you are traveling, say 3-4 weeks in the region, it is really useless to spend the first week or two in a &quot;Spanish School&quot;. If worse comes to worse bring a very good phrasebook and do a lot of pointing. A tip: I&#39;ve lived down this way, way down south, 21 years and used to escort a lot of visitors to the highlands/carib coast/honduras/el salvador out of Antigua, Guatemala, some couples had studied for several weeks at Antigua&#39;s best Spanish Academies, in school proper Castillan Spanish is taught, no &quot;street lingo&quot; nor slang of any kind, as soon as we were in the countryside, my clients froze up, when I ordered for them and used the word &#39;vos&#39; (slang familiar for &#39;you&#39; in El Salvador and Guatemala ), these poor gringoes asked what &#39;vos&#39; meant! They were taught to use Usted and Ustedes (formal) at all times and in the Indian Markets in Chichicastenango and Panajachel these people &#39;flipped out&#39; literally when I began speaking the local native Kak&#39;chiquel and Quiche dialects! I am listing a few good resources for Spanish Schools: http://www.salvaspan.com/ El Salvador http://www.xelapages.com/ ** &amp; http://www.aroundantigua.com/ in Guatemala also click on to: http://www.123teachme.com/ List of Spanish Schools throughout Latin America &amp; Spain excellent resource!! Free Spanish lessons online. Visit Webmaster of http://www.xelapages.com/ (Tom, long term Ex Pat and Wife, native of Xela), when in Quetzaltenango Guatemala, address of office-cybercafe on the website. All are welcome -------------------------------------------------------

SAFETY AND SECURITY ISSUES Recommend not to travel alone to rural or remote areas or in large cities, especially via public transpotation, with expensive digital cameras, videocam, ipods, blackberries or other electronic toys&hellip; a small digital camera will often do&hellip; unless you are a Business or Upscale Traveler, staying in a Hotel or resort with a room Safe and filming while traveling on organized tour with security escort, best locals and native guides. use common sense, be aware on the road and start learning Spanish TODAY..HOY MISMO if you don&#39;t speak any! Check out &#39;Live Mocha&#39; http://www.livemocha.com/ for free tutorials from native speakers online, a social network for language students and teachers alike www.123teachme.com/ for free, on line tutorials. List of Spanish Schools in Latin America and Spain. . From www.goodtimebob.com/ travel site&hellip;&hellip; &quot;This is the number one question. Way over hyped. I&#39;ve been going to Guatemala since the 70&#39;s. Even with the current economic and political issues it is still a lot better than back a couple decades. You do all the common sense stuff listed in the Lonely Planet guide (or any other Guidebook)&hellip;it increasingly reads like it is written by someone&#39;s grandmother&hellip;lawyers must do the editing. Some paranoia is worth while&hellip;. Here are the don&#39;t do&#39;s........................................................................ &quot;Don&#39;t hike between villages around Lake Atitlan in Guatemala . Too many spots where folks can watch you coming and make sure no one else is around. There have been well documented robberies and rapes. Don&#39;t EVER go up a volcano alone. Tours are cheap and they have some kind of guard.&quot;&hellip;&hellip;&quot; NEVER NEVER CAMP OUT WHERE THERE IS NO SECURITY, NOR IN AREA WHERE YOU HAVE NO PERMISSION FROM PROPERTY OWNER.... If planning to camp in Central America, and not driving nor renting a vehicle best to have a travel companion or two or three and carry durable tents..if on a low budget and taking &#39;chicken buses&#39; in and out of remote areas this may be often a difficult task...in some cases best to pool funds and rent a 4WD for a few days or a week.. Best site to contact locals who know camping spots in or near their local area www.couchsurfing.com/ Two websites with informating on camping and &#39;boondocking&#39; (may include parking lots of Shopping Malls or Luxury Resorts!) in Central America are: http://www.99DaystoPanama.com/ Has list of campsites Mexico &amp; Central America and http://www.panamaorbust.com/ Good information and links on traveling Central America. Also check out http://www.drivemeloco.com/ More information on driving through Mexico, Central &amp; South America and forums on http://www.southboundtravels.com/ A new site, neither for the faint of heart nor bleeding heart is -----------------------------------------------------

SAFETY AGAIN&hellip;&hellip; Remember you are not at home, where you know where and when to go or NOT to go..locals on the street in many places in Latin America will often give contrary advice and directions if you are lost, usually just to be polite&hellip; The writer&#39;s own Words&hellip;.. For El Salvador and the rest of Central America the warnings about the same, same old, same old: don&#39;t walk alone or in pairs after dark and take a taxi home (if you don&#39;t have a ride)even if your lodging place is only three or four blocks away, sometimes it only takes 50 meters outside the bar or night spot if thieves are following you and they hit hard and fast. Be especially aware, never paranoid, in second/third class bus terminals, crowded outdoor markets and city bus stops, never carry a digital camera or laptop on public transport unless concealed. Between countries take the international Tica Bus or other first class bus lines, remember all of the thieves now have cell phones, most travelers do not carry cell phones away from home so try and keep a low profile, blend in if possible, got it?

THIS IS IMPORTANT, SAD BUT TRUE......... &quot;The Police don&#39;t really care much if you are not injured in a crime, just as at home, the police usually have more pressing things to deal with, and the Consuls at the Embassies have seen hundreds of Police Reports and issued many new Passports for a hefty fee! Never carry your passport unless leaving the country, carry a photocopy.&quot; At your own risk accept drinks, favors, gifts, lodgings or rides home from total strangers, say those met in a &#39;bar&#39;, caf&eacute; or nightclub, especially young women traveling alone or in pairs, never tell strangers your itinerary and travel plans, nor where you are staying. Guys, never take a &#39;bar girl&#39; you do not know back to your lodging place. Guys, avoid those exotic red light district nightclubs alone, you may wake up half naked, broke and very confused the next morning, In fact if you go out late night in any large Latin American city stick the main entertainment districts, usually called &#39;Zona Viva&#39; or &#39;Zona Rosa&#39;, well lit and fairly safe. Every upscale Bar or disco will usually sport an armed guard inside or outside View the city entertainment guides above. Taxi Drivers and Hotel Employees are usually the worst people you can ask about where to go out, you&#39;ll usually always be directed to the most expensive places, especially if you don&#39;t speak Spanish. Start learning! IF TRAVELING ALONE YOU HAVE NO &#39;FRIENDS&#39; ON THE BUS NOR IN OR AROUND THE BUS STATION...MAKE &#39;FRIENDS&#39; ELSEWHERE! --------------------------------------------------------

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES Many many humanitarian aid organizations exist in Central America and require long or short term volunteers, with or without special skills, all year around..view these non profit portals for no cost or low cost opportunities, contacting yourself any and all organizations you are interested in working with well in advance of your departure..from another bloq of mine&hellip;&quot;volunteering abroad, especially in the developing countries, as a volunteer, long or short term, you&#39;ll make valuable and lifelong friendships as well as trusted local contacts which may lead into full time employment in your chosen field locally. Ordinarily you&#39;ll have to pay your airfare and room and board to volunteer with many small projects as most have barely enough money to stay above water. Fundraising, a year round effort, often takes up much of paid staff&#39;s time and energy! The &#39;pro&#39; is you&#39;ll be there in your target country or region and not online behind a computer screen at home! The smiles of a child or family in need we have assisted beats any computer screen or laptop for me by a wide mile! More information view these web portals: http://www.idealist.org/ in several languages. http://www.truetravellers.org/ English http://www.volunteersouthamerica.net/ English, Spanish . Social &amp; Environmental Volunteer Exchange Network http://www.the7interchange.com/ English http://www.volunteerlatinamerica.com/ English If traveling to El Salvador , meetup with us and we&#39;ll point you in the right direction! --------------------------------------------------------- Often traveling on a very low budget in Central America is not for either the inexperienced idealist, the bleeding heart, nor the faint of heart, nor recommended for lone females not familiar at all with the customs and local language. Poverty and street crime exist side by side in many underdeveloped or impoverished areas of the countryside and in city slums, called &#39;zonas marginales&#39; or marginal areas where gang activity is endemic, some, though not all, police/security force members are corrupt and the judicial systems in Central and Latin American countries generally are weak.

This travel Information primer Courtesy of: &#39;Welcome to Cinquera in El Salvador&#39; http://www.vivatravelguides.com/central-america/el-salvador/el-salvador-... Rural Eco and Cultural Tourism, Native Crafts and more... contact our organization, non profit, registered in el Salvador, via e mail if interested..message me in English or Spanish for contact info. and more information if desired. &iexcl;Le Esperamos&hellip;.con gusto! Pass this information on to others if not useful to you. Buen viaje y buena suerte. If you cannot use this info pass it on to someone else, a rough draft from my travel blloq....Dave, San Salvador, El Salvador.. I LIVE in Central America I am real, really reel e mail info at centralamericatraveltips.info



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White Water Rafting

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