Archive for the 'Latin America' Category

This blog has been shamefully neglected over the past few months while I’ve been developing Deskbound Traveller, which is dedicated to travel storytelling. One of my objectives there is to broaden notions of what constitutes travel writing to let in, among other things, fiction and poetry. I’m not sure that The Spies, by the Brazilian […]

Next time you find yourself complaining that your journey into work was “a nightmare” because of a few signal failures, think about the poor souls on the “Train of Death” (also known as “The Beast”), which thousands of poor people ride through Mexico in the hope of realising their “American dream”. For many, the journey […]

I was looking forward to writing about Colombia and not mentioning the word “drugs”. Bit tricky now that I’ve been suspected by the police at two airports of being a smuggler myself. Or did they take me for a terrorist? Returning from Cartagena after researching a preview of the Telegraph Hay Festival, I was handing […]



To the Roundhouse last night to see Urban, the new show from Circolombia, a company formed from graduates of a circus school for street kids in the Colombian city of Cali. They marry  street dance with acrobatics in a tumbling, teeterboarding, tightrope-walking, skipping, somersaulting sensation of a show. The video below, of an earlier performance, doesn’t […]

I came across Global Voices the other day while doing some background reading about Colombia. The point of the site is to shine light “on places and people other media often ignore”. It does a good job at that. Its Spanish section, complete with summaries and translations of blogs, could also prove extremely useful to […]

This morning’s Today programme on Radio 4 had a representative of Survival International talking about how seven Yanomani Indians in Venezuela have died from a suspected outbreak of swine flu. I was reminded immediately of the great Norman Lewis, whose article in The Sunday Times in 1969 about massacres, land thefts and genocide in Brazilian […]

M y regular email arrived this morning from the dictionary publishers Collins with a ‘Spanish word of the day’. They missed a trick. The word is ‘huelga’, which refers to ‘a common phenomenon in some Latin American countries’.  The email gives examples of how to use huelga in relation to doctors, teachers and dancers — […]

Being frightened to death is one thing. Being able to communicate that fear in prose, so that your readers are almost as frightened on your behalf, is something else. Richard Grant did just that last weekend, writing in the Telegraph Magazine of his encounter with the bandits of the Sierra Madre.

What pictures come to mind when you hear the word Nicaragua? Not, perhaps, a scene like the one above, though this photograph, which I took from the fort of El Castillo on the Rio San Juan, is a truer representation than most people’s preconceptions. The country is trying to rebrand itself, or rather brand itself, […]

One of the many things I didn’t have much space for in my Telegraph piece on Nicaragua was the food. Two young Americans I met there who were working as volunteers had beans and rice pretty well every meal. I did better. Yes, there was beans and rice with the huevos revueltos (or huevos perdidos […]

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