Is Nicaragua Safe to Visit?

In April of 2018, widespread protests broke out in Nicaragua against the government and Daniel Ortega, the country's dictator. The government responded with massive violent crackdowns, with estimates of those killed ranging from 30 to well over 100, including the well-publicized shooting up of a church in which some protestors had taken refuge. The United…

8 Reasons NOT to Visit Nicaragua

Nicaragua isn't for everyone. In my last article, I talked about the reasons people should visit. Today, let's examine this controversial country from the opposite end of the spectrum. So here are eight reasons you might want to think twice before visiting Nicaragua. 1. Ortega is still the dictator Daniel Ortega has been the dictator…

Guatemala Beyond the News Cycle

For so many Americans, Guatemala isn't a place per se. Rather, it is synonymous with drugs, violence, and illegal immigration, since that is what we see in the news. As a first-time visitor to the northernmost of the "northern triangle" countries - or as Fox News put it, three Mexican countries - I was curious…

Tikal and the Mundo Maya

It is hot. Very hot, sitting at an even 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The air is steamy, the humidity approaching 85% and seeping through me. I stand in the shade of a tree, drinking water and sweating it out just as fast, staring at Temple 1, a large pyramid at one side of Tikal's grand plaza.…

The Legacy of Cesar Chavez

California's Central Valley is nothing like the postcard pictures of the Golden State everyone imagines. There are no surfers, no beautiful people sipping designer coffees or juices. This is farm country, some of the best and most productive in the country, and maybe even the world. It is flat, it is dry, it is dusty…

Can a Country Be Authoritarian and Good?

Singapore is a huge contradiction. Western, yet eastern. English is the official language, but you'll most often hear Chinese dialects spoken. It is incredibly modern, yet traditional. Ultra expensive shopping and dining sit alongside kiosks and street food. Gambling and prostitution are legal, but drug possession can carry a death sentence. It is a capitalistic…