Travel in Latin America

Socially conscious travel in Latin America.

Responsible Travel

Planeta: Global Journal of Practical Ecotourism: A great overall travel site with excellent articles on responsible and sustainable tourism, as well as travel resources.


Transitions Abroad

Transitions Abroad: A general travel website with a good section on responsible Latin American travel.

The Big Blue Marble

The Big Blue Marble: An extensive site offering links and reviews of international volunteer opportunities, cultural exchange programs, hospitality and home exchanges, including specialized hospitality exchange programs, such as gay and lesbian listings. Good commentary from the site owner, Paul Heller, on common mistakes abroad and how not to be a stereotypical gringo.

The Practical Nomad: Edward Hasbrouck´s book, The Practical Nomad and his website offer a wealth of material on how to be a practical and socially-aware nomad. These resources are especially good for those traveling alone.

Socially Conscious Language Schools


Cetlalic, Cuernavaca, Mexico: Located in “the city of eternal spring,” this language school in Cuernavaca, Mexico offers Spanish study with a progressive focus, including courses on gay and lesbian, worker, indigenous, and womens' issues. Cetlalic will also create programs to meet the needs of your group.

Fair Play, NGO, Cusco, Peru: Situated in the ancient capital of the Incan Empire, Fair Play is an NGO that helps single mothers get teaching jobs. email

Nicaraguita: Run by two socially conscious Nicaraguan women, this school's objective is “sharing with visitors the reality of Nicaraguan society, which includes its languages, its cultures, its history, and the unbalances of power within Nicaraguan society.” It is based in Granada, Nicaragua and offers homestays, volunteer programs, and travel/study programs.

Proyecto Linguistico, Santa Maria: A non-profit school in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala that offers courses in Mayan as well as Spanish. Contact: email tel.(502) 765-1262


Transitions Abroad

Transitions Abroad: If you want to bring your profession to Latin America, the website Transitions Abroad is a good place to start. www.transitionsabroad

Electronic Network for Latin American Careers and Employment: Highly recommended is ENLACE, a comprehensive listing of organizations with positions in Latin America. The resource is available courtesy of the University of Texas at Austin.


Searchbeat: A list of companies and media outlets currently working in South America.

Latpro: Job listings for Latino and bilingual professionals in Latin America and the United States.

ESL Cafe: Be sure to check out the forum section for teacher reports on different schools before you apply for a job. Some are definitely much better than others in how they trat and pay their teachers. Also, make sure you have enough money to tide you over-paying late is, unfortunately, a common practice in some schools.


Volunteer Latin America: Volunteer placement organization specializing in Latin America. Provides free and low cost volunteer opportunities as well as referrals to good Spanish language schools.

Global Vision International: A wealth of volunteer opportunities and expeditions, including a new program in corporate volunteering and social responsibility. Costs start at around $1,000 per week.

Ecuador Volunteer

Ecuador Volunteer: Some programs on this site ask for a much lower volunteer fee, which goes directly to indigenous communities rather than intermediary organizations.

The Foundation for Sustainable Development

The Foundation for Sustainable Development: Volunteer opportunities with partner NGO's. Fees range from $1,000 for one week to $5,000 for six months.

Bolivia Voluntario: A small, Cochabamba-based organization with a personal touch. Offers language instruction and homestay in addition to volunteer programs. Fees range from $1,450 for a month of language study to $2,150 for a 12 week period.


SERVAS: Some of the other resources listed here also offer homestay programs. SERVAS is a non-profit organization that provides a cooperative network of hosts and travelers to open doors, build world peace, goodwill, understanding, and mutual tolerance.

Study Abroad

School for International Training: This is a university whose focus has been on international exchange for many years. Provides field-based academic programs that focus on education, social justice, and citizen diplomacy.

The Council on International Educational Exchange: Another organization with many years experience in offering educational opportunities abroad, including high school programs.

The Rotary Club: Offers international youth exchange programs, including programs for high school students.

University of Southern California's Office of Global Health: Good listings on international programs for medical professionals, includes participant evaluations.

Internet Legal Research Group: A comprehensive site for listings of study abroad law programs.

The Fulbright Program

The Fullbright Program: A competitive program for post-graduate work.

Group Tours

Global Exchange

Global Exchange: Specializes in socially conscious “reality tours.” Scheduled tours currently include natural resources and social movements in Bolivia, ecotourism and sustainability in Costa Rica, and environmental justice in Ecuador.

Witness for Peace

Witness for Peace: Sends delegations of U.S. citizens to Latin American regions most affected by U.S. policies and corporate practices, maintaining blogs of what they witness in these areas. Current witness sites include Colombia, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Mexico and Cuba.

Nomads United: Organizes small groups of up to 15 people to travel on horseback through remote regions for three months at a time, exchanging ideas with local communities on ecological awareness, respect and care for animals and nature.

Eco Tours

The Rainforest Alliance

Rainforest Alliance: Offers a CD of organizations and itineraries it works with.

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