July 27, 2016: New Horizons in South America and Beyond


This may have looked like a blog about some dude’s vacation.  And I won’t lie, I’ve absolutely enjoyed myself out here.  But it has been so much more than just a trip through South America…  The reason I wanted to be here – and the reason that Fund for Teachers so generously funded my research – is that there is something seriously lacking in the historical and cultural education of our students, at least in the United States where I teach. Continue reading “July 27, 2016: New Horizons in South America and Beyond”

July 26, 2016: Tiwanaku, Aliens in Ancient Bolivia, and the Ruins of an Old World

Author Charles C. Mann has called Tiwanaku a combination of the Vatican and Disney World, and he may be spot on in that description.  Just check out the stone megaphones for working the massive crowds of pilgrims that, in pre-Inca times, once trekked here to pay their dues, or the 25 foot tall megalithic being recovered from the ruins here, only to spend decades as a target for beer bottles in front of La Paz’s soccer stadium, rescued only when he achieved UNESCO statues along with the rest of Tiwanaku.  Now that is religious entertainment…. Continue reading “July 26, 2016: Tiwanaku, Aliens in Ancient Bolivia, and the Ruins of an Old World”

July 24, 2016: Cable Cars, Folk Masks, and Fighting Cholitas

This morning, I woke up on the bus from Potosi, just as we entered La Paz, and two million little lights called out in the darkness to welcome me.  I was going to spend this day with the city. Continue reading “July 24, 2016: Cable Cars, Folk Masks, and Fighting Cholitas”

July 21, 2016: The Uyuni Salt Flats

I’ve seen many incredible things, all over the world and not so far from home.  Things that have left me at a loss for words, and things that have set me writing pages and pages. Continue reading “July 21, 2016: The Uyuni Salt Flats”

July 16-17, 2016: At Home with Faustina

Given the challenging conditions faced by people across Peru – from the isolated villages of the Amazon to the unforgiving Andean highlands – it should be no surprise that people have found a way to make a living in Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake. Continue reading “July 16-17, 2016: At Home with Faustina”

July 12-14, 2016: Life on the River

I’ve dreamed about seeing the Amazon since I was a boy.  In the early 90s, I remember there being a great deal of talk about how quickly it was disappearing, and I remember an abiding fear that it would be gone someday soon.  Let alone, that I might ever travel there myself – it seemed so inaccessible, that the best I could hope for was to read about it in books.  Travel was something that other people did. Continue reading “July 12-14, 2016: Life on the River”

July 11, 2016: Live from Deep in the Amazon

I am writing you from Iquitos, Peru, a muddy, rough and tumble town deep in the Amazon.  I’m looking out at the river as I write this actually.  It’s the closest I’ve ever felt to the end of the world…  there is no road through the rainforest to this city…  the only access is by river or by air, and it feels just slightly off.  Like everyone is on their own.  Everything is crumbling in the oppressive heat and humidity, and while it feels like anything could happen, it probably won’t, because, you know, the resigned shrug of an insignificant frontier town. Continue reading “July 11, 2016: Live from Deep in the Amazon”