Finding the Holiday Spirit in Gramado, Brazil

Finding the Holiday Spirit in Gramado, Brazil

You’d probably think of a million tinsel-draped, twinkling-light places before you thought of Brazil as an over-the-top Christmas-is-here destination. Lapland, Finland always tops lists with its frosty Arctic Circle locale and all those real reindeer, then there’s Santa Clause, Indiana, the name speaks for itself. But Gramado, Brazil in the … Continue reading

Sobering Memories of Cuba

Sobering Memories of Cuba

An opinion piece about racism in Cuba in Sunday’s New York Times brought back memories of my visit there in 2003. I traveled with Global Exchange for its Salsa and Afro-Cuban Dance Tour, where I learned Afro-Cuban dance, drumming and salsa from professional dancers and drummers. I think it was … Continue reading

Malbec and Marvelous Mendoza

Malbec and Marvelous Mendoza

When we land in Mendoza all memory of flash flooding and a leaky hotel is erased instantly with one glance at the Andes Mountain range. The mystical mountains greet us outside the Mendoza airport and seem to carry a quiet and calming presence. It’s like we are getting a fresh … Continue reading