Category Archive: The Americas

Mexico’s Alternative to Halloween – Dia de Muertos

I’m not a big fan of Halloween.  It’s not for any particular religious or cultural reason, I just don’t like dressing up in costumes and begging for candy.  OK, as adults that’s not exactly how we celebrate Halloween, but I don’t particularly care for the adult version of the holiday either. But, this is a great time to be in Mexico, as they prepare for the Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead celebration, an extended holiday time that covers Young Souls Day (October 31st), All Saints Day (November 1st) and All Souls Day (November 2nd). The celebration of the holiday varies within the country, but the observation of the Day of the Dead goes back to pre-Hispanic Mexico – back to the time of the Aztecs, Mayans, and other indigenous peoples of Mexico. The belief behind the celebration […]

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10 Reasons I Want to Visit Barbados

I’m trying to come up with a warm weather vacation spot for this fall.  Since it’s been awhile since I’ve been to the Caribbean, I thought this might be a good time to plan a return trip.  Barbados, an island that I’ve not yet visited, is looming at the top of a pretty short list. Here are 10 reasons why I think visiting Barbados may be a good choice for me: I haven’t been there before, and visiting a new country takes me a step closer to the Century Club. It’s a small island, only about 14 by 21 miles, with over 70 miles of powdery, white sand beaches.  Plenty of great spots to pull up a lounge chair and spend some quality time. Sun year round.  Over 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, in fact.  And that means year […]

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Visit Some Avian Friends at the World Parrot Refuge

Polly want a cracker? At the World Parrot Refuge on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, winged residents get lots more than a mere cracker. This non-profit, educational facility operated by FLOPRS (“For the Love of Parrots Refuge Society”) provides a “Home for Life” for previously owned pet parrots.  Parrots have a very long life span, so it is very likely that they will have a need for more than one owner over their lifetime.  Many parrot owners fail to foresee or plan for this, making it increasingly common to have parrots turn up in shelters.  The Refuge is a home for life for these parrots, and it does not adopt out. The estimated cost to care for a parrot in a good quality sanctuary is approximately $10/week.  This amount covers a healthy diet, shelter, warmth, light, safety, free-flight enclosures, and skilled […]

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