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Colombia

Desert Dwellers

A writer ponders the benefits of tourism to La Guajira, Colombia's northeastern desert.

The dry wind sweeps desert dirt and endless trash across long and lonely miles, twisting around cacti and through yotojoro huts. Barefoot children sit alongside dusty roads waiting for the next tourist truck, hanging string across the path to impose a candy toll: intruders must either stop to pay the toll or drive through the...

ALSO FROM STRANGER'S GUIDE

Mexico City

Defending Water, Defending Life

The struggle over clean drinking water taps into a conflict at the heart of life in Mexico City

It’s a Friday evening in Coyoacán, Mexico City, and on the busy thoroughfare of Avenida Aztecas,...

South Africa

An Oyster’s Journey

Not too long ago, I was on a media junket run by the Hong Kong government....

Mexico City

The Underworld

The sewer diver of Mexico City

Whereas the Greek underworld included five rivers, Mexico City’s underworld is a bit more complex—roughly 7,500...

Mexico City

Improvising Survival

The clash between the new global gentrifiers and Mexico City’s informal economies.

From downtown, it takes about an hour by metro to get to the Wednesday flea market...

Zimbabwe

The Great Hope

A Zimbabwean expat ponders her country's momentous election

Just under a year ago, a series of previously unimaginable events occurred in Zimbabwe. The Robert...

United States

Darkness and Enlightenment

Looking for a world without light pollution

I held my breath as I lowered myself into the swift, cold waters of Central Oregon’s...

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Mexico City

Eternal Funeral Pyres

The myth behind the Mexican volcanoes Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl

The Iztaccíhuatl volcano is 51 miles from Mexico City but visible from almost any rooftop. Izta,...

Did You Know?

United States

Navigating Racism

During the Jim Crow era, African American travelers often relied on the Green Book to avoid encountering violence or harassment on the road. Victor H. Green, a postal carrier who lived in Harlem, introduced the guide in 1936 which listed establishments that welcomed non-white travelers. While the book initially only focused on the New York Metropolitan area, over time it grew to include the whole country.

Encounters that take you there.

Before there were guidebooks, 18th- and 19th-century authors wrote “stranger’s guides” to cities and countries, pamphlets and books that combined helpful tips with particular and offbeat advice and context: the best boarding houses alongside bits of history, preferred brothels as well as ways to avoid pickpockets. These guides were far removed from a modern, sanitized Fodor’s—rather they were personal, eccentric and intimate portrayals of place.

Stranger’s Guide is a modern version of that idea—a nonprofit publication designed to reveal the intricacies of places across the globe, through both local and foreign eyes.

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