Reviewed by Bob Arias (Colombia 1964-66)
This is not the first book I have reviewed written by “traveler” Lawrence Lihosit. Lihosit and his Mejicana wife Margarita, and her sister Licha, took me to Mexico City and the wedding of friends… Jesus Was Arrested in Mexico City and Missed the Wedding. Who can turn away from Jesus being arrested and not making it to the wedding? I was hooked.
Travels in South America is not a quick tour of South America…not Lorenzo’s style. He, Margarita and Licha feel they are home among new friends in exciting environments. Go with them as they explore Quito, meet the Incas, and share a bus ride with a goat and some chickens. This is the way to travel. Pack a copy of the book, add your own events!
Lorenzo, as Latinos called him, knows Latin America, Spanish as a native and a wife that makes for exciting travels. As long as she and Licha can do some window shopping! Awesome “hermanos” for traveling and having the best of times.
Unlike most Travel Logs, the Lihosit team maps out the entire route they will take, and how they plan to enjoy the beauty of what South America can offer. They read and learn about the cultures they plan to experience, foods they will encounter, living conditions, and means of transportation. I was very impressed how through they planned their itinerary, travel agencies do not out-do the Lihosit!
Their travel takes them from the comforts of Arizona, to the “quien sabe” of South America…Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. I hope book three takes you to the beauty and charm of Colombia and Paraguay, worlds unto themselves. There is a book three, correct?
I related with them in Ecuador, especially Otavalo where I spent my honeymoon my first year as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia, brought back great memories…trying out my Quechua, or as we heard…Queeechua! The best honeymoon I have ever been on! Eating Cuy…guinea pigs. Ouch!
Lorenzo and his team leave awesome memories in Ecuador as they make their way to Peru, Bolivia…home of the Incas. Then Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. Read this travel book if you plan a trip to any country on the list, this book is a “bible” of what to do, where to do it, and how. Carry “Travel in South America” as many seasoned travelers keep Lonely Planet wherever they go…Lorenzo brings more detail, with smiles along the road. I would like to have companions like Margarita and Licha on my next trip.
Mexico goes with the Team on this trip…or as Lorenzo says, “My house is your house, Mi casa es su casa.” The Vatos in East Los Angeles have their own twist…”Mi casa no es su casa…My house is not your house!” The East Los Angeles plaque hangs by my door here in Panama where I now live.
The pen sketches throughout the book add a charm that I did not expect. They tend to be stories by themselves, Are they available as a free standing collection? Lorenzo has talent as an artist.
Read Lihosit’s colorful log and the joy to see South America from a Gringo that loves the people and their cultures. Keep a copy with you and take notes as you follow their path. Remember, this is a Travelers bible. And as Lorenzo shared with us, make friends along the way, even if you do not speak Queeecha.
Bob Arias, third generation Mexican-American from East Los Angeles. He was a CARE Rural Community Development PCV in Colombia 1964-66, and Language Director at Camp Radley in Puerto Rico 1966-1968. He was an Associate Peace Corps Director in Colombia from 1968 to 1973, and Peace Corps Country Director in Uruguay and Argentina from 1993 to 1995. Bob was in the Antarctic doing a site survey on the possibility of assigning Volunteers to Peace Corps Uruguay in the South Pole. He returned to work at the Peace Corps from 2001 to 2003 assisting in establishing the agency’s Safety and Security Office after 9/11. Now retired from Los Angeles County where he served as the County’s Compliance Officer. Bob was a “marketing specialist” as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer (formerly known as Crisis Corps) since 2009, in Paraguay, Colombia, and now for a second time, in Panamá.