Category Archives: Boot Camp

Want to become a travel writer? Read and learn about V!VA’s Travel Writing Boot Camps.

Latin America Events Calendar: September 20th-26th

Every week, VIVA Travel Guides will be bringing you a rundown of the biggest, most important events in Latin America.

Monday, September 20th: Fiestas Patrias, Santiago, Chile

Today is the end of the four-day weekend marking the bicentennial of Chile’s independence. Major events are planned in Santiago, specifically in Parque Alberto Hurtado and the Estadio Nacional.

Tuesday, September 21st: Independence Day, Belize

Parties can be found just about everywhere in the country, as Belize celebrates its independence from the United Kingdom.

Wednesday, September 22nd: Al Trabajo en Bici, Montevideo, Uruguay

Wednesday is Car-Free Day, celebrated in many cities around the world. In Montevideo, workers and students will be encouraged to bike to work. Cyclists will gather at the Monumento al Gaucho at 6 pm.

Thursday, September 23rd: Autumn Equionox, Chichen Itza, Mexico

The Maya mastery of astronomy and architecture becomes most apparent in Chichen Itza on the first day of autumn. On this day, thousands gather to watch the sun cast the long shadow of a serpent on the flank of the main pyramid.

Friday, September 24th: La Semana del Arte, Buenos Aires, Argentina

This is the last night of this annual festival, which highlights the best of Buenos Aires’ ever-expanding art scene. Gallery nights, museum tours and other activities are on offer all week. Check out the festival’s Spanish-language website for more info.

Saturday, September 25th: South American Music Conference, Quito, Ecuador

One of Latin America’s most important house and electronica events swings through Quito this year. The highlight of SAMC 2010 is a concert Saturday night at Cemexpo, featuring DJs from around the region and headlined by Paul Oakenfold.

Sunday, September 26th: VIVA Travel Guides Boot Camp, Tamarindo, Costa Rica

VIVA editors head to beautiful Tamarindo to give a crash course on how to be a travel writer, from September 26th-October 1st. For more information about applying, check here.

Interview with a VIVA Boot Camper

By Jen O’Riordan., VIVA Editorial Intern

Wouldn’t it be great to travel and earn money while you do it? Viva’s 5-day Travel Writing Boot Camps give people the skills and the know-how to write for guidebooks, and many former students are now pursuing careers in travel writing. Destinations set for future Boot Camps include Panama, Costa Rica and Argentina. If your writing is up to scratch, you could even end up staying on assignment as a Viva field writer, making money while you continue to explore! Former student George Nunes chatted with us about his experience at Viva’s Travel Writing Boot Camp…

George defining the guidebook audience at Viva Boot Camp.Photo provided by George Nunes

So George, where and when did you take part in Viva’s Travel Writing Boot Camp?

I took part in Viva’s Travel Writing Boot Camp in Cuernavaca, State of Morelos, Mexico in Summer 2009.

And what appealed to you about doing the Boot Camp?

The idea of learning what it takes to be a travel writer intrigued me. I hadn’t actively contemplated writing professionally about my journeys, but frankly, what traveler DOESN’T have this fantasy somewhere in the back of his mind? I have always enjoyed traveling and had written a lot of marketing copy for nonprofit arts organizations. I thought that doing the Boot Camp would show me if I was cut out for this profession.

Did you travel to Cuernavaca especially for the Boot Camp?

No, I was already in Cuernavaca studying Spanish for a month. In Spring 2009 I had noticed the Boot Camp announcement online while searching for volunteer and work opportunities in Mexico. Participating interested me, but I didn’t follow up (nor did I know in which Mexican city the Boot Camp would be held). In July 2009, I arrived in Cuernavaca to begin my intensive Spanish course. And, what did I see on the school’s bulletin board? A flyer saying that the Boot Camp would be held in Cuernavaca, the week after I finished my Spanish classes! Of course, I signed up immediately.

Would you say Cuernavaca was a good place to have the course?

Cuernavaca was an ideal location for many reasons. It is a manageable city, large enough to have many hotels, restaurants, and activities to investigate, but not so large as to overwhelm a first-time writer beating the pavement. In addition, Cuernavaca is a beautiful, historic city, with affordable accommodations, and near-perfect weather.

What did you enjoy most about the Boot Camp?

I most enjoyed the sample daily writing assignments, which required us to identify, visit, and review hotels, restaurants, tour operators and attractions. This gave me a real taste of what it would be like to quickly and efficiently gather information from vendors, and write reviews on deadline. Feedback from the teachers about my writing taught me how to capture the pertinent information, and comments from other students gave me a sense of how potential readers would react to my reviews.

Where have you been on assignment since the Boot Camp?

I’ve been on assignment in the southeastern Mexican states of Yucatan and Campeche, plus Mexico City and Acapulco.

What has been your most interesting assignment to date for Viva?

The city and state of Campeche. I had visited both before and knew them superficially. Being assigned to cover Campeche caused me to experience it in a deeper and more meaningful way. Viva also sent me to new places in the state that I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to visit but am now glad I did.

Would you recommend the Boot Camp to others?

I would recommend the Boot Camp without reservation! I learned how the travel guide business operates, and that is invaluable knowledge, whether you decide to work for Viva or not. After the Boot Camp, I feel ready to pursue a career as a freelance travel writer.

Do you see yourself using the skills you learned in Boot Camp in the future?

Absolutely. I learned how to pre-plan a visit to a city, organize my stay, and not waste time. Viva provides questionnaire templates that list all the information needed for restaurants, hotels, activities, and travel operators – and there are many details a novice writer wouldn’t think to ask but that readers would expect to know.

If you or someone you know might be interested in participating in one of Viva’s Travel Writing Boot Camps, the following is a list of upcoming Boot Camp destinations and dates. Sign up here, via the Viva Boot Camp website.

Panama: September 20-24

Costa Rica: September 27 – October 1

Argentina: January 3 – January 7

V!VA Travel Writing Boot Camps in Ecuador and Peru… travel, write and get paid!!

Travel. Write. Get Paid.

Line up, aspiring travel writers: V!VA Travel Guides is hosting its next Travel Writing Boot Camps in:

  • Quito, Ecuador: January 4 -8
  • Cusco, Peru: January 18 – 22

V!VA’s camps offer a crash course on all you need to know to become a successful travel writer. We’re looking for an army of talented and adventurous writers to train out on the field. Now’s your chance to travel, write and get paid!

  • Gain on-location, hands-on experience from professional travel writers and editors
  • Find out what editors want, how to deliver, and how to get paid and published for your work
  • Attend an introductory course on producing digital photography for the internet
  • Get the inside scoop on today’s travel writing market and how to work with multimedia outlets
  • Improve writing skills through daily critiques by peers and pros
  • Stay “on assignment” in the host country after the camp and be a contributing author in our upcoming guidebook!

Emily is a former Boot Camp graduate, and is now a paid travel writer in Mexico. Here’s what she had to say about V!VA’s Travel Writing Boot Camps:

“I attended V!VA’s Boot Camp in September of 2008 in Oaxaca, Mexico. I met some cool people and learned a lot. It is a very intensive course that helps you focus on writing skills. I stayed on assignment and earned some extra cash afterwards, and have done other assignments as well. Writing for V!VA is a great way to earn cash to cut down on travel expenses while exploring a new city.”

Ready to hit the ground running as a real travel writer? Enlist here: V!VA’s Travel Writing Boot Camp.

V!VA Boot Camps in Ecuador and Peru! Travel. Write. Get Paid.

Travel. Write. Get Paid.

Line up, aspiring travel writers: V!VA Travel Guides is hosting its next Travel Writing Boot Camps in:

  • Quito, Ecuador: January 4 -8
  • Cusco, Peru: January 18 – 22

V!VA’s camps offer a crash course on all you need to know to become a successful travel writer. We’re looking for an army of talented and adventurous writers to train out on the field. Now’s your chance to travel, write and get paid!

  • Gain on-location, hands-on experience from professional travel writers and editors
  • Find out what editors want, how to deliver, and how to get paid and published for your work
  • Attend an introductory course on producing digital photography for the internet
  • Get the inside scoop on today’s travel writing market and how to work with multimedia outlets
  • Improve writing skills through daily critiques by peers and pros
  • Stay “on assignment” in the host country after the camp and be a contributing author in our upcoming guidebook!

Emily is a former Boot Camp graduate, and is now a paid travel writer in Mexico. Here’s what she had to say about V!VA’s Travel Writing Boot Camps:

“I attended V!VA’s Boot Camp in September of 2008 in Oaxaca, Mexico. I met some cool people and learned a lot. It is a very intensive course that helps you focus on writing skills. I stayed on assignment and earned some extra cash afterwards, and have done other assignments as well. Writing for V!VA is a great way to earn cash to cut down on travel expenses while exploring a new city.”

Ready to hit the ground running as a real travel writer? Enlist here: V!VA’s Travel Writing Boot Camp.

Become a Travel Writer — Bootcamps in Peru and Ecuador

Travel. Write. Get Paid.

Line up, aspiring travel writers: V!VA Travel Guides is hosting its next Travel Writing Boot Camps in:

  • Quito, Ecuador: January 4 -8
  • Cusco, Peru: January 18 – 22

V!VA’s camps offer a crash course on all you need to know to become a successful travel writer. We’re looking for an army of talented and adventurous writers to train out on the field. Now’s your chance to travel, write and get paid!

  • Gain on-location, hands-on experience from professional travel writers and editors
  • Find out what editors want, how to deliver, and how to get paid and published for your work
  • Attend an introductory course on producing digital photography for the internet
  • Get the inside scoop on today’s travel writing market and how to work with multimedia outlets
  • Improve writing skills through daily critiques by peers and pros
  • Stay “on assignment” in the host country after the camp and be a contributing author in our upcoming guidebook!

Emily is a former Boot Camp graduate, and is now a paid travel writer in Mexico. Here’s what she had to say about V!VA’s Travel Writing Boot Camps:

“I attended V!VA’s Boot Camp in September of 2008 in Oaxaca, Mexico. I met some cool people and learned a lot. It is a very intensive course that helps you focus on writing skills. I stayed on assignment and earned some extra cash afterwards, and have done other assignments as well. Writing for V!VA is a great way to earn cash to cut down on travel expenses while exploring a new city.”

Ready to hit the ground running as a real travel writer? Enlist here: V!VA’s Travel Writing Boot Camp.

Want to Become a Travel Writer? V!VA's Travel Writing Boot Camps

Travel. Write. Get Paid.

Line up, aspiring travel writers: V!VA Travel Guides is hosting its next Travel Writing Boot Camps!

V!VA’s camps offer a crash course on all you need to know to become a successful travel writer. We’re looking for an army of talented and adventurous writers to train out on the field. Now’s your chance to travel, write and get paid!

  • Gain on-location, hands-on experience from professional travel writers and editors
  • Find out what editors want, how to deliver, and how to get paid and published for your work
  • Attend an introductory course on producing digital photography for the internet
  • Get the inside scoop on today’s travel writing market and how to work with multimedia outlets
  • Improve writing skills through daily critiques by peers and pros
  • Stay “on assignment” in the host country after the camp and be a contributing author in our upcoming guidebook!

Emily is a former Boot Camp graduate, and is now a paid travel writer in Mexico. Here’s what she had to say about V!VA’s Travel Writing Boot Camps:

“I attended V!VA’s Boot Camp in September of 2008 in Oaxaca, Mexico.  I met some cool people and learned a lot.  It is a very intensive course that helps you focus on writing skills.  I stayed on assignment and earned some extra cash afterwards, and have done other assignments as well.  Writing for V!VA is a great way to earn cash to cut down on travel expenses while exploring a new city.”

Ready to hit the ground running as a real travel writer? Enlist here: V!VA’s Travel Writing Boot Camp

V!VA Travel Writing Boot Camp Costa Rica a Success

On August 25th to 29th, V!VA Travel Guides hosted a Travel Writing Boot Camp in San José, Costa Rica. Instructor Paula Newton reports that the writers who took part learned a great deal, enjoyed Costa Rica and all graduated. Monica Tobin, Dallas Boyd, Juliette Acker, Ruth Bell, Chantelle du Plessi and Maria Lundgren will all join V!VA as roving freelance contributors. Look for their work coming soon to the best travel website in Latin America! Congratulations!

V!VA's Travel Writing Bootcamps in Latin America a great success!

With its kick-off boot camp in Quito, Ecuador in November and one recently completed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, V!VA’s Travel Writing Bootcamps have been getting rave reviews.

Here are just a few of the positive responses our Bootcamps have been eliciting:

“I learned more about travel writing this week than I did during a 2 month internship elsewhere. It has provided me with a realistic insight into the industry, along with all the essential knowledge.”

“In general I learned much more in a very practical way than any of my university courses. Felt like everything necessary was covered very well and not romanticized in the way journalism can often be. Felt the strongest points were the field work, since experience covered anything that may have been misconceived if taught in lectures only.”

“It helped me to better understand whether travel writing is a potential career for me.”

Bootcampers were given daily assignments and by going out into the field and getting hands-on experience, honed their travel writing skills and gained insight into the industry as a whole.

Between May and June of 2008, four more Bootcamps are set to take place in Chile, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Honduras. Space is limited — apply now!

Information about the bootcamps and the application process can be found here.

V!VA Travel Guides launches unique travel writing Boot Camps in Latin America

V!VA Travel Guides is offering aspiring writers and photographers the chance to partake in several intensive week-long travel writing crash-courses in various exciting cities in Latin America.

V!VA’s pilot Boot Camp will take place from November 26th to the 30th in Quito, Ecuador. In 2008, a Boot Camp is also planned to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from January 6th through 12th. Boot camps are also in the works for several other Latin American countries in the early summer of 2008.

Students of the crash-course will hone travel writing skills under the guidance of seasoned professionals and will be given tips on producing quality digital photography for the internet to accompany their stories. Students will be advised on what editors want, how to deliver, get published and get paid, and writing will then be critiqued by established travel writers and editors.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to stay “on assignment” in Ecuador or Argentina after the course and may be compensated, and works will be published in upcoming guidebooks for these countries.

For more information about V!VA’s bootcamps and to send in applications, please visit the Boot Camp section of V!VA’s website.