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Stephen Benz

Stephen Benz is an award-winning writer, whose previous travel narratives include Guatemalan Journey and Green Dreams. His essays have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including the Washington PostMiami Herald, and TriQuarterly. Formerly a Fulbright Scholar in Guatemala and Moldova, he now resides in Albuquerque, NM.

Essays En Route

Essays En Route

"A wild ride on the madcap streets of Guatemala City. A twilight walk through old Havana with a Cuban mailman. A canoe trip along the Florida coast in search of a missing grave. An impromptu communion with one of the twentieth century's forgotten heroes. These are some of the adventures Stephen Benz describes in this witty, insightful, and evocative collection of travel essays.

Benz, the author of Guatemalan Journey and Green Dreams, takes readers to remote and exotic locales, introducing unusual characters and recounting little known historical anecdotes. Along the way, he reflects on the meaning of the atom bomb, describes the hardships of daily life in the former Soviet Union, and tracks down the ghosts of the infamous Donner Party.

Originally published in newspapers and magazines such as the Miami Herald and the Washington Post, these essays eloquently inform and entertain both the armchair traveler and the general interest reader."

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Green Dreams: Travels in Central America

Green Dreams - Travels in Central America

"Investigating the 'green dreams' - those well-intentioned but often misguided visions - that inspire tourism in Central America, Steve Benz travels from the Mosquito Coast to Costa Rica and along the Ruta Maya. His encounters with foreigners, including 'New Agers' at Mayan ruins, North American retirees in Costa Rica, and eco-tourists in the rainforest, lead him to question the impact that visitors are having on the region and its people."

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Guatemalan Journey

Guatemalan Journey

"Guatemala draws some half million tourists each year, whose brief visits to the ruins of ancient Maya cities and contemporary highland Maya villages may give them only a partial and folkloric understanding of Guatemalan society. In this vividly written travel narrative, Stephen Connely Benz explores the Guatemala that casual travelers miss, using his encounters with ordinary Guatemalans at the mall, on the streets, at soccer games, and even at the funeral of massacre victims to illuminate the social reality of Guatemala today.

The book opens with an extended section on the capital, Guatemala City, and then moves out to the more remote parts of the country where the Guatemalan Indians predominate. Benz offers us a series of intelligent and sometimes humorous perspectives on Guatemala's political history and the role of the military, the country's environmental degradation, the influence of foreign missionaries, and especially the impact of the United States on Guatemala, from governmental programs to fast food franchises."

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Department of English Language and Literature
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