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Submissions

Let’s get this out of the way: we can’t pay you yet. If we ever start making money from this website, you’ll be the first to know, because we firmly believe that people should be compensated for their art, time, and passion. After all, we prefer to be paid for our writing, and photos, as well.

If you’re one of the crazies like us who continues to do what you love even when no one pays you for it, read on. (And know that in the happy chance that we ever cross paths, we will buy you a beer. Let us know. We want to meet you.)

We began in Peru, but we are seeking to expand throughout the rest of Latin America as time and money allow. We accept articles from all over Latin America that have a strong emphasis on place and community, giving a real sense of what the society and people are like. We believe that every area is a place worth exploring, rather than a series of “must see” attractions.

We accept previously-published pieces, so long as we know that’s what they are.

As usual, we’d love you to be familiar with our site before submitting, but if you don’t have time to read everyone’s magazine (and to be honest, we haven’t always, either), at least read this:

The philosophy of Unpaved South America is two-fold. First, we want to provide information to travelers who seek to get off the beaten path and experience a world perpendicular to the one normally found on the “gringo trail.” Second, we believe that our responsibility as travelers is to seek to better and to understand the world we travel through.

Every article and photo on this website should both better our experience as travelers and enrich the lives of the people who are hosting us.

If you have an idea which fits our ideals but not into one of the Departments below, feel free to pitch it to us—we’re pretty flexible.

Departments:

Midweek Snack: These pieces are based around a Latin American regional dish or meal, and feature the person who cooked it (be it in a restaurant, hotel, or their own home). Our readers are interested in not only your experience of eating the dish, but also its local history, method of preparation, and any folklore surrounding it. 500-700 words.

Personal Encounter: Interactions with other people are the bread and butter of travel. These pieces showcase the chance encounters and conversations that happen while traveling—whether you knew them for 5 minutes or 5 months, give us the flavor of this person. These pieces, like all pieces for Unpaved South America, should be much more about the person met than the person writing the piece. 800-1000 words.

Photo Essay: Tell a story with your photos. Whether they’re tied together through place or theme, things should flow. 8-12 photos with captions. Feel free to make us laugh.

In Transit: How do we get from one place to another? Answer this question literally or figuratively, either as specific routes and descriptions (too much information is always OK here—include prices, times, hotels, restaurants, the breed of the dog that begged scraps outside the train station, exactly how many times you refused that taxi driver’s offer, etc.), or metaphysical ramblings about what it means to be a traveler in these modern times. Border-crossings and off-the-beaten-track route descriptions are especially wanted here. (800-1200 words).

Be Your Own Tourguide: Some things are incomprehensible without a guide, some things are merely a rip-off when you end up going in a bus-full of 30 other bored travelers. Sometimes you’d rather be enlightened and crowded, sometimes you’d rather be mystified and alone. These pieces help the traveler make up their own mind, and give them enough historical and archaeological information that they can understand what they’re looking at if they do decide to go it alone. (800-1200 words)

Nuts and Bolts: Did you ever use that water purifier you packed, or were those MicroPur tablets you bought in the local drugstore just as good? Did your last dating fiasco in Caracas teach you a few things about ordering quality Caribbean rum? Have you finally figured out the proper way to tie a baby to your back Andes style, walk on unfinished streets in high-heels, or brew chicha? Tips on packing, bus systems, budgeting, etiquette, customs and social life are all welcome here. (400-700 words)

Cities Indepth: Your guidebook only dedicated a paragraph to the tiny town in the pampas that you fell in love with. Tell us why it deserves more attention. We firmly believe that there are very few cities that aren’t worth more ink—even the biggest cities in Latin America have surprisingly awesome overlooked corners. (As little as one article at 1000 words, up to a series of four articles. Let’s talk.).

My Neighborhood: Are you living in a particularly interesting area? Tell us about your favorite coffee shops, bars, supermarkets, shopping centers and parks, or interview someone who can. These neighborhoods could be in the little-visited middle of the Amazon or in the tourist center of the main “gringo trails”—either way, these pieces showcase them with the eye of a local. (700-900 words)

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