Travel Stories on the Effect of Foreigners and the Evolution of Tribal Customs

Maasai village travel story

Yeah I know, that title veers perilously close to something you would see on an academic paper instead of a travel blog. Sometimes when we put together the latest Perceptive Travel issue though, purely by chance we end up with a theme running through most or all of the narratives.

This month there’s a theme of foreigners meddling in local affairs. Sometimes, when it’s done with ample local input, you end up with a project that takes off and improves lives—or at least improves moods. That’s the case with what happened in a town on the shores of Lake Atitlan. See A Guatemalan Town Rediscovers Its Identity Through Art.

Other times, the original intention is partly good, such as delivering aid to remote lakeside villages so poor they can’t afford boat fuel. But when the stops are short and the communication is about burning in hell, the motivations are not so noble. See And Out Came the Lions (Clubs) in Remote Malaysia.

remote Malaysia travel story

A travel story about the Debed Canyon of Armenia is usually going to be about a whole millennia of foreign meddling, with the area changing hands over the centuries like a poker chip. Now it’s a toxic industrial town full of depressed locals and…two smiling Mormon missionaries. See Sulfer Clouds and Sacred Sites: a Journey Through the Debed Canyon.

A visitor to a Maasai village in the African Bush makes his mark in just one way. He gives his Swiss Army knife to a boy who is about to go through an initiation ceremony to become a man. When returning years later, he finds that the scary and rather cruel ritual has evolved on its own to something more sensible and enlightened. See A Modern Story From Old Africa.

Each month we publish three travel book reviews as well. This time we check out Lonely Planet’s new beer-themed travel book, see the world through a birder, and look at an anthology containing 10 years of stories scoring Solas Awards from Travelers’ Tales Publishing.

Show Some Support for Endangered Animals

We give away something cool for travelers each month. Subscriber Chad L. from Washington State was the April winner. He’s got portable Orca Podster soft cooler with backpack straps heading to his house right now.

Rhino Collection from The Mountain

This month one lucky Perceptive Travel reader can show their support for endangered wildlife with the Rhino Collection from The Mountain. Besides the Be My Voice T-shirt, mug, and tote bag pictured above, the name coming out of the randomizer will also receive a trucker hat. (If you like this idea, they have others for sea turtles, gorillas, pandas, and other animals in danger.)

How do you get in on this? You can enter every month easily if you are part of our monthly e-mail issue update community. That message already went out this month, but you can still participate: just follow the site on Facebook and pay close attention to the feed.

See the new issue here.

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