I don't know how I ever thought of the idea, but before I left Toronto for Latin America, I asked the Canadian Jewish News for a Press Card. I told them I would write about Jewish communities wherever I was. They gave me the card; my name was on it. It wasn't the Toronto Star, or Globe and Mail, but what the heck! It was a Press Card!
I bought a copy of the Jewish Travellers' Guide with telephone numbers and addresses of all the Jewish communities in the world. I didn't like the idea of travelling without a purpose and this gave me a purpose.
I went by train with a friend to Vancouver; then she went home and I went by bus to Las Angeles to visit another friend. She gave me her boyfriend's phone number in Mexico City and off I went to Mexico. I started to learn Spanish there and even after 6 weeks couldn't understand anything they would say to me in the market.
I wrote to the president of the Jewish community in Guatemala City and told him I was a reporter with the Jewish Canadian News, coming to write about Jewish communities in Central America and it would help my research if I could stay in the home of a member of the community.
I think this trip deserves another article of its own. Suffice it to say now, I stayed for a month in each country in Central America: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama (not officially part of Central America). I stayed for a week in the home of a leader in the community, interviewed rabbis, youth leaders, teachers and others, taking photographs all the time. Then I left my bags in their homes, taking a smaller bag, and travelling to remote parts of each country for about 3 weeks.
In the end, I wrote an article for the paper on each country and several years later gave my photos to the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv.