Talk:EduJAM/2011/Conozco Uruguay Tour

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Please add to the discussion with your questions, answers, and suggestions!

April 30 by Holt

Now that so many are arriving in Uruguay, please check out our growing groups's (more professional!) blog posts starting here:

April 26 by Holt

Funds Reminder: costs will be on the order of US$ 300 from Apr 30 to May 5 as outlined by Pablo & Leticia a week ago here -- covering daytime activities: (business hours, incl transport)

This US$300 cost estimate includes accommodation On Tuesday Night ONLY (May 3-4 in Durazno).

You MUST book your own accommodations in/around Montevideo all other nights! As you can see from the above links, lunch is generally included, but breakfast and dinner/drinks generally not :)


More detail forthcoming from Pablo/Leticia in coming days, around partial payment for partial attendance, thanks!!

April 25 by Holt

Hi Aaron & All Confirmed Participants: Make sure you are subscribed to -- ask if not. That is the best place to ask & help resolve little logistical questions with the entire group, thanks!

April 23 by Aaron

How will transportation work? Some of the events describe buses but others do not. Also, does the start time include the travel time or is that the time we are expecting to arrive at the location of the day's itinerary?

April 8-9 by Caryl

Yesterday we succeeded in booking at Casa Sarandi for May 4-8. We wanted to change from Che Lagarto because what we thought we were getting was a room with a bath, instead it is a room with a "path" (down the hall)! They do have some problems with their booking system, as others have also found. Today, we got a note from the owners of Casa Sarandi saying they had a room for April 30-May 3 after all. So we grabbed it. We will be canceling our Che Lagarto reservations as soon as we hear again from the Casa Sarandi owners that our reservation really did go through. BTW, the actual room price is $71/night instead of $66. That was last years price.

April 6 by Holt

We are currently being flooded with last-minute requests to join our planned "15-person-maximum" community/school exploration tour. Final requests are needed this week NOW such that I, Pablo and Leticia can decide how many people can or cannot in fact be reasonably accommodated!

April 5 by Aaron

Tony Anderson and I will be rooming together at Che Legarta.

April 5 by Holt

Many of us have booked great little rooms at Hostel Che Lagarto right near the PAOF/UTU summit venue itself! Note CJB/CScott just had success booking hotel Casa Sarandi for $66/night. Interesting since Caryl was unable to book it about a week ago :)

April 4 by Nick

I have been in Montevideo for almost a week. Enjoyed staying in bed & breakfasts Una Noche Mas in Punta Carretas and now at Posada Blanes in Carrasco. The former is in a quiet part of the city and across the street from a great sushi restaurant; the latter is on a residential street, walking distance to Plan Ceibal, Portones Shopping, and Carrasco. Both have buses to the conference location, and a ticket is 18 pesos = US $0.95. There's also a long (50min) walk along the shoreline between Punta Carretas and Plaza Independencia.

Traveling: have stuff in your carry-on if your luggage is delayed. Connecting in Rio: you don't need a Brazilian visa unless you want to leave the terminal or your layover is over 7 hours. Everyone from the ticket agent to the flight attendant will take your passport and look for this visa. Say "transit only to Montevideo". Checking in the day before: I booked on Travelocity and American Airlines needed my passport info before I could check in. Checking into Pluna: I was unable to check into Pluna through American Airlines. When I checked in with TAM, they gave me my Pluna ticket, but I was paged in Brazil and needed to show my passport. Customs: easy. Airport pickup: Do it. Pickup available for additional charge from Una Noche Mas - schedule several days in advance. Airport phones: call locally from Antel office in the main lobby. Buses: about US $1 for most, US $1.50 for the DM1 from the airport. Sometimes you pay the driver, other times there is a separate fare collector. Make sure to take your receipt.

April 2 by Caryl

After a few false starts, it looks like we have reservations for our stay in Montevideo. We started with reservations at Hotel Austral, but then Pablo and friends told us they had heard there were problems there and that it is really not within walking distance of the summit. They suggested 2 other Hostels:

Che Lagarto:

Montevideo Hostel:

We booked at the Che Lagarto via because there were some problems with the hostel's own site. We got what looked like the last double room with a bath, but back on the hostel's site, it looks like there may be others. Maybe that is all that has access to. They also have some doubles w/shared bath and rooms with twins etc. I think there are dorms as well.

The location is excellent, on Plaza Independencia, a very short walk to the summit. They have what looks like a great breakfast, wifi, a communal kitchen and a luggage room we can use for the one day we leave to go to La Paloma. Plus, it is very reasonably priced. Ed and I will be saving over $150 by staying there instead of Hotel Austral!

Whether you wish to join us at Che Lagarto or stay somewhere else, it would be a good idea to make your reservations now. Most places will let you cancel with no penalty (within a time limit) or they may have just a nominal charge, so you will still have time to change your mind. Popular international cities like Montevideo always fill up way in advance so grab a room now, while you can!

March 19 by Nick

Great to see everyone's posts here. I'm going to work for Plan Ceibal for two months, with the Conozco Uruguay tour happening about halfway through. I'll try to join the group while you're in the Montevideo area. My blog is at

Caryl: since I have a GPS and map projects, I'd also be interested in geocaching.

March 19 by Holt

Hi All Uruguay EduTRIPPERS, confirmed & unconfirmed!

Christoph Derndorfer bought his Madrid flight yesterday (Apr 29 - May 8). Caryl & Ed Bigenho will be in Uruguay from Los Angeles/Buenos Aires (Apr 29 - May 8). Tony Anderson a couple days longer, from Rwanda/Berlin (Apr 28 - May 9). Simon Schampijer from Berlin & Nick Doiron from New Hampshire have flights staying even longer!

Myself I hope to stay for 2 weeks -- Thanks all for finalizing your flight details now/this week and replying to me with your timing/details!

Then: Take our "community exploration" eduTRIP seriously by blogging occasionally your thoughts here, starting now/soon -- posting your flight dates for now if nothing else (!) by clicking "EDIT" at the top of this [very] page!

Being sure to follow Trip/Summit schedule details emerging with new additions/modifications almost every day here:

Thanks all & see you soon exactly 6 weeks from today, on Saturday April 30 :-)

March 17 by Caryl

Are there any Geocachers in our group? Uruguay has only 13 active caches at this time. One is in Montevideo, which we can easily try to visit while we are there. It was recently rehabbed by a German visitor and is probably in great shape now. We could also think about placing a cache somewhere in the countryside where they don't have any. It would need to be where someone local could maintain it from time to time. We could put lots of interesting small stash items in it, including coins from the countries we are from. Any interest in this?

March 17 by Aaron

Looks good so far! I'll be in Montevideo Friday April 29 so I'd be up for adding something Friday evening or Saturday morning. Or if anyone else will arrive then maybe we can figure out something separately.

March 16 by Holt

New Draft Itinerary posted, thank to Leticia Romero:

Please provide feedback here prior to the Friday March 18's upcoming organizer meeting!

March 16 by Caryl

Accomodations update from (13/3/11) Spanish

Some hotel information is available at the ceibalJAM site. The hotels are listed in order of cost from lower to higher. All have wifi and include breakfast in the price. It could be fun if we decided to all stay at the same place while in Montevideo. Feel free to make comments about which ones you prefer. Is there someone who would like to organize this or should we just all do it on our own? There are links below including some to the Trip Advisor site where you can read reviews.

Here are some links to the websites of the first 3 hotels/hostels listed:

A real hostel, but not affiliated with HI. Has shared baths. Has a communal kitchen where you can prepare some of your own meals if you are so inclined (some folks with dietary restrictions might like this).

Rated #8/16 in "Specialty Lodging in Montevideo on Trip Advisor

A hotel. Does have at least one meeting room to rent if any are needed for parts of the summit event. Says they are recently remodeled.

Rated #30/61 Montevideo Hotels on Trip Advisor

A hotel. Web site is somewhat lacking in information.

Rated #40/61 Montevideo Hotels on Trip Advisor

Add your comments and preferences here:

Caryl: I like the hostel best because of the kitchen. The Hotel Astral sounds like a good choice as well.

CScott: The Hotel Klee has *much* better reviews on tripadvisor than the Hotel Austral. Both hotels seem to be a bit ambiguous about whether wifi is available just in a lobby area, or in all the rooms. I've sent email to inquire. But the fact that the Hotel Austral has bad reviews in both English and Spanish would make me very wary of staying there. cjb suggests Casa Sarandi (TripAdvisor).

March 9 by Holt

Fantastic Aaron! [CONTEXT: at least 5 flights are now purchased] Keep in close touch so we can connect directly in April by phone to make sure all are preparing thoughtfully and ready to go -- as you say, I strongly encourage you/all to edit when you can!

Until then, I'm cc'ing some of the other individuals who've also already bought flights, so all are free to begin introductions even prior to setting up a mailing list by April early hopefully.

A very preliminary menu of possibilities should begin to emerge on soon after spring has sprung -- make that autumn in the Southern Hemisphere! I will ask all your help to get this right, and make adjustments where necessary, asking all participants here to think together how we can properly thank RAP Ceibal (Uruguay's volunteer parents group!) for welcoming us.

Occasionally of course, we'll all need to make compromises and just Get On The Bus -- not a mindless tourbus however, don't worry -- I ask everyone take to heart mindful "guided discovery" a.k.a. project-based learning :)

PS please write Caryl if you can help her offer informal Uruguayan Spanish tips on a weekly basis over the remaining 7 weeks!

March 7 by Caryl


Started checking accommodations availability for dates 04/29/11 to 05/08/11. Most double rooms in HI Hostels are already taken. Plenty of dorm space still available at very moderate prices ($12-$15/pp/nt). Some B&B's still have space, at generally higher rates. Some have wifi available. Most include breakfasts (continental), Hostels have kitchens where you can fix what you like.

It would probably be a good idea to make a few decisions very soon so that people can make reservations while rooms are still available.

To proceed we need to know:

  • Where will the main meeting place be?
  • Do the "out-of-towners" want to try to stay in the same place?
  • What kind of public transport is available?
  • Where will the weekend events be held? Please post a map link.