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Need feedback for Central/South America trip plan

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My husband I are planning an approximately 8 month trip in Central and south America. Our objectives are: learn spanish (attend language school, volunteering (missionary) work, sight see, and cultural immersion. We are hoping to start in Guatemala and do about 6 weeks of language study there, continue to Costa Rica to do some missionary work for about a month, then spend a month or so exploring the rest of Central America. Total of just under 4 months in Central America. We then hope to cross over to South America (by ship?) and work our way down using local transportation-mainly buses to traverse and explore South America and end in Buenos Aires spending about 4 months total in South America. Our travel budget is about 13,500 ($56 per day for us both) not including airfare. We plan to travel pretty cheap and do some touristy things but also spend time with the locals in smaller villages and such. We wouldn't mind trading labor for food/lodging. We may cut loose at times but are not planning going out and drinking much of the time. We are both fairly travel naive and I would really appreciate some feedback on the feasibility of the time line and the budget. Thanks!

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