It has been a whirlwind first two months as the Experience Guatemala tour coordinator. The tours are great fun; it is such a privilege to meet interesting people from all over the world and to be able to share the incredible work of Niños de Guatemala with them. Everyone loves the visits to the workshops, I am always inundated with questions and it is so great that everybody shows so much interest!
Our visit to the “Chicken Bus” Factory, or “camioneta” factory is an eye-opening experience as I am able to share the incredible journey of the American school bus and its transfer to the jazzy, colourful, ‘transformer-esque’ “Chicken Bus”! Along with the visual aspects of the tour, all the issues regarding transport in Guatemala fascinate our tourists and it is really exciting being able to share the anecdotes, the facts and the reality.
Regarding the carpentry workshop, we are able to see the manufacture of coffins, Guatemala style. As a Catholic country, great pride is taken in the production of coffins and we can see the men in action – their incredible speed and production rate is illustrated by their hard work and hidden talents (spitting nails from their mouths like bullets!). I have had a few brave tourists try out the coffins, always giving the group a good laugh, and most certainly a good laugh for the team in the workshop!
And taking our visitors to our school, Nuestro Futuro, is always a fantastic way to round-up the tour as they can see that all the money donated from their tour goes to such a great cause and that all our children love their school and value their education.
In between running tours, I have been kept off my feet working on improving and marketing our tour. The plan is to begin a second tour that visits our second school in San Lorenzo el Cubo. This is a project that we are excitedly anticipating, as it will involve making Quitapenas dolls with one of our mothers as well as a visit to a botanical garden!
The tour is a great way for us to raise money whilst spreading the word about Niños de Guatemala and our schools. It is also a super activity for visitors to Antigua, as it is one of the few options available for those who are interested in seeing a bit of the ‘real’ Guatemala. So for us, it’s really a win-win-win service!
If you or someone you know is planning a trip to Antigua sometime soon, please come and join us! Do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org