Thank you Quetzaltrekkers

I just had the pleasure of spending seven months as a volunteer trekking guide with Quetzaltrekkers.  Sound like a sweet gig? It is.  There’s no boss, and nobody in charge.  The organization survives on the foreign volunteers to commit three months, learn the business, learn the treks, and teach everything they know to the incoming guides.  I was routinely blown away by how Quetzaltrekkers can thrive with such a rapid employee turnover.  But, it works, and it has been for the last 15 years.

It was humbling to be in an environment that attracts such quality people – both guides and clients.  As a guide, Quetzaltrekkers quickly becomes your life.  There aren’t any ‘kind-of’ volunteers.  On non-trek days, guides are in the office twelve or fourteen hours.  Though at times exhausting, it’s by far the most fulfilling place I have worked.  At the end of the day, you know that every Quetzal of profit is headed to Escuela de la Calle and the kids at Hogar Abierto.  They deserve every bit and more and it was a true privilege to be a part of it.  I can see how it has touched so many lives.

We made it! Sunrise on top of Volcan Santa Maria, after hiking all night in the moonlight

A few things I’ll miss:

chocobananos, Aussie slang, breadmaking (hats included), meals w/dairy, Scone Monday, chopping veggies, fighting with the Mercado Flores ladies over Q1 (it’s for the kids!), the spice rack, Sunday Nights, pizza, Monday Dinners, ridiculous party themes, Clos-infused meetings, pizza, crayons, the Black Hole, crazy Mama Argentina, Chino’s “Glolazo!”, Henry’s attitudes, Sueño Mojado a.k.a. Guante Brillante a.k.a. Grandpa’s Cough Syrup, Guapo’s mumblings, Team Captain Henry, Virgilio’s voice, Chepe’s English, Erik’s faces, hot drink kits, postre, cooking for 12 hungry people, TJ comedor ladies, Don’s pie, everything between Nebaj and Todos Santos, Hogar rockouts with Pedro & Mario, sharpening machetes, the Fuentes (R.I.P), Emergency Angel, chats with Wilson (en serio?!?), the pull-up bar, ponche, Santa Maria breakfasts, and the pleasure of hiking & working  & eating & cooking & partying & living with a bunch of amazing people in the Guatemalan highlands.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Luciana on 4 July, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Where are you going now, Scott?

    Luciana (From UCA…remember me?)


  2. Posted by snordq on 6 July, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Hi Lu,
    I’m in Costa Rica to surf, visit friends and attend a mediation course in San Jose. After that…vamos a ver! Hope all is well down South!


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