We would like to introduce you to our team. We work with 14 fantastic local guides who all live in the village of La Soledad on Acatenango, which is a community of around 700 people. All of the guides come from families who have lived in La Soledad for generations so they really understand the volcano, its microclimate and how to survive on the slopes of this imperious mountain.
They are full of knowledge about life and nature on the volcano and are always happy to answer your questions. The guides range in age from 18 to 54, most have families and all are subsistence farmers who grow vegetables like, beans, peas, carrots and broccoli on their farms. The majority of these crops go to feed their families and harvests are usually every six months so money can sometimes be scarce in the times in between harvests.
For those who work as guides for Tropicana the tour now provides about 50 % of their total annual income and has significantly changed the community as now the men do not have to leave to find work like they did before. One guide, Eddy, says he loves his work as a guide because he gets to see his children grow up, before he had to work in Guatemala city to provide for his family, now he is at home and gets to spend time with them and can also work on his farm which has increased its yield.
Having this extra income not only has supported around 70 people in the guides immediate families but also has improved living standards in the community itself with better housing, expanded farms and better education for their children. The guides that we at Tropicana work with are ensured above average local pay and are provided with cold weather clothing and footwear so that they see the full potential of their wages. We would love you to come and meet these fun knowledgeable guys for yourselves and learn a bit about life on a volcano.