Inspired by volcanos, the Mayan highlands, and the streets of Xela, four guides from Quetzaltrekkers, Guatemala have blended their dreams of completing the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) with the sueño of providing a solid grounding for under-privileged Guatemalan youth to launch ambitious and successful lives.
Quetzaltrekkers is the only all non-profit, all volunteer-run trekking and outdoors association in Guatemala. In fact, apart from sister organizations, Quetzaltrekkers Nicaragua and the recently founded Condortrekkers Bolivia, it might just be the only organization of its kind anywhere in the world. Founded in 1995 as a means of self-sustainable, grassroots fundraising for the functioning of Associación Escuela de la Calle (EDELAC), Quetzaltrekkers exists to combat the unfortunate reality of the limited education and services available to children living in poverty in and around the city of Xéla by running tourist-orientated, guided-treks through the beautiful Guatemalan highlands. As voluntary guides, our job was to see that tourism dollars directly benefited those Guatemalans that need them most; hence the slogan, ’Hike and Help’.
Now that our time in Guatemala has come to a close, we are taking this philosophy global and raising money for EDELAC on the international caminos. We hope that the five-month challenge of the PCT will raise awareness and money for the underprivileged children of Guatemala, enabling them to live as independent and successful adults.