Spotlight On: A Series on Culture & the Arts

“Spotlight On” is XelaWho’s regular monthly series on all things cultural & artistic in Xela and Guatemala. This month’s topic is: Hike+Help Tour Company

XelaWho: We’ve never heard of you and we pretty much run this town. What do you do and how’d you get started?
Hike + Help: Two years ago, several young Guatemalans from Xela founded an NGO – Fomento para el Desarrollo Integral (FDI) – in order to improve development in their country. To facilitate the self-sustainability of FDI, one of the founders donated his established travel agency, Cross Country Tours, to the NGO in January 2008. Now called Hike + Help, the agency donates all of its profits to FDI. When you enjoy your adventures with us, you will receive top-notch service from Guatemalan guides and you can be sure that every centavo of the profits goes to fund the important work of FDI.

XelaWho: What kind of services do you offer?
Hike + Help: We offer hikes, tours and shuttles. Our hikes include treks to Tajumulco, Santiaguito and Lake Atitlan as well as lots of lesser known trails and volcanoes around Xela. Our tours bring you to the ruins of Tikal, magic of Rio Dulce, turtles of Monterrico, San Simon of Zunil, thermal baths of Fuentes Georginas, and local colonial churches. We run shuttles to Antigua, Coban, Guatemala City, Panajachel, San Cristóbal de las Casas and beyond.

XelaWho: Where does the money go? Don’t lie to us.
Hike + Help: We’ve installed a library in San Martin Sacatepéquez for six surrounding schools and their communities as part of our Rural Libraries Program. In an area where books and general access to educational and recreational materials is almost non-existent, and discrimination against people with a rural education high, the library – more of a community center – aims to breed a culture of personal, academic and social development. We work very much WITH the communities, finding out from the families, teachers and children which resources would be most valuable to them.

To book a trek, tour or shuttle, or if you’re interested in volunteering at the library, schools or office, call Hike + Help at 7765-0883 or email them at hikeandhelp@gmail.com. Additionally, they offer a free paper recycling
service. Just bring it by their office at 15 Avenida 7-41, Zona 1, Xela.

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