Positive footprint during your visit to Guatemala
by Ana Cetina, February 6, 2021
Talking about leaving a positive footprint in the country you are visiting is a must nowadays. Caring about the planet is important and a bit difficult when traveling, but not impossible. Taking the necessary steps to care about your CO2 emission can be as easily as selecting outdoor activities.
Travel with an Eco-friendly Tour company. Easier said than done! Just look for companies that share their commitment to the environment and support local communities. If you are not sure, you can ask them what they do, like promote local guides, consume local products, don´t use plastic, etc. Sustainable tourism is the best way to travel. Look for companies with the Q seal, this is given by the Guatemalan Tourism Board to companies implementing high quality and sustainability standards in their operations and services.
Respect the culture. During your visit to the different tourists’ sites make sure you are allowed to do the things you usually do, like take pictures or talk loudly. Some sites in Guatemala are sacred to the locals so you should respect their customs.
Finding the perfect hotel. Don’t just look for any hotel, a big chain hotel, try something with more flavor. Small charming hotels can be found in Guatemala, with friendly service. Might be you will not have a Spa but you will fill like you are part of the family
Try local restaurants. You can try international food at home. We suggest you try the local cuisine of Guatemala, maybe you won´t like everything you try but you could try something new that can be your next favorite dish.
Talk to the locals. Guatemalans are friendly and they are always willing to talk to foreigners and share their knowledge of the country; and they are definitely wanting to know more about your culture!
Souvenir Shopping. Don´t buy in big stores or hotels. There are people selling their products on the street, local markets, and small business.
Try something off the beaten path. Why not visiting a place must people don’t go to! The best experiences are not always in the most travelled places, there are hidden gems all over Guatemala that you can discover.
Community tourism. One of the biggest problems of tourism in developing countries is the local economy, the economic gap between socioeconomic classes is huge. Try tours given by the local community, ask your travel company for local guides instead of one guide for the entire trip, these are some things you can do to spend money in the communities you visit. And it is most likely that the money they make is spend in the same community.
Taking care of the earth and the local people while you are traveling is an amazing feeling with fulfilling experiences. Don´t miss all that Guatemala has to offer!
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