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Vacation Like a Local in Guatemala

Article Summary:

Santiago Atitlan and San Pedro La Laguna, two municipalities in Lake Atitlan, are launching a tourism plan, aiming to become one of the preferred destinations of national and international tourists.

Photo Credit: Prensa Libre

Original Article Text From Prensa Libre via Google Translate :

Tourism for local development

Various associations, committees and groups that provide services to tourists have joined as part of a local economic development project led by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), in collaboration with the Guatemalan Institute of Tourism (Inguat).

-47 000 inhabitants, Santiago and San Pedro -13 000 people-implemented their respective tours that mix history and traditions of ethnic Tzutujil and Mayan cosmology with the colorful and breathtaking scenery Atitlan.

Both towns have tourist guide associations originating from the community who combine explanations to visitors with tours of museums, galleries and sales of paintings, wood carvings and crafts located in different communities.

Although agriculture, the manufacture of textiles and traditional handicrafts are the main economic activities, people looking to increase visitor numbers and stay in their municipalities, since, according to locals, this will release their culture and improve household income and community.

Lucia Hurtado, coordinator of the area of ​​tourism CIDA, said the program began in 2009 and completed in 2015.

Hurtado said the potential of the place and recalled that the Lake Atitlan is the third largest destination of foreign visitors. Each year the site received about 210 thousand tourists, with an average daily expenditure of U.S. $ 118 per person and an average stay of 1.5 days, which generates about $ 32 million.

“The idea is to attract more visitors, as they regularly are concentrated in the town of Panajachel and only come for a few hours to other municipalities,” said De Hurtado.

In both places was concluded with the process of coordinating the tours and they are offered from last March. Today the community are in the process of dissemination and promotion, which also work collaborates Inguat.

344 families participate in Santiago, and San Pedro, 204. In the first municipality have joined these activities Panabaj women of Canton, where in 2005 Hurricane Stan caused a landslide, which left several dead. Tzina Mary, originally from Panabaj, that seven years after the tragedy, the income from typical tissues only cover 50 percent of their expenses.

In support of the population created the Women’s Committee Panabaj Weavers, composed of 25 females, who prepared lunch for tourists who visit the municipality. The site also has a committee tuleros, sculptors and painters.

Among the attractions of these places mentioned the museum Tz’unun Ya ‘, which means hummingbird-, located in San Pedro, and where you can learn about medicinal plants and the history and establishment of Atitlán and life in site. The fee is Q35 for foreign tourists, local visitors to Q20, Q5 for the locals, and free for children.

The Association Jabelya-Lake-Nice, founded in 2002, has a craft shop and recycled products, whose revenues are divided for families of artisans and support the training program for children and women.

In Atitlán tourists the opportunity to relax, meet new cultures and work with the support of an entire community.

Link to Original Article:

From Prensa Libre

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