Guatemala Update: New Travel and Fair Trade Partners!

Direct from Guatemala, Kelly shares updates on new TVE partnerships!

I arrived in Guatemala City yesterday afternoon and made my way to the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage City of Antigua.

After checking into the hotel, I set out on foot in search of new hotel options for TVE groups and possible fair trade products to bring back to the store.

After visiting close to 12 hotels, I felt confident that we had found at least 3-4 new partners to accommodate the upcoming demand for trips to Guatemala.

So many hotels here are “boutique” hotels with limited rooms, so multiple partners is a must!

As I wandered through the cobblestone streets of Antigua, I stumbled upon a store representing a group from Solola called Comunidad k’em Ajachel. This organization works with more than 64 artisans from the Lake Atitlan area, all part of the Friendship Bridge Microcredit Program.  This fair trade project helps the artisans create their own solutions to poverty including education, nutrition, and health care for their children.

Once our group arrives, we’ll be visiting their store to determine which products TVE will begin carrying in the store. I’m hoping the students have some creative ideas as well to help us work together on some exclusive projects for TVE.

The evening ended with a wonderful dinner with Elke, the owner of our fair trade tour company in Guatemala. We brainstormed ideas on how to further promote Guatemala and how to utilize volunteers in the most effective manner possible. I’ve always loved this relationship and I’m excited to strengthen it throughout 2011 !!