A new tour operator is hatched but it’s not business as usual. Extreme Mayan Adventures is a new business in Guatemala specializing in educational travel packages to a small Mayan village on Lake Atitlan. The business was recently launched in an attempt to bring meaningful tourism directly to the people who need it the most; traditional Mayan farmers and Mayan families without resources in Santa Catarina Palopo.
Lake Atitlan is no stranger to tourism. People have been flocking to the shores of this famous Central American lake for decades. With three picturesque volcanoes and traditional Mayan villages painting the shoreline, it’s no wonder why traditional tourism businesses have been operating here for years. So what’s all the clucking about?
Extreme Mayan Adventures is different from other tour operators in the area because it offers a total immersion cultural experience for travelers. According to their website, Extreme Mayan Adventures offers, “…travel packages to people who want to have an exciting, educational, and nontraditional experience in a socially responsible manner. Our packages are for people who want to see more than what’s on the surface of Mayan culture. Our packages are for people who want to experience it.”
A quick survey of their website shows that Extreme Mayan Adventures travelers are put into many unique scenarios. Besides learning a little Kaqchikel Mayan language and carrying things on their heads, Extreme Mayan Adventures participants learn how to do Mayan chores. They also get to meet a traditional Mayan shaman, learn how to forge for wild herbs, visit sacred caves, and go to an indigenous market. But do travelers actually get to kill their own chickens? You bet they do, but only if they want to.
Now that’s something to crow about, but don’t tell the chickens!