If you’ve made it to this page, that means you are for one reason or another interested in seeing the faces behind Quetzaltrekkers (and I can’t blame you). All current, past, and future guides volunteer for a minimum of three months- and no one is paid a centavo! We’ve been functioning this way for over twenty years now, and we think most would agree that this is pretty incredible. Read on to get to know all our super sexy guides!
Kendall (September 2016)
If you’ve ever heard of Akron, you know it’s been called “The Quetzaltenango of Northeast Ohio.” So it’s no surprise that Kendall is back at QT for her SECOND time. While a back injury currently prevents Kendall from hiking up Guatemala’s volcanoes, she is the true spine of QT’s administrative arm. Kendall keeps our finances (and our guides) in order, and it’s been said that she has never let even a single quetzal slip out of sight. So don’t try skimping us, or Kendall will have her way with you. Akron’s loss is Xela’s gain.
Emily (December 2017)
This good little English girl survives the harsh living conditions in the QT office with her personal stash of Twinings tea and Cadbury’s chocolate, hand-delivered directly from the British Isles by her very own Mum. Emily graduated from Oxford Brookes University, the less-successful little cousin of the real Oxford University. Her outdoor expertise comes from her training with the Royal British Army Reserves, subsidized by Her Royal Highness The Great Queen of Britain, Elizabeth II. At QT, making mistakes in Spanish is encouraged as we all work towards fluency, but make a mistake in English and you will be swiftly rebuked by Her Majesty Emily.
Kelsey (December 2017)
Kelsey is the poster girl of QT, literally. With her winning smile and endless enthusiasm, it’s impossible not to be in high spirits in her company. Unless you’re not a morning person—then you may want to keep your distance. Back for her second stint of volunteering here, it is only her love for the kids that trumps her love for hiking and knowledge about Guatemalan history and culture. This Jersey Girl just recently finished her degree and travelled through the Rockies in her ‘converted’ Honda Fit in preparation for the frugal lifestyle of a QT guide.
Quena (January 2018)
Quena, our resident gringa, likes to think she’s from Guatemala. She claims her dad has a language school in Xela and that her grandmother lives an hour away by bus. True or not, this new Chapina is our newest guia, taking you from Nebaj to Todos Santos every second Tuesday (quetzal tattoo and all). Fueled by Sarita ice-cream and ‘her granny’s Pepian’, you’ll find her either in the office or busting some moves in the local Irish bar. If you’re travelling through Central and South America she’s the perfect person to pick her brains, as she has done it all from teaching English in Ecuador to working in hostels in Peru. But fear not, she’s now returned to her native Xela…
Christina (January 2018)
Hailing from Minnesota, we are just so gosh darn excited to have Christina with us here at Quetzaltrekkers! It might be -5 degrees Celsius out on Tajumulco, but that’s swimsuit weather for her; she has more trouble layering down for hot Xela afternoons. She’ll take great care for your well-being on our treks, and if you’re lucky she’ll play some duck-duck-grey duck with you. But don’t go pushing your hot dish on this lady here—she don’t eat no cheese or no glutens, don’tcha know. The past couple o’ years she’s been workin’ out in Oregon as a wilderness therapist, so this kind soul is very unlikely to go woodchippin’ anybody. But holy buckets, she’ll probably chew me out for the accent in this here bio.
Adam aka Don Bigote (January 2018)
Think of Antonio Banderas in Desperado, except with a bad ass ‘tache, and a uke instead of a guitar. That’s our Santa Cruzian nomadic Don Bigote. He can serenade you in multiple languages, or more impressively in multiple accents. He can fool you into thinking he’s Irish for the longest time and he loves the craic too, hi! He’s the bringer of good vibes, the reader of interesting books, the singer of funny songs and I just don’t know why he won’t be mine! He oozes sex appeal with his one size too small tees and his socks up to his knees- really, he looks like your old gym instructor you wish you made moves on but then he left town. Make your move now!
Jacob (January 2018)
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah! Jake is a man whose beard precedes him. Like, literally. If he was coming around a corner, you would see his beard before you would see his face. But once you do, you’ll be greeted by quite the accommodating gentleman. He’ll tell you he’s from Boston, but then he’ll immediately tell you that he’s not from Boston or even Massachusetts, but some town you’ve never heard of in New Hampshire. Fluent in Spanglish, he studied proper Spanish in university and has a knack for historical fun facts. He craves fresh seafood in his new mountain home, and has been coping by eating staggering quantities of Cebollitas. If you want to be Jake’s friend, tell him you know the town he’s from, pet his beard, and hand him a bag of Cebollitas. He’ll love you forever.
Leo (January 2018)
Er ist so schön, er ist so toll, er ist Dieciocho aus Bavaria! Dieciocho (née Leo), the Wunderkind of Nürnberg, knows what spätzle is. He wakes up at the crack of dawn on Sundays ready to climb the highest peaks of Central America in his Lederhosen, swigging beer brewed without sugar out of a Stein and remarking on the beauty of Schmetterlinge. With the body of Adonis and blond curls to rival the golden fleece, this strapping young German man is a veritable Greek god, or at the very least an Übermensch. If there’s a physical challenge to take on, he’s there with a big ol’ goofy smile on his face. Dieciocho enjoys asking people questions about the quality of their sneezes, beating his coworkers up tall things–and ladies, he’s single.
Sir Jake of House Rōnin, Bannerman of House Krishnan, Sworn Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Sealand under Prince Michael. (January 2018)
A proud Oregonian member of the Six Fo’ O’ Mo’ Club, Jake is a mountain of a man. A skinny mountain, but a mountain no less. Did I mention mountains? Because Jake loves climbing them. Especially when the mountains are more than mountains, and they are volcanoes. After months of seclusion in a Tibetan Buddhist Ashram in the Indian Himalaya, Jake got bored because the mountains were only mountains, and not volcanoes. (That’s a matter of subduction versus collision for all you rock jocks.) And thus he arrived at the intersection of the Cocos Oceanic Plate and Caribbean Continental Plate, ready to show you the majesty of these here volcanoes. Jake’s a quiet guy, but he’s also the best guy to have a quality conversation with; he can really get talking when it comes to Elon Musk, potato cakes, being a sworn knight of Sealand, and more!
Thomas (January 2018)
Thomas is the self-proclaimed face. The face of the ages, the face sitting in front of flowing blond locks, the face of someone who could totally pull off being Jesus for Halloween. Thomas went to the University of Arizona, and still doesn’t quite know what he studied there. That said, this California gent can charm your socks off with his superb Spanish, his undying passion for card games, and film savvy. We can say without a shadow of a doubt is that If life is a party, Thomas is winning: any trek with him is like a traveling fiesta!
Britney ( February 2018)
Coming in from Windsor (basically Detroit but in Canada), Britney’s by and far our most dimpled guide. Even if she’s just burnt her eyelashes off on a Whisperlite stove, she’s still got this big ol’ dimpled grin on her face! Britney studied International Relations, which basically makes her a one-woman United Nations. If you think you can beat her in an eating contest, you’re wrong—she used to work in a car factory and they only got twenty-two minute lunch breaks so she’s got you there. Talk to her about anything on your hike with her, but just don’t bring up how tall she is because she’s sick of hearing about that.