Hike Volcanoes, Help Kids.
Our mission really is that simple.
For 25 years, Quetzaltrekkers has operated as a non-profit running fun and safe trekking experiences through the Western Highlands of Guatemala. 100% of our profits directly fund the projects of Asociación Escuela de la Calle (EDELAC): providing education, housing, and social support to the disadvantaged indigenous children in the Xela area.
In pursuit of our mission, we work to spread awareness of Mayan culture and directly support the local communities through which we hike.
In 1995, two young Guatemalan teachers began holding impromptu classes in the streets of Xela for the many homeless children displaced by the Guatemalan Civil War. With a desire to provide these children an education as a path out of the streets, Guadalupe and Miguel founded Escuela de la Calle (“School of the Street”) to move their classes off the sidewalks and into an actual classroom.
With a clear goal, EDELAC needed a sustainable way to earn the money needed to fund their endeavor. With the help of Gavin and other foreign volunteers, they realized the great potential of offering hikes to newly arriving tourists. Thus, Quetzaltrekkers was born to serve as the stable fundraising arm of EDELAC!
25 Years Later
What began as a humble operation with a few volunteer guides has blossomed into one of the most successful trekking outfitters in Guatemala. Through our unique structure — an almost completely volunteer-run not-for-profit hiking project — we have raised 10 million Guatemalan Quetzales (nearly $1.5 million USD) for EDELAC since 1995. In addition, our mission has inspired numerous sister organizations around the globe that share our “hike and help” model.
EDELAC has grown with us; alongside the original primary school is a children’s safe home, scholarship program, and other social and medical support projects for children in Xela and the Western Highlands.