What is Going on in Guatemala?
The president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, made the call to shut down the borders here on March 16 after confirming the first case of the coronavirus in the country. The closing of the borders effectively put an end to tourism here, affecting the livelihoods of over a million people who work in hotels, restaurants and, gulp, bike tours. Although it hurts we are with him.
Tours tours and more tours
It's been a minute. Mountain Bike Guatemala has been in the midst of our busiest season in history. This year we showed 180 people (an average of 4 tours a week) the best riding in the country with a unique approach to tourism that blends cultural education with some seriously awesome trails. In this newsletter I was going to tell you guys about our new routes, bikepacking itineraries, and trails that we have spent years developing, but that has to be put on hold for now.
All our rides traverse less visited villages, connecting international tourism with local small businesses and families who really appreciate our visit. Part of our mission has always been to take travel beyond the traditional tourism map connecting our guests with living Mayan Culture. Even if the borders were open we would feel the responsibility to close operations to protect the health of the vulnerable Mayan communities in which we travel. It's just the right thing to do.