Guatemalan-owned and operated Maya Trails is led by founder James Rogers. They are a team of passionate and talented travel designers and local experts who offer carefully curated, customized tours throughout Guatemala and Belize. Their guiding team takes pride in helping to immerse travelers in all things Guatemalan – from its rich cultures and vivid history to its wild nature.
Here we learn a bit more about Pablo Martínez, one of Maya Trails’ excellent guides!
Pablo Martínez was born in Guatemala City. Son of Mexican father and Guatemalan mother, Pablo had the opportunity of living half his life in both countries, experiencing the diversity of culture, customs, traditions and landscapes in each. His mother passed away of cancer when he was only two, so he grew up with his maternal grandparents in Guatemala City. Once finished with school he earned a sports scholarship to play soccer and study international commerce in México in the Cuauhtémoc University. Once he graduated from college, he returned to Guatemala to dedicate his life to his greatest passion. In 2014 he founded a startup dedicated to creating job opportunities in rural areas of Guatemala through fair trade and responsible tourism. He has been a tour guide since then with extensive experience guiding in South México, Belize and Guatemala.
What is your favorite place to visit in your country and why?
Tough one! I will choose two but I promise my answer will be connected with both destinations. I will start with Tikal; the history and the biodiversity of the national park of Tikal is amazing! The lush jungle and its sounds is something that I never get tired of, to walk ancient Maya trails, discovering the history that the Maya temples and that the majestic pyramids posses is quiet breathtaking. The jungle claimed back this important Maya city thousands of years ago, however new discoveries are always found by archeologists and the more that we know about Tikal, the more that we comprehend how thriving and powerful the Maya civilization was. When you climb the temple 4 of the lost world pyramid you get an idea of the range that Tikal used to cover, and then you wonder where did all the Maya people go? Which takes me to the second destination that I love and never get tired of visiting.
Next – Lake Atitlán. Located in the Guatemalan highlands, Lake Atitlán was formed 84,000 years ago by an eruption of a macro volcano, which explains why it’s surrounded by three volcanoes and 1 volcanic cone. The landscape is surreal and heaven sent! However the cherry on top is the Maya communities on the shores and mountain tops that surround the Lake where you can find living culture. And this is where I connect my first answer. When the Maya civilization started debilitating due to the loss of natural resources in the jungle in the northern region of Guatemala, they decided to migrate south and settle in the highlands of Guatemala. After thousands of years the Maya people still carry with pride and resilience their ancient practices and beliefs. For me to travel Lake Atitlán is to travel back in time, and if you are looking for true intercultural exchange like myself! This is the ideal place to visit!
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is being able to connect, share with travelers and having the opportunity to show them the authentic and thriving Guatemala that I know! This job has given me the opportunity to follow up closely the work being done by tourism projects in all the regions of Guate and there is nothing more fulfilling than connecting them with tourists from all over the world. As I have seen many travelers bonding and making meaningful and long lasting friendships.