Galapagos 42 jaar

Maria Fernanda, local of Santa Cruz

I live here in Santa Cruz-Galapagos for 12 years. It’s a wonderful place where one can live quietly and enjoy the surrounding nature. Slowly the activities are reactivating on the island after Covid.

One of my favorite places here is the peer of Santa Cruz. It reminds me of the moment that passengers enjoyed their stay here and traveled to other islands. Seeing their happy faces in which they waved goodbye is something nice to see. See how people arrive with so many expectations and be happy is something very fulfilling.

Other visitors of the peer? The sealion, he’s heading for his siesta. And the sea turtle, our dear friend.

The peer is renewed this year, ready to welcome visitors from around the world.

Java & Bali 45 jaar

Maya & Djoko owners of Didu’s Homestay

I, Maya, live right in between the rice fields in Banyuwangi. Banyuwangi is a small relatively quiet place. Our town is close to the volcano Kawah Ijen. Visitors come and stay with us to do a night hike at this volcano for the blue light from the crater. We are also close to a ferry that goes to Bali.

Creating a home away from home and sharing the beauty that we believe Java has to offer. This was our intention when setting up Didu’s homestay. I run this bed & breakfast together with my husband Djoko.

Djoko and I met in 1997, at the time we were both working on a world cruise ship. Djoko was a cook and I worked as a housekeeper. We worked together for a couple of years, but in 2000 we were separated and worked on different cruises. In 2014 we decided to stay home, we did not want to be away from each other any longer.

With our experience in hospitality and the courage to start our own business from home. In 2015 Didu’s homestay was born. The home itself is a traditional Banyuwangi house, some part date back 100 years. We are always looking for a way to give our guests that special experience. This starts before their arrival by offering to pick them up from the train station, baking pancakes for them or offering them a traditional Indonesian breakfast. 

We first started with one guestroom, but through the years we renovated and update the stays. Now our guests stay in one of the pondoks in our backyard, with their own handwritten name sign on the door it is just like a tiny house. In the middle of the garden we have a living room, where guests can relax and we like to sit with them. We love how we created a place that makes us and others happy.

Nepal 37 jaar

Tshering Dorji Sherpa, tourist guide Nepal

Hi, I am Tshering Dorji Sherpa from Nepal. Due to COVID-19, my country went into a lockdown like the rest of the world. People like me who had been working in the tourism sector had no work to do and were forced to stay at home. I chose to go back to my hometown to create my own lockdown adventure.

I was determined to not waste time just by staying at home and instead wanted to something productive. Being back at home, I saw that the shrines on the rocks in our village that had high historical and cultural significance for Buddhist pilgrims, needed to be cleaned and preserved. I decided to clean and preserve these shrines together with my friend.

We received a lot of support from the community, financially and physically. The lockdown came as an opportunity for me to complete my plan that had been in the works for many years. I firmly believe that if youths can help protect and preserve important cultural sites like these, they will be preserved for future generations to see, attract more foreign visitors and as a result help in the socioeconomic development of the entire village.

"Utilizing lockdown time to preserve an important cultural heritage site in a Himalayan village" Van onze lokale partner in Nepal.

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Ecuador 56 jaar

Fanny, an inspiring person

During my studies at university in combination with the church, the priest suggested us to work in small groups. I thought it was a good idea. With these groups we cared about different projects, such as poverty. After two months, the priest asked us where we could go help spread the word. Eventually we visited places in Ecuador and that was one of the first things that greatly impacted my life. I never thought such poverty was possible. It inspired me to help them.

We started in 1989 with a program that was called ‘dignifying Christmas’. The objective of Christmas is to share. So we started with 200 kids in Quito to make toys: one for themselves and one for another kid. Today, the educational center has 26 years operating with a proven methodology to assist kids in risky or vulnerable situations. We try to not only focus in developing their cognitive abilities, but to have them awaken and able to handle their processes on their own so they always have this connection with the values inside of them. Now we have many volunteers helping our wonderful children to get smiling faces.

Ecuador 32 jaar

Julio, local guide in Ecuador

The most rewarding thing about my job? Sharing my culture and showing my country is fantastic as a local guide. I enjoy taking a group of strangers across the country. In a short time, I built a bond during their trip through Ecuador. I still get messages from amigos that I have guided. That's what I like the most about my work.

My favorite memory of making and guiding a tour is meeting one of the best soccer goalkeepers in South America. We met him by chance at a football field and he challenged us to play soccer with him. I thought that was so very cool, I never expected it.

Costa Rica 51 jaar

Don Rodolfo, farmer in Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida! Soy Don Rodolfo. Together with my wife Doña Rosa and our 8 children, we wish you a warm welcome to our farm in Costa Rica. We grow pineapple, cocoa, sugar cane and pepper in an ecological way. It is our passion to share our knowledge about the farm with travelers like you, which is why we give tours and tell you everything you want to know about our activities. Catch your own tilapia fish for lunch and make a fresh juice from the freshly-cut fruit. And the pineapple you just picked, hmmm, it's so sweet. You can also stay overnight in our guesthouse. My wife Rosa and my daughters prepare fresh local dishes in our own restaurant. She also provides cooking workshops with the local community so that we can help each other. We hope that a visit to our Finca is an experience to remember.

Chili 25 jaar

Cristina, student in Chile

You see me in the middle of this picture with my friends. Party time! Each year on September 18th we celebrate our ''Fiesta Nacional", the beginning of the independence process from Spain on September 18th of 1810. Depending on how it falls, the celebration can last around for a week.

The celebration of Fiestas Patrias is an expression of Chilean culture, but honestly it is just an excuse haha we in Chile are very patriotic! During the whole week there are celebrations all over the country, we have food, we dance a lot and drink as any good party! But we also learn and dance 'cueca' (the national dance), we eat typical food like empanadas and humitas, we drink typical drinks called 'terremoto', and we go to 'fondas': places to party outdoors with typical games, food and music. This celebration is also the beginning of the spring.

The 19th there is a military parade, very famous. It is actually mandatory to have the Chilean flag at your house during these days.

This year, due to corona, everything is cancelled unfortunately, so I will just celebrate it at home with my family and an 'asado' which is a typical barbecue.

Nepal 45 jaar

Thuli Maya Tamang, fruit seller in Bhaktapur

I started selling vegetables, as it was easy and cheap to set up a vegetable stand. After the earthquake in 2015 I changed to fruits, because fruits are less perishable and have larger profit margins. Now I sell fruits and peanuts in Gapali Suryabinayak, just off the highway from Bhaktapur to Kathmandu.

I wake up at 5 in the morning and go with my husband to the wholesale market to buy my merchandise, which is imported from India. Then we visit a temple for our daily prayers. My busiest hours are in the morning, from 6 till 11 a.m., then I go home to grab a quick lunch. My shop is open 7 days a week until 8 p.m. My daughters help out around the house, so we can enjoy a family dal bhat after a long day at work. They also help out at my fruit stand after school. My daughters are really good girls.

I wish and pray for my daughters to get a good education and that they will find good marriage partners. I hope for us to save money, so one day we can build our own house.

"Daily life in Nepal" Inside Himalayas, onze lokale partner in Nepal.

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Real life...

De mensen die je ontmoet op je reis in de wereld. Hun families en relaties. De hoogte- en dieptepunten, hun zorgen, blijdschap en levenswijsheid.


Real stories...

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