Meet Walter. At 21, Walter was working as a receptionist at a local hotel between the villages of Jaibalito and Santa Cruz. The path he took to work, traveled frequently by locals and tourists alike, could be treacherous due to loose rocks, steep cliff sides, and mud during the rains.
When the borders closed due to COVID in mid-March, tourism was indefinitely suspended across Guatemala and the hotel had to let Walter and many other employees go. Without any guests, they couldn't afford to pay their salaries. When Walter went back home with the bad news, he found out that his siblings had also lost their jobs, "It was really hard on all of us. The country was just suddenly in lockdown, and no one knew what to do or what to expect. None of us had a job, and we didn't know how to support ourselves or our mom." Weeks went by without any hope for change.
Through his active participation in a local youth group, Nuevo Día, Walter heard about Amigos' plans to create a Job Stimulus Program to support those who had lost their jobs during the pandemic. He joined the Program and and was hired to supervise the construction of an improved path on the same road he used to walk every day to get to his old job - providing much needed income for his family, and a much needed service to his community.
Now that the country is slowly opening up again and tourists are coming back to the Lake, Walter got his old job back. Now he walks every day through a safe and accessible path that he helped build!
"I'm very thankful to Amigos for all the projects they implemented this year. Not only did they provide us with work, but they also improved the lives of many people in Jaibalito".