Sam and Natalia met in December 2016 at La Iguana Perdida in Santa Cruz, Lake Atitlan. They fell in love instantly with each other and the lake and a year later they are still there! They work and live at La Iguana Perdida, a hotel, hostel, restaurant/bar and diving school. La Iguana was started by Dave and Deedle, which like Sam and Nat, met each other at La Iguana 21 years ago. Their love for the lake is apparent in all the work that they do for the community, neighbouring villages and the lake itself. Sam and Natalia run a weekly class up in CECAP in Santa Cruz teaching the culinary students customer service. Niños de Guatemala reached out to Sam and Nat to be a part of their Experience Guatemala Challenge and as soon as they heard the news they immediately accepted it. Niños de Guatemala provides quality education to Guatemalan children from low income families. They have built two primary schools and a secondary school which serve a total of 500 students, their families and communities. They also provide their students with two meals a day plus medical and dental care. In addition to this, they also give their students and their families access to psychology and social work programs and host workshops on important issues. These are only a few of the things that they have done to empower and support these children, there is so much more that Niños de Guatemala have done for their students it is breathtaking. Sam and Nat are super excited to raise money and be in this once of a lifetime experience. Click the donate button to help them raise money for this worthy cause.
Born and raised in downtown Manhattan, Samuel is a distinct product of his urban environment mixed with his travelling spirit. Growing up in a big city taught him street smarts and after a few years on the road, he found himself in Guatemala managing a hotel on idyllic Lake Atitlan. Samuel has a background in music and art but has always been an adventurer at heart; being an avid cyclist and outdoor enthusiast. After camping and hiking his way through Mexico, he successfully climbed some of the toughest volcanoes that Guatemala has to offer. Now living on Lake Atitlan has provided him with an epic backdrop to continue exploring and challenge himself.
Natalia was born to English and Nicaraguan parents and has travelled all her life. As soon as she finished school she had the urge to start travelling around Mexico and Central America. She first began her travels in Mexico, where she fell in love with the food, the people, the nature and the culture. She then travelled down to Guatemala where she got stuck and never left. She now works and lives in Lake Atitlan and never wishes to leave. Natalia has always been very athletic, at the age of 13 she started competing in triathlons and then proceeded to running for England and the South East of England. Hopefully this will help her in the challenge ahead! Natalia has volunteered several times with ArmandoAid, a charity which provides education to refugee children and adults in refugee camps in Greece. This has pushed her to help other charities which provide education to children around the world such as Niños de Guatemala.
Natalia and Sam are super excited for the challenge and hope to raise $5000, remember to click the donate button to help them raise money for this incredible charity.