ARCANGEL AGAPITO LUZARDO; FIRST ENTREPRENEUR OF THE REMANSO COMMUNITY
“Before, in my community they thought that only mining generated resources. This is not true. Now that beauty that we have helps us to preserve the place ”.
Agapito Luzardo, known in the world of tourism as Archangel, was born in the Remanso community on the banks of the Rio Inírida, in the department of Guainia. He grew up learning from the grandparents of the community the knowledge about nature and its behavior. He always thought that preserving knowledge and teaching it was the way to preserve his culture and his people. All this knowledge was the pillar that led Arcángel to become one of the travelers' favorite guides.
At the beginning, he guided the officials who came from private and state organizations to work with the El Remanso community where he is from. They were looking for someone to guide them up the Mavecure Hill, and he always signed up to accompany them. Then some operating agencies began to arrive and formally hired him as a guide.
Today, Arcangel is an entrepreneur. He established a travel operator company where he teaches his knowledge to other guides and actors in the tourism chain. He is the first operator to emerge from the heart of the community. The experiences offered are community and already offers accompaniment to other tourism sites in the Department of Guainía.
How has tourism changed your life?
After starting as a guide -initially accompanying and now a professional guide- became my way of life and livelihood. I understood the importance of tourism, then I started working with politics in the mayor's office and I understood even more of the positive impact that this industry has, so I decided to study in Sena.
That change has helped me to sustain myself and contribute to local people, involving motorists, guides, cooks and those who lend their houses to set up camps. It has changed not only me but also my community.
Why do you think it is important to preserve the tourism that you do?
Before in my community they thought that only mining generated resources. This is not true. Now that beauty that we have helps us to preserve the place. Until the end of last year, we were receiving approximately 1,600 people a year, mostly foreigners. And so we are giving an alternative that protects our region.
How has this situation affected you?
Oops! This situation has totally affected us. This year only national clients arrived in January. Now we are without work, without any income. We depend on tourism. Communities depend on tourism. We don't have contracts, we don't expect anything.
Because we have the hope of being able to travel to Guainia again, we want to give hope to Alcángel and other warriors like him who every day, despite any circumstance, get up to continue betting on responsible and reconstructive tourism. Today these warriors need our help to keep going. You can support Archangel by buying one of the experiences he guides in advance. When all this happens, we will help you organize your trip and Arcangel will be waiting for you. You can redeem it until December 1, 2021. You can give it away or donate it.
We chose 3 experiences with Arcángel to turn them into Hope Vouchers:
- Go canoeing at the Brujas Lagoon, looking for Pink dolphins (Buy it Here).
- Visit the Cocos Community, dedicated to the production of traditional handicrafts and where petroglyphs are found on the banks of the Inírida River (Buy it Here).
- Trekking from El Remanso community to the top of the famous Mavecure hill (Buy it here).