Biking to Protect Guatemala’s Rainforest

(violin music) You’re on the trail, going downhill, and you’re just like: “Wow, look at that tree! Wow, look at that bird! Wow, look at that animal!” Every time you come, it’s different. You never get bored about nature. *exclaims* Woah! My name is José Pablo Jelkmann Mendía, and I am an outdoor adventure guide. El Sur is a natural reserve in the south part of Volcán de Agua. It’s a beautiful volcano that opens to the pacific coast. Overall the park is 2,500 acres, and there’s a little more than 25 miles of trails. The group that started El Sur wanted to conserve the land, but they needed a way to make it sustainable. And that’s when the idea of having recreation activities came into the plan. My favorite activity to do here is mountain biking. (light rock music) It’s a pristine rainforest with huge, old growth trees. The animals in the park are protected, and that’s what makes them feel free and comfortable being around people. You can see the culture difference between a protected area and one that is not. Outside the property the land is being used for agriculture. So what that means is that there is going to be a lot of deforestation. Having places in the country where you can go and actually enjoy and preserve nature — it’s beautiful. I feel grateful that these places actually exist.

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