Magic Hill Holidays

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We are a responsible holiday provider specialised in cultural and educational holidays for independent travellers,
couples and families. We provide holiday packages primarily based in one location to allow clients fully immerse
themselves into the culture. We work with small local businesses so that your money benefits the local community
instead of big hotel operators/resorts. By selecting and coordinating the best quality providers for our activities, we
can deliver a high quality, unique holiday. We are also involved in a social project where we help a charity run
school, which educates 90 children in a deprived rural community, near the UNESCO heritage city of Antigua.
Member since: 12 Jan 2018

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

Our business model supports suppliers at a local level so the majority of your money goes directly towards helping
local Guatemalan businesses, Guatemalan NGOs, Guatemalan people and their family. We believe this is the best
way to benefit the local economy.

We work with the marginalised, indigenous community in of San Antonio Aguascalientes in Guatemala. We offer
packages for you to stay with local indigenous families. These packages include activities such as weaving
workshop, Spanish lessons, Guatemalan cooking class and a Mayan show all provided by Mayan women. This
supports these women, their families and the local community and you get to experience and learn about Mayan
culture first hand. Information is provided to you in our welcome pack about the Mayan culture. We know all these
Mayan women personally and we ensure that there is no exploitation or child labour of any persons employed by us
from this community.

We are a digital company meaning we operate remotely with our laptops therefore avoiding having to pay high office
rents in an expensive city in Europe. As a result we can provide good value holidays to you. In addition the money is
paid to the local people you meet in Guatemala rather than to landlords in London.
Magic Hill Holidays is committed to responsible travel and helping local communities where we operate. In
Guatemala, we assist by providing funding, mentoring and strategic advice to a local NGO school located outside
the UNESCO world heritage city of Antigua. Our clients are also given the opportunity to visit this school for a day
and donate if they wish – see the Social Responsibility section below.

Environmental responsibility

We primarily use electronic format for trip documentation. Our paper use is restricted to our welcome pack and client
itinerary which we feel is easier to refer to in paper format rather than on a phone.

Travellers are briefed on local environmental considerations including appropriate waste disposal.

As stated in our Social Responsibility section below, clients are given the opportunity to volunteer for a day with a
local NGO school.

Social responsibility

We work with a local NGO called Semilla de Esperanza y Amor, which is located approx 10km outside of
Antigua city in Guatemala. It is a primary school, set up 10 years ago, which caters for 90 children from
highly disadvantaged backgrounds. Lys, the school principal, provides two free meals a day (hot breakfast
and hot lunch), free uniforms, free transport to and from school and free school supplies for the year. As
government schools in Guatemala do not provide this, education is out of reach for families that can’t afford
it.

• Mentoring - In addition we provide mentoring to senior management in the school in areas of financial and
strategic planning and in ways to attract new, sustainable national and international donors. We monitor and
ensure that all funds raised are used efficiently and effectively.
• Funding - $10 per person from each trip sold will go towards social projects in the area for example
education and a cooperative of coffee farmers. We also pay an additional $10 to Semilla de Esperanza y
Amor school for every person that visits the school with us.
• School visit / volunteering - The majority of our packages include the option to visit the school on an
educational volunteering day. This school visit is educational for both the children and the volunteers.
Children learn about the country where the volunteers come from and foreign volunteers learn about
education system in Guatemala. During all school visits, we ensure that no one is being exploited and all
involved benefit positively.
• Gofundme - In September 2017, two of the schools main donors pulled out which put the school at risk of
closing down in 2018. Our Head of Social Projects organised a Gofundme campaign to keep the school
open and raised $8,745 for the school. This money and other cost saving initiatives has enabled the school
to reopen their doors for the new school year in Jan 2018.
• Our welcome pack provides information about the recent political history of Guatemala and safety advice.
• As stated in the economic policy section, all our suppliers and local representations are locally employed
thereby ensuring your moneys goes to the local communities you are visiting.

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