Hello, my name is Greg Ripke. I live in Portland, Oregon USA and work in the Commercial Banking field. I have visited Aquacate several times for up to two weeks. I am friends with several people in the village, including Louis, the contact who arranges homestays.

As Louis mentioned, the Homestay program is a cultural exchange where both the visitor and guest learn a great deal about each other’s way of life. You are far more than a static visitor to the village; you will be involved and integrated into daily village life. At first, you may feel as if your life at home is very different, but upon closer inspection, you may discover that you have many more similarities with the people of Aquacate, than differences.

Do not be afraid to ask questions about anything. Your host family members are always eager to explain. Also, don’t hesitate to be involved with any activity that you may find interesting or would like to learn more about. Try your hand at learning some words in Qeqchi and Mopan. Learn about the indigenous plants that provide food, medicine, and building materials. Keep your ears and eyes open for the occasional Howler Monkey.

Some suggested items, beyond the obvious tropical travel gear:

  • Boots or fairly heavy duty shoes.
  • Water shoes to wade through or into small creeks (Tevas, Crocs, etc.).
  • Water bottle to stay hydrated. Water is provided via wells and is boiled for purification.
  • Sweater and pants. It can be cool in the late evenings.
  • Towel for drying off after swimming or bathing.
  • Notebook and pen. Write down what you learn so you don’t forget.
  • Flashlight.
  • Mosquito repellent.
  • Swimsuit.

I invite you to explore a new and rewarding form of tourism that the Aquacate Homestay program offers. I may be able to answer questions from a visitor’s point of view; please don’t hesitate to email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Please be observant of the bus schedule in regards to your overall travel itinerary. Aguacate is not located on a frequently traveled road so arranging other modes of transportation would be very difficult. In addition, heavy rains may influence the bus schedule, as two rivers may flood above their low cement bridge height.