World Guide Award Winner: Efrain Valles from Peru
Efrain Valles, who works for Atlas’s Peruvian member Amazonas Explorer, beat thousands of nominees from around the world to win the coveted prize in a prestigious ceremony at London’s Royal Geographical Society.
The judging committee included author Bill Bryson, Wanderlust Editor in Chief Lyn Hughes and Rough Guide founder Mark Ellingham.
On presenting the prize Bryson said, Efrain was “not only an outstanding guide but an outstanding human being. His compassion shines out.”
Efrain will be donating the £5,000 bursary to Chicuchas Wasi Alternative School of which he is a director. The school was originally set up to help street children get an education. Efrain himself is a former pupil. Nowadays the school focuses solely on helping girls who would not otherwise get an education, and through this breaking the cycle of domestic violence and low opportunities in which they would otherwise become entrapped.
One previous client said of Efrain,
“He asks his clients to stop and live in the moment; to experience, not just observe.”
Exactly the kind of values that we, here at ATLAS, place so highly. To stop and live in the moment, to experience, not just observe.