Victor Leal, our colleague from Gautemala and our Area Representative for the Spanish speaking Americas has passed away.

Born in Guatemala, he was a free lance tourist guide since 1978. At the end of his regular High School, he began tourism studies at Guatemala private school for Tourist Guides getting a degree in 1977. In 1978 he began studies to become professional tourist guide at the Technical Institute for Capacity and Productivity, INTECAP, (professional tourism education division) getting the official Professional Tourist Guide Title from the Labour and Social Foresight Ministry of the Government of Guatemala. He also finished Hotel Management and Tour Operator technical studies from the same Institute . Victor was the. Founding Member of AGTG Guatemala Tourist Guides Association,a board member and President since year 2001. Victor become World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations Area Representative for Spanish speaking Americas after attending the 2003 Convention in Dunblane Scotland. Victor was one of the WFTGA first Jane Orde Scholarship winners. Due to his hard work at developing and promoting tourist guides world wide and in his region and many other criterias which he met to win the scholarship.

He travelled long distances by motorcoach to meet tourist guides, attend trade shows and work on promoting membership to the WFTGA in his region.

I had the great pleasure of working hours with him on preparing Guatemala's bid and proposal for the 2007 Convention. Victor ran into many obstacles but his determination of having a chance to bid only made him meet all the challenges as best he could. He and his colleagues worked hard to have a well documented proposal ready on time with all the elements required. Unfortunately, due to delays of trying to get a visa to travel to Australia, costs and health reason, all this prevented him from attending the 2005 Convention and bidding. He was determined to try again. He prepared an excellent report as Area Representative in his region which was read out by colleagues. Victor was very much looking forward to coming to Egypt a life long dream of his and to meet with all of us again and meet the challenges of our ever changing profession.

Victors Professional skills included:
Working as our guide-conductor, designing tours, corporate,private and VIP tours conducting tour analysis: distances, timing, roads, any local land, water, air transportation, hotel reservations (including Belize and Central a tour manager), he also offered services of staffing
He offered cultural tours: MAYA archaeology, ethnology, anthropology, history which is why he had a great fascination to visit Egypt He taught Spanish and I remember fondly how he corrected the incorrect term of Latin America which he always said meant nothing.

He conducted Eco-tourism: fauna, flora, sustainable tourism projects among many other involving this topic. He worked on sales for Guatemala offered sporting tourism such as bill fishing, rafting, hiking, volcano climbing, mountain bike, scuba diving, snorkelling and jungle tours.He was versatile in conventions planning , fam trips, special events logistics, planning, organisation and staff hiring.
He conducted tours on shore excursion of cruises as well design, planning and coordination and worked as shore excursion assistant manager. Victor also offered
Conferences, guiding, video and movie logistics for, Smithsonian Institute, Art Museum of Chicago, National Geographic, Metropolitan Community College of Omaha Nebraska, Die Letzten Paradiese, (nature-reise-abenteuer) Swiss-German productions.

Posted: 04/01/06