When did you open La Iguana Perdida and what inspired you to do so?
I opened La Iguana Perdida in 1995. Lake Atitlan is a stunning place and I just happened upon it - within 24 hours of ever having been on the lake, I decided to buy the wooden houses which made up the first incarnation of La Iguana Perdida.
What makes your business different?
I have been here for so long!! We have definitely been a model for many other hostels/hotels/lodges in Guatemala and maybe beyond!
What has been the most rewarding part of opening La Iguana Perdida?
I'd have to say the quality of life and raising my family here in Guatemala.
What has been your biggest challenge and how have you overcome this?
Environmental issues: hurricanes, mudslides, rising water, algae bloom. Now we are rabid environmentalists!!
What's next for La Iguana Perdida?
We're not too sure ourselves!
How has Tab helped La Iguana Perdida?
Tab has enabled us to not have such large amount go through Paypal. It's been nice getting to work with a business right at the beginning. We met the Founders in March 2015 and hopefully have helped to promote them around Guatemala!
Why is Guatemala a great place to visit?
There's loads of variety in a small country. The pride that the locals have of their culture is fantastic and the scenery is absolutely beautiful - you should come and visit!!
Are there any trends/changes that you've noticed in tourism?
We've noticed that there are many more hostels opening up. I'd say there a probably more party hostels than there used to be, some of which unfortunately don't necessarily respect the local culture.
What would your advice be for anyone thinking about starting their own hostel/hotel?
If you are ever going into a partnership, make sure you plan the exit strategy before starting. Luckily my husband and I run the place so no need for an exit strategy! It is a load of hard work but great fun.
Are there any websites or articles that you would recommend to other new hostel/hotel owners?
We have always used volunteers even before the internet! At the moment we get volunteers from Workaway.
Find La Iguana Perdida at https://www.facebook.com/LaIguanaPerdida.