Native Edge Visits With Team Guatemala!

In 2021, the Native Edge team welcomed it’s first “guest workers”, eight Guatemalan Nationals legally authorized to work for us as part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s H2b Visa Program.

Native Edge Supervisor Edee Reyes (right) and Fermin Cobo De Leon take in Acul’s morning sunshine.

Fast forward to January 2024. Native Edge President Tom Sunderland, along with two fellow staff members, travelled to Acul, Guatemala, a small village in the Guatemalan highlands and home to some of of our very best guest workers.

Just 2 months earlier our guest workers had just completed their third successful season working as valued Native Edge team members in Boulder, CO. As like every year, they were heading back home to be spend time and the fruits of their labor with friends and families.

About Acul

Acul is a small village just a few miles from the larger town of Santa Maria Nebaj, a remote municipality in the Guatemalan highlands. Located approximately 6,200′ in elevation and home to approximately 72,000 residents. Part of the native Mayan Ixil Community, many residents here speak the Mayan Ixil language.

Q: How did Native Edge end up recruiting guest workers from Acul?

A: As fate would have it, Tom (N.E.L. President) was friends with a local pastor in Boulder who had been involved in several years of mission work in that area of Guatemala, alongside AGROS International, a non profit organization who’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty and create paths to prosperity for farming families in rural Latin America. The pastor had developed close working relationships with many locals in the area, and when Native Edge decided to apply for the H2B Visa program, Tom reached out to him to learn more about his experience and relationships in Guatemala.

Tom (back row/right) and fellow staff members Edee (right w/ hoodie) and Mason (back row/left) with H2B team members Fermin, Max and Ambrocio (back row) and their families after dinner together.

Q. What prompted Native Edge to visit Acul?

After three years of a successful and thriving working relationship with the guys from Acul, Tom and his leadership team decided that Acul was likely a great fit for growing a mutually beneficial working relationship with for the long term – a relationship that could have the potential to make a deep and meaningful impact over time. With this revelation, Tom decided it the time was right to visit Acul, meet the families of our guest workers, and forge a deeper connection between our two communities.

Below are more photos of our visit to Acul…

Max with his wife at their home.
Fermin and his growing family outside his home.
Ambrocio with his wife and infant daughter at their home.
Mother and daughter herding goats through the woods above Acul.