Ak’ Tenamit (AAT) is a non-profit association located in eastern Guatemala that works with local communities in Rio Dulce that are developing unique, sustainable travel experiences but face challenges because they have never been tourists or run a business.
Ak’ Tenamit was founded in 1992 by Steve Dudenhoefer. In 1990, Steve owned a successful interiorscaping business in South Florida and decided to visit Guatemala to discover why many of his employees, Mayans from Guatemala, had immigrated to the US to work and sent every penny they earned back home. He met people who lived on $1 a day, children without schools, mothers without vital medicine for their babies. Deeply affected by this experience, he returned home, sold his businesses and started Asociación Ak’ Tenamit in 1992 with the help of local village leaders. Today Ak’ Tenamit is run entirely by the Q’eqchi people, and Steve remains involved as Chief Technical Adviser, assisting managers and the Board but concentrating on fundraising and networking.
In the same year that Ak’ Tenamit was founded, Steve’s friends and family founded The Guatemalan Tomorrow Fund to create a mechanism for raising funds for the project.