We had the good fortune of connecting with Marck Gutt | Don Viajes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marck, where are you from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born and raised in Mexico City and I identify myself as a gay, heretic Jew, Mexican man. Altogether, a combination of labels not often found happily mingling. I’ve always considered myself an out-of-the-box thinker and it’s no coincidence. While growing up, not a single box was diverse enough for me to fit in without having to give up a significant part of my identity. Today, I don’t feel like I have to sacrifice who I am nor sugarcoat my interests in order to have a voice. On the contrary, I make a living out of sharing stories and expressing opinions on an eclectic array of topics. I run a Spanish speaking sustainable travel blog where lush tropical destinations and remote national parks are amazing opportunities to discuss cultural appropriation, migrant crisis and climate change.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Since I graduated from university I’ve been traveling the world in search of stories and images that are worth sharing. Not seduced by unnecessary excesses, but by everyday life itself. For me, a palapa surrounded by wild macaws is much more revealing than a suite surrounded by butlers. In the last ten years I have published more than 600 stories in titles such as Aire (Aeroméxico), Esquire Latin America, National Geographic Traveler Latin America and Nexos (American Airlines). Some have earned me international recognition like the Explore Canada Award of Excellence. Others, the pleasure of sharing secrets such as the banana leaf cooked eggs of the Huasteca potosina and the stone villages of the Greek mountains of Zagori. Coronavirus forced the world to pause and it pushed me to launch my own blog. Learning basic programming skills and becoming my own editor hasn’t been easy. Yet, Don Viajes is up and running. Am I still learning? Yes. Is it challenging? Most of the time. Is it worthy? Definitely. Having a platform where I can share stories on sustainability and cultural diversity and build a community that cares about it is definitely worth it. These are strange times to start a travel project, but I’m confident we’ll travel again. In the meantime, luckily, we still have stories.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Vancouver now and I have to admit that if you’re into the outdoors, this is as good as it gets. You don’t even have to leave the city to immerse yourself in an old-growth rainforest. A casual stroll in Stanley Park’s Seawall is likely enough to spot seals, herons, bald eagles and beavers. The mountains that guard metro Vancouver are good for skiing and snowboarding and Whistler, Canada’s biggest ski resort, is less than 2 hours away. When it comes to food, Vancouver is also quite appealing and dangerously tempting. I love pastries and can’t have enough of Beaucoup Bakery: their cardamom kouign amann is to die for. While Montreal is the Canadian city known for bagels, Siegel’s does its part. Also, their rugelach are delicious. I love ramen but usually have a hard time finding a vegetarian one, not in here. Danbo offers a delicious vegan spicy ramen that doesn’t feel like a consolation prize.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
While it’s always nice to travel somewhere fancy to get spoiled, two humble community projects restored my hope on the transformative power of sustainable tourism. Caminos de Osa (in Costa Rica) and Costa Verde (in Chiapas, Mexico) are beautiful community lead projects working on empowering local people while conserving vast natural resources. Needless to say, people are warm, biodiversity is huge and scenery is paradise worthy.
All photos are courtesy of Marck Gutt | Don Viajes