History

Maya Guide Adventures is the product of a slow evolving process of Mayan heritage nurtured through almost 30 years of military type discipline, a developing tourism industry and the need for safe, sustainable and responsible tourism. Owners Marcos and his son Francis Cucul were born in southern Belize. Marcos is the son of Ketchi Maya parents who were brought into Belize from Guatemala as young children fleeing from the cruel years of the cold war. Marcos grew up in the Toledo District in Southern Belize learning the subsistent living and medicinal secrets of the jungle, he later learned to grow cacao, raised cattle and began his personal quest for a more modern and developed Central Belize. At that time Belize’s Tourism Industry was on its infant steps and the exposure to foreigners and the world out there was only through the few adventurous pack-packers and the presence of British troops permanently stationed in Belize. Having very little political support, a very difficult to traverse Southern Highway and with the majority of population being Maya, the Toledo District became known as the forgotten District. Marcos ventured away from home.

At the age of 19, Marcos landed his first job that proved to be a landmark in his life and exposure to foreigners and the world culture that he now enjoys, he became a Jungle Survival Guide for the British Army and worked along with the Gurkha Regiments and the Special Air Service for years to come. Eventually, the start of family life was inevitable and Marcos could not continue the thrilling life of helicopter drops and long jungle treks through the remoteness of Belize. In 1992 he moved to Hummingbird Hershey which was a massive cacao growing project by Hershey’s Chocolate – based in Pennsylvania – along the Hummingbird Highway in Central Belize. Following his passion for the Maya Mountains and the jungle, Marcos started working as a Tour Guide for Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Jungle Adventure Lodge in 1998; he was one of three very instrumental guides that cleaned the edge of Petroglyph sink hole and the first one to rappel swinging a machete as he cleared his path down the now famous Black Hole Drop. After being part of leading and designing other very successful tours Marcos ventured on his own to start Maya Guide Adventures.

Marcos and his son Francis manage the day to day operations of Maya Guide Adventures Jungle Lodge. With his experience and qualifications Marcos has moved on to create SAFE Team, a small and elite group of licensed high adventure Tour Guides that specialize in rescue and remote wilderness medicine.