The TEA aims to spread the benefits of tourism as widely as possible among participating members of the communities in which it operates. The tour guides and other service providers, share the work on a rotation basis amongst all TEA members in the village. One guide is used for one or two people and then an additional guide is employed, keeping a ratio of not more than 1:2.
In every village you can take a tour with one of the local women. She will take you around the village, explaining her daily life and familiarizing you with the community in which you are staying. She will be knowledgeable in the use of plants incorporated into daily life and able to demonstrate the local ways of doing the work of women the world over - washing, cooking, caring for children and cleaning. She will show you the school, church, corn mill, and other important buildings in the life of the village. This tour is a unique opportunity to get an insight in to the world of Mayan women and they are happy to share their lives with you. Please ask questions about subjects that interest you, as the women are traditionally shy and may hesitate to talk a lot unless you demonstrate your interest clearly.
Each village also offer a jungle tour. These tours vary in length depending on the village and what local attraction you are taken to see. (Please see village descriptions for key attractions) All the guides have an intimate knowledge of the jungle environment and can tell you about many of the plants you will see and the bird and animal life along the way. They will also talk to you about their traditional Milpa farming practices if you are interested and the changes they have seen in their communities and surrounding lands in recent years. It is a way of life fast disappearing.
All villages can also arrange for evening entertainment in the form of music, dancing and storytelling. This is the perfect way to end a day in the rainforest, listening to the traditional sounds of the Maya or Garifuna and watching elderly men and women demonstrate and teach the ancient dance steps to the young. The story telling recalls old stories that have been passed on through generations mixed with contemporary themes and issues. The TEA program has been unique in resurrecting and keeping these traditions alive, and by including them in your visit you are helping to preserve cultural traditions that may otherwise be lost. Craft lessons are also offered in each village - the type of crafts varies slightly according to the specialty of the different villages, but includes basket making, weaving and carving.