Mario Fuentes from My trip to Ecuador
Well, I am going to be honest, I never know how to start a blog, so I think I am going to introduce myself, Mario the tour guide.

I’m a 26 year old guy right now (just turned 26 two months ago), lived in Guayaquil-Ecuador my whole life. I have a degree in Business and Management with a major in finance, have worked as a server in a Mexican Restaurant in Williamsburg-Virginia, have been a taxi driver, mattress cleaner, food seller. In 2010 I started in a big Ecuadorian company as a Treasury Analyst and moved next year to a International company as a Finance-Tax Analyst. (that would be My resume).

Mario Fuentes from My trip to Ecuador

Mario Fuentes from My trip to Ecuador

Now, what really matters. Since I was teenager I backpack around Ecuador, I just don’t have words to describe how much I love this country. I thank life everyday for letting me be Ecuadorian. The food, the landscapes, the people, the diversity, an endless list which I will talk about in a future post. Also, I love meeting new people, making friends, and show the country. So if you combine all this features, a person who loves his country and show it, who loves meeting new people, what would you think that is the dream job for that person? easy right? being a tour guide. So, that’s is what I am right now, a tour guide.

My first experience as a tour guide was when I was 17 years old, My mom’s cousin who lives in Houston came to visit her father and brought 10 friends with her, 2 families. She wanted to stay with her father but the rest wanted to travel around, they needed somebody that speaks English and know the country. March is summer for Guayaquil, so we are in school holidays, I was free so I could help them. We went to Vinces (great town in the countryside), spend time in the city and also went to Salinas beach. When we said goodbye they gave money I din’t ask for, then I thought: “so people pay for having a person to show them around and travel with them”. I dind’t want to accept the money because for me it was a great time, I had fun, they paid for my food and accommodation, so why would I take extra money?.

Dinner with the Votta Family, the first group I guided.

Dinner with the Votta Family, the first group I guided.

Years passed, I kept doing this informal guiding in my free time, I kept traveling around the country, I went to Virginia to work, I finished my career, got my jobs in Guayaquil, etc. But never got rid of the idea that came into my mind when I was 17, “What if i make my living from guiding?”.

By 2013 I had a pretty good job, good company, good salary, good environment, amazing friends, I liked what I was doing, and was pretty good at it, however, I was missing something, passion. I started to think? should I stay here? Should I start what I have always wanted to do? I needed a sign to help me take the decision.

On June 10th I got an email from a company called Tours by Locals that offers tours made by local people around the world, saying that they have tracked me, they know I travel around Ecuador and asking if I wanted to be a guide in Guayaquil for them. And you can guess what happened, same day I went to the Human Resources manager and told her I wanted to leave the day I get two years in the company, that means, September 5th 2013.


  1. pam spaulding, alicia crouch
    6:48 am - 04/20/2019 / Reply

    My daughter, grandson and I took the Churute and Cacao day trip. It was wonderful. Better than I anticipated. Mario is great in every way from knowledge to hospitality to accommodation for our personal needs. I would always choose Mario as a tour guide for any future trips to Ecuador. I highly recommend him.

  2. Lynn
    8:50 pm - 10/08/2022 / Reply

    Mario was my guide for a whole day tour of a chocolate & mango farm one hour’s drive outside Guayaquil that included lunch and was followed by a two hour walking tour of Guayaquil.
    He is an excellent host, friendly, very knowledgeable and passionate about Ecuador and the things he was showing and telling me. He was genuinely excited about demonstrating the process of chocolate harvesting. We had a delicious fresh farm-to-table lunch served, and then showed me some ‘hidden gems’ in the city during our walking tour of Guayaquil.
    I would highly recommend Mario for large and small groups as well as for various types of tours of Ecuador.

  3. Sheryce
    10:38 am - 04/30/2024 / Reply

    Five stars are not enough! Mario went above and beyond to accommodate us for our Guayaquil tour. From the moment we were met in our hotel lobby through the afternoon in and out of the comfortable, air condition van, Mario and his team insured our time was well spent. We finished with a deeper understanding of the cities, history, culture, and appreciation for its beauty and hospitality. We can’t wait to visit again and see more of Ecuador’s treasures. Thank you, Mario, Tony and Roberto for helping us fall in love with your lovely city.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *