Aaron Paiva Leyton is the 2013 Small Business Participant in the IGLTA Foundation’s Building Bridges Scholarship Program. He will be attending the IGLTA Convention in Chicago this May.
Aaron remembers being told that “to do something different was wrong”, a belief he has never bought into. Aaron believes that tourism is a bridge to engage different cultures. His business, Peru Magia y Misterio, was started from the realization that there were a lot of people that want to experience what is to be a Peruvian and experience the country’s history and culinary arts. Combined with his love of photography and creative arts, Aaron studied to be a tour guide and he’s created numerous videos and documentaries on his perspective of Peru. He sees great potential in his home country and the opportunity to teach others about its society. He’s recently started a section on Peru’s official website dedicated exclusively to LGBT, under the name TravelFabulousPeru.com. Aaron has gained respect through his work, showcasing his abilities and proving that his sexuality does not make him different.
For Aaron, it is important for people to understand that LGBT persons should be treated equally. He sees that people are afraid to be open about their sexuality because the gay community lacks visibility in Peru. However, he does feel that times are changing and that he wants to be a part of the change. Aaron believes that sharing “experiences of what happen[s] in each society” will help improve the understanding of LGBT people, and that we cannot simply rely on the media’s portrayal of LGBT issues.
While in Chicago, he’ll be taking time to explore the architecture and try the local food. The IGLTA Convention is an opportunity to improve his connections and learn from the experiences of others, which is valuable for enhancing his offerings and the experiences for his LGBT clients.
by Warren Brown, for the IGLTA Foundation
Views and opinions expressed in the IGLTA Foundation Blog are those of individual authors and do not reflect official policy or positions of IGLTA or the IGLTA Foundation.