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14th October 2009
Ecuadorean guide Diego Torres has won the top prize at the 2009 Wanderlust Paul Morrison Guide Awards ceremony
Ecuadorean guide Diego Torres has won the top prize at the 2009 Wanderlust Paul Morrison Guide Awards ceremony. Diego, who has made the shortlist in each of the previous three competitions, won the gold award at the ceremony at London's Royal Geographical Society.
Jordanian guide Yamaan Safady won the silver award and Indian guide Tejendra Singh was awarded the bronze prize.
Over 160 guides were nominated for this year's awards, which were presented by Wanderlust's co-founder/editor-in-chief Lyn Hughes and travel writing legend Bill Bryson.
Bill Bryson commented afterwards: "People have put a lot of thought into their testimonials (and) they clearly feel incredibly strongly about Diego. He was even described as one of Ecuador’s top ambassadors."
Diego wins a £5,000 bursary, which he plans to spend supporting Quito-based charity Proyecto DCR (www.proyectodcr.com), a charity that helps give marginalised street kids in Quito an opportunity to receive education.
Yamaan was planning to use his bursary to gain his International Mountain Leader Award. but told us that he may now reconsider and use it to set up some form of charity project.
Tejendra is set to spend his £1,500 bursary on two projects – firstly a co-operative that teaches women vocational skills such as how to make textiles and also on implementing a rain-harvesting project for the village he grew up in.
Lyn Hughes commented: "Whether you use their services for a day or a month a great guide can really make all the difference to your travelling experience and we’ve heard some amazing, touching and funny stories about our winning guides from readers. We hope the award continues to help guides across the globe realise just what a huge impact they have.”
>>Watch video highlights of the 2009 Paul Morrison Guide Awards ceremony and exclusive interviews with the guides here
>>For more on the Paul Morrison Guide Awards, go to our special section
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