Amlaku Yaregal Teshome is the founder of Baregota Tour and Travel. His journey is a remarkable one. The youngest of four children, he was born in Baregota, a remote village, 8 km by foot from Lalibela, in Ethiopia. He was raised by his widowed father and his sister.
At age 12, he ran away from home to get an education in Lalibela. He attended school for half the day, doing odd jobs for the other half to earn food money. Initially, he slept on the streets, doing his homework under a streetlight.
A chance encounter in 2009 with Ric Foxley, a visiting New Zealand tourist, brought an opportunity for him to attend university, where he studied Plant Science, graduating in June 2013.
This led to several agricultural projects in his village, funded through the ongoing New Zealand connection he built up. These projects have seen his dream of bringing his 200-years old birthplace into the modern age become a reality.
In 2017, in addition to the village work, Amlaku completed a Tourism Diploma and had spent the time since then guiding tourists around the ancient rock churches of Lalibela. In early 2020, he launched his own tour company, Baregota Tour and Travel.