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 kilometers by foot from Lalibela, Ethiopia. He was raised by his widowed father and by his sister.
At the age of 12, he ran away from home to get an education in Lalibela. He attended school half the day and did odd jobs the other half to earn money for food. At first, he slept on the street and did his homework under a streetlight.
A chance meeting in 2009 with Ric Foxley, a New Zealand tourist, gave him the opportunity to go to university, where he studied Plant Science and graduated in June 2013.
This led to several agricultural projects in his village, funded by the ongoing New Zealand connection he has established. Through these projects, his dream of bringing his 200-year-old birthplace into the modern age has become a reality.
In 2017, in addition to his village work, Amlaku completed a tourism diploma and has since spent his time guiding tourists around the ancient rock churches of Lalibela. In early 2020, he started his own tour company, Baregota Tour and Travel.