Ginger Hooven is a Tennessee girl with a Guatemalan heart. She came to Guatemala from Washington DC in 1986 simply to learn Spanish and plan her next career step. She soon realized she could have a greater impact against poverty than she had had on “the Hill” by helping provide right livelihood to Guatemalans.
She began working with an exporter sending back tipica (typical artisan produce of Guatemala) to the US wholesale market. This introduced her to the highlands of Guatemala where she worked with artisans and supported them to develop their businesses, build their houses, send their children to school and eventually, invest in their businesses to help them grow. She ran three retail businesses in Antigua which specialized in goods from cooperatives from the highlands.
In 1993 Ginger opened Cafe Condesa, a restaurant in the central park of Antigua. Her two boys were born in 1994, cementing her link to Guatemala. As she developed a passion for yoga, she opened Antigua’s first yoga studio in 2000. In 2002 Ginger returned to the US to deepen her yoga education and have her children attend the school located in the intentional yoga community of Mount Madonna in the Santa Cruz mountains of California. Over the next many years, they returned to Guatemala often for business and pleasure.
Since 2015 Ginger is back living in Guatemala spending time at the restaurant and starting a new project –a small retreat center– in a small village outside of Antigua. She still spends time in Californian teaching yoga and Ayurveda at Mount Madonna Institute. She was led to Namaste by Bob Graham, the founder of Namaste, seeing in him, the same dedication she has had to support the people of Guatemala. She looks forward to working on a micro-level with Namaste and providing opportunities where previously little hope was to be had.
Her favorite time of the year in Antigua is November when the rains have just stopped and everything is still crisp and green.