- Posted February 22, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Travel photo of the day
Best Tour Guides in Prague are the Homeless
Homeless people do not have a house or a flat they can call their own but on the other hand they have the whole city in their hands. The city is their home. This is the simplest way to explain the curious case of Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic where, believe it or not, the homeless are the best tour guides you can find. Yes, yes, you read that right, this city offers an unprecedented tour led by homeless people.
Karim, Honza, Petr and Ramon are part of the team in charge of spectacular city tours. Unlike those boring stories told over and over again by regular tour guides, these unique guides show Prague from a different perspective, the way they see it 24/7 living under the open sky. Their adventures can be funny or dramatic, and sometimes even turn into dangerous situations. That’s what makes these tours give you an adrenaline rush, make you laugh, take you to a potentially dangerous place and in the end offer you a lot of fun.
The tours are part of the activities by “Pragulic”, an association which won a prestigious international award for their project entitled “Discover Prague in a Different Way”. They were awarded an Honorary Award of the ERSTE Foundation Award for Social Integration 2013.
For Balkon 3 members of “Pragulic” civic association explain how difficult it was to implement the project and how much fun they had in the process.
- In the beginning we had 13 potential candidates for tour guides and we ended up with five. We are planning to recruit a few more this summer. When we tell people about our project they think it is controversial and unusual, but generally the reactions are mostly positive. Tourists appreciate the opportunity to be in the company of these people and to discover the city in a different way. It also gives tourists a unique chance to get to know what life is really like on the streets of Prague and all the difficulties that people have to deal with. - says Ondrej Klugl.
- Our guides will tell you stories about Prague as people who do live there. Moreover, they tell stories about their experiences in the streets and that is what attracts tourists – explains Ondrej.
-We started the project a year ago. Our aim was to show that in this way, by engaging them in a business deal, we can help the homeless integrate back in the society more easily. At the same time we are enabling them to earn a living and achieve economic independence. – adds Ondrej.
“Pragulic” is a project run by some very young people, three high school students who came up with the idea to do something extraordinary and help homeless people.
-Our project defies stereotypes and changes opinions by allowing other people to see the world through the eyes of the homeless. – concludes Ondrej.
If you are planning to visit Prague in the near future, Balkon 3 warmly recommends that you take a city tour with a homeless tour guide. Become a homeless person for just one day and see how the world looks like through their eyes. You might find your house or flat too small after that experience and wish for the whole city to be your home.