The "Mountains and People - Bulgarian Association of Mountain Leaders" is the leading non-government organization in training and legislation
for mountain leaders in Bulgaria.
The "Mountains and People - Bulgarian Association of Mountain Leaderse" was founded on 12th of November 1997 as a non-profit organization by
individuals and organizations, who share professional and hobby interests for the nature in the mountains.
The aim of the association is to help and encourage the development of sustainable, eco-tourism and outdoor
activities in the mountain regions of Bulgaria. It also aims to increase the ecological behavior, boosts the creation and
improvement of basic infrastructure, landmarks and equipment in the mountains and climbing areas in Bulgaria, aiming safety.
The "Mountains and People - Bulgarian Association of Mountain Leaders" cooperates with institutions, other non-government organizations and the
responsible business in tourism, whose aim is the nature conservation, sustainable development of rural and mountain regions.
At the moment in Bulgaria there is no professional organization of mountain leaders - a real syndicate. Of all
the unions of mountain leaders the "Mountains and People - Bulgarian Association of Mountain Leaders" has played the most significant role in Bulgarian legislation
for implementing the profession of mountain leaders and for establishing the guidelines of mountain leaders education.
The main fields of our work are:
Some of our major achievements concerning mountain leaders:
- Mountain leaders education and vocational training;
- Consulting in mountain activities and projects for sustainable tourism development;
- Providing an expert opinion on legislation and legal framework;
- Organizing activities to promote awareness and proper use of mountains and other environmental resources;
- Information exchange on mountain-related issues;
- Taking civil actions on the environmental problems in Bulgaria, as an active member of the Coalition "Let Nature Remain in Bulgaria".
The association helps its members by:
- For almost 10 years "Mountains and People - Bulgarian Association of Mountain Leaders" has been the initiator and a solicited participant in a number of
work meetings and discussions, which have resulted in the legal regulation of mountain guide's profession in Bulgaria;
- During 2001 the association designed a new route "off the beaten tracks".
- In November 2003 we were the first in Bulgaria to receive a license for Mountain Leaders Vocational Training Center. Ever since,
we are the only vocational training centre having implemented trainings in this profession that end by acquiring a state-acknowledged
certificate for vocational training. By the end of October 2008 98 professional leaders have received their diplomas and a lot of them
have already managed to achieve professional success;
- In 2004 a team of our members and trainers was involved in the development of the first Bulgarian Manual for the Mountain Guide
and the Good Mountaineer. 2008 the second edition came out - the best book in Bulgaria about mountains leaders, training and special
- Since 1999 we have organized five "Training for trainers of mountain leaders" seminars in partnership with CRET Association
(Regional and European Tourism Centre) - Briancon, France, Bulgarian Association for Alternative Tourism (BAAT), Odysseia-In Sport
and Travel Agency (Bulgaria) and the French Embassy in Bulgaria.
- In 2005 we organized a national conference on the problems of the mountain huts, marked trails and safety in the Bulgarian mountains.
- In 2006 we organized a national conference on the problems of the eco-trails in Bulgaria - construction, maintenance,
responsibility, funding and legislation.
- Since 2007 we are an active member of the Coalition of 30 environmental NGOs and civic groups "Let Nature Remain in Bulgaria", which
is trying to effectively fight with crimes against nature and society and works for the sustainable development of the protected areas.
- Organizing sport and outdoor activities for them;
- Ensuring education, information, insurances for their safety while working in the mountains;
- Giving out information for the activities, threats and civil actions in the mountain tourism field;
- Acting as a free consultant;
- Leading discussions on many topics related to the mountains, nature and outdoor activities.
At present the association has 45 members, who are active mountain leaders, working in Bulgaria and abroad.