At the age of three, Al Argueta first traveled to Guatemala with his father. He was utterly captivated by the country's landscape and its Mayan inhabitants. He would later live in Guatemala for two years, allowing him to formally learn Spanish and to experience Guatemala's culture firsthand. During summers in high school and college, Al would take a month off and travel to Guatemala to explore its jungles, Mayan ruins, and villages.
In college, Al majored in journalism and Latin American studies, managing to squeeze in two study-abroad programs in Manchester and Maastricht. He also traveled through much of Europe. After college, he interned with Costa Rica's Tico Times, getting his first exposure to travel writing and photography, in addition to covering then-President Bill Clinton's visit to Guatemala. Al worked briefly for a newspaper in the Virgin Islands before moving on to photography school in Hawaii. He also taught English to college students in Thailand for a time, continuing to satiate the travel bug that bit him years back.
Al now lives in Austin, Texas, where he's managed to stay put in one place for an unprecedented three years. In addition to writing, he does freelance travel photography for clients that have included US Airways, Caribbean Travel & Life, Condé Nast Traveler, Outside's GO, and Continental. Guatemala is still his favorite place to photograph.