The Pursuit of Opportunity: The Good Life through the Windshield of the Tuk Tuk Entrepreneur. An Ethnographic Study in Panajachel, Guatemala
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This ethnographic field study examines the connection between micro-entrepreneurship in the informal sector and local perceptions of the Good Life by studying tuk tuk drivers in Guatemala, Panajachel. Flexibility and freedom characterise the profession of driving a tuk tuk, which makes this profession ideal for entrepreneurial side activities. Drivers move on the spectrum between wage labor-like livelihood and entrepreneurship in the partially regulated tuk tuk sector. They constantly seek opportunities inside and outside of the sector and put a lot of effort in the appearance of their vehicle and their own reputation. The extent to which tuk tuk drivers engage in entrepreneurial activities helps them increase their social capital, which in turn results in new opportunities and a higher sense of dignity. Tuk tuk drivers have to work many hours a day in the search to algo más (something more), as they hold different aspirations in the search towards wellbeing. We argue that tuk tuk drivers who are more entrepreneurially minded find it easier to achieve the Good Life.