Travel Itineraries Should Be Life-Changing
From a young age, I’ve been smitten with the transformative nature of travel. Once bitten by the discovery bug, and especially if you are drawn to meeting people, there’s no turning back. While working for corporate America, I discovered that I had a knack for organizing group travel, and in my free time, I put together a group to the Galapagos and designed the itinerary. Friends and colleagues went and it was a success!
More trips followed and Latin Excursions was born in 2003, putting into motion the idea that personalized, private travel in nature destinations was an affordable proposition when viewed through the lens of personal transformation. Inspiring moments have a way of flowing out of private, highly personalized discovery. This is the elixir. And so for decades now the Latin Excursions team has nurtured local partners: for they are the great story-tellers and the truest ambassadors of the places they call home. Voluntourism (travel experiences that “give back”) have followed, evolving where communities are set up for and appreciate the support of foreigners.
Diving headfirst into a French school, then hopping over to Germany, and snagging a degree in international business didn’t just jazz up my resume—it blew the doors wide open to a world swirling with new cultures and fresh ways of thinking. Fresh off the plane from Germany, a good buddy of mine tossed a wild idea my way: why not join a Galapagos tour operator? They were on the lookout for someone who could juggle English (bonus points for extra languages!) and charm their way through operations and sales. Fast forward over twenty years, and here I am, deeply rooted in the vibrant Galapagos and Ecuador tourism scene. I’ve zipped over to the Galapagos more times than I can count, and let me tell you, each visit is a whole new level of awe. Those islands have stolen my heart, and I’m all about sharing that love with our clients.
Then came the pandemic—pause button pressed for reasons we’re all too familiar with. That’s when Latin Excursions and a guy named Eric waltzed into my life. Now, I’m rocking it with this incredibly warm and welcoming crew, diving into the wonders of South American destinations and sprinkling my Ecuador and Galapagos know-how into the mix.
Since I was a child, I always dreamed of becoming someone that didn’t need to commit to a single location and was always passionate about learning about new cultures in person. Once I finished Hospitality Management school I decided to move to the US and work/study at the Walt Disney Company based in Orlando, Florida. Then I started working for a major operator and travel startup in Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala and Belize. But I wanted more and decided to take on the opportunity of working at Latin Excursions with eleven amazing destinations, catering to a higher-end clientele.
I now manage operations with our local teams who provide a huge array of fantastic and meaningful experiences to our clients. I work closely with our system development team to constantly improve the client experience, and I manage the relationships with our partners.
I’m an active individual and a huge foodie, which brings a great sense of balance. I’m passionate about culinary experiences and cooking, cocktails, reading, running, CrossFit, video games, dinner parties and quality time with friends and family.
Top Experiences – Beach BBQ cooking class on a private island in Belize, Sealions in the Galapagos, getting invited by a hotel employee to a local fair in Imbabura (Ecuador) to share traditions, and the magical train ride from Ollantaytambo to Cusco in Perú with all its stops to meet locals.
From my very first visit to Cuba in 1976 I was thunderstruck. The sights, smells and culture of another country fascinated me. I needed more. “Life” got in the way for many years, but 10 years ago, with family grown, I took a chance and moved to Central America. At first I volunteered at a non profit, which lead to work in the travel industry and eventually travel to 13 countries in Central and South America. Happy travelers always comment on my travel designs whether a quick get away or a 47 night, 7 country South America experience.
Clients appreciate my attention to detail and ability to customize, making their travel dreams a reality. Over the years I have experienced a number of “pinch me” moments, that I like to incorporate into the trip I design.White water rafting on the Pacuare River in Costa Rica, snorkeling with sea lions in the Galapagos Islands, horseback riding with gauchos in Argentina, swimming with sharks in Belize, driving in a ‘55 Chevy along the malecon in Havana, river tubing down Rio Don Diego in Colombia, howler monkeys on one side and the snow capped Sierra Nevada mountains ahead of me, assisting a biologist do a blood test on a sea turtle or camping among Mayan pyramids at the only village in Tikal National Park, each is an experience of a lifetime.
Food has always been a passion of mine and travel always includes many authentic experiences. BBQ lamb in Patagonia with Torres del Paine park in the background, a pupusa hot off the grill in El Salvador, an empanada in Argentina while listening to tango music, enjoying dinner in an Andean home in Ecuador, or a tasting menu by famous Panamanian chef Charlie Collins all lead to an amazing memory and an extraordinary journey!