What is your favorite travel memory?
My favorite travel memory is from Thailand, I recently went there and I was amazed by the beauty of their temples and nature. I had the opportunity to see the tourist bits, but also was lucky enough to get to see a small village in the mountains north of Chiang Mai, Huay Pakoot. Having seen the hectic life in Bangkok it was great to see this peaceful and breathe taking village.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
One of the aims of GVI is to support local organizations in the different countries that we work. Focusing on their objectives and helping them to achieve them, we always look at what the partners need and work very hard to get them. All of our projects are also directly impacting critical issues, and they are always in line and looking to contribute towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The work done in the field is directly impacting the communities where we work and volunteers are very involved in it, therefore they get to see firsthand the great contribution they are doing by volunteering in our projects.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
GVI has given me the opportunity to develop many different skills. Working directly on the field has given me experience on the general running of a conservation project, such as coral reef monitoring techniques, managing volunteers, teaching about marine conservation, driving boats, running environmental education workshops. I have learned a lot from working with people from all over the world, I’ve developed managerial and administrative skills such as staff management, budgeting, recruitment, as well as how to plan, develop and run new projects.
Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of your current team
The Mexico team has a great passion for what they do and have learned to work as a team even though they focus on different projects: marine conservation and community development. We organize fundraising events to support our local partners a few times per year, and both teams have done a great job organizing them. They are very supportive of each other by participating in the activities that the other team is doing but also organizing events to support completely to the other project. This year the marine conservation team decided to fundraise for the community development programs, this was a great example of fellowship between the teams.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
We have had many people coming back to our programs, not only as volunteers but also as staff members. I remember in particular one volunteer that was so touched by the marine environment that he decided to go back home and enroll in a masters in marine biology and to complete his diving instructor course. When he finished, he was very eager to apply all the knowledge he acquired that he applied to come back as part of the staff team in Mexico.