Staff Spotlight: Gabriela Estrada

Volunteer Advisor

What is your favorite travel memory?

My first trip through South America I was able to visit Argentina, Peru, and Bolivia. When I was 22 years old I visited one of my best friends who was studying abroad in Buenos Aires and I can say it was a life changing experience.

My favorite part of the trip was the road trip we made in the North of Argentina. We got to speak with the locals and other travelers from all over the world, and to stop in small towns that weren't that touristic.

It was fantastic to be able to get to know other cultures, and look at the world from a completely different perspective.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I believe a have a more global perspective. I am so much more aware of the fact that every country is different in all contexts - political, geographical, social - and therefore every aspect of life is managed different depending on your culture.

At the same time we are all humans and we are all able to make a difference in other people's lives, and that it doesn't take much to make an impact and to help others.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I helped a whole family to prepare for their trip to Tanzania. It was a family of two boys, a girl and their parents, and each of them did a different project.

I thought it was a really nice idea to travel along with your whole family but also travel with a purpose.

When they got back to their hometown, the father have had such a valuable experience working with his organization that he decided to make a big donation to the program and to continue working with them.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would love going to the Community Village Project in Tanzania. I believe that this project is very interesting to get to know the roots of a completely different culture.

It is an incredible opportunity to immersing one-self in a rich, traditional culture, and helping people along the way. It's a rare opportunity to look at the world through the eyes of an ancient well-kept traditional community, and also to disconnect from the world and really get to open your mind to a completely different context.

This might be a difficult project at the beginning because of the remote location and rare contact with the outside world, but I am sure it is an unforgettable experience.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I believe that it is a company that provides a great alternative to travel and see the world, and help others at the same time. We are all really committed people and I believe that the work we do as a whole is really valuable.

I am especially happy when I read the feedback from the volunteers and they are happy about the work and help they provided. I feel that we don't only change the lives of the people we help but also, the lives of the people who are doing the work.

If we are able to change the mind of at least one person and that person is convinced that he/she is able to make a change, then I believe we are on the right track.