Staff Spotlight: Rachel Wilson



What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite memory traveling was when I was in Costa Rica working as an ecotour guide. I would lead the tourists through 850 acres of pristine rainforest on horseback then we would zipline and waterfall rappel together.

The best part about being the ecotour guide was that I was able to teach these travelers and visitors about the different plants and animals we encountered along the way. I love sharing knowledge about the environment because the more we know and appreciate nature, the more we respect and care for our environment.

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

Las Olas Travel has taught me a lot about entrepreneurship and being a self-motivated leader. In small companies the atmosphere is much different, much more personal.

We treat our clients like part of our travel family and are able to build a community of responsible travelers.

It's been an amazing experience working with Las Olas Travel. It's much more than a company coordinating amazing volunteer experiences, we are helping build this movement of conscious, sustainable travelers. I wouldn't want to work with any other company

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

The best story I've heard from our travelers are ones of friendship and self-discovery. Allowing yourself to travel and build strong relationships helps you find your place in the world.

The best story I have heard from our participants was that thanks to their experiences while in Nicaragua, she knew what she wanted to do for a living. She wanted to refocus her career path in alleviating poverty through teaching English. It was so amazing to hear someone so moved and impacted by their volunteer experience.

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

The Costa Rica program has a special place in my heart. I've been on the trip many times and I know the projects and communities well. They are all such amazing people and friends in the communities we work in.

Plus everyone loves sloths! In this program you get to work hands on with all kinds of exotic animals like sloths, monkeys, and more.

It's a really cool experience learning about the communities you are working with because every project and every person you meet has a unique story to share.

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

Our company is unique because we focus everything we do in sustainability, real sustainability. We make sure every program, tour, and home we stay at is helping the local culture, local economy, and beneficial for the environment. A lot of times this is a hard thing to find in programs abroad.

Many people preach sustainability but we live it, it's in the blood of this company and in the hearts of our employees.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

To me a successful company is one that lives their mission. Our mission is to be a sustainable volunteer program alleviating poverty through volunteer work. That's what we do and we do it well. We may not be the largest company out there, but we think of that as an advantage.

We are able to work one-on-one with our clients and really build relationships with our volunteers that in turn allows for a more profound experience abroad.