Staff Spotlight: Fiorella Rojas Jaramillo

Office Assistant


A strong believer in social change and justice, as well as an avid traveler and backpacker, Fiorella has focused her studies in International Development and Peace and Conflict, as well as her professional career. At OGHQ, she provides administrative support to all the teams and to the participants!

What is your favorite travel memory?

I think it was when I was backpacking in Europe. I had a really rough couple of days in Northern Italy and was feeling a little frustrated and exhausted (I had been traveling for 2.5 months at that point).

I took a 7-hour bus to Venice, which would be arriving at 5 am. I couldn't sleep on the bus and knew that I wasn't going to be able to check into my hostel until noon. At 4.45 am, as the bus was arriving and the sun was starting to rise, I saw the first glimpse of the city, I felt a rush of energy and happiness.

The hostel let me drop off my bags and shower at 7 am, and from then until past midnight, I didn't stop. I was too excited and happy. Even now, remembering that moment gives me a rush!

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

OG has restored my faith in voluntourism! I definitely see voluntourism in a new and positive light now. I have always been critical of certain organizations and companies, but now I understand there are good ways to do it and inspire others. Since I have been working with OG, when I travel, I know that, if done properly, I can volunteer and I also want to interact more with the locals.

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

The best story I've heard was from a participant who went to the Amazon. He learned about the story of Pachamama, the earth goddess, and while on a beautiful boat ride on the Amazon River, he looked up and around, and finally understood the connection that the natives had to the earth, and that we are all connected.

I felt that this story was so moving and an example of the amazing power of travel and connecting with the locals and their culture.

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

I would go on India: Gender and Religion, because, in addition to backpacking and exploring such a vibrant country with many cultures, I also get to learn about the issues surrounding Gender and Religion straight from the source.

These two topics, particularly gender, are becoming increasingly more relevant in the media, thanks to the rise of feminism, and learning from women who are experiencing it and fighting back is a privilege. In addition, I enjoy visiting places of worship when I travel, which is a big part of this program, in addition to learning the history, the context and the social issues, all from religious leaders!

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

One of the things that makes us unique is the level and concern for ethical work. OG doesn't just talk about it, but leads by example. I have studied and witnessed the negative impacts of voluntourism, and I am proud to say that OG really knows how to do ethical travel and voluntourism.

Coming from a developing country where a lot of NGOs and volunteers like to go, makes me very protective and uncomfortable of what they do there. But I am happy about what OG does in the country and the respect that they teach the participants.

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

I think success can be measured in different ways and I believe OG is very successful in achieving their goals of ethical travel and experiential education. The biggest factor is to have a team who truly believes in the vision. A company also has to evolve with the times and continue to strive to be better (more ethical, be better to others).