Staff Member Spotlight: Sara Fonseca

Title
Communication and Marketing Manager

Photos

Sara is a 32-year old roller hockey fan from Oeiras, a beach village just 20 minutes away from Lisbon, Portugal. She can't say no to a travel adventure, to meeting new people or learning about new customs, and photographing everything, because she believes memories are the best things in life.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I have so many memories, so many stories to tell, that I cannot find the best. The first and hilarious time I've been on a Tuktuk ride in Bangkok; the car trip I made with two friends traveling all over England coast; the boat adventures in Crocia; the luxury of Macau; or visiting a poor school in Angola, are just some of the many experiences I can count on.

Traveling is this: having many memories and giving many memories, without having to have any favorites, but always enjoying to the maximum.

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

It changed me for the best. Knowing different people, characters, cultures, religions, and races, but having a common concern is fantastic!

Responsible tourism is a different way of traveling that really makes a difference. As much as we are all different, the way to travel unites us always in the end. It is very gratifying to know that we are showing our country in a different way and that, moreover, we are allowing those who visit it to make it better.

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

We have many different, moving, and unique stories. All of our volunteers tell or provide us unique stories and moments.

I can share the story of a girl from Beirut who came to our Fighting Food Waste Program to learn and create a similar program in her homeland. She was 100% committed, super curious, and learned immensely. Having a goal like this is fantastic and makes our work even more impactful.

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

I like all programs because they are all very different, and they help in completely different ways. If I had to choose one, though, I think I would choose the Marine Conservation Program.

Being in direct contact with nature, learning how to preserve it, and helping is fantastic. I have never done this experience but I have been there many times. I see the joy of the volunteers, the enthusiasm with which they leave the water and tell what they saw, and the joy of seeing the amount of garbage they take from the bottom of the sea at each dive. It's an amazing experience, with lots of adventure and with a very important final result.

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

The passion that the whole team has. We work 24 hours a day so our volunteers feel at home and enjoy the experience the most. The team always has a smile and is always ready to help. In addition, the experiences are unique, and transform the lives of those who live them.

I feel proud every day, but especially when we hear feedback from those who have been with us and from our social and environmental partners. Knowing that we change the lives of those who give and of those who receive, is the biggest reason for my pride.

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

Once again, the biggest factors are the passion of the team and the unique programs. We introduce our volunteers to a Portugal that not even all the Portuguese know – in a different way, dynamic, and very impactful.

Another important factor is the relationship that we have with our Social and Environmental partners. Because we have such a close relationship with the Institutions, we have been able to respond to their real needs in a timely manner.

Understanding their real needs and being able to respond to them through the help of dedicated people, is one of the great keys to our success.