Maria is in love with languages and cultures. She is passionate about traveling and learning how to live in different parts of the world. She loves meeting people and learning about their customs; in love with this country and happy to share it with the rest of the world.
What is your favorite travel memory?
Once I was visiting Cappadocia, in Turkey, I went to a Bazaar in a nearby town, where only locals go, not tourists. I bought some things in one of the stores and the owner invited us to take tea with them. We accepted, and two minutes later, he invited us to eat with them, behind the stall.
He and his collaborators set up a small table with chairs (everything was completely improvised), and these kind men shared their food with us; we wanted to say no, but we found that would be rude. All this happened without knowing a word of any of the languages we spoke; we understood each other by body language.
As human beings, we can understand one another without needing to speak the same language!
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
It has made me a person more open to the world, open to accept the differences between one and the other; I am more understanding with the cultures and their beliefs - respectful of people from all over the world.
I value the time of others - I know that is the most important thing we have; that's why I have learned to be punctual, something not very common in Costa Rica.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
Once I heard of a student who fell in love with his host sister, but he was very young when he was participating in the Program. He returned years later and married her. Now they live in the United States and they plan to come to live in Costa Rica in a not too distant future.
I am also happy to hear from students who are now great professionals not only in the United States but in other countries.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
Argentina. I love dancing, reading, theater, and I know that Buenos Aires is a city full of cultural shows, full of small coffee shops in every corner where you can read a book quietly, even though it is a big city. Also, the cuisine of that beautiful country; that is one of the things that I like the most when I travel: try foods that I don't have in my country.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
How personable we are. The best thing about Sol Abroad is the quality of service that we offer, as well as having a team that is available 24/7. Our goal is to guarantee a very personalized experience.
It is also a very complete program with the perfect combination of cultural activities, language learning, volunteer work, and fun!
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
A good team. We have all been working together for many years now - the onsite directors, the HQ team in Austin, the teachers at the language school, the homestays, etc. We are able to quickly work together to solve any problems that arise, and that's when a good team matters most!
We know we can all trust each other to get the job done and ensure a wonderful program for the participants. And keep your parents happy!