A native of Peru, Daniel earned his BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from The King’s College in New York and worked as an intern at the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington D.C. He has served as Global Volunteers’ Peru Country Manager since 2014.
Before joining Global Volunteers, Daniel was a professor at Universidad SEL in Lima.
What is your favorite travel memory?
For our honeymoon, we wanted to go on a cruise to the Bahamas. Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford it, so my wife and I decided to go on a cruise somewhere else. But on the day of departure, an itinerary change was announced. We were now going to the Bahamas!
While lots of people were complaining, we were thrilled. It was just what we had wanted!
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
I have learned to work with all sorts of people from diverse backgrounds and ages. Before, I just wanted to be part of the perfect team with perfect people. But I learned that I’m as flawed (or maybe more) than other people. Regardless of this, any team that supports each other and puts the team and goals before each individual interest can be successful. I now appreciate the wisdom and talents of everyone on a team.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
I have a volunteer who constantly posts pictures and other memories of her time in Peru on social media. She constantly tells me and everybody in her social network how amazing it was to volunteer with children in Peru. She served and loved it while she was here, but she also learned that happiness and love do not depend on your circumstances. When the anniversary of her service programs comes, she shares how much she cherishes her memories, how the experience changed her life, and how much she wishes to come back.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
I would go to Greece or Poland because of how beautiful they seem. The pictures and videos I have seen look amazing. The communities where we work are in gorgeous settings. Also, there is so much history I could learn. I love European history, so I would be the happiest person in WWII museums in Poland or in ancient ruins in Greece. Nothing better than to serve in lovely communities and get to know beautiful and rich cultures.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
We follow the direction of local leaders. We don’t think that we know what’s best for others or what they need to do to fix their circumstances, because we don’t. It’s a simple fact, but many organizations believe they do. Also, we don’t do poverty-tourism. We just support local people on projects that are important to them.
They are the agents of their own progress; we merely support them.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Communication should be clear. Most issues could be avoided if only there were clearer, faster, more honest communication.
People shouldn’t assume everyone understands everything they say, and nobody should be embarrassed to ask questions to clear up doubts or get further explanations. When questions are encouraged and managers make the effort to be as clear as possible, things go a lot smoother and larger issues are avoided.