ENCOUNTER LATIN AMERICA

your way

Encounter Story

OVER 24 YEARS EXPERIENCE

We are a team of travel experts that love what we do. Passionate about Latin America and with local offices all along the continent. With the Encounter My Way concept we are able to go beyond and use all our expertise and local knowledge to make a positive impact.

8 LOCAL DMC OFFICES

8 local DMC offices, 8 families and communities to create for you a home away from home.

TRIPLE IMPACT

We believe that together we can make a better world and that travel and the way we travel can have a positive and empowering impact on ourselves and the people and destinations we visit, if done right.

ENCOUNTER’s
HUMBLE START

We have no other word to describe the past twenty years of our lives. It’s been a real adventure story. We explored Latin America for several years before turning our passion for travel into a career by founding Global Encounters in Lima in 1997 and Colorful Ecuador in 2000. We started out with great hopes, little money and no clients at all, but with lots of energy and a mad belief that we would be able to build this company and share our passion for Latin America with other travelers, volunteers and adventurers.

Year by year, brick by brick, our companies grew from a tiny office in a living room, to the company we are now; with eight local destination offices and Global Encounters and Colorful Ecuador working now as one.

The projects we have chosen to work with, are all run by incredibly dedicated individuals who have given up a great deal to help others in need, often without any funding or manpower. Their objectives are selfless, their struggle intense and their knowledge profound.

We offer our travelers and volunteers the chance to make a real difference in Latin America. Our intention – to share with others the incredible experience of discovering Latin America, and to do so with heart, providing unique adventures, authentic experiences and making sure our impact is positive and helps our communities.

Lydia & Agostina
the driving force behind
Encounter My Way

LYDIA – I was born in The Netherlands where I worked as a communication trainer and advisor. From a young age I felt the curiosity to explore other people, countries and cultures and connect with them. After travelling different continents, I fell in love with Latin America and decided in 2003 to leave my country behind to settle in Ecuador where I opened a travel company and a language school with volunteer projects. My purpose: to operate a sustainable tourism company that can empower people and communities and offer tourism in favor of all.

My WHY has always been creating WOW experiences and making a positive impact on our travellers, our clients, our projects, our environment and ourselves. The Encounter My Way concept is my IKIGI: The one thing I get out of bed for and is worth living for. It is where my four elements come together: what I love, what the world needs, what is my job and what I am good at.

AGOSTINA – I was born and raised in Buenos Aires. In my early twenties, I started travelling for the first time and that process of planning and research hooked me and I decided this was what I wanted to do for my career. After my studies I started working at Global Encounters in the 2007. She now heads our Tailor-made department with extreme dedication and became our sales director.

I always believed that traveling is an experience that changes your life, the way you see and understand the world, to make it a better place. To be at least a small part of this experience for my passengers, to fulfill their dreams, it always was.

With EMW I feel that I also have the opportunity to connect people and generate a positive impact on this beautiful destination in its landscapes and its people as is Latin America.

ENCOUNTER TEAM

Our team of seasoned travel professionals finds privilege to work, live and share the diverse cultures and incredible nature in Latin America, and extend our encounters with your travelers. We have great passion and love for our little corner of the world, and believe travel -if done well- can have a positive impact on both the destination and the traveler’s experiences and lifetime growth.

OUR LOCAL SUPERSTARS

silvina pereiro

Argentina/Chile/Uruguay

Silvina started exploring her home country, Argentina, as a child, and over the years her fascination with travel grew and she developed a passion for getting to know different places and people. Silvina joined the team in a moment of crazy growth and instability and managed to steer us sound and safe through those difficult times. From executive she grew fast to operations supervisor then to region manager in 2008 and in 2017 she became our operations director.

Karem Cuba

Bolivia

Karem was born and raised in Sucre, Bolivia. She studied Tourism Management and started working for Bolivia Specialist. Here she soon became our go to person and for years as she handled our reservations and operations while working in the office of our local partner. In 2018 Karem started working as the manager of our local office in Sucre.

montserrat neira

Brazil

After studying to become a travel agent at Belgrano University in Buenos Aires, Montse worked in several different areas of the travel industry and believes that travel is one of the best investments a person can make for their personal development. In 2010 Montse started as a sales executive in the Buenos Aires team. Traveling to Rio de Janeiro, Montse fell in love with the ‘Marvelous City’ and in August 2014, she made her travel dreams a reality moving from our office in Buenos Aires to become the Regional Manager in Brazil.

eleonore smits

Costa Rica

Born and raised in Amsterdam, the multi-cultural capital of The Netherlands, Eleonore’s fascination with getting to know different cultures and people instantly grew as she developed a great passion for travel, especially in Spanish speaking countries. At the age of fifteen, she developed a deep connection with Costa Rica, and nowadays being married to a Tico, truly loves and understands the country better than most. After having her son in 2009, she transitioned to the Central America Regional Manager position for GE in 2010.

juliana Loaiza G.

Colombia

Juliana was born in Colombia’s beautiful coffee producing city of Manizales and grew up in the country’s bustling capital city of Bogotá. After graduating from university, she started working in tourism and became a tour leader taking small groups of travelers to the most popular destinations of South America. With the desire to settle down, she started as a city guide in Bogota and in 2016 as our commercial and operations executive for our Colombia office. In 2018 Juliana took on her role as operations manager of our Colombia office.

María Fernanda Tobar E.

Galapagos

Maria has been living in the Galapagos for the past 15 years. Fallen in love with the island she decided to move there and start her work in travel. She loves meeting new people and learning about their culture.

Edgar Vega

Ecuador

Edgar was born and raised in Quito. From a very young age, thanks to his mom’s work in tourism, he was able travel throughout Ecuador. This experience created a desire to travel and to help, to be ‘an ambassador’ for Ecuador and help traveler to information and support. Seeing all sides of Ecuador, also the poorer regions, made Edgar want to help even more. Running and overseeing our volunteer projects and helping the ones that need it the most, is what Edgar is passionate about.

we believe in responsible travel

 

We love what we do and have a deep passion for travel in our destinations. We are so privileged to work and live in these countries with such diverse cultures and incredible nature. We believe that travel can have a positive impact on both the destination and the traveler, if done well. It is our mission to provide our travelers with authentic and immerse experiences and educate them on treading lightly, understanding cultural differences and the respect that comes with it and to share the beauty of our natural surroundings, that cannot continue to exist without the support and understanding that we need to protect and preserve.

We truly believe that responsible travel is the only way for the future of travel and that together we can make this world a better place.

 

matilde miranda

Peru

Born and raised in Lima, Matilde has a deep connection with Peru and neighboring Bolivia, and understands the two countries better than most. Matilde started out as a trainee in 2002 at Global Encounters (then still known as CATDMC) and it wasn’t long before she began to take on more and more responsibility. In 2012 Matilde became the first Director of the team next to Karin.

OUR VALUES

We value responsible travel, immersive experiences, supporting local cultures while caring for the environment and growth of each destination.

We are committed to providing safe, authentic South American experiences for your clients.

It is our mission and commitment to provide our travelers with authentic and immersive experiences, to educate them on treading lightly, and to better understand cultural differences and the mutual respect that comes with it. The beauty of our natural surroundings cannot exist without the support and understanding that we have a responsibility to protect and preserve. We truly believe that responsible travel is the only way for the future of travel and that together we can make this world a better place.

We Build open, respectful & honest relationships

We believe in strong positive relationships that are respectful, open and honest, in doing so we will accomplish much more than we would be able to achieve otherwise.

We aim towards responsible & sustainable travel

We understand the world we live in will become unsustainable if we do not change. We are committed to form part of the solution, not the problem.

We are a team & a family

We strive to create an environment that inspires and brings forth synergy, solidarity, warmth, being supportive, and understanding.

We build bridges & safeguard our cultural heritage

We believe in diverse backgrounds, ideas and perspectives. By building bridges between cultures we will learn, understand and essentially become a better person. Our activities and excursions are conducted with utmost respect for the artistic, archeological and cultural heritage to which they reside.

We safeguard our natural environment

We plan our excursions and activities responsibly in order to protect the natural heritage composed of ecosystems and biodiversity, to preserve endangered species of wildlife.

We keep it local

We protect the economy of the local communities. Keeping the profit in the community will both ensure that the destination continues to exist and the local community can prosper.

We share our passion about travel

We love traveling and sharing our passion for our countries with our travelers. We will give our travelers a real, authentic, possibly life changing experience. We will go out of our way to ensure a travel experience beyond their dreams.

We embrace and drive change

‘The only constant in life is change‘ (herakleitos a greek philosopher c. 535BC). We understand that our environment is changing, our customers are changing, and essentially our business model changes over time. Embracing and driving change, will help us grow.

We do the right thing

Always.

IS VOLUNTEERING A
PASSION OF YOURS?

We know our destinations, volunteer programs and language schools by heart. If you dream about experiencing Latin America the real way, helping and learning together and creating a positive impact, we can help you do that!