I was 15 when I first discovered South America on a high-school trip to the mountains and rainforests of Ecuador.
I was immediately struck by the warm-hearted, curious nature of the Ecuadorian people. As each day of the trip passed, I became more excited–and confident–to put my beginner Spanish to use. I went out of my way to chat with our guide and other locals. As we traveled from the Andes to the Amazon, I was in awe due to the dramatic change in climate and landscape–I had never witnessed anything like it. By the end of the trip, I had discovered my love for speaking Spanish and my passion for travel. I was truly eager to return to campus so I could show my Spanish teacher the new phrases and local idioms that I learned during the trip. Instead of goodbyes, I said “hasta pronto” to my new Ecuadorian friends, as I hoped to return one day.
IT BECAME A LIFETIME PASSION
I went on to major in International Spanish for the Professions at the University of Colorado, which included an SIT program in Spain. Years later, I returned to Ecuador and met my wife, Angela Rivera, who is from the coast of Ecuador. Driven by the desire to share our passion for the people, culture, and fragile ecosystems of this beautiful region, Angela and I founded Andean Discovery in 2006. We started coordinating trips from our Quito office, which continues to serve as our regional base of operations.
In 2011, we moved to Boston–with our then 3-year-old daughter–to open our U.S. headquarters. Our goal was to collaborate more closely with North American schools and organizations to develop travel programs that integrate classroom learning and experiential education.
Building on more than a decade of experience in the region, our programs reflect the places we know and love best – from the snow-capped mountains of Peru and the bountiful rainforests of Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands with their awe-inspiring plants and animals.
When you travel with us, you will engage with artisans, scientists, community leaders, and other experts who take you behind the scenes to discover local treasures unknown to ordinary tourists. Whether talking to a farmer about how to harvest cacao, or discussing sustainability with organic coffee farmers in the Galapagos, your students will return home with a myriad of real-world experiences that will be with them for a lifetime.
Just as my life was transformed through student travel, I would be honored to help you design life-changing experiences for your students.
Owner & Manager
Andean Discovery Student Expeditions