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Our Team

Our staff are dedicated to supporting our students and community partners to have meaningful and exceptional cross-cultural experiences. We believe in creating environments where staff, students, and community can thrive. We’re grateful to be here and honored to have the opportunity to facilitate transformative programs with our students and partners.

Leadership
Adam Aronovitz
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Adam Aronovitz
As an infant, Adam spent his first summers on earth visiting his relatives in Athens, Greece and unknowingly caught a relatively common disease called ‘Itchy Feet’ which has forced Adam to constantly seek adventure, cultural immersion, and awe-inspiring vistas. When Adam was 21, he set foot on the SS Universe Explorer and circumnavigated the globe by sea, cementing his passion for cross-cultural exploration and education. He loves nothing more than speaking with students and families to support them on their personal global adventures. Adam has led for 10 seasons with Global Routes to destinations such as Puerto Rico, Hawai'i, Mexico, the Grenadines, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Tanzania, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. He has more than 25 years under his belt as an educator, ranging from running summer camps, leading for Global Routes, teaching in the Boston Public Schools, and leading health and nutriton education programs across Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. During those rare moments when he is not leading, directing, or developing programs with Global Routes, Adam is on a mission to solve the worlds greatest health and environmental problems through his work as the Co-Founder of The Cookbook Project. Adam earned his Bachelor’s Degree in International Political Economy at Tulane University in New Orleans and his Master’s Degree in International Relations at London’s University of Westminster. Adam is a Food Education Scholar and Certified Health Counselor from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. He is a certified teacher in history, English, math, and ESL. Adam is a Propeller Accelerator Fellow and serves on the Board of Directors for Odanadi USA, and the Community Advisory Boards of the Tulane Prevention Research Center, the Healthy School Food Collaborative, Farm to School planning commission, and Tulane Young Alumni. Adam has traveled, volunteered, worked, and adventured in more than 80 different countries, and enjoys spending time connecting with the world with his community on Hawai'i Island, exploring with his two dogs Hoogli and Dorje, rock climbing, yoga, wilderness backpacking, sailing, and adventures in the Himalayas.
Ethan Knight
FOUNDER, CARPE DIEM EDUCATION
Ethan Knight
Ethan founded Carpe Diem in 2007 after having worked with a gap year organization for almost a decade. During his tenure in the gap year field, Ethan has led groups in India, Bali, Central America, New Zealand, and has developed programs in East Africa, Indonesia, South America, India, and Central America. Ethan speaks fairly fluent Spanish, although Swahili and basic Hindi were previously in his repertoire. Ethan’s been inspired by his mother who worked as a social worker for her entire career, with 5 years being internationally in Cambodia. Having graduated from Catlin Gabel School, a progressive high school in Portland, Oregon, there was great emphasis put on graduating from college in four years, and he became the putative black sheep of his class for being the first of his troupe to take a gap year. Consequently, about 90% of his class ended up on the 5 or 6-year college plan . . . and all are much happier for it (and doing amazingly interesting things). Ethan’s passion for experiential international education came from his own gap year experience. As he says, he “followed the herd” from high school onto University and after one year found himself depressed and with a deficit of meaningful interactions … and so decided it was high-time to bale from classes and dive into the bigger peaks of life. On his gap year, Ethan traveled to India, Nepal, Tibet and Thailand – he trekked the Annapurna circuit, meditated for 10 days in noble silence, volunteered in a community kitchen, renewed his faith in humanity, lived in a thatched hut for a month during monsoon, and in general caught that pervasive of “travel bugs” – giardia . . . he also fell in love with travel. After taking his own “gap year”, Ethan returned to Willamette University and quickly graduated in 2001 with a dual degree in English and Philosophy and a minor in Environmental Science. Ethan has been a speaker at the City of Portland’s Tri-County Diversity Conference, the National Honor Society, the International Baccalaureate program for the state of Colorado, IECA & HECA, the International Partnership for Service-Learning, and many high schools and alternative education programs. He has led countless leadership training seminars, founded Carpe Mundi (Carpe Diem’s non-profit wing), and much more. In 2012, Ethan left Carpe Diem to found the Gap Year Association, the only membership-based nonprofit dedicated to advancing the gap year movement. He recently retired from GYA in January of 2022 and continues to co-chair the Standards and Accreditation Committee. Carpe Diem Education is part of the Global Routes family.
Kelly Moynihan
DIRECTOR
ANNE KOENNING
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, CARPE DIEM EDUCATION
ANNE KOENNING
Anne comes to her role as Executive Director of Enrollment and Operations after spending two years working as the Director Enrollment at Carpe Diem. Prior to joining the Carpe Diem HQ team, Anne worked in the admissions offices of two other experiential education organizations for four years. Born and raised in Oberlin, Ohio, Anne grew up in a small town and moved west to attend college at Lewis & Clark in Portland, Oregon. Anne majored in Sociology and Anthropology in school and spent much of her time exploring the Pacific Northwest, studying the Bassoon and playing in the college orchestra. During her junior year, Anne participated in a Semester in India with the National Outdoor Leadership School which is where her love of international travel and experiential education began. After graduating from Lewis & Clark, she came upon Carpe Diem and had the opportunity to intern at HQ for six months where she became familiar with the ins and outs of program administration and what goes on behind the scenes of making transformative experiences possible for students. Since completing her internship in the Carpe Diem office, Anne has lived in Lander, Wyoming and Boulder, Colorado and is thrilled to be living back on the West Coast. While working in the administration of a similar international education organization, Anne had the opportunity to lead groups of students along the Silk Road from Beijing to Kashgar in China and throughout Myanmar. In her role, Anne loves having the opportunity to connect with students and their families as they prepare for an international semester experience. She also works closely with the Operations Team to ensure that the behind the scenes operations continue running smoothly. When she's not in the office, Anne can be found cooking, enjoying time with friends in Portland and beyond, attending bluegrass shows and spending time with her backyard chickens. Global Routes is part of the Carpe Diem Education family.
DIANNA HAHN
DIRECTOR EMIRITUS, ADVISOR
DIANNA HAHN
MA, International Education, School for International Training. BA, Anthropology, Connecticut College. Dianna is the Associate Director at the Gap Year Association. Dianna is an international educator with decades of experience. Bridging her work with her studies, Dianna dove into a masters program in International Education where she focused her research on cross-cultural communication in the classroom. She has traveled to Samoa to research the culture of tattooing, facilitated leadership and service learning programs in Bequia, paraded in the streets of Port Au Prince, Haiti with a band of clowns and musicians and most recently worked with underserved children in Northern India. Dianna then came back to the Global Routes’ family and worked with Global Routes as the director for 3 years. After four fantastic years, she now supports the development of Global Routes programs. In her down time, Dianna serves on the board of directors for Clowns Without Borders. She also spends time working with her mother as a floral designer and aspiring gardener and is the proud mother of a beautiful young daughter.
Kenneth Hahn
FOUNDER AND ADVISOR
Kenneth Hahn
M.B.A. Yale University; B.A. Magna Cum Laude, Sociology, Magna Cum Laude. Kenneth has been working in experiential education for 27 years. Prior to founding Global Routes with Andrew Rivin, he was an educational consultant and college administrator. He has traveled throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas and has led Global Routes programs in the United States, China and Thailand. Kenneth enjoys running, cycling and playing with his children, Jonah and Sarina. In his spare time, he serves in the leadership of his community’s synagogue. Kenneth continues to provide stellar advice and supports our staff with trainings, program developmen, and the 30,000 foot perspective of Global Routes lofty mission.
Pam Butler
OFFICE MANAGER
Pam Butler
Pam brings over 30 years of office management experience to the Global Routes team. She manages the accounts, human resources, and many of the nitty gritty activities that allow our leaders and Directors to focus their time on working closely with staff and families to deliver extraordinary life-changing programs for our students.
Mary Heinemann
AFRICA PROGRAM DEVELOPER
Mary Heinemann
TANZANIA LEADER AND AFRICA PROGRAM DEVELOPER: A 5-time Global Routes Leader (Tanzania x 4 and Nepal) Mary is an explorer, a boundary pusher, a pump-up giver, a lover of humanity, and a hopeless believer in the good. She spent her youth moving around to five different states before finally settling into life in Colorado. Once settled in the land of mountains, sunshine, and smiles she stumbled into her passion of human equality and women’s empowerment. Beautifully powerful people surrounding her along with an open-mindedness created the perfect opportunity for further developing her passion of female empowerment and exploration. She immersed herself in these passions while serving in the Peace Corps. Nothing has ever been as wonderfully difficult or as magically soulful than her time in Tanzania. She has been privileged enough to see the profound impact that integrating with villagers has had on not only herself and the communities, but her students as well. After years of working with student travel programs like Global Routes and Carpe Diem Education, Mary bravely chose to create not one but two businesses, Mama Dunia and Live Dunia. The intention behind these businesses is to create positive impact through sustainable collaboration in Tanzania, specifically with marginalized women. In different ways, both organizations aim to connect mindful consumers and travelers to women's co-ops, and local villages, in effort to increase income, access to education, health care, and empowerment of the entire community. Live Dunia is, for her, the way to keep the stream of consciousness, joy, and peace flowing through humanity. Mary prides herself on her guac making abilities, can spit a mean Swahili rap, affirms others like there is no tomorrow, and loves cracking jokes. The way to her heart is through a good, strong cup of coffee, friends, laughter, nature, and a fan blowing in her face. What lights her fire is empowering those around her to explore the world, believe in themselves, and know that they can make a positive impact in this beautiful world.
LIZ MACNEIL
PROGRAM DEVELOPER
LIZ MACNEIL
COSTA RICA LEADER & PROGRAM DEVELOPER: Liz is one of Global Route’s most seasoned and valued trip leaders and has supported Global Routes in program development from 2014-2018. She was Valedictorian at Sierra Nevada College and holds a holds a BA in Humanities. Her certifications include: Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certification, TEFL International, Wilderness First Responder w/ CPR, PADI Rescue Diver, and ACA Sea Kayak Instructor & Guide. She has left her wake in every ocean but the Arctic. Liz has studied, worked, volunteered, and traveled throughout Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. She is fluent in Spanish and spends her free time exploring and paddling in new places, visiting family/friends, singing monster rock ballads at open mics, and breaking taco-eating records in obscure port towns.
BRIGHID CAREY
OPERATIONS AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT
BRIGHID CAREY
Brighid Carey is an international exchange and program management professional. She supports Global Routes operations in almost every regard. She has worked for a variety of international exchange organizations in the U.S. and abroad, including five years in Colombia with WorldTeach as a volunteer and program director. Brighid has also lived in Ecuador, Spain and Guatemala. Brighid has a BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies from the University of Connecticut, and will receive her Master’s degree in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management at SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont. In her free time, she loves riding her bike, hiking, playing rugby, reading and exploring new places.
LAURA GUZMAN
TECH & SYSTEMS ADVISOR
LAURA GUZMAN
Laura is an international development & communications professional. At Global Routes, she helps keep internal systems (both tech and procedural) running smoothly. Before joining Global Routes, Laura worked in varied roles from editor, writer and researcher, to web cartographer and program coordinator. Laura has worked in Uganda, India, Brazil, Ecuador and the US, and has traveled to more than twenty other countries. She received her MA in International Development at The New School in New York City, where she examined participatory governance models in urban East Africa, and her BA from Washington University in St. Louis, where she studied design and popular resistance movements in Latin America. You can usually find Laura playing ultimate frisbee, dreaming up ways to create a kinder world, exploring New Orleans, or planning her next trip.
DOUG ZAIDEMAN
LATITUDES YEAR COORDINATOR, CARPE DIEM EDUCATION
DOUG ZAIDEMAN
Doug joins the Carpe Diem HQ staff as the Latitudes Year & Outreach Coordinator after having spent several semesters working in the field as a Carpe Diem Overseas Educator. Since joining the Carpe Diem team in 2016, Doug has had the opportunity to lead programs in Central and South America, the South Pacific, India, and Hawaii all with incredible student groups and co-OEs! As the Latitudes Year & Outreach Coordinator, Doug enjoys working with students, families, foreign contacts and the HQ staff in a whole new capacity. Having personally volunteered with many of the organizations Latitudes Year students will work with, he is excited to support students on what are sure to be life changing experiences. Born and raised in suburban Chicago, Doug’s family laid the groundwork for a love of nature at an early age thanks to their keen interest of escaping the city to the Northwoods of Wisconsin, canoeing in the Boundary Waters and taking road trips all over the country. As a teenager, he participated on adventure travel camps that first showed him the power and benefit of group experiential education. Whilst traveling internationally on his own throughout Southeast Asia and South America he became inspired to pursue work in the field of outdoor education, return to those roots in experiential education, which has led him to this point. Getting to help facilitate experiential education programs has been a dream come true for Doug, who knows first hand how the world serves as both the best teacher and classroom. Colorado has been Doug’s home-base most of his adult life, and when not leading incredible trips, he can usually be found playing outside hiking, snowboarding, fly­ fishing or flinging a frisbee through the beautiful Rocky Mountains. He has pursued interests in permaculture, teaching English, cooking, sustainable local development, SCUBA, meditation and environmental tourism across the globe. Some of the coolest experiences that this adventurous lifestyle has provided Doug have been swimming with swarming manta rays and a whale shark on his birthday off the coast of Mozambique; tuning in to the rhythm of the Amazon traveling down its waters by boat and hammock; and exploring mystical caves in Laos and Vietnam! Carpe Diem Education is part of the Global Routes family.
Heather Diamond Vaught
Senior Program Director, CARPE DIEM EDUCATION
Heather Diamond Vaught
Heather first discovered Carpe Diem in 2008, when she was looking for a way to combine her passions for experiential education, travel, and outdoor adventure. She grew up in a small suburb of Chicago and didn't know about Gap Years when she graduated high school. However, a semester in South America her sophomore year in college opened her eyes to the transformative power that the combination of travel, independence, and education can have. She spent another semester abroad, this time interning as a cultural exchange teacher at a K-12 school in India, and knew she would continue to seek out experiences that pushed her comfort zone for a long time to come. After finishing her BA in International Affairs at the University of Colorado-Boulder, she moved to Costa Rica for a year and a half, where she worked at an Environmental Learning Center, facilitating workshops and service projects related to conservation and education and fine-tuning her Spanish. She moved back to the US to pursue a Graduate Certificate in Environment, Education, and Community at the University of Washington, but was still searching for a way to incorporate international exchange into the mix. Carpe Diem was the perfect fit! Since starting with Carpe in 2008, Heather has had the amazing opportunity to lead programs in Central and South America, India, the South Pacific, and Southeast Asia. In addition to working for Carpe, she also completed a yoga teacher certification program in India and an MS in Leadership for Sustainability Education at Portland State University. Since transitioning from the field to Carpe Diem's Portland, Oregon office, she spent a year as a Latitudes Director, before taking on the role as Program Director for Carpe's Latin America programs. She loves helping others find amazing opportunities abroad, and facilitating opportunities for joy, laughter, and adventure. Carpe Diem Education is part of the Global Routes family.
REBECCA LIEBESKIND
PROGRAM DIRECTOR, CARPE DIEM EDUCATION
REBECCA LIEBESKIND
Rebecca was 9 years old when she took her first extended trip abroad. From the moment she stepped off the plane, she felt exhilarated by the new sights, smells, sounds and taste (especially the taste, if Rebecca had to be labeled, she would be ok to be called a foodie). That initial experience opened her mind and senses to the world and was instrumental in shining light on what she wanted to do: travel and connect with people the world over, as well as find a way to pursue a lifepath that would keep her connected to people and travel. Rebecca received her B.A. in Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies and Jewish Studies from Emory University and her M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben Gurion University in Israel. Following the completion of her studies, and in search of a way to combine her love of people and travel, Rebecca took an extended trip to Asia, worked with a refugee service agency in Atlanta ((Did you know that just outside of Atlanta is the most ethnically diverse square mile in the United States- Clarkston, Georgia), spent 10 years working at an Indian restaurant in Atlanta, and briefly held down a job as a lady Santa Claus in India. Once Rebecca found out about gap year programs, she felt she found a place that was the right fit for her. Having led 15 semester programs and countless summer programs in many regions around the world, Rebecca is now excited to look at programs from a different lens through Carpe Diem’s HQ world. Rebecca has been a puzzle enthusiast all of her life. As a kid she would spend her days completing jigsaw puzzles. Rebecca still enjoys a good jigsaw puzzle, but now her love of puzzles is more metaphorical. She enjoys figuring out how everything is connected, and when she travels she gets especially excited when she sees historical links between different cultures. Like the missing connecting piece of a puzzle, Rebecca can’t wait to connect Carpe students to wonderful experiences and a transformational experience. Carpe Diem Education is part of the Global Routes family.
BRIAN JEWETT
OFFICE MANAGER, CARPE DIEM EDUCATION
BRIAN JEWETT
Brian was born into a family of travelers in Eugene, OR. He spent many summers camping and backpacking across the Pacific Northwest with his family and his Boy Scout Troop. Brian is an Eagle Scout Award recipient and it shines through in his leadership abilities. As a participant in Eugene’s International High School program, Brian acquired the skills to understand, communicate with, respect, and value cultures of the world. Brian developed his thirst for travel when he was 9 as his family spent 10 weeks traveling across the country together in their motor home visiting national parks, historical sites, and amusement parks. He then dove into the world of overseas travel while spending a semester abroad in Japan during his junior year of High School. He gained a much better understanding of Japanese language and culture as all of his classes were conducted in Japanese. Since his initial dive he has continued to explore the world by visiting Mexico, Europe, Uganda, Tanzania, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. He traveled to SE Asia to help scout for Carpe Diem Education's program there and then co-led the semester in the fall of 2009. Brian started his college career by moving to San Francisco to soak up the melting pot of culture and attend SF State University. He returned home two years later to complete his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with minors in Business Administration and Japanese Language at the University of Oregon. After graduating in 2003, Brian moved to Portland where he started working in coffee shops throughout the region. For the last 6 years he has juggled and transitioned through being a barista, manager of a coffee shop, behind the scenes help for Carpe Diem, Overseas Educator, and now our Office Manager. When Brian is not traveling or working, he can often be found outside getting his hands dirty in the garden. While in the garden Brian becomes lost in the sights, smells, and sounds that surround him. He also enjoys spending time with family, cooking, riding his motorcycle, home construction, and spending as much time outdoors as possible. Education, service, and community have long been themes in his life and we're proud and honored to have him working in the office with us! Carpe Diem Education is part of the Global Routes family.
Field Staff
International Educators & Field Staff

Superior leadership is critical to the success of our programs. Therefore, a great deal of time and care goes into assembling a superb team of leaders in the field. In addition to being warm, bright, compassionate, energetic, creative and competent, each leader also has extensive experience working with high school students. Global Routes leaders must be at least 24 years of age, certified in CPR and First Aid, have far-reaching travel experience and complete Global Routes’ intensive training program. Our highest priority is sustaining excellence in leadership.

Our field staff hail from all over the world and are an essential part of developing, managing, and improving our programs. We are fortunate to work with such an outstanding group of individuals. (Staffing Subject to Change)

TRIP LEADERS & IN-COUNTRY STAFF
Angela Maria Prieto
2022 Costa Rica LIA
Angela Maria Prieto
Angela Maria Prieto was born in Bogota, Colombia and grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is bilingual and has a passion for traveling and learning about new cultures. She completed a MA in Intercultural Youth and Family Development from the University of Montana and has a BA in Psychology from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Angela served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala with the Youth in Development program from 2013 to 2015. She also has taught English in Colombia; mentored high school students in Las Vegas; and worked at a wilderness therapy program in Hawaii. She loves to help people, dance, make art, hike, garden, and swim with dolphins. She is currently residing in Honoka’a, Hawaii where she works with autistic students as a registered behavior technician. She looks forward to leading her first Global Routes trip to Costa Rica and explore the meaning of Pura Vida.
Lane Klossner
2022 Costa Rica LIA
Lane Klossner
BFA International Development and Musical Theatre; Tulane University. Growing up in southern Maine, Lane’s family took her far and wide, which no doubt kickstarted her hunger to forever continue exploring. The power of immersive travel became clear to Lane in 2007 when her family lived in a beautiful fishing village in the Dominican Republic where she learned Spanish attending the local school, developed friendships across cultures, and became a salty island girl. Lane’s other adventures have had her working on a permaculture farm in eastern Europe, hiking in Southeast Asia and studying the traditional medicine of Chile’s indigenous communities. When not on the road, Lane spent years singing and acting on stages across New England and New Orleans. She also spent five summers as a counselor and head counselor at Windsor Mountain International Summer Camp deep in the woods of New Hampshire.
Adam Becker
2022 Costa Rica LIA and 2022 Appalachian Leadership
Adam Becker
Adam was born in Chicago and grew up mostly In Portland, Oregon. Inspired by a passion for agriculture, the environment, and helping teens discover more about themselves, he's worked with several teen travel organizations across the globe. His travels have led him to Latin America, India, and across Europe, where he currently is working on a winery and farm that produces olive oil In Italy. With a degree from the University of Denver in Spanish and Psychology, he is interested in language, live music, cooking, and agricultural practices.
Carlos Granados Flores
2022 Costa Rica
Carlos Granados Flores
From the Providencia de Páramo de Pérez Zeledón, Carlos has been working in adventure tourism for 22 years. He loves introducing visitors to the natural beauty and adventures to be had throughout Costa Rica! He’s excited to be a leader on the 2022 Costa Rica program because he believes it’s essential for the development and social growth of young adventurers in today’s world. He’s the father of three (two sons and a daughter) and certified in Wilderness First Aid and RCP, White Water Rafting Instructor Rapids, Rope Rescue Operational Level, and as a White Water Rescue Technician.
Mike Sobel
2022 Costa Rica
Mike Sobel
Mike grew up in the foothills of Colorado. His curiosity and wanderlust has since carried him to all continents of the world. For the past couple of decades, he has been involved in the field of experiential education, both as a group leader and program director. To date Mike has led programs for Global Routes in Thailand and Ecuador. He enjoys reading, playing music, meditation and motorcycling. He continues to combine travel and education in his personal life as well, visiting old friends and making new ones, in all corners of the world.
Molly Jaye
2022 Costa Rica
Molly Jaye
Molly is a wonderer and a wanderer. She has been afflicted with a severe case of wanderlust since being a child. She loves to combine her passions for education, community building, health & wellness, and fun. Molly has worked as a nanny, a camp counselor, a mentor and tutor, a wilderness guide, a teacher, and a fairy godmother while continuing her intensive education in the School of Life. She has worked in education in Asia, Oceania, and Europe. Molly has embraced the world of sustainability, farming and growing food and has a great love for vegetables, bicycles, physical fitness and delicious food. Molly has her BA in Sociology and Psychology from Oberlin College and is a certified yoga and group fitness trainer. This is her first time as a Global Routes guide and she is quite delighted about the opportunity.
Kayla Watson
2022 Hawai'i
Kayla Watson
Raised in the Southwest amongst ravens, junipers & coyotes; Kayla dreamed of one day exploring the far reaches of the world. She received a B.A. in Adventure Education & has since guided in the realm of environmental education, wilderness expedition, international service, and wilderness therapy. Kayla has had the opportunity to guide in 11 countries over the last 12 years and is grateful to be working her first season with Global Routes this summer.
Sophia Petricola
2022 Hawai'i
Sophia Petricola
This is my first summer leading for Global Routes! I love each culture that's able to come out of strangers coming together and bonding, struggling, reveling, and growing in their unique shared experience. As a past student, I grew so much with the safe and supportive community that seemed earnest in their excitement of me. As a leader, my heart feels flooded with joy being able to help co-create similar environments for my students to feel safe, seen, and earnestly cared for.
Topher Fast
2022 Hawai'i
Topher Fast
My last name Fast comes from the German word Faust meaning strong, lucky, & fortunate but my life started in the jungles of the Philippines on a large volcano named Mount Pinatubo. After her 1991 eruption, I found myself growing up in one of the two snow belts of the Great Lakes in Northern America. This snow field the Manistee River where my family owned a trout ranch. A river whose name means “the life of the forest.” The other snow belt was located on the upper peninsula of Michigan where I gained a Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. Here I learned from Ojibwe teachers that emphasized how Earth shows us the way. In Hawai’i we call these kinds of observations as kilo. I found home on the dormant volcano of Mauna Kea which is named after its snowy peak. This water fuels the lands below where I started Hawai’i Time Farm when the pandemic first started. I was in the middle of student teaching and was fortunate to have graduated early with a teacher's certificate in secondary science and a focus on Hawaiian studies. My passion throughout life stems from the extinction rates of our fellow earthlings. Solutions I have found are deeply connected with our own species and our relationship with food, water, energy, and economics. I hope to inspire generational thinking to help leave this planet better than when we came to it.
José Luna
2022 Appalachian Leadership and 2022 Colorado
José Luna
José is passionate about the role education can play in transformation. He is a 9th grade English Teacher in the Bay Area, and has previously worked with all grade levels, PreK-12th. He has a deep love for the outdoors and loves to learn about new ecosystems. He loves horror movies, reading and also telling dad jokes. José became interested in the field of experiential education when he was in high school, joining student wilderness programs and international cross-cultural programs, both of which were life-changing for José and his path in the world. He is so excited to dive into programs, developing as a professional and helping youth grow and develop as leaders!
Topher Stephens
2022 Appalachian Leadership and 2022 Colorado
Topher Stephens
Born and raised in Southern Appalachian mountains (ancestral Cherokee land), Topher has spent his life exploring, studying, and communing with the natural world. With a background in mindfulness, Ecopsychology, and biology, he brings his passion and sense of wonder to his work as a nature connection guide and outdoor educator. He has traveled and led programs throughout India, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, Latin America, and the US.
Avy Harris
Avy Harris
TANZANIA LEADER Avy is a perpetual student, a passionate educator, an avid wilderness lover, and a community cultivator. Born and raised in the foothills of Colorado, her wanderlust has taken her around the world several times over. From teaching in South Korea to working with former child soldiers in Uganda, reforestation work in Ethiopia to leading experiential programs on 6 continents, Avy is continually inspired by the communities she has learned and lived with around the world. Now her home base is in Portland, OR, where she lives in a yurt, is pursuing her Masters in Social Work, and still plots adventures at every chance - last summer she walked the 2600-mile Pacific Crest Trail. She had led the Nepal program for GR and is thrilled to be returning to Tanzania!
JAIME VALENCIK
JAIME VALENCIK
NEPAL LEADER, BS Nutrition, MPH, RPCV, CYT, WFR, CPR & 2nd year GR leader (Nepal 2018). Avid adventurer and artist, Jaime has traveled and worked to empower diverse teens through dance/performance arts & cultural exchange for over a decade. As a teen, she danced in two cultural tours in Greece & China-which sparked her passion for cultural connectivity and global wellbeing. Since, she has led service projects in Haiti and served as a Food Security Volunteer in Peace Corps Nepal! Jaime can also be found teaching yoga, spinning vinyl, frolicking in nature, biking or birding.
David Hicks
David Hicks
NEPAL LEADER BA, Anthropology, University of Vermont. MA, Education, UC Santa Cruz. Most recently finishing three years as the Director of Operations for a bi-lingual elementary school in DC, David began his career as a middle school history and English teacher in Oakland, CA. Since then he has led experimental and outdoor education trips, served as a culturally responsive education coach and program director, helped manage part of the DCPS teacher evaluation program and coached principals on teacher evaluation. Originally from Massachusetts, David’s love of adventure amd exploration has led him around the county and the world. His passions include music, social justice, motorcycles, fly fishing, board sports, cooking, and anything outside. David is thrilled to return to Nepal, a place he once called home and forever a central part of his being.
Odessa Armstrong
Odessa Armstrong
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES LIA LEADER Odessa is devoted to transformational learning and has worked in diverse classrooms throughout the US and across the globe for 12 years. Her educator journey has included living and teaching at a tribal run school in South Dakota serving students from over 15 different tribal nations, Chaiyaphum and Phuket, Thailand and her roots in Baltimore City. Adventures with Odessa often involve spontaneity, photography, laughter, beekeeping, live music, empowering others and meeting community members. Odessa is stoked to return to the Caribbean with Global Routes for her second year and continue to foster cross-cultural experiences in authentic and meaningful ways.
LIZ MACNEIL
PROGRAM DEVELOPER
LIZ MACNEIL
COSTA RICA LEADER & PROGRAM DEVELOPER: Liz is one of Global Route’s most seasoned and valued trip leaders and has supported Global Routes in program development from 2014-2018. She was Valedictorian at Sierra Nevada College and holds a holds a BA in Humanities. Her certifications include: Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certification, TEFL International, Wilderness First Responder w/ CPR, PADI Rescue Diver, and ACA Sea Kayak Instructor & Guide. She has left her wake in every ocean but the Arctic. Liz has studied, worked, volunteered, and traveled throughout Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. She is fluent in Spanish and spends her free time exploring and paddling in new places, visiting family/friends, singing monster rock ballads at open mics, and breaking taco-eating records in obscure port towns.
Amanda Joy Rader
Amanda Joy Rader
ECUADOR LEADER Though born and raised in Pennsylvania, Amanda’s sense of home has extended across the globe. With an academic background in Sociology, Spanish and Peace & Conflict Resolution, Amanda has found great meaning in a career of experiential education. Having served as a trip leader in Central & South America, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, India, Nepal, and in the US-Mexico borderlands, Amanda finds great hope in the dynamic conversations and commitments that flow out of the process of experience and reflection, particularly within a group of young seekers. In her first summer leading with Global Routes, Amanda is honored to be a part of a team dedicated to authentic and meaningful interactions.
David Ficke
David Ficke
CO-DIRECTOR, DOMESTIC WILDERNESS PROGRAMS David Ficke is a veteran leader with Global Routes who has led 6 programs including New Jersey, Ecuador, and Tanzania programs. He has also spent several seasons leading with Longacre Expeditions all over the US and Canada. His passion for travel and culture was piqued during a solo trip to Thailand, where he taught English. Since then, David has led many trips internationally and in the US. David has also studied abroad in the UK, volunteered with Americorps, spent three months traveling overland from South Africa to Uganda, and traveled all over Latin America on his own.
Mary Heinemann
AFRICA PROGRAM DEVELOPER
Mary Heinemann
TANZANIA LEADER AND AFRICA PROGRAM DEVELOPER: A 5-time Global Routes Leader (Tanzania x 4 and Nepal) Mary is an explorer, a boundary pusher, a pump-up giver, a lover of humanity, and a hopeless believer in the good. She spent her youth moving around to five different states before finally settling into life in Colorado. Once settled in the land of mountains, sunshine, and smiles she stumbled into her passion of human equality and women’s empowerment. Beautifully powerful people surrounding her along with an open-mindedness created the perfect opportunity for further developing her passion of female empowerment and exploration. She immersed herself in these passions while serving in the Peace Corps. Nothing has ever been as wonderfully difficult or as magically soulful than her time in Tanzania. She has been privileged enough to see the profound impact that integrating with villagers has had on not only herself and the communities, but her students as well. After years of working with student travel programs like Global Routes and Carpe Diem Education, Mary bravely chose to create not one but two businesses, Mama Dunia and Live Dunia. The intention behind these businesses is to create positive impact through sustainable collaboration in Tanzania, specifically with marginalized women. In different ways, both organizations aim to connect mindful consumers and travelers to women's co-ops, and local villages, in effort to increase income, access to education, health care, and empowerment of the entire community. Live Dunia is, for her, the way to keep the stream of consciousness, joy, and peace flowing through humanity. Mary prides herself on her guac making abilities, can spit a mean Swahili rap, affirms others like there is no tomorrow, and loves cracking jokes. The way to her heart is through a good, strong cup of coffee, friends, laughter, nature, and a fan blowing in her face. What lights her fire is empowering those around her to explore the world, believe in themselves, and know that they can make a positive impact in this beautiful world.
JASMIN VAN MALDEREN
JASMIN VAN MALDEREN
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES LIA LEADER B.S. Biomedical Engineering & Management Minor, University of California Irvine. A California native and current resident of Colorado, Jasmin grew up snowboarding, backpacking, kicking soccer balls and jamming on the piano. She loves spending time with her parents, sister and two pups. With a Belgian father and Korean mother, her house is always filled with a mix of cultures and foods. This has allowed her to travel the world, visiting her family that live across many continents. When she’s not leading with Global Routes she leads road trips across America as a certified tour guide, coaches soccer for the Special Olympics, and competitively snowboards in the winter. She most recently spent the last few seasons working as an ESL teacher in Thailand and guiding in the mountains of Big Sky, Montana. She is super excited to be a part of Global Routes for a second season and to share her love of giving back to the community while immersing herself in local culture!
Pablo López Salazar
Pablo López Salazar
COSTA RICA LEADER This will be Pablo’s third year leading the Global Routes Costa Rica program! Pablo is from the town of Piedras Blancas in Costa Rica. He grew up on a wonderful farm in Costa Rica with his Dad, Mom and 18 brothers and sisters (!!!) surrounded by mountains, rivers and beautiful caverns. He has 12 years of experience working as a guide in Costa Rica, and will be the first to tell you how much he loves his job. He is a rafting guide and an outdoor education instructor with experience leading many trips for Outward Bound, Pacific Journeys, Auténtico Adventures and Pure Life. There is nobody on earth more excited to share his love of Costa Rica with his Global Routes students!
Alex Moore
Alex Moore
CO-DIRECTOR, DOMESTIC WILDERNESS PROGRAMS AND COSTA RICA CUSTOM PROGRAMS Alex is back for her sixth year leading programs with Global Routes, and she is ready for this adventure! She received her B.A. in Global Studies from Hofstra University and has studied, worked, and volunteered throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. She is fluent in both Spanish and Italian. Outside of leading trips, Alex is a teacher, yoga and dance instructor, Thai massage practitioner, homesteader and permaculturalist. Currently residing in Detroit, Alex can't wait to come back to share her love for the Pura Vida life with the 2020 NDA Costa Rica crew!
Andrew McDaniel
Andrew McDaniel
Andrew is a New Orleans' native with Central American and European roots. He's traveled, lived, and worked all across Central and South America, and has a deep passion for social justice. He’s a people-person with a strong knack for building strong relationships. Since graduating from Loyola University of New Orleans, he’s managed farmers markets and networks of growers from all across south Louisiana and Mississippi, taught ESL, worked with young people and their families as an educational advocate, and served as lead organizer for an Interfaith Immigrants’ Rights Coalition. He’s a folk musician and dancer with a zeal for exploring new cities and talking to strangers. This is his first year leading with Global Routes and he’s beyond excited!
Shankar Prasad Pathak
Shankar Prasad Pathak
NEPAL STAFF Shankar is the Managing Director of Exotic Mountain Treks in Nepal, where he has worked for 25 years, organizing treks and guiding hikers throughout the Himalayas. He has an MBA from Tribhuban University in Kathmandu and has worked with Global Routes groups since the mid 1990s. He elevates the Global Routes Nepal program by providing opportunities for students to immerse themselves in the culture while providing meaningful service work.
Raul Cabrera
Raul Cabrera
ECUADOR STAFF Raul connects us with host communities and service projects in the San Luis de Pambil area of Ecuador. He is very committed to the organization that he and his brother, Carlos, founded, that works towards “green progress” in over 200 communities. As an Ashoka social entrepreneur, he is excited about projects that improve quality of life without damaging the surrounding environment. Raul has been with Global Routes for more than 20 years.
Ratna Bahadur Tamang
Ratna Bahadur Tamang
NEPAL STAFF Ratna is an expert on everything Nepali. He has been leading Global Routes programs for ten years - guiding, entertaining and cooking for our travelers with great care and enthusiasm. He speaks Nepali, Hindi, English and his local language, Tamang. Ratna loves working with Global Routes and appreciates the students’ dedication to learning about Nepali culture and their commitment to the community service projects.
Hussein Omari Itambu
Hussein Omari Itambu
TANZANIA STAFF
The Cupids
The Cupids
ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES STAFF Martin and Veolant Cupid are the pillars of the community on the Windward side of St. Vincent Island. Since 2006 the Cupids have graciously hosted Global Routes students, equipping students with the tools to lead successful friendship camps and of course, sharing their favorite Caribbean recipes with our students. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried Martin’s open-fire breadfruit. The warmth of the Cupids hospitality has been the key ingredient to the success of Global Routes’ St Vincent programs.
ORLANDO ZAMORA FALLAS
ORLANDO ZAMORA FALLAS
COSTA RICA IN-COUNTRY COORDINATOR Orlando lives in the mountains of the Savegre Valley and has 5 children and 9 grandchildren. He knows the rainforest like the back of his hand and worked as an Instructor with Costa Rica Outward Bound School for over 20 years. He's excited to be a part of the Global Routes team, as he is passionate about teaching students about his Costa Rican culture and working with them on community service projects.
DON LUIS PADILLA
DON LUIS PADILLA
COSTA RICA STAFF Don Luis is a ranchero, or cattle rancher by trade, from the San Isidro region of Costa Rica. Now in his 70s, he has been helping coordinate Global Routes programs for over thirty years! Don Luis has a large family of children and grandchildren and loves welcoming young people from other countries to learn about his culture and country, and especially working with Global Routes groups on local community service projects.
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