The Administration and Advising team at Arcos Learning Abroad are a group of seasoned industry professionals with decades of experience. The core team worked together for upwards of 14 years at a previous, nationally-recognized study abroad organization. They bring their passion and belief in the transformative power of international education to every aspect of Arcos programs. They are the arco-tects behind the programs and also the advisors to help you plan your study abroad experience.
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Brent Hunter was raised in Brenham, a small town in Central Texas. As a high school student he developed a passionate interest in the Spanish language. Beyond his love of language, he also took great interest in the outdoors and environmental conservation. As a result of these interests, Brent studied at the University of Texas at Austin, where he double-majored in Field Biology and Spanish Linguistics. He later completed an MBA in International Business at St. Edward's University, also located in Austin. It was not until college that Brent discovered the inspiring possibilities offered by study abroad programs. For his first experience, he traveled to Mérida, Venezuela on a summer study abroad program. Later, he completed his MBA coursework while studying abroad in Costa Rica. He has been hooked on the importance of study abroad ever since! Brent has always enjoyed working with students and is a natural guide. As an Eagle Scout he worked during the summers as a counselor at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. Brent has worked for many years now as an overseas program director for student groups in Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico and Spain. He loves sharing unique cultures and places with others. Brent's other interests include hiking, rock climbing, yoga, biking, art, and reading contemporary Spanish literature.
Chief Information Officer | Spain Advising Lead | Cultural Curriculum Director
Alejandro was born and raised in Cádiz, Spain but finished high school in Kingston, TN. Here he earned the nickname, "The Spaniard", which he loved. Back in Spain, Alejandro studied at the Universidad de Granada and graduated with degrees in Law (2000) and Political Science (2003). He also started a third degree in Philosophy. As you can tell, Alejandro has an interest in learning and academics! He has always been interested in the history of political thought, a passion that sheds light on his academic journey. Alejandro has also lived and worked abroad starting with Aarhus, Denmark (1999-2000) and then Edinburgh, Scotland (2003-2005). These past years he has worked as a private guide in Andalucía, and leads bike tours for a US company (2009 - present). He stopped this and left for the USA in order to pursue a two-year M.A. in Spanish Literature at CUA in D.C., where he taught Spanish as a teaching fellow (2015-2017). He graduated in Spring 2017! Alejandro loves languages and currently dedicates his free time to studying French and German. But, Alejandro says, “above all, sport is my passion”. He is an outdoors person now: swimming, cycling, running, and playing tennis. He especially gravitates towards endurance sports. Out of this passion, he has become well-versed in nutrition, a topic he can spend hours conversing on. Alejandro loves to work with foreign travelers, especially Americans, to whom he still feels quite connected after his high school year in Tennessee, summers spent working in the Smoky Mountains and his latest experience as a graduate student in D.C. Alejandro feels like an ambassador showing his home country to others. He is very aware that there is more to a language than just the grammar and the vocabulary. Without experiencing first-hand the culture that lives with the language there is no real learning. He understands very well the importance of why it makes so much sense to spend time in the country where the target language is spoken. As to his private life, Alejandro has no children of his own but instead he has a niece and a nephew who constantly remind him that he’s become a professional uncle now ("Tito Ale").
A believer in the life-changing potential of travel, Janiva Cifuentes-Hiss brings more than 15 years of experience facilitating transformational journeys throughout the planet. Over the past decade, Janiva has led study abroad, gap year, and volunteer programs in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panamá, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, Perú, Argentina, India, Kenya, Tanzania, and Spain.
Her adventures have taken her to learn wilderness skills in the Amazon, practice yoga on the banks of the Ganges, vision quest in Patagonia, safari in East Africa, scuba dive off of the Bay Islands, trek to the Mayan pyramids of Tikal and learn about the Inca civilization at Machu Picchu.
Born and raised in Olympia, Washington, Janiva lived in Colombia with her family when she was a child, which profoundly shaped her worldview. She studied abroad at the University of Salamanca in Spain and graduated from Pomona College with a BA in Latin American Studies. She then moved to Costa Rica where she served as a research assistant in sustainable development, natural resource management and tropical ecology.
Janiva is an international speaker, workshop facilitator, and experiential learning activist. Inspired by the Democratic Free School Movement, she co-founded HeartSong Community of Free Learners, a project-based bilingual school in Costa Rica.
Janiva worked as Costa Rica Resident Director from 2007 - 2020. In this role she created Kidtopia International Day Camp, led a volunteer program in Heredia public schools and collaborated with government and non-profit organizations to support public health and environmental impact projects. She enjoys nature, music, cooking, baking, volunteering, meditation and yoga.