The onsite directors will be your program leader and are there to lead and guide you during your study abroad experience. Our programs also have assistant directors that help manage the programs, especially during the excursions and cultural activities. Onsite directors are usually host-country nationals with cross-cultural experience. All of our directors have experience working with groups and have international experience (travel and work) and many have studied abroad themselves as students.
Eva is originally from Venice, Italy and has lived in Oaxaca since 2003. She loves to travel and explore the world and had the opportunity to visit and live in many countries while studying and volunteering. She was an AFS exchange student in Pennsylvania for a year, then while at University she spent a year studying abroad at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain. Eva later travelled to Australia, India, East Africa, Latin America and Costa Rica where she spent 6 months coordinating a Nature Conservation Project. All of these amazing experiences put her in contact with important issues such as Forest Conservation, Indigenous Rights, Sustainable Tourism, etc. which led her to pursue a Master's degree in Environmental Policy and Culture at Sussex University, UK. After completing her studies, she left Europe to get more field experience in developing countries and landed in Oaxaca where she worked for a local NGO dealing with natural resource management. In Oaxaca State she had the opportunity to explore very remote indigenous villages as part of a research program and also practiced participatory video as a way to film documentaries by involving the local community in the whole filming process. Since her first weeks in Oaxaca she has come in close contact with an extraordinary variety of cultures, environments, traditions, foods, and arts. This had such an immense impact on her life that she decided to live in this beautiful and diverse country. Eva is very excited to share with students the magic of Oaxaca and guide them through the life changing experience of living abroad!
Nahú Rodríguez was born in Oaxaca with his twin sister. They were the first of his very large family to be born there. During high school Nahú participated in various community volunteer projects. The experience which helped most to form his identity was dancing in the traditional dance festival, the Guelaguetza, in a school dance group. It was as a member of this dance group that he first learned about the mysteries of Oaxaca and its 17 different cultures. First Nahú learned the dances, and then expanded his knowledge about the towns and regions that are represented in the Guelaguetza festival. He learned more about their customs, foods, and drinks. He fell in love with the diverse ways these distinct cultures have of understanding the world. Dance gave Nahú the opportunity to travel. Not only did he travel and get to experience the beauty that exists in Oaxaca state and in Mexico but he also got to visit other countries and experience their cultures. As part of the dance group he traveled to Japan, Brazil, Argentina and the United States to represent Oaxaca. It was through this experience that his respect for diversity and cultural richness was born. In college Nahú studied Communication Sciences at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Puebla and became passionate about radio production. So much so that in his professional life he is now an advisor in community communication for various radio stations that broadcast in the indigenous communities of Oaxaca. Nahú has an ongoing interest in gaining a deeper understanding of the cultures of the state of Oaxaca as well as Oaxaca’s rich ecology and its beautiful landscapes. Through this interest he has traveled to the 8 regions of the state coordinating a communications program for an NGO where he provides information on climate change in Oaxaca state and the ways we can adapt to the new conditions. Some years after having graduated from his university he returned to be a teacher there. For the past five years he has been receiving students from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Puebla, and other states, to carry out their required social service work and collaborate on community projects. This allows them to strengthen their critical thinking about the world in which we live. Nahú is also passionate about sound production and the musical environment of Oaxaca. Through this interest he has worked in sound production with well-known musical artists such as Lila Downs. In addition to constant research in this area, he also continues his training in pedagogy and community studies to better accompany the students that he receives in Oaxaca. As you can tell, Nahú is a very interesting person with much to share about Oaxaca!
Pamela was born and raised in Mexico City. From an early age she was very clear on the things she most enjoyed doing: spending time in nature, traveling and exploring different places in Mexico. Other interests of hers are art and music and she took classes in both of these areas for many years. She is also very interested in practicing and studying meditation. The first time Pamela traveled abroad was when she finished high school. She traveled to Europe to visit various countries and then spent six months in Florence, Italy studying Italian. This trip opened the world up to Pamela in many ways and gave her a sense of freedom and an inquisitive approach to life that is still present. After returning to Mexico she worked with children in summer camps. She was very attracted to working with people and sharing with others. Pame later studied Fine Arts at the university in Puebla. During this period of time she delved even deeper into her personal work through meditation, yoga and multiple retreats. Also during this period she began her first entrepreneurial work project. Together with her friend and business partner, Roberta de Ella, they created a Mural-oriented company focused on decorating, designing and giving life to the walls of houses, apartments, restaurants, clinics, holistic centers, yoga centers, etc. (Instagram: Amankay_Murales). After graduating from college, Pamela returned to live in Mexico City and worked for a time giving art therapy sessions to children with disabilities. During this same time, in 20217, she started a project called “Isaki Ven a despertar” (“Isaki come to wake up”) with 3 other women. This project is focused on weekend retreats for children, adolescents and adults. It centers on Yoga, Meditation, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Body Therapy, Walks, working in the garden, Cacao Ceremony and Temazcal. (Instagram: Isaki.mx) In 2020 Pamela began a Master's Degree in Gestalt Therapy of the Claudio Naranjo line, with the intention to continue deepening and opening the way to continue working with groups of people. At the beginning of 2021 she moved to Oaxaca and has been working there getting to know and learn all the possibilities that Oaxaca state offers. In late 2021 Pamela started working with Coyote Aventuras, leading groups to have experiences in nature and receiving school groups in order to provide cultural and educational experiences in Oaxaca. Pamela very much looks forward to meeting you and helping you get the most out of your Oaxaca and Mexico experience!
América Schulz Kumar
América was fortunate enough to be born and raised in Oaxaca, a beautiful state which is now considered one of the food capitals of the world. Her family is multicultural with Oaxacan, Indian and Belgian influence. This rich background allowed her to have a broader and different perception of the world. It also fostered a deep appreciation and passion for food. América studied Tourism in Mexico City and has lived abroad in France and Spain but is always drawn back to her hometown of Oaxaca. For her, it is an eternally nurturing place not only because of the food but also because of the warmth of the Oaxacan people as well as the beautiful scenery. América’s work has always revolved around food and she has had jobs at restaurants, culinary tours, a cooking school, and a mezcalería. Food has always been the subject which attracts her the most and glues her professional life together. Since 2019 América has been fully involved in food and cultural tours. Sometimes she leads these for other companies and sometimes directly with her own clients. América has even started her own salsa business! América very much looks forward to meeting you and helping you get the most out of your Oaxaca and Mexico experience!
Priscila "Pris" Holder
Priscila Holder was born and raised in Oaxaca City, Mexico. She is an event organizer, tour guide and freelance translator and she feels deeply connected to the culture, art and people of Oaxaca. Since she was very young she has always had a passion for traveling. After finishing high school she decided to take a year off abroad in France in order to learn French and experience French culture. Priscila lived in Nice and Lyon during her stay and she also travelled around Europe. After this journey she became very interested in languages and new cultures, so she decided to choose an academic career that dealt with these subjects. She moved to Mexico City to attend university where she studied Languages and Translation and lived there for 6 years. After finishing her studies in Mexico City, she moved to Juchitán de Zaragoza, a Zapotec village located in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, in the southeast of Oaxaca State. Since 2015 Priscila has been back in Oaxaca working in diverse cultural projects. She speaks Spanish, English, French and Portuguese fluently. Priscila is enthusiastic about sharing her culture and loves showing off the amazing wonders that her state and city have to offer. She loves traveling, meeting new people, reading, and cooking.
Sergio "Yeyo" Beltrán
Sergio Beltrán Arruti, better known as Yeyo, was born and raised in México City. He moved to Oaxaca in 1997 to support and learn from indigenous communities. Yeyo is co-founder of the Universidad de la Tierra (Unitierra) and Herramientas para el Buen Vivir, AC. Through his work in the non-profit sector he has developed a deep respect for the capacity people have to make a good life (el buen vivir) for themselves when they are able to freely take responsibility for their own communities. Since 1999, Yeyo has been involved in the design and facilitation of study abroad programs and learning journeys in Oaxaca and Chiapas for several universities, foundations, and NGOs. He studied Latin American Studies at Mexico’s national university, UNAM. From 2004 to 2005 he was a grantee of the UNESCO program Search and Research. In 2010, Yeyo was part of the pioneering team of the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversations in Spanish, and has hosted and organized multiple intercultural encounters around the world using these tools for dialogue. Sergio is a fierce spiritual warrior who stands for peace, and for the rights and capacities of people everywhere! Currently, he is focusing his efforts on encouraging people to take responsibility for their own garbage and helping people to recover the capacity to create the future in which they want to live.