Local Hosts

Every Discover Corps trip is led by an English-speaking local host who knows exactly how and where the spirit of the country moves. Since we’ve worked together for years, they’re more than just staff; they’re part of our extended family. As our guest, they’ll welcome you into that family and show you unparalleled hospitality and service.

Since our hosts live in their countries, they are unmatched in their depth of knowledge about the country and in their passion to share it with visitors. In addition to the adventures you encounter, they’ll sweep you into both organized and spontaneous discussions that provoke a deeper understanding of life in that country.

Belize: Caribbean Wildlife Adventure
Host: Martin Ack

Mr. Ack grew up in the Ke’kchi Maya village of San Miguel. As a Discover Corps tour guide he loves sharing his knowledge of Maya culture and showing guests the archeological sites and Maya history in Toledo. Through his passion for conservation Martin is pursuing a degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Belize and views himself as a responsible steward of natural resources. Martin is an asset to the Ridge to Reef team as he guides participants on excursions throughout the expedition. Martin strives to ensures that each participant enjoys a true Belizean adventure.


costa-rica-noilyn-wayne-175-175-pxCosta Rica: Protecting the Pacific
Hosts: Noilyn Ramírez Arias & Wayner Vasquez

Noilyn and Wayner live in the Bahía-Uvita community and belong to the Bahia Ballena Guide Association. Noiyln also volunteers for Geospatial Educators Opportunities for Partnership Outreach Research & Training (GEOPORTER) which works with community members to use geospatial technologies to solve local issues. Wayner specializes in trips to Corcovado National Park and Bahia Ballena Marine Park.


TaraDiscoverCorpsCosta Rica: The Sea Turtle Initiative
Host: Tara Tiedemann

Although originally from Wisconsin, Tara now lives in Costa Rica.  Her love for Central America began long ago when she spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala. In that role, she witnessed how sustainable tourism could positively impact local communities. Since then, she has dedicated herself to developing and operating responsible travel programs across Central America.


rsz_miimiheadshotCuba: Building Bridges
Host: Mimi Arnstein

Mimi is an educator, organic farmer and enthusiastic promoter of people-to-people exchange. Her international educational projects include working with students and farmers throughout the Caribbean. During her many trips to Cuba, she has been continually touched by the Cuban people’s resiliency, warmth, curiosity and passion for life, all of which come through in their music, dance, art and history.



Dominican Republic: Next Step Travel / Heart & Soul of Caribbean
Host: Dave Addison

Dave holds a PhD in Global Sustainability from Argosy University. Early in his career, Dave was a US Navy Seal and a financial analyst on Wall Street. Having raised three children, he now lives in the Dominican Republic working on environmental sustainability and humanitarian projects.


orlando-arizandieta-thumbnailGuatemala:  Children of the Maya
Host: Orlando Arizandieta

Orlando is trilingual in Spanish, English, and Norwegian. In addition to having over a decade of experience in international volunteerism, Orlando has also worked for the Guatemalan government and with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. He has worked to eradicate poverty, produce green energy, and promote multiculturalism and ethnic diversity.


raja-elise-thumbnailIndia: Heart of the Himalayas
Hosts: Raja & Elise Sahota

Raja and Elise met when she traveled to India to volunteer in the Himalayas.  Not only did she fall in love with the landscape, she ended up marrying Raja, who was coordinating volunteers for a grassroots project he was running. Together, they’re the perfect hosts to welcome you to their home community of Dharamsala.



peru-miguel-revatta-taglePeru: Spirit of the Andes
Host: Miguel Revatta Tagle

Miguel was born and raised in Cusco where he studied tourism management. He has worked in all areas of the travel industry, including travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, and even the Andean Railway Company that runs the train to Machu Picchu! He is thrilled to return to Andahuaylillas, his family’s hometown, and share the village with Discover Corps travelers.


south-africa-tour-guidesSouth Africa: Wildlife Conservation Experience
Host: Lily Jackson & Conraad Loubser

Lily is originally from the UK but has lived in South Africa for a number of years where she has worked in responsible tourism.  Conraad is a native of South Africa and is a certified naturalist guide.  He is most at home when he’s out in the bush and loves sharing the natural wonders of his countries with travelers.


ester-simba-thumbnailTanzania: East Africa Unveiled
Host: Esther Simba

Originally a secondary school teacher, Esther became a Language & Culture trainer for the US Peace Corps, and was the founding Country Director for Cross-Cultural Solutions Tanzania. Today, she facilitates women’s empowerment workshops and shares her love of Tanzania with travelers who come to support her community.


todd-cikraji-thumbnailThailand: Elephant Conservation Experience / Cultural Kaleidoscope
Host: Todd Cikraji

Todd came to Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer and never left: 15 years later, he is married to a Thai woman and speaks fluent Thai. He taught at a Thai school for many years before deciding to dedicate himself to international volunteerism and teaching visitors about Thai culture.


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