Today we’d like to take some time to introduce you to yet another one of our wonderful Discover Corps team members. Miguel Revatta is the program director for our Volunteer Vacations in Peru.
A native of Peru, Miguel is extremely passionate about sharing the values and customs of his country with the volunteer travelers that he works with. He can’t wait to introduce even more people to the food, the people, and the culture of his native homeland, which is surrounded by the stunning mountainous landscape of the Andes.
Will you be next? Let’s learn a little more about our passionate project manager and his beautiful homeland.
How long have you been working with Discover Corps?
I’ve been working with Discover Corps for about 6 months now, since February 2015.
What does your job as director of the Peruvian program involve?
As program director, I coordinate the necessary steps to fulfill the schedule of the volunteering service. I also help with the requirements of the volunteers and ensure the safety and comfort of all of our travelers.
You’ve worked in a variety of positions in the tourism industry. Can you tell us about how you got your start in the business?
When I completed my studies in Hotel Management, I had the opportunity to work for Orient Express in Peru Rail. I started out working at the counter in Peru Rail. From there I went to the Monasterio Hotel, which also belongs to Orient Express, where I attended to guests and sold them train tickets. In my last six months there, I was in charge of the reservations of the Hiram Bingham Service– the exclusive train that goes to Machu Picchu.
What drew you to your current position, and what is your favorite part of being a program director?
I worked with the volunteers of Global Leadership Adventures (GLA), which led to my work with Discover Corps. What I enjoy most about working with Discover Corps is the social support that can be done. I really enjoy meeting and working with new people with different customs from the people of my country.
Can you describe a typical day of working with Discover Corps volunteers?
My day starts early, making the breakfast for the volunteers. I enjoy the meal with them and explain the day’s schedule. We then depart for whatever activities are scheduled for that day, and then return to home base for lunch.
Next I make the arrangements for the classes with the kids. I might go to fly kites with all the participants before the classes start, or do yoga or some exercise. During the classes, I also help with the language translation. Then I make arrangements for dinner and help with the cleaning of the kitchen and dining room.
I also coordinate the maintenance of the house, the food, tours, classes, volunteering, etc.
What is one thing about Peruvian culture that you hope to share with program participants?
I wish to share the hospitality of the Peruvian people. They are very loving! They value the idea that people should be connected with members of their families and of our society. I also wish to share that Peruvians are very hard workers, which follows from our Inca and Spanish heritage.
We love Peruvian food. What are some of your favorite local dishes that everyone should try?
I have four favorite Peruvian dishes: aji de gallina, lomo saltado, ceviche and Pollo a la Brasa (Grilled Chicken, peruvian style). We teach our volunteers how to cook the first two dishes, and we always make them try our Pollo a la Brasa.
What is one thing that volunteers should know about your program before they sign up?
They should expect to be greeted by very warm people in Peru.
What is one thing you’ve learned from working with volunteers?
I’ve learned that, no matter where in the world you are, if you have the intention to help, you can do it.
When you’re not working, how do you enjoy spending your time?
I spend time with my parents and traveling by motorcycle.
If you could travel to anywhere in the world outside of Peru, where would you most like to go?
I have a lot of invitations to visit the Discover Corps volunteers in North America. So, if I have the chance, I would like to go to the USA, rent a Harley Davidson, and spend a month visiting friends and driving an 1800cc motorcycle to see the Grand Canyon. I’d also like to visit India for their culture, East Africa or Madagascar because of their flora and fauna, and Thailand, Vietnam or Malaysia to learn more about their cuisine. –Britany Robinson
BIO: Britany Robinson is a freelance travel and culture writer based in Portland, Oregon. Her works appears in BBC Travel, Mashable, The Daily Dot and more. Her blog, Travel Write Away, shares advice and musings on travel writing. When she’s not planning her next big trip, she’s scoping out Portland craft beers and local hikes.