In January 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, LocalAventura was founded to become the easiest and most authentic way to travel to Latin America. Co-founders Andrea Vidler and Eugena Brown met as MBA students at The Wharton School. Together, in an entrepreneurship class, the two considered and tested various business ideas, yet there was just something about LocalAventura the two founders kept coming back to.
Drea was born in Chile and frequently traveled between the U.S. and Latin America. Working and traveling in various places throughout the region, she saw first-hand how difficult it was for people to start their own businesses and gain economic empowerment. Gena also had extensive travel experience throughout the region. As a curious and adventurous traveler herself, she noticed how hard it was to find that off-the-beaten-path experience she was searching for. The two also noticed that most booking platforms didn't vet and interview their guides, leaving it up to chance for travelers to find a truly great tour. The two connected on these findings and their shared passion for entrepreneurship. Thus, LocalAventura was born to solve these disparities while making a social impact in Latin America. After researching the market and interviewing an abundance of travelers and tour guides, the two founders were convinced that LocalAventura would be the best way for them to accomplish this.
A self-proclaimed “wanderluster,” Eugena has traveled to over 30 countries and has a deep appreciation for world cultures. Her favorite part of traveling is searching for authentic experiencing and learning about local life. Upon her first visit to South America, she realized this often wasn’t so easy. Gena was in Cartagena, Colombia, and spent hours searching for non-touristy things to do. Instead, she wound up having dinner at a touristy, overpriced restaurant. She realized that something needed to be done to make finding authentic experiences easier for adventurers like herself. LocalAventura became the perfect way for her to combine her love of entrepreneurship with her desire to improve travel for fellow wanderlusters. Since co-founding LocalAventura, Gena has loved seeing her ideas come to life and facing the challenges that come along with starting a new business. Beyond her passion for entrepreneurship, Gena is a foodie and loves tasting the many different delicacies around the world, especially the flavors of Latin America.
Born in Chile and raised in the United States, Andrea grew up with an appreciation for both cultures. Regularly returning to Chile to visit her family, her desire to learn more about her home country and the rest of the region continued to grow. From living in Mexico, Colombia, and Peru, Drea was able to discover the individual flavors of each culture. Though very different, she noticed two common themes between each country. First, that there’s a true entrepreneurial spirit within Latin America. Second, people often lacked the tools, support, and mentorship to make their business endeavors thrive and scale. Through LocalAventura, Drea hopes she can help local guides grow and expand their businesses by making resources more readily accessible and mentoring them on how to best use those resources. Working on LocalAventura has given Drea a new and exciting task to face. When she’s not making quick decisions for the business, Drea can be found cycling; she makes sure to find a bike tour no matter where she visits.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Cait found herself very interested in Latin American culture in high school where she studied Spanish literature with a Honduran nun as her teacher. Later in college, she decided to pursue her love for all things Latin American, where she studied abroad in Buenos Aires. This trip made her realize that an immense opportunity exists for passionate locals to share their cultures with travelers. She felt compelled to help bring other people to experience all the flavor of Latin America. During her last semester at the University of Pennsylvannia, Cait met Gena and Drea whose passion for LocalAventura was contagious and led to Cait joining the team. After graduating, Cait immediately moved to Buenos Aires to make LocalAventura a reality in Argentina. For Cait, she’s found the sweet spot of passion and skill: working each day to economically empower local guides while bringing travelers to experience the rich culture of Latin America couldn’t be more fulfilling. In her free time Cait loves watching films and writing so she remembers all of the crazy adventures she’s had while working on LocalAventura.
A fan of the unconventional, Stephanie began her love of Latin America after studying abroad in Costa Rica. This not-so-traditional start would become the foundation of her college experience, helping her to discover her love of writing, Latin American studies, and sloths. A few years later, whilst finishing her journalism studies, she serendipitously discovered LocalAventura, a company that would seamlessly combine her passions while also making a social impact in Latin America. Without a second thought, she headed to Chile to work with LocalAventura. Her experience abroad not only allowed her to travel and live in Chile and Peru, but also to meet magnificent local guides throughout the region. Through LocalAventura's blog and marketing, she hopes to showcase these guides' fascinating stories and their missions to promote authentic and sustainable travel. When she's not updating the blog, you'll likely find Stephanie baking for her friends and family. Her specialty, you ask? Focaccia bread and blondies.
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