About Happy Gringo - Ecuador Travel
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About Happy Gringo

MEET THE HAPPY GRINGOS!

Happy Gringo has operated since 2004 during which time we have helped over 15,000 clients to realise their dream holiday, and we have established ourselves as one of the leading and most respected travel agencies / tour operators within Ecuador. We are joint UK/Dutch owned and have chosen Quito as our base. Our office is located in the dynamic and developed "new town" area of Quito - right in the midst of the very best tourist services and hotels.

Our mission is to be "a company run by happy people delivering the perfect holiday experience to the most satisfied clients".

We are a fully registered Ecuadorian company that is both affiliated with the Chamber of Tourism CAPTUR and licensed with the Ecuadorian Tourism Ministry.

We consider one of our real strengths to be the dedicated team of travel experts that we have assembled. We have an excellent mix of Westerners and Ecuadorians who complement each other perfectly to assist our clients, and we consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have our current group of staff together.

Allow us to introduce our team:

MANAGEMENT

JOHN (Company President) - John, hailing from London UK, is a seasoned traveller having visited more than 65 different countries worldwide, and with over 13 years of travel and work experience within Latin America. He holds both BA (hons) and Msc degrees in business and management from UK universities. He is the original founder of Happy Gringo and has been living in Quito for the past 12 years where his big passions are football, rugby and nature.

EVA (General Manager) - Eva is from Holland, is joint owner of Happy Gringo, and has been based in Ecuador for the past 10 years. She is well travelled and speaks fluent Dutch, English & Spanish as well as a good working level of German. She holds a degree in Anthropology with a specialism in Ecuadorian culture, and also an MBA. She needs plenty of energy to maintain the excellent sales service that our clients are accustomed to whilst at the same time looking after her two mischeavous young daughters.

SALES EXPERTS

VIOLA (Sales Supervisor) is from Germany and holds an apprenticeship as a travel agent and a diploma in business administration. She has worked in sales and customer service for 12 years and loves to create customized travel itineraries and support the sales team with her know-how. She is a very passionate traveler has traveled around the world but fell in love with Ecuador and decided to live in this wonderful country. She enjoys nature, outdoor activities, animals, adventures and to spend time with her friends. In her spare time Viola loves hiking, biking, horseback riding, dancing salsa or planning her next trip.

MARCELO has been working in tourism for the last 8 years, both tour guiding and organizing/selling trips. He is a nature lover and also enjoys practicing adventure sports, both of which have seen him travel extensively throughout Ecuador and South America. His helpful, friendly attitude together with experience and knowledge make him the perfect person to organize your Ecuador adventure.

GINA spent many years living in the UK before joining Happy Gringo in 2014. She loves travelling and meeting new people from around the world, and is a passionate animal lover - she enjoys spending time both with the exotic animals at Galapagos and with her 2 little pet dogs. In her spare time she enjoys the countryside and outdoor activities with family and friends. Above all she is a really friendly and positive person, always willing and ready to help customers in every way possible!

CRISTINA is a passionate traveler, having visited many touristic icons in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. She enjoys learning different cultures and loves studying languages - English, French, German - and plans to continue learning! She lived in the UK and has traveled many times abroad, telling people about the wonders of Ecuador! She has been working in tourism for the last 8 years, time when she learnt that a perfect holiday begins with a good and knowledgeable travel advice... She is always happy to assist her clients and give them the best impression of this lovely country!

MARIA CRISTINA has dual nationality (Ecuadorian and Colombian) – she was born in Quito, but grew up, studied and travelled extensively in both countries. She has gained extensive experience in different areas of tourism over 10 years, as a Spanish teacher, guide, volunteer organizer and travel agent. What she like the most about the tourist sector is the cultural exchange and all that can be learned when you meet people from all over the world. When she is not working she likes to walk, skate, read, write, knit and crochet, paint ceramics and music.

PAOLA is a Corporate Communications graduate with 4 years of experience working in sales and customer service. Paola enjoys any artistic and cultural activity, also outdoor fun with friends, as well as taking pictures of amazing animals and extraordinary landscapes. Her family lives in different cities around the world so she loves to travel to visit them and to learn about different cultures. Her goal since joining the Happy Gringo sales team is to help customers to find 'the trip of their dreams' in Ecuador.

SEBASTIAN is the youngest member of the Happy Gringo team. He enjoys laughing and you can usually find him making jokes to other members of the team. He previously worked as a VIP and Customer Service Executive at Quito International Airport, and has also done internships in JW Marriott as a sales agent, as lifeguard in King´s Dominion amusement Park in U.S.A. and room service in Patio Andaluz Boutique Hotel. He graduated in 2014 in Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland as Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality with minor in Sales and Marketing. He loves to travel and is always planning his next trip. Among his other hobbies he is a maniac about playing soccer, reading (Harry Potter being his favorite book series), playing videogames and eating pizza. He is really motivated about helping our clients discover all the secrets and adventures Ecuador holds, and he will be completely at your service to plan the perfect trip!

OPERATIONS

VALERIA (Operations Supervisor) is very proud of her roots from Puyo, deep in the Amazon area of Ecuador. She has 12 years of experience working in tourism in Ecuador, has studied English at a local language institute and is the person to thank for the smooth-running organization of our trips.

NANCY has worked in tourism for over 15 years now, and is motivated to work in this exciting sector because she is “helping to create dreams and experiences that clients will remember for many years”. Her main hobby is running, recently she has competed in the following races: 15k ultimas noticias, Quito 1/2 marathon, Ruta de las Iglesias, Huarmi Run and more. She loves to take on challenges that push her to achieve new goals, and enjoys reading and takes a class in cooking.

MARILYN joined our team in 2016 and holds a degree in ecoturismo from Catolica University in Quito. She is also qualified as national Ecuador guide in both english or french. Having completed an internship in Crater Park National Park in USA she returned to Ecuador to concentrate on Operations in local tourism. Marilyn loves to travel, especially extreme sports such as rafting / bungee /rapel.

TOUR GUIDES

LUIS is from Quito and has been working with Happy Gringo clients since 2008 both in Ecuador and Peru. He holds a full professional guiding license and specializes in Ecuadorian History and Culture. His favourite region of Ecuador is the Andean Highlands and he considers working in tourism to be his dream job! We are used to receiving glowing praise from our passengers after his trips!

MARCELO has been guiding in Ecuador for the past 5 years since graduating as a licensed guide at Quito University. He has a real passion for his country and in particular loves to travel in the Amazon region. When not busy working he enjoys typical Latin American pastimes such as football and dancing.

GABRIEL is from the town of Lago Agrio in the Amazon region of Ecuador and has been guiding for the past 7 years since gaining his license and Ecotourism degree. He enjoys typical Latin American pastimes such as football and music. He enjoys meeting tourists and would love to share his experiences with Happy Gringo clients.

ANDRES is from Quito and has been working as a professional tour guide for the past 6 years. His specific area of expertise is the mountains and cloudforest area of Ecuador. He loves to travel and has enjoyed various trips to Europe, USA and Latin America. His other passion is Andean music - he always has a selection of traditional instruments with him when he is guiding so just ask if you would like to hear a tune!

CRISTIAN lives on the foothills of the Pichincha Volcano just outside of Quito at 3200 above sea level and has been guiding now for over 8 years. He loves hiking and camping as well as adventure sports such as kayaking / rafting / mountain biking. His friendly and laid-back personality have made him very popular with our clients!!!

JOSE is from Quito and has been guiding now for over 7 years, a job which he loves! He enjoys showcasing his country's best sites of which his personal favourite is the Amazon region.

DAVID joined our team of free-lance guides in 2015 having worked many years at the Bellavista Cloudforest Lodge as a specialist birding guide. He has fantastic knowledge about all parts of Ecuador, is a great sense of fun and loves nature and sport.

DRIVERS

MILTON is a regular favourite with our clients for his safe driving skills and amiable personality. He will always go the extra mile for his passengers to ensure the perfect trip for them! Milton speaks basic english and is keen to interchange language skills for those clients that would like to improve their spanish with him.

IVAN is always friendly, good natured and courteous and above all drives very carefully. After returning from Europe 11 years ago he decided he needed a big change in his life and has dedicated his time to offering touristic services as a driver. Now he loves his new life, especially when unexpected circumstances arise along the road such as helping an old lady chasing her pig or other moments tha make life more interesting! His free time is mostly dedicated to his family. His favorite place in Ecuador is the Quilotoa Laguna.

JAIME has been driving our clients to all corners of Ecuador for the past 1 and 1/2 years. He is retired from the Ecuadorian Air Force, and enjoys sports such as running, cycling and volleyball in his spare time. Above all he is proud to be able to showcase his beautiful country to foreign visitors!

PATRICIO has been working as a driver for tourists for various years now, he really enjoys showing his beautiful country to foreigners who visit. He has 2 daughters who live in Quito, and uses his spare time to run which keeps him in good health - he belongs to the Chasqui sports club who participate in events right across Ecuador.

ACCOUNTING

BRENDA (Accounts Supervisor) studied at Central University of Ecuador graduating as Accounting and Auditory Engineer. She joined our team recently in 2016 to supervise our accounts team. She loves listening to music, meeting new people, and experiencing new customs and places.

NATALIA joined the Happy Gringo team in December 2010 to work as Accounts Assistant. She lives in Quito with her family, enjoys music and sport, and above all loves to share new experiences with her young daughter.

DAVID graduated in tourism at the Central University of Quito and has been working with us since 2008. His responsibilities are divided between operations tasks and invoicing. He is a huge fan of football and supports Barcelona from the coast of Ecuador; he also enjoys nature and music.

SALOME studied Accountancy and Audit at UTPL University and has a Marketing degree too; currently she works in Tributec, an accounting and tax services company who are responsible of our accounting management. She really enjoys her work, as well as spending time with her family, a good cup of coffee and to practice sport in her spare time.

OTHER

VERONICA (Reception) - Veronica's main role is as Sales Receptionist to support the sales staff and our clients. She enjoys working in tourism and sees it as an opportunity to learn more about her country and its culture. She likes to play sports, music, reading and travelling. Her favorite destination in Ecuador is Baños and the Rainforest because she enjoys the climate and vegetation in this area of the country.

JAIRO (Messenger) - Jairo is responsible for ticketing and other odd-jobs in the agency. He is from Quito and in his spare time likes nothing more than riding his motorbike. He has a lot of respect for his parents who taught him the values of ethics and responsibility, and he likes to live life with a smile on his face.

ALEX (IT) - Alex takes care of our IT needs which includes computing, software and typical IT trouble-shooting. He enjoys travelling and has already been to Europe several times, he also has a very active social life.

EVA (Photos / Design) - Eva has been passionate about photography since her Grandfather showed her how to work in a darkroom when she was a child. Since then she has studied photography in the Allianza Francais in Quito, been published in various local magazines, and taken part in the “Revelando Quito” Exhibition in Itchimbia & Metropolitan Park.

CRISTIAN (HR) - Cristian holds an MBA with specialization in Human Resources and assists us with all our HR issues. When not working or studying hard he is usually to be found on the football field or dance floor.