The most valuable asset and the heart of Ventura TRAVEL is our team of motivated and authentic people who have their hearts in the right place. The different characters, the common team spirit and the overall focus on achieving the company’s objectives are the reasons why the Ventura TRAVEL team is a real power team. No obstacle is too high and no distance is too far. All challenges are faced together and everyone can count on the support of his o her colleagues.
Here is a small insight into the Ventura TRAVEL Team.
Welcome to the world of Ventura TRAVEL!
Andre Kiwitz - CEO & Founder
Authentic travel & Entrepreneurship
Andre started the company during his studies in 2001 as viventura. He experienced tour operators offering boring trips throughout South America, without enabling the travelers to experience real South America. After founding the company in Germany, he moved to South America in late 2001 and lived for a total of 12 years in South America. Over the years, next to his passions for travel, South America and the Internet, a passion for Entrepreneurship and good leadership grew. As a consequence, he started Ventura TRAVEL in 2015 with a clear Vision: To empower talented tourism professionals with a strong passion for a travel niche and enable them to start their own brand within Ventura. This way the intrapreneurs could focus on what they are best in while getting the infrastructure from an established tour operator. In his private life, Andre enjoys spending time with his wife & son and loves to eat good ceviche.
Pablo - Viventura
Family mountains, trekkings, and good food are Pablo's inspirations for working in tourism. From La Paz Bolivia, he is our Executive Director, which means that most of his job is getting us motivated and happy.
Jonathan - Puraventura
A Ch'ti in America
Those who know him well know that Jonathan always has his suitcase close by! Gone right at the end of his studies to work on the island of Malta and then in London, he could finally finance his dream of discovering the new world: South America. After 6 months on the South American roads, he found his vocation: travels! After an uncommon internship in an eco-friendly village in Mexico and once his Tourism-Hospitality degree in his pocket, he arrived in Medellin in 2009 to join the team of Viventura, a travel agency specialized in South America. Perfectly in his element, Jonathan participated in the development of Viventura for 6 years, living in Peru in the white city of Arequipa and in Medellin, the city of eternal spring, which will become his city of heart! Always eager to discover new things, he fell in love with Central America and convinced Viventura to launch "Central America". The idea becomes reality in 2015 with the launch of Puraventura whose mission is to become the specialist of Central America / Caribbean tours. A new challenge, a new life, it is from Merida in Mexico that the project now continues to grow.
Benno - Galapatours
A true South America Enthusiast
Benno has traveled all over Latin America. While traveling seems built into his DNA, his love for Central and South America started during his university studies. For a research job for his master's thesis, Benno moved to Cuba and subsequently traveled all through Central America, before ending up in Colombia and Ecuador. During his time as marketing manager for viventura.de, he fell in love with the Galapagos Islands. Benno now works both from the Galapatours head office in Berlin and the beautiful archipelago in Ecuador.
Francesca - Japaventura
Language freak in love with Japan
Francesca left her beloved hometown in Italy 10 years ago to explore the world and look for new adventures. Ever since, she has been living in many different cities, from Lisbon to Miami, from Kyoto to Berlin. Her great passion for people and cultures brought her to learn as many as 7 languages and to see almost 50 countries. While remaining strongly connected to her city in Tuscany, her heart beats for Japan, the place on earth she loves most. When not working on Japaventura, Francesca can be found in the best restaurants in town, practicing foreign languages and trying out some new food, possibly Japanese.
Adventure loving global citizen
Reza decided to explore the world on his own and leave his hometown in southern Sweden to embrace his passion for cultures, people and discovery across the planet. A humanitarian at heart; Reza couldn’t just sit back and witness the human tragedy that was taking place, therefore he embarked on a journey to volunteer in Lesvos at the peak of the humanitarian crisis in 2016. He's determined to fulfill his dream of building a sustainable school in the near future for underprivileged children. After having lived in Los Angeles, London and Stockholm, his Persian roots pulled him back in full circle to Tehran, where Persiaventura has been born. He passionately believes that the essence of Iran will not only be a rejuvenating and enriching experience but also deeply inspiring with moments that will forever stay in our hearts.
Rita - Chinaventura
Art-loving global citizen
Originally from Hong Kong and completed her first degree in HK, Beijing and South Africa, Rita decided to return to Beijing for work in 2015. She is fascinated by the diversity in this city - it accommodates people and culture from all over the country, and it's when Rita experienced the magic in Chinese culture. Afterward, she moved to beautiful Austria for further study in Innovation & Tourism. Rita joined the ventura team in Nov 2018 for the branch chinaventura which brings travelers to experience China. During weekends, she could be found in art exhibitions, cat cafes and markets.
Amal - Travel Success Facilitator
Tagine maker, Netflix lover and squirrel enthusiastic
This is Amal. She is originally from Casablanca, Morocco but grew up in Montreal, the city known for its cute but aggressive squirrels. When not at work, she dedicates all of her free time to attempting to detangle her hair and buying things she does not need on the internet.
Meggie Bouchard-B. - Director Online Product and Product Manager
Curious about life and enjoying each minute of it
Originally from Montreal, Canada, Meggie has been living in Europe since 2006. A former freelancer and startup founder, she's developed a strong interest in technologies; especially in Agile techniques. Social and outgoing, she believes that each individual must feel empowered to get things done and speak out what’s in their heart. She joined the Ventura TRAVEL team in 2017 as Director of Online Products department (IT, Data and Design) and acts also as a Product Owner. She is based in Berlin.
Gustavo Cataño - Technical Lead
IT geek with a contagious lust for life
Gustavo loves the world of software. Long before he finished his studies in System Engineering, he had participated in various projects related to process automatization in web environments. Gustavo has also occasionally lectured at Antioquia University in Colombia. Aside from all things IT-based, he likes sports and enjoys going to rock concerts. He spends much of his free time with his family.
Jonathan Rummel - Data Scientist
Data enthusiast in love with craft beer
Jon hails from a small town in the desert state of Arizona. Originally raised as a cowboy, he has spent the last 5 years living and working across the world. He has followed his passion for travel and data across 4 continents and is constantly looking to expand his exposure to both. He joined ventura Travel in July 2018 and works to empower the vT brands and departments with vivid data insights. When not sinking deeper into the rabbit hole that is data analytics, Jon likes to spend time blogging about craft beers and the inspiring dreamers who make them.
Alfredo Ortegón - Team lead
Food and coding - all I need to be happy
Alfredo is constantly looking for ways to make everyday life that little bit funnier. He enjoys walking through Medellin’s leafy streets trying to find new restaurants. He’s a big lover of technology and has a passionate developer that’s always seeking new challenges and ways to expand upon his knowledge. His biggest hobby? His work. That’s how much he loves it!
Deyby Vasquez - Scrum Master
Family man with the entrepreneur vibe
Deyby is passionate about tech and entrepreneurship. He is always involved in projects combining the tech world, entrepreneurship, and teaching. He loves to spend time with his family. He tries to learn something new every day, with a bigger focus every 3 months. You’ll find him flying drones, reading or dancing in his free time.
Genesis Guerrero Martinez - IT Developer
Jose Echavez - IT Developer
Jose was born in Mompos, Colombia before moving to Santa Marta to study and work as a systems engineer. He is a passionate software developer that has spent many years working in web and mobile development. He loves music and reading.
Santiago García - IT Developer
Backpacker and Laravel enthusiast
Santiago is very passionate about code especially web development. He loves to contribute to the open source community specifically to the Laravel community. He has a philosophy about not reinventing the wheel. Besides from code, backpacking is his passion and one of his favorite hobbies is watch TV shows.
Jonathan Medina - IT Developer
Passionate for web developing and volleyball
Jonathan was born in Medellin, Colombia. He is passionate about web developing and sports. He likes to spend his spare time with his family and playing volleyball with his friends. Since October 2018 he is part of the IT team in Medellin.
Robin Canela - Director Marketing
Scuba diver & travel addict
After his bachelor´s degree, Robin spent two years on the road discovering the beauty of this world through his own eyes. This inspired him to share his vision and his experiences through a green, responsible travel agency. Robin is often found underwater with his scuba diving tank, or in a bar listening to gypsy jazz music. Robin also loves reading and fell in love with South America through authors such as Coelho, Garcia Marquez, and Neruda.
Antonino Segreto aka Nino - SEO Specialist
Book-loving travel addict
Nino’s background is in Sustainable Tourism and Economics. A book-lover and travel addict, he has developed a great passion for the digital world in the past 6 years while working as a Digital Marketer for different Berlin start-ups. He now works at Ventura Travel as an SEO Specialist. His other interests include rock music, movies, and sociology.
Louis Poissant - SEA Specialist
Always open to novelty
Specialist of performance marketing, he is a big fan of sports and gastronomy. After an MBA in Paris and first work experience in Berlin, he decided to move to Asia for several months and took Japanese classes to increase his immersion. In charge of performance marketing in the marketing department of Ventura Travel, he is able to combine two things he enjoys: numbers and writing.
Pauline Daguet - Marketing Intern
Yoga, world cuisine and traveling
Pauline, is our new intern in the Marketing team for the French market. She will be working from the Berlin office for the next 6 months. She is a yoga addict, likes to free her mind and have a balanced life. Her passion is to discover new food from all around the world. Open to new experiences, she wanted to work in Berlin in a multicultural environment and in the field she loves most: sustainable tourism. Pauline has one thing in her mind: travel the world! She dreams so much about it...
Franziska Umlauft - Director of People, Culture and Collaboration
Austria’s nature-loving Berliner by choice
Before and during her Tourism Management studies in Vienna, the born-and-bred Vorarlberger lived some time abroad and finally moved to Berlin in 2010 where she settled down. In her spare time, she loves to travel and to hike, whether it’s mountains, volcanoes or simply the nature in her home country. Since she returned from her sabbatical in Latin America in 2013, she is happy to be part of the ventura team.
Marcia Sánchez - Coordinator of People, Culture and Collaboration
Passion for travelling and discovering new cultures
Marcia loves working with people and found her passion working in Human Resources. In her spare time, she loves to travel and feels the happiest when she can get to know a new country, a new culture and new people.
Katharina Neimög - Accounting Director
Coffee lover, always with a smile
Katharina loves tricky tasks and has turned her hobby into a career. As director of accounting, she ensures that all numbers are in the right place in no time at all. Prior to VenturaTRAVEL, she spent almost 5 years in a tax consultancy firm with a passion for assets and liabilities. Privately, she likes to meet up with her friends for coffee, where she always makes sure that everyone finds something in common.
Mariel Arroyo - AR Accountant
Lover of Numbers
Mariel was born in La Paz, Bolivia and grew up in the midst of the region's majestic snow-capped peaks. In 2011, she followed her heart and made the decision to move to Berlin. It was at Ventura TRAVEL that she found the warmth of South America, and the company soon became her home. Mariel is an economist and enjoys working with numbers. She loves spicy dishes, dancing, and parading at the Carnaval d'Oruro. She also loves art, meeting new people, making new friends and traveling.
Pedro Lima - AP Accountant
German preciseness with a Brazilian mood
Pedro is from Fortaleza, in the northeast part of Brazil. He moved to Budapest, Hungary in 2014, to pursue his Master's studies and find new career opportunities. In 2018 he decided to take up a new challenge with Ventura TRAVEL and moved to Berlin. Pedro is passionate about meeting new people from diverse cultures. He chose to join the finance team due to his background and interest in finance and accounting, and for the diversity of cultures that Ventura represents in the heart of Germany.
Carmen Prudencio - Accountant Bolivia
Lover of deserts and family time
Carmen has worked in accounting for many years. She loves numbers and ordering things, so the work comes naturally to her. Coming from Oruro, Bolivia, she loves her hometown's carnival and food. She loves to travel, spend time with her family and football.
Gabriela Gamarra Romero - Accountant Peru
Passionate Risk Taker
Gabriela is passionate, tenacious and never gives up. After finishing school she was drawn to studying Finance, and her interest in the subject enabled her to finish second best at university. A lover of learning, she acquired a great deal of experience in accounting and tourism, which is the sector she is most passionate about. Outside of work, Gabriela sings, dances, acts, participates in downhill competitions, and remains competitive in her field of study. Now she is a happy member of VENTURA TRAVEL.
Gabriela Palma - Accountant Assistant
Responsible and punctual
Gabriela lives in Cuzco, Peru. She graduated from a private university in Australia 3 years ago. After graduation, Gabriela worked in an accounting firm and is now an accounting assistant at Ventura TRAVEL. Active and responsible, Gabriela loves teamwork and cooperation! When it comes to her, one thing is certain: the job will be well done. She hopes to contribute to the smooth running of Ventura TRAVEL.
Susana Ceron Baumann - VSocial Coordinator & CSR Manager of Ventura TRAVEL
Feel the Ground, Touch the Sky
Voluntary social commitment and working in the tourism industry are her two great passions. She has been working in tourism since 2000 and holds a degree in Tourism Business Administration (BA). For 5 years she volunteered in homeless relief work in Berlin. Over the years she has also been involved in various international projects, including a soup kitchen for the poor in New York. Since 2013 she has been coordinating a small project in Tamil Nadu India to provide access to education for 35 chaste girls. In 2015 she founded one of the largest voluntary initiatives in refugee aid in Berlin. She is very happy about her new responsibility at VSocial, because now she can finally live out her two great passions in one job. Apart from her work for VSocial she is the sustainability manager of Ventura TRAVEL.
Ifigenia Garita aka Ifi - Coordinator Central America
Traveling, Understanding, Helping Others
Ifgenia inherited her passion for the natural sciences from her mother and dedicated her studies to discovering the delicate and fascinating world of tropical biology. She combines her knowledge of natural science with a belief in the power of education to help preserve the natural wealth found in tropical forests.
Camilo Alvarado - Coordinator South America
Addicted to theater and to discovering new places
Camilo also enjoys sharing a good meal with good wine. He is the coordinator of ViSocial's social projects for South America. He worked for several years in the field of human rights and for local development projects in different regions of Colombia and Latin America. He is convinced that the combining of processes, networked work, and collaborative work can strengthen local processes and territorial autonomy. He has been part of ViSocial since August 2017.
Mariel Arroyo - Financial Coordinator
Lover of Numbers
Mariel is Bolivian and has been with VSocial since 2013. She works as a financial controller at Ventura TRAVEL’s Berlin office. As a Bolivian, she recognized the social problems and poverty of South America early on and from close up, and it had always been her wish to do something good for these fearful people. Mariel has accompanied the VSociall team for many years both as treasurer and as the first chairman of the association. She is responsible for all the legal and financial aspects of the foundation.