Meet Ecuador’s longest serving ISV leader – Ovidio Luque!

by alrahmahsolutions on Friday, 25 May 2012

Ovidio Luque at one of the many waterfalls around Baños, Ecudor (c) used with permission by Ovidio Luque

Please meet our highly experienced and much-loved Ecuador leader, Ovidio Luque. Ovidio is one of ISV Ecuador’s most experienced group leaders who has led groups for ISV in the Galapagos, Peru, and in Costa Rica.  This year Ovidio has joined our Latin Training Staff Team in Baños, Ecuador (May 1-9, 2012) where tour leaders from Ecuador, Peru and the Dominican Republic just completed their training.

Ovidio, how did you get into community development and tourism?

I first became involved in community work through a missionary project with a Southern Baptist group. I was the facilitator and translator for the groups as they carried out their community work.  Some of the projects involved such things as construction, medical teams, recreation and handicraft with children. What I really loved about that job was working in the jungle, particularly with the children.

In 2007 I moved to the adventure capital of Ecuador, Baños. There I started working with Geotours (a local adventure tour operator who also run ISV’s current canyoning, rafting and jungle excursion), working 10-12 hours in the office explaining the local options to tourists.  It was there I heard about ISV who were looking for local Ecuadorians with the expertise to lead their volunteer groups. The position required someone to live for two months in the jungle and to lead groups in Campococha, a Kichwa indigenous community, hosting ISV volunteers. This was an incredible opportunity one that I couldn’t miss!  My first year with ISV was in 2008 as a project leader. In 2009 I was given the opportunity to become a tour leader.

Ovidio with an ISV group in the Galapagos (c) used with permission by Ovido Luque

When you’re not leading groups for ISV, how do you spend your time?

I love travelling, travelling and more travelling! I recently travelled to Munich Germany, which I visited in order to take a language course. Occasionally I return to work for Geotours between seasons. My relationship with Geotours allows me to join their adventure activities (for free) which is a really fun thing to do!  I also love basketball and I play guitar.

How has ISV helped you develop professionally and personally?

Working with an international organisation has been fantastic both personally and professionally. I’ve had a lot more responsibility, not only by representing myself and my country, but by representing an international organization that has programs globally. This has also inspired me to continue to learn.

What’s your favorite part of the Galapagos?

Visiting my sister! She lives on Santa Cruz so I get to see her when I bring ISV groups through! I miss her cooking!  On the excursion, I love San Cristobal, Lobos Island and Kicker Rock (the snorkeling is incredible).

Ovidio with an ISV group in the Galapagos (c) used with permission by Ovido Luque

What about the ISV Ecuador tour?

Baños…. That’s my home and I love it there.  I’m not from the mountains but have learned to love the mountains around Baños and also the jungle hike around Puyo. I’ve taken up rock climbing, so Baños is the perfect place to be!

What’s your message to anyone travelling to Ecuador this year or who might be considering volunteering with ISV in the future?

Ecuador has a lot to offer with 4 different regions and more than 13 different ethnic groups.  There is so much to see and even in four weeks you can really begin to identify with the country and experience its diversity. Come to Ecuador, you’ll love it!

Thanks Ovidio – wishing you a wonderful season as you take great care of ISV’s Ecuador volunteers this year!

To find out more about ISV’s Ecuador programs including our excursion to the Galapagos Islands, please visit our website: www.isvolunteers.org.

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