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Sol Abroad recognizes the importance of knowledgeable, friendly, and well-trained onsite staff. Our onsite directors and staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you with any needs. The onsite directors will be your program leader and will be there to lead and guide you during your study abroad experience. Our programs also have assistant directors that help manage the programs, especially during excursions and cultural activities. Sol Abroad directors are usually host-country nationals with cross-cultural experience. All of our directors have experience working with groups and have international experience (travel and work) and have studied abroad themselves as students.
Ena Aguilar was born in Mexico City and has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology and a Master's degree in Political Studies from the UNAM in Mexico City. When she finished high ...
Ena Aguilar was born in Mexico City and has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology and a Master's degree in Political Studies from the UNAM in Mexico City. When she finished high school, she spent a year at Rockford College in Illinois learning English as a second language. After her year in the US, she dedicated time to travel. She visited several countries where she found a profound appreciation and respect for the pluricultural world we live in. Ena was brought to Oaxaca after she was selected as a student assistant for an anthropological research project at CIESAS (Social Anthropology Research Center). Upon arriving in Oaxaca, Ena discovered the incredible diversity expressed in her native Mexico. As part of this project, she traveled around Oaxaca State gaining a true understanding of the complexity of a multi-cultural country. Oaxaca is a place where 16 indigenous groups still coexist and the communities have kept not only their unique traditions and languages but they have also protected and preserved the second largest forest in Mexico. Ena has worked as director at civil organizations and has extensive knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural environment of Oaxaca. One of the things Ena most values is the creativity brought to her from a pluricultural and multidisciplinary team or work group. Ena worked at the Oaxaca Design Center where she had the opportunity to travel and live at the homes of artisans in different villages around Oaxaca State. The artisans shared their food, families, work and their special places with her. Sometimes her daughter, Daniela, took the opportunity to go with her on these amazing adventures. In her free time, Ena practices meditation and Neijia, a form of martial arts based on the understanding of our body and its internal energy for improved better health (similar to yoga). She loves hiking, traveling and horseback riding. You will enjoy having Ena as one of your directors. She looks forward to sharing all of the special things about Oaxaca and its cultures with you!
University Attended: UNAM (Mexico City)
Year Graduated: 2002
Languages Spoken: Spanish
Sergio "Yeyo" Beltrán
Sergio Beltrán Arruti, better known as Yeyo, was born and raised in México City. He moved to Oaxaca in 1997 to support and learn from indigenous communities. Yeyo is co-founder of the Univ...
Sergio Beltrán Arruti, better known as Yeyo, was born and raised in México City. He moved to Oaxaca in 1997 to support and learn from indigenous communities. Yeyo is co-founder of the Universidad de la Tierra (Unitierra) and Herramientas para el Buen Vivir, AC. Through his work in the non-profit sector he has developed a deep respect for the capacity people have to make a good life (el buen vivir) for themselves when they are able to freely take responsibility for their own communities. Since 1999, Yeyo has been involved in the design and facilitation of study abroad programs and learning journeys in Oaxaca and Chiapas for several universities, foundations and NGOs. He studied Latin American Studies at Mexico’s national university, UNAM. From 2004 to 2005 he was a grantee of the UNESCO program Search and Research. In 2010 Yeyo was part of the pioneering team of the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversations in Spanish, and has hosted and organized multiple intercultural encounters around the world using these tools for dialogue. Sergio is a fierce spiritual warrior who stands for peace, and for the rights and capacities of people everywhere! Currently, he is focusing his efforts on encouraging people to take responsibility for their own garbage and helping people to recover the capacity to create the future they want to live in. You will find Yeyo to not only be a great director with you in Oaxaca but also an inspiration. Yeyo looks forward to welcoming you to Oaxaca and helping you get the most out of this incredibly special experience!
University Attended: UNAM (Mexico City)
Year Graduated: 2000
Languages Spoken: Spanish
Valeria Agüero Ruiz was born in Oaxaca in 1993. She is the youngest daughter of a family of five. Growing up in a big family, she developed a passion for teaching and taking care of others,...
Valeria Agüero Ruiz was born in Oaxaca in 1993. She is the youngest daughter of a family of five. Growing up in a big family, she developed a passion for teaching and taking care of others, a passion that led her to move overseas to become an au pair. When Valeria was only 18 years old she moved to England to take a position as an au pair (nanny). Besides her job as an au pair, she became a hostess for the Queen of England in the Polo Club in Windsor. The Royal Family enjoys Mexican culture and they often held events where Valeria had the opportunity to sing mariachi music and teach them about Mexican culture. When she came back to Oaxaca she decided to study Tourism Administration so that she could broaden her background and learn different languages. Her biggest desire has always been to make people feel at home because being abroad taught her how difficult life can be when you are in a different country with a different culture and language. Upon graduation she moved to Mexico City where she started working for Grupo Destinos, a tourism company. While with Grupos Destinos she assisted foreign companies travelling in Mexico with their different language needs including English, Italian and French. Later, Valeria moved back to Oaxaca where she continued her work in Tourism by managing multiple international businesses including AirBnB as well as assisting tourists. She and her family partnered with study abroad programs in 2015 to work as a host family and they began receiving students from Surco, Ollin and Sol Abroad. Throughout the years she fell in love with Sol´s mission and decided to join the Sol family in order to make a greater impact on the study abroad experience of the Sol Abroad students. You are really going to enjoy having Valeria as one of your program directors. She looks forward to meeting you and sharing with you everything that Oaxaca has to offer!
University Attended: Universidad Anáhuac Oaxaca (Oaxaca, Mexico)
Year Graduated: 2016
Languages Spoken: Spanish, Italian
Priscila Holder was born and raised in Oaxaca City, Mexico. Since she was very young she has always had a passion for traveling. This passion developed as a child when she visited her family...
Priscila Holder was born and raised in Oaxaca City, Mexico. Since she was very young she has always had a passion for traveling. This passion developed as a child when she visited her family’s coffee plantation, located in the tropical forest of Pluma Hidalgo, near the “costa grande” of Oaxaca state. Her summer visits to the pacific coast sparked her curiosity in nature and exploring Oaxaca.After finishing high school; she decided to take a year off abroad in France in order to learn French and experience French culture. Priscila lived in Nice and Lyon during her stay and she also traveled around Europe. After this journey she became very interested in languages and new cultures, so she decided to choose an academic career that dealt with these subjects. She moved to Mexico City to attend university where she studied Languages and Translation and lived there for 6 years. While at the university her interests in languages and cultures grew. Whenever possible, she enjoyed traveling around the country and volunteering in museums as a tour guide.After finishing her studies in Mexico City, she moved to Juchitán de Zaragoza, a Zapotec village located in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, in the southeast of Oaxaca state. In Juchitán, she worked and volunteered at the Foro Ecológico de Juchitán and was involved in the organizing the Festival del Rio. While residing there she took Zapotec language lessons and did a linguistic study into the culture and language.After her Juchitán experience, she moved back to her hometown of Oaxaca City, where she got the chance to work as a tour guide in the agave and mezcal industry. For the past 3 years Priscila has been working for the International Book Fair of Oaxaca, organizing diverse cultural and literary events. Priscila speaks Spanish, English, French and Portuguese fluently, and she has used these language skills to host international writers from around the world during their time spent in Oaxaca City.Priscila is enthusiastic about sharing her culture and loves showing off the amazing wonders her state and city have to offer. She also enjoys traveling, meeting new people, reading and cooking. You will enjoy having Priscila as one of your directors. She looks forward to sharing all of the special things about Oaxaca and its cultures with you!
University Attended: Instituto Superior de Intérpretes y Traductores
Year Graduated: 2013
Languages Spoken: Spanish, French, German
Eva is originally from Venice, Italy. Since she was very young her dream has been to explore new and far away places. Whenever she could she would grab her backpack and leave for new adventu...
Eva is originally from Venice, Italy. Since she was very young her dream has been to explore new and far away places. Whenever she could she would grab her backpack and leave for new adventures. She spent her senior year (1992) at Millville High School in Pennsylvania as an AFS exchange student and lived with an American host family. In college, she studied Communication Science at the University of Trieste, in Italy, and spent a year abroad (1999) as an Erasmus student at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain, where she improved her Spanish language skills. During her university years, Eva spent all her holidays traveling and volunteering in different countries such as Australia, India, and East Africa (Mali, Burkina Faso). Soon after graduating from university (2001) she spent 6 months in Costa Rica working as the Volunteer Coordinator for a local Environmental NGO and was in charge of student volunteers for three projects: a sustainable farm project, a turtle conservation program and bird migration research. As a Volunteer Coordinator she helped organize the projects and arranged the homestays with local Costa Rican families. All of these amazing travel experiences put Eva in contact with important issues such as forest conservation, indigenous rights, poverty, environmental degradation, etc. and led her to study a Master?s degree at the University of Sussex in the UK on Environment Development and Policy (2003) to learn more about sustainability and natural resource management. After completing her Master?s degree, she left Europe to get more field experience in developing countries and landed in Oaxaca City (2003) where she worked as Communication Specialist for a local NGO dealing with water quality issues. More recently, as part of fulfilling her dream of exploration, she spent almost a year (2011) leading an expedition with four adventurers and discovered a new overland route from coast to coast crossing the states of Veracruz and Oaxaca (all by foot!). While living in Oaxaca she has improved her film skills through learning participatory video techniques as new way to film documentaries. This is a method that directly involves the local community in the whole filming process. She has organized participatory video workshops with young people in many indigenous villages. Through participatory video she has come in close contact with an extraordinary variety of cultures, environments, traditions, foods, and handicrafts that characterize the state of Oaxaca. She also worked as participatory video facilitator with groups of young community members in rural villages in Asia (2009, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Southern India). Another passion of Eva?s is yoga and meditation and she recently became a certified Hatha Yoga teacher (2013)! Eva loves enjoys working with young people and sharing with them all that Oaxaca has to offer. She looks forward to welcoming you to the adventure and fascination of Oaxaca!
University Attended: University of Trieste (Trieste, Italy)
Year Graduated: 2004
Languages Spoken: Italian, Spanish
Erika Sosa García
Erika Sosa García comes from a millenary indigenous town in Oaxaca: Mitla. Erika learned Spanish at the same time she learned Zapoteco, her native Mexican language. All of her schooling was...
Erika Sosa García comes from a millenary indigenous town in Oaxaca: Mitla. Erika learned Spanish at the same time she learned Zapoteco, her native Mexican language. All of her schooling was in Spanish but at home she spoke Zapoteco and learned indigenous traditions and indigenous concepts about the world. Erika loves to cook traditional food. It is important to her to propagate the cultural richness of Mexico because it is a blend of ancient civilizations which have produced great artists and thinkers. She wants to offer study abroad students a gateway to meet and appreciate a very vibrant society - and the key to that gate is the Spanish language! She hopes that you develop an appreciation and respect for Mexico and its culture during your stay in Mexico with SOL.
Erika has been a Spanish language teacher since 2010. She taught English at the college level for two and a half years, and at the elementary level for two years. She has also taught Zapoteco lessons for 10 months, and she has taught Spanish to non-Mexicans for one year. She realized early on that teaching Spanish includes much more than teaching grammar rules, verbs, or sounds; it also includes history, literature, myths, music, etc. And this is true for other languages as well. This is why she takes great care in making culture an integral component of her language lessons. All of these teaching experiences have helped her develop new skills and abilities, which have made her a better person and a better teacher.
Because of her ?double background? she can understand and help students who come to Oaxaca to study abroad. In 2009 she had the opportunity to further develop these skills. She taught in an elementary school in Canada. This was a challenging and a very rewarding experience! It made her a more flexible teacher because it provided her with the opportunity to interact with students with completely different backgrounds than hers, which surely reinforced her teaching abilities. In the long run, Erika sees herself as a well respected language-teaching professional with experience teaching Spanish and Mexican culture abroad, and English and American culture in Mexican universities. Erika received a prestigious Fulbright scholarship for the next academic 2014-2015 year at an American college (we are very excited for her!). She looks forward to welcoming you with open arms to her native Oaxaca! Safe travels!
University Attended: Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca (Oaxaca, Mexico)
Year Graduated: 2004
Languages Spoken: Spanish