Meet the team
Co-Founder & CEO
Juergen Keller was born in Southwest Germany, and has studied in his home country, as well as Spain, Portugal and Brazil. He wrote his Masters Thesis at the World Bank library in Washington, D.C. Even while studying, Juergen began taking American, Canadian and Brazilian high school students and adults on multi-country tours throughout Europe. While working as Export Manager for an international company, the itch to share his love of traveling inspired him to found SouthAmerica.travel in 1999.
Co-Founder & C.O.O.
SouthAmerica.travel's co-founder & multi-purpose VP Bradley Nehring was raised near Seattle, studied at Eberhard-Karls-Universitaet in Tuebingen, Germany, as well as in Spain. Following work at a trade bank in London, Brad became a Tour Director for EF Educational Tours in 1991, and was appointed Regional Manager for Central & Eastern Europe, where he saw the volume grow three-fold in six years. He has also worked for international tour operators Kuoni, Insight, GoAhead, Gate1, Passports, ACIS and DER. A resident of Germany and Brazil, Brad enjoys discovering new corners of the world as much as returning to his "hometowns" of Stuttgart, Rio de Janeiro and Seattle.
Rebecca Deering is originally from Wisconsin, USA and arrived in Argentina in 2008 looking for adventure, and remained until 2014. She has traveled extensively through South America and continues to explore new places and cultures within South America and the world. Her favorite areas of South America (so far) are the Peruvian Amazon, the Atacama Desert, the Uyuni Salt Flats and surrounding areas, and Parque Tayrona, Colombia. She also has done a 9-day cruise in Antarctica. Rebecca currently resides in Austin, Texas and travels constantly between all of SouthAmerica.travel's offices.
Thomas is British and lives in Devon in south-west England. His first visit to South America saw him backpacking through Peru aged 18. After studying biology at university, he travelled for several months through Central and South America. Since then he has worked for UK tour operators for about 11 years in sales and product roles, with much of that time as a Latin America specialist. He joined SouthAmerica.travel at the end of 2016. Since his first visits, he has returned to South America many times and has also travelled to Antarctica. Some of his favourite places are in Colombia, including the Caribbean island of Providencia, and the sleepy colonial town of Mompos, other favourites include northern Peru and the Salta area of Argentina.
Christina was born in Vienna, Austria, and pursued a degree in Int'l Business in California before graduating with a Masters in Marketing. After working as a real estate consultant in San Diego, she followed her ultimate dream: live in South America. She moved to Buenos Aires and fell in love with the country. Now she combines her three passions: travel, sales & learning about new cultures! Christina has traveled through Argentina, Antarctica, Brazil, Peru, Colombia & Chile. Highlights include a Patagonian cruise to Cape Horn & Perito Moreno Glacier, and watching the sunset in Salvador, Brazil while sipping agua de coco! There are still many places she would love to explore, including Jaguar-spotting in the Pantanal and Bolivia's Uyuni Salt Flats!
Clara was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the city she loves and wishes everybody could visit! She graduated with a degree in Tourism Administration in Argentina before moving to England to work on her English and continue her education with a Postgraduate course at the University of Birmingham. After traveling Europe and getting used to fish and chips for lunch instead of the traditional Argentinean asado, she came back to her home country in 2008 and started working in the Tourism industry, as a travel consultant for SouthAmerica.travel. Being a travel enthusiast, she can't stop touring her home continent, from the breathtaking Galapagos Islands, to the powerful Iguazu Falls, and her favorite, the Argentinean and Chilean Patagonia.
Izabela was born in Poland and has a European background, but a South American soul. As a multi-language speaker (English, Italian, Spanish) educated in international tourism, she decided to follow her dream and discover South America by listening to her inner voice that was always whispering your place is there. In the spirit of St. Augustine's words, the world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page, she started her South American adventure. She has visited extensively Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, Colombia and currently lives and works in Bogota. Izabela still has several destinations remaining on her list including seeing Machu Picchu emerge from the clouds and listening for the call of a toucan during an Amazon cruise.
Jason is originally from Fairfield, Connecticut and completed a degree in Philosophy at Colgate University. After graduation, he decided to pursue a dream of traveling through South America. After traveling to seven countries in South America and living in Buenos Aires for four years, he accomplished that dream! He has been helping fellow dreamers plan their adventures through South America since 2014. He now lives in Seattle, Washington, but still feels most at home in a café in Buenos Aires.
Annica Gaither found her way to SouthAmerica.travel in 2009 while she was living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She worked at SouthAmerica.travel for 4 years before going on a 3-year hiatus. Now she is back and more excited than ever! She loves South American wines, learning about new hotels and new things to do in each destination and she loves the camaraderie at SouthAmerica.travel. In her free time, you can find Annica walking her 2 adorable pugs, exercising and of course traveling.
Jon was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in the Pacific Northwest. His interest in travel and South America came to life while he was studying abroad during college. Living and working in the Ecuadorian Amazon, he became intrigued with the indigenous Kichwa culture and local way of life. This sparked his interest to continue to explore other parts of South America. He traveled from the Amazon to the Andes and from the coast of the Galapagos and into Peru. Traveling all by land from Mancora in Northern Peru to Lake Titicaca in southern Peru, gave him an understanding of the geography and culture of the country. Some of Jon's highlights include snorkeling with manta rays in the Galapagos, trekking at 13,000 ft in the Cordillera Blanca, and watching the sun rise over Machu Picchu. With his love for adventure, the outdoors and his passion for travel, Jon hopes to inspire others with his experiences to make South America their next travel destination.
Martin was born and raised in Chicago, IL before relocating to Seattle, WA. As a student of urban geography, he was captivated by the liveliness, hospitality and diversity of South American cities while studying abroad in Buenos Aires and traveling across the continent. This exposure, combined with his passion for guiding and motivating others, inspired him to help others explore South America's landscapes and cultures. Some of his favorite experiences in South America include visiting the abandoned resort town of Villa Epecuen, Argentina, discovering local music venues and bands in Buenos Aires and completing the Salkantay trek in Peru.
Sean hails from the hills of Donegal in North Western Ireland. A born traveler Sean studied Geology and worked in various positions on Ireland's weather-beaten Atlantic coast before finally setting off into the World at the age of 22. He spent a year living in Australia and several months traveling through South East Asia but with its irrepressible Latin charm and majestic scenery, it was South America that made the most indelible of marks upon the young traveler. Now in his eight-year on the American sub-continent Sean operates out of our Buenos Aires office happily providing his expertise and experience to our clients.
Born in Portsmouth on the south coast of England, Millie comes from an artistic background, achieving a degree in Graphic and Communication Design. After graduating, an adventure was in order: first to New Zealand and Tahiti, before arriving on Easter Island and the Chilean mainland, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil - South America had captured her heart! Following some time working in the design industry in Portsmouth, London and the Greek Islands, the mighty travel bug took hold again and she found herself back in the beautiful lands of South America, returning to discover more odd and wonderful gems, including Ecuador and Colombia. Currently living and working in Buenos Aires, Millie loves the vibrancy of the continent and the melting pot of people and cultures, food and lifestyle and the experiences and adventures which South America offers. Some highlights have been trying (and often failing) to dance Samba amongst the Cariocas at Rio's Carnival, an adventure on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and cycling the terrifying 'estrada de los muertos' on the outskirts of La Paz in Bolivia!
Simone is a native of Rio de Janeiro, and is a true Carioca through and through. With a passion for life, travel and especially Brazil, Simone has traveled the world and had multiple positions in tourism, including working for Brazil's legacy airline Varig, Liberty Travel in the US and BITourism in Rio de Janeiro. After several years as Operations Specialist, Simone returns to SouthAmerica.travel in the role of Travel Consultant, sharing her passion for South America with travelers around the globe.
Claudia is the eternal dreamer, born and raised in a little village on the beautiful Island of Sardinia, Italy.
Her curiosity of the rest of the world and anything extraordinary inspired her to travel from an early age, with a huge passion for different cultures, languages and new destinations - thus her degree in Foreign Languages and Communication.
She first travelled extensively in Europe, studied in Berlin, and spent 7 years in London, before exploring more distant countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, before ending up strolling around South America. She fell in love with this lively, passionate and colourful continent, and decided to try her luck in Buenos Aires. Being a travel consultant allows her to help people fulfilling their travel dreams, while continuing to travel around the Latin Continent!
She is a big fan of spontaneous decisions. Don't take her to a non-Italian pizzeria, unless they have got flan as dessert and nice red wine to make up for it!
She absolutely loves the scenery of Patagonia, the colourful Bolivian costumes and traditions, the musical scene of Colombia and the tranquility of Uruguay.
Her next country to explore more fully: Brazil!
Raised in Washington's beautiful capital Olympia, Mike graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in International Business. He has lived and worked in South America, North America, Europe and Asia with professional experience in airlines, logistics, and technology.
Mike has lived and studied in Argentina's Patagonia as part of the Rotary International Exchange Program at age 16 and has since traveled extensively throughout Argentina, South America, and 60+ countries. A self-proclaimed foodie, Mike enjoys exploring culture through gastronomy. His highlights of South America include the roar of Iguazu Falls, the glaciers of Patagonia, and the culinary delights of Peru. He loves sharing his passion for South America through assisting his clients to explore and experience its wonderful diversity of landscapes, wildlife, and cultures.
Sinan was born in Ankara and raised in Bartin, Turkey. When he was a teenager, he moved to the east coast of the United States to participate in an exchange student program in Vermont. After completing high school in the US, he returned to Ankara to study business management. After his studies, he traveled to many countries such as Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Russia, most of Europe and the Middle East. Then he began working in tourism and hospitality.
In 2016, Sinan traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina with his wife (Hazal) and their dog (Set) to learn more about the country and South America. After spending some time here, he and his wife fell in love with Argentina and decided to stay, with a goal of exploring the entire continent. He has been working in the tourism industry ever since. In 2018, Sinan joined SouthAmerica.travel to help people fall in love with South America, just like he did.
Operations & Marketing
Ryan left his home in San Diego at a young age to Join the USAF with which he traveled the western world, gaining experience as a Munitions Technician, an Airborne Search & Rescue Responder, and a Nuclear Security Specialist. After mastering these skills, Ryan ventured to Missoula, Montana to pursue his true passion and earned a degree in Tourism Management. Ryan spends his weekends exploring remote wilderness areas on his snowboard, mountain bike, or by the power of his hiking boots. He comes to us with his eye on the mountains of South America.
Margo was born and raised in Bellevue, Washington. She graduated from Seattle University, with a Bachelor's degree in International Business. With a desire to travel, she decided to leave Seattle and she studied abroad in Paris, France, Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her travels to Argentina and Chile inspired her and ultimately led her to develop a passion for South America. Margo has worked in the Marketing Department at SouthAmerica.travel since July 2016. While working for SouthAmerica.travel, she traveled to four beautiful cities in Brazil and she plans on visiting more of the southernmost continent in the near future!
Saloni was born and raised in India, she moved to the United States in 2014. She has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Christ University, Bangalore and a Post Graduate Diploma in Advertising and Public Relations from MICA, India. Saloni has various certifications in SEO, Social Media Marketing and Analytics. She joined our Seattle Marketing team in September 2017. Saloni has a passion for travel. She has been to countries like Thailand, UAE, Mexico, Canada a lot of USA and India. She plans on exploring South America in the near future.
Alejandro works in our Buenos Aires office as a Product Manager. He is originally from Tierra del Fuego in Southern Patagonia but now lives in the big city of Buenos Aires. He has experienced many cultures and discovered unique landscapes from his travels through Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, and Galapagos. After traveling to multiple South American countries, Alejandro has learned how to navigate around the continent effortlessly and wants to use his knowledge to help others. In the near future, he looks forward to visiting the icy landscape of Antarctica!
David Almeida works in our Lima office as a Peru Operations Specialist. He grew up in Lima and has traveled extensively throughout Peru. His passion for travel and expertise in Peru operations makes him a valuable member of the SouthAmerica.travel team. In his spare time, you can find David traveling around Europe and China practicing his German and Chinese. David recommends visiting the Peruvian Amazon and Machu Picchu!
Pablo Rodofile, works in the Accounting Department and is also the Buenos Aires Office Manager. He was born in (Bs As) and now lives in the beautiful "Paris of the South," Buenos Aires happily with his family. In his free time, you can find Pablo performing in blues & rock n' roll bands playing the bass, in some Bs As & Bariloche night pubs and traveling. I love trekking and recommend to visit The Patagonia Argentina.
Wilza is from Recife, Brazil, but was drawn to the magical city of Rio de Janeiro. Before moving to Rio, she lived in Argentina and learned Spanish and English. In her free time, Wilza enjoys seeing her kids and traveling around South America. Wilza works as a Brazil Operations Specialist from our Rio office and continues to bring valuable insight to the team.
Ana Luiza works from our office in Rio de Janeiro as an Operations Specialist. She lived in Buenos Aires for 6-years where she learned Spanish and then Ireland where she learned English. After a few years away from Brazil, she was drawn back to the "Marvelous City," Rio de Janeiro. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and visiting some of the hidden gems of Brazil.
Daniel was born in Brasília, Brazil's capital, and now lives in the "Marvelous City" of Rio de Janeiro. His passion for travel led him to a job in customer service at a hotel, and later, a flight consolidator, but his true calling is operations at SouthAmerica.travel, helping those seeking to explore the fabulous and still mysterious continent of South America. He enjoys working with the Travel Consultants to create dream tours for clients traveling to Brazil. Daniel brings valuable insight to the team and can arrange anything from an Amazon cruise to an excursion to learn Salvador's or Rio's beaches. Daniel clearly demonstrates SouthAmerica.travel's slogan: Our Name is Our Passion.
Nicolas Kerekes is an Operations Specialist working in our Argentina Office. He is born and raised in Argentina and currently lives in the capital city, Buenos Aires. Nicolas speaks Spanish, Hungarian, and English. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and traveling the world.
Fernando Colli works from our Buenos Aires office as an Operations Specialist. He is born and raised in Buenos Aires and studied Tourism and Hospitality, which brought him to SouthAmerica.travel Fernando is passionate about travel, music, nature and meeting new people. He has worked in the travel industry for years, making him a valuable member of the team. Fernando traded the metropolitan city of Buenos Aires for mountains and spent a few winters living and working in Telluride, Colorado where he perfected English and snowboarding. In his free time, you can find Fernando practicing his Portuguese or catching a futbol game.
Celeste Tallada is an Operations Specialist working in our Argentina Office. She was born and raised in Argentina and currently lives in the capital city, Buenos Aires. Celeste speaks Spanish and English. In her free time, she enjoys performing and learning different dance styles. She also has been living in New Zealand for 1 year and has been traveling around the world.
Monica Tamayo works from our Lima Office as a Peru Operations Specialist. She grew up in Lima, Peru and loves her home country, which brought her to SouthAmerica.travel. In her free time, Monica enjoys spending time with her family and traveling around Peru and South America. Monica recommends travelers visit Arequipa and the Incan Ruins of Machu Picchu
Milagros is currently perfecting her English at Euroidiomas, along with extending her training in tourism. She began at Inkaland Tours in the area of administration and accounting before joining SouthAmerica.travel's finance team in 2005 as a twice-weekly assistant. In 2009, Milagros added operations half-days before changing to fulltime in August 2012 administration, reservations and operations.
Richard is from Lima, Peru. He loves adventure travel, in unconventional places. In love with his country and its rich varied culture and its gastronomy. Works in Perú´s office as Operations Specialist and always try to provide the best of him to travelers who want to know Peru and Bolivia.
Renato is from Lima and loves traveling, especially trekking and extreme adventures. He traveled all over Peru as a tour leader. He also likes sports such as soccer & muay thai. He has been working in tourism for 20 years.