Born and raised in Cuenca, Ecuador, Yara has enjoyed learning about cultural and linguistic differences from an early age. Her love for travel and culture inspired her first degree in Hospitality & Tourism. Yara worked on the Galapagos Islands, supporting the World Wildlife Foundation and the Charles Darwin Research Station to create a sustainable program to prevent illegal fishing. Before moving to the United States, Yara co-founded a paragliding school aimed at helping establish community-based tourism on the coast of Ecuador. Yara has traveled extensively in Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and Australia/Oceania. Yara co-created and led student service-learning trips to Ghana and Tanzania, and this trip will be Yara’s fourth time leading a student trip to Africa. She has been recognized for her significant contributions as a public educator for 13 years. She was deeply involved in advocating for quality dual language immersion education for the minority Hispanic student population. Yara has lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for 16 years. Her passion for the mountains includes co-creating mountaineering experiences for Latino youth, including supporting their training and summiting the infamous Grand Teton. Yara enjoys hiking, climbing, meditating, and dancing in her free time. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and is CPR and First Aid certified.