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A new edition of our School of Guides will begin next Thursday, June 29, in Colunquén, the breeding and training ground of explora horses located in Chile’s Valparaiso Region. Here, guide candidates undergo an intensive training process.
The nine-day boot camp is led by Jessica Dill, our Guide’s Recruitment and Training Manager. The 17 applicants to Patagonia and Atacama are trained every day during four hours, with horses in the morning and several briefing sessions in the afternoon. The focus of the School of Guides 2017 will be on four pillars: service quality, leadership, outdoor safety and public speaking skills. According to Jessica, these are some of the aspects that travelers value the most during their explora experience. “We want our guides to exceed travellers’ expectations”, said Jessica excited for what is about to happen in the next few weeks.
Some guests featuring on this version of the School of Guides 2017 are the Guide and Exploration Heads of Patagonia, Cristina Riquelme and Tim Connelly; the Guide Head of Atacama, Ryan Martínez; and the Exploration Head of Valle Sagrado, Ismael Rodrigo. They will offer lectures about their destinations and support the applicants’ training process. Also with us will be Chilean mountaineer, Claudio Lucero, who has set the Chilean flag at the top of the world’s highest mountains and for whom leadership, loyalty and responsibility are key issues.
After this camp, the guides will be sent to their destinations to continue their learning process. For three months, they will attend courses on wildlife, first aids, geology, glaciology and astronomy, in addition to conducting all explorations.
The 17 guide applicants that will be at the boot camp have already passed several selection stages. They have different nationalities and come from diverse work areas. Isabella Cassinelli, for instance, is a 28-year old Chilean national and has a BA in Integrative Health. She has worked in other hotels, but never as a guide. Inés Zúñiga (31) is a Physical Education Teacher. For her, this experience “is a challenge and an adventure to do what I really want to do”, she commented. Adal Mesa (32) is a Spanish national and has a BA in Physics and Astrophysics; he travelled to Chile for work and says that here he has been able to get back to nature. Though he was a night astronomy guide before, he wants to go a step further and work as a full time guide. He will put papers and analysis aside for a while.
Good luck in this process!