Meet The Cultural Immersion Team

Eduardo Becerra Pimentel

Company Director

Eduardo is the co-founder of Cultural Immersion. At the age of 23, when he found himself working as a tour guide, he discovered that he wanted to show his home country to the world – however, in a different manner, giving importance to the human and social site, visiting authentic places. He wanted to do tourism, but in a more responsible way, offering extraordinary travel experiences that contribute to the communities that are visited and at the same time transform the life of the travellers. It´s like this that, after completing his tourism studies at the Andean University of Cusco, he founded Cultural Immersion. Since then, he has taken this project as a tool to contribute to the development of sustainable tourism in Peru.

Eduardo is also an ardent traveller; since very young travelling has been his passion. He has travelled the biggest part of the Peruvian lands, which he knows in depth; in addition, he has also explored other corners of the world such as South America, Central America, North America, Africa and Europe. He has also lived in Spain, where he has studied a master’s degree in travel journalism at the autonomous university of Barcelona.

Currently, Eduardo is pursuing different projects related to tourism and the sustainable development of the Andean communities. One of his main objectives is developing the local economy and improving the living standards in the Andean communities, especially related to education.

Additionally, Eduardo is an activist, promoting the use of sustainable transportation and realizing different projects, which aim to give more importance to the use of the bicycle in Peruvian cities. As personal project and his life philosophy, he aims to learn from his travels and transmit experiences that contribute to the knowledge of humanity and to the protection of the environment.

Eduardo, from this year on, is organizing a journey, based on ´cultural immersion´, responsible tourism and the enrichment of the travellers via visits to places which show the real, authentic Peru in all its splendour and including activities that allow the visitor to feel like a local person and learn from the life of the Peruvian settlers, who still preserve the ancient traditions. This journey will include visits to very authentic and little explored places that are not offered in our regular packages in order to preserve their culture and traditions. If you would like to learn more about this journey, please write us at info@culturalimmersion.org

Silvia Figueroa

Sells Manager

Hi, everybody! My name is Silvia and I am part of the sales department in Cultural Immersion. I was born in Cusco but I moved to Lima with my family when I was 5 years old. There I finished my studies in Communications and marketing and after some years I started to travel. My first destination was India and I fell in love with traveling and discovering new cultures. India helped me also to find that I love to work in tourism and to help other traveler fellows to do it as better as possible. After India, I have traveled and lived in some countries but I am back at home in Cusco, eager to show my amazing city and its stunning culture. I look forward to meeting and working with you.

Madelyne Merma Cano

Operations Manager

¡Hola a todos! Mi nombre es Madelyne y nací en Cusco un 23 de abril. Vengo de una familia Cusqueña de clase media y soy la segunda de 4 hermanos. Mis pasatiempos favoritos son caminar, leer y escuchar música. Estudié turismo por iniciativa propia debido a las oportunidades laborales en este rubro, en el transcurso del tiempo comprendí que el turismo en nuestro país conlleva mucha responsabilidad no solo de brindar un buen servicio a nuestros visitantes sino que también de proteger nuestro patrimonio y encontrar un equilibrio que nos proporcione la satisfacción de dar a conocer nuestra cultura y también de amar y respetar nuestra tierra, sus tradiciones, sus paisajes y su gente. En CI Travel entendemos esa responsabilidad y es por ello que me gusta pertenecer a esta empresa turística en la que me desempeño en el área de reservas y operaciones.

Elizabeth Tupa

Reservations Manager

My name is Elizabeth. I was born in Cusco. I studied to become a tour guide and that is why I am very knowledgeable about many different places in Peru. My favorite place in Peru is Machu Picchu, because when visiting this special place, I feel like going back to the times of the Incas. As a personal preference, I am very interested in adventure tourism.  I wish to learn about history from around the world, and one day I hope to travel and visit the United States. Outside of work, I like to cook, sing, play sports and read history books. In the summertime, I enjoy spending days at the beach. I have been working for Cultural Immersion since March 2015 as a reservations executive. I enjoy working with my colleagues at the CI offices, we make a great team! What I love most about my job is that I am able to help people. I like to arrange and organize every detail in order to make sure that everything turns out perfectly, so that people can really enjoy their time in Peru and have an unforgettable experience.

Ricardo Escobedo Paiva

Accountant Executive

Hello. My name is Ricardo Escobedo Paiva, I was born in Cusco, I studied in the San Francisco high school, afterwards I carried on with ICT studies. My family lives in Arequipa, therefore I often travel to visit them. I have been working for Cultural Immersion for 4 years already, I started working in the field of web mastering and E-Marketing, however currently I work as an accountant. I really enjoy working in this company because of the relaxed atmosphere, my colleagues and for the incentive trips they offer us. As a hobby I enjoy traveling, playing football, swim and of course spend time with my friends.

JUAN FRANCISCO GONZALES

Reservation Assistant

Nací en Cusco, en febrero de 1993. Estudié turismo en la Universidad Andina del Cusco, donde pude conocer diversos lugares del Perú y donde me di cuenta que me gusta mucho el turismo de aventura y el eco turismo. Me gusta viajar mucho y disfruto conocer nuevos lugares en el Perú y otras partes del mundo, para poder aprender diferentes culturas y formas de vida. Mi labor en CI es en reservas, disfruto mucho trabajar aquí, pues hay un agradable ambiente de trabajo.

ELENA VAN DER BAAN

Sells Travel Advisor

Hello everyone! My name is Elena Van der Baan. I am Dutch and Italian, born and raised in Ethiopia. I grew up bilingual in a multicultural environment, which mad me who I am today, passionate about culture, life style and languages. I moved from Ethiopia to Holland 3 years ago to live on my own and study International Tourism Management and Consultancy. I have been travelling a lot since then, for research and school trips. I came to Peru right after Mexico where I was undergoing my exchange program. In Cusco I am doing my internship as a Travel Advisor in the Sales department. Cultural Immersion is a tour operator that sustains my beliefs, of sustainable and local tourism, by offering tours through unbeaten tracks and by preserving the environment and the local life.

Carlos chamorro Concha

Transportation Manager

I was born in Cusco and I have lived here my whole life since 1971, along with my family and two children. After studying at the National University of San Antonio Abad, I decided I wanted to work in the tourism industry. I have been gaining experience from working in this area since 1999 and Ihave more than 15 years of expertise. Ilike being able to meet new people and get to know different cultures. I love transporting tourists to the beautiful sites and attractions of Peru and I am a very safe, cautious and very outgoing driver.
I have travelled around Peru, but Cusco remains my favorite, which is why I enjoy showing people my home town.

Alvaro Medina Pelaez

Tour Guide

I was born in 1986 in Cusco. Since very young I like travelling and interacting with people, because my father was working like Tour Scort in South America, I decided to study tourism at the University of Cusco. Besides Cusco, I have lived in Lima, Panama City and New York for some years, which gave me the chance to experience different cultures. Recently I complete my MBA studies in College Education, thinking to become a University teacher in the future. I can speak several languages, such as English, Italian, Portuguese and of course Spanish. Before working as a tour guide in the Cusco area, I worked in retail shops and cruise ships all over the world.  My favorite places in Peru are the coastline, with places such as Nazca, Trujillo, Chicalyo, because they contain impressive monuments left by the pre-Columbian civilizations , and the rainforest for sure, the most impressive area in the country. I love my work because I am able to be around people, sharing information and my culture with them.  In my free time, I like to run, read, often play games at home with the consola and volunteer as a fire fighter.

Daniel Peláez Campos

Tour Guide

I was born in Cusco, Peru in the year 1978. I carried out my higher education in the National University of San Antonio Abad in Cusco, where I have studied history. I worked for many years in cultural and adventure tourism before my love of Incan Culture persuaded me to continue my studies at the Technological Upper Institute of Tupac Amaru in Cusco, where I graduated as an official tour guide. My favorite places for guiding include Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. My hobbies are mountain biking and white water rafting.

Edwar Cereceda Bravo

Tour Guide

I was born in Cusco, and I have been an expert tour guide for over 5 years. This has allowed me to gather experience and during that time I have continuously strived to improve my service. I have tons of enthusiasm for my work, and I am confident when leading sightseeing tours and outdoor hikes throughout the region of Cusco. I have worked at Cultural Immersion for several years, and had the pleasure of meeting people from all different nationalities. I consider myself a person with excellent verbal communication skills, which I am happy to use in order to offer a better experience. I studied tourism at the UAC University, and I specialized in hiking tours through the Incan trails of Cusco. I love bird watching, rock climbing and have a passion for riding hard my bike!

Joana Cortez

Tour Guide

I was born in Cusco in 1985. I love my country and I want to share this passion for myculture and history with others. I have learnt to speak the native language of the Incas,Quecha. I love this language because it is so different from other languages and, also, more difficult. Quechua is an essential part of the history of Peru. Besides Quecha,I speak English, French, German and of course Spanish. I have many favorite places in Peru, but my absolute favorites are the jungle of Manu and Machu Picchu. Manu is special to me because it is a remote area and offers a unique and beautiful nature with lots of animals. I must say the soundsyou hear while staying there are so unique that this alone makes me love the Manu jungle. My other favorite, Machu Picchu, I love for its remoteness; the site is more than just ruins to me.
In my free time, I love going on adventures; hiking and rafting are some of the activities I enjoy. I also devote my time to helping and guiding the Christian youth and providing social help in my free time. Also, another one of my passions is music, I love to sing, and I play the piano and guitar.
Joana: "If you come to Peru, it will be an experience that is unique and which you will never forget!"

Mario Alberto Guillen Vera

Tour Guide

I was born in Cusco, in August 1981. As I very much enjoy hiking and trekking, and even more culture and history, I decided to study tourism and become a tour guide. Besides studying tourism, I also studied Industrial Engineering in the south of Peru, near the border of Chile, as well as French.
I have been working at Cultural Immersion since 2010 and what I like most about my job is always spending time with different kinds of people from other countries, showing them my culture and country. I always do my best to understand the needs of my clients, to make the tour customized for every traveler. My aim is to make them understand what Peru is like in every aspect! My favorite places in Peru are Machu Picchu and the Andes as well as the beautiful northern part of Peru. In the future, I am planning on travelling around the world, visiting China, Australia, and the snowy mountains of Canada. Besides my job as a tour guide and tour leader, I am a very sportive orientated person, e.g. I like to go swimming and cycling.

Rubén Apaza Holguin

Tour Guide

Hola, ante todo quisiera, muy resumidamente, decirles parte de mi vida. Nací en Cusco, estudié en la misma, desde inicial, hasta finalizar mi carrera profesional en esta linda tierra donde alberga también mi amada familia. Tengo una hermosa hija y una maravillosa esposa, amo mi tierra, su historia, su gente, sus tradiciones, la comida, la religión de dos culturas y sobre todo amo mi trabajo. Soy Historiador y Guía Oficial de Turismo por un periodo de 16 años, trabajé en muchas empresas y por ello tengo la dicha de haber disfrutado de casi todo el País. Durante el desarrollo de mi trabajo, conocí muchas lindas personas que son ahora amigos míos de muchas partes del mundo con quienes al final nos dimos un abrazo de hermanos. Considero que la profesión que desarrollamos, nos da una enorme responsabilidad como anfitriones, de hacer de nuestros clientes, una experiencia única cuando estamos con ellos al final de nuestro servicio. Parte de mi vida que comparto con ustedes.

WILFREDO CARDENAS

Tour Guide

Nacido en Cusco, en el año 1977. Casado y con 2 hijos. Desde muy pequeño me involucre en el mundo del turismo empezando a trabajar como porteador y posteriormente reuní el dinero para poder estudiar y graduarme de la carreta profesional de Guía Oficial de Turismo en el Instituto Superior Tupac Amaru en el año 2003. Soy especialista en Turismo Cultural y de aventura. Trabajo en Cultural Immersion desde hace 2 años y me gusta la flexibilidad que brindan respecto a los tours. Me gusta del Turismo el poder compartir con los visitantes sobre sus culturas, tradiciones y vivencias.

WILHEN OLIVARES

Tour Guide

Practicante de ciclismo desde temprana edad como afición a las actividades al aire libre. Empecé a trabajar en turismo como alternativa de vida al tiempo que estudiaba. Luego  me dispuse a llevar mi afición a un estilo de vida donde busco explorar nuevos destinos, nuevas experiencias, nuevas opciones  para nuestros amigos viajeros curiosos visitantes de Perú compartiendo cultura estilos de vida, ideologías y claro la vida sobre ruedas.

Silver Ballon Valenzuela

Tour Guide

Hello everyone, my name is Silver. I am a guide at Cultural Immersion. I was born in Grau, in the region of Apurimac, west of Cusco. I studied tourism at the Andina University in Cusco, and I have a master in Business from Lima. I really enjoy my job, and what I love most about it is I get a chance to show my country, its culture and its nature, I like to provide a high quality service and make people feel comfortable and at home while they visit the country. I have worked in several areas of the Amazon, such as the Manu Reserve and Madre de Dios, and I have specialized in ornithology and adventure tourism, such as trekking and experiential tourism. I must say that the jungle is probably my favorite part of Peru. I like working at CI because I really agree with their philosophy, which is that of showing the country´s cultural wealth in a non-traditional way. I really working as an ambassador of my country, help people get immersed in the local culture, I like to show them things that are out of the ordinary. As for my hobbies and personal likings, I enjoy trekking very much and frequently do short half-day or one day treks in the vicinities of Cusco accompanied by my three dogs. I also enjoy running and, occasionally, dancing.

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