THE TEAM

Owner Respect Travel Cia. Ltd.JAVIER grew up in the indigenous Quichua community of Sani Isla, deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon, together with his eight siblings. The first time he wore shoes was for a visit the town of Coca, a four-hour canoe trip up the Napo River. He was 10 years old.

When he was 16 and just out of high school, he bent all his efforts toward learning English. For his hard work, and with the help of teacher Patricia Kubala in the U.S., he got the chance to live and study in Portland, Oregon for almost three years. Here he would integrate his already vast knowledge of the Ecuadorian Amazon – learned from his father, mother and older community members – with avid reading about the science and ecology of tropical rainforests in his new language, English.

Returning from the U.S., Javier was one of the few nature guides in his community who could speak English, and so he quickly became one of the most-requested guides at the community-owned ecolodge where he worked. Since then, he has worked as a professional naturalist and international guide, acquiring more than 10 years of managerial experience in tourism and always building on his knowledge of Neotropical ecotourism.

His intimate knowledge of the Neotropics is exceptional and his ability to impart his passion for nature to his visitors is unforgettable. A tour with Javier can lead to a lifetime experience.

Judith

JUDITH grew up in a tiny Austrian village as the youngest of three kids. Her mom taught her everything about nature and how important it is. They spent a lot of time in their garden, underneath a big fir tree counting bugs.

When she was 19 years old and just starting university, she found her passion in traveling the world, and became fascinated with the biodiversity, nature and sustainable projects she encountered. Her journey to Ecuador was meant to be last big trip. Instead, she met her future husband Javier. For Judith it was clear that she wanted to move there and find a way to support the local communities. When she traveled across Ecuador, she was captivated by so much beauty and diversity in such a small country. But she was also saddened to see the deforestation and contamination of rivers caused by the non-sustainable oil and palm oil industries. These are enough reasons for her, to take a little step to help protecting the environment and starting the travel agency.

In her previous life (before Ecuador) she studied Economy, focusing on sustainable management and production. With her background and fluency in three languages, she will primarily manage the agency’s the office and be the lead contact with customers. Her own passion for traveling combined with an Austrian’s reliability, she understands the needs of international travelers and will do her best to assure good service.

Javi&Judi

JAVIER & JUDITH found that they share the same mindset: a deep caring about nature and wildlife, and a shared commitment to saving the unique environment found in the world’s rainforests.

They know that if the world’s consumption of trees and minerals continues as it has so far – the same rate of deforestation, mining and loss of natural resources – then within a projected 35 years, future travelers will no longer have first-hand experiences of a rainforest. Javier and Judith live year-round in Ecuador, in a small village at the gateway to the Amazon. They know that the Amazon is not only home to indigenous peoples, it is everyone’s home, no matter where they live on this planet. Rainforests act as lungs to clean polluted air, as the source of life-saving medicines, as a spring of biodiversity, and as a place where people and nature can live in well-balanced co-existence – on a traditional, non-industrial path. With their travel agency, Javier and Judith want to take a small, personal step toward preserving this irreplaceable treasure.

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