AMASA WARNER

Trip Organizer and  Destination Specialist

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Amasa was born and raised in the Bay Area, California.  Exposed to the Spanish language since an early age, Amasa has spent extensive time in Latin America on more than 8 separate occasions.  Among other experiences, he has worked on a traditional Argentinian estancia (ranch) near the Perito Moreno glacier in Patagonia, ran his own cycling tour operator on the coast of Uruguay and grew quite fond of the cuy (guinea pig) he was served during his stay in Ecuador.  He currently teaches high school Spanish and travels at any chance he gets. Amasa is also an eclipse chaser - after his body was electrified under the 2017 U.S. total solar eclipse, he hasn't stopped dreaming of the next encounter!  Having originally obtained his bachelor’s in Art from UC-Santa Cruz with an emphasis on socially-engaged artwork, developing this trip has been a rewarding fusion between his passion for orchestrating experiences and obsessions with totality and South American travel.  Amasa is your contact for all trip information and is ecstatic to share with you the details of this truly unique experience! He will be joining the group in-country to assist in guiding, translating - and of course, to stand once more in the shadow of the moon!

 

Languages spoken: English and Spanish (fluent)

MAURO ALBORNOZ

Argentina Coordinator

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Mauro once sacrificed the last of his smoked deer meat for a hungry dog during a mountain excursion, saving himself only a few cherries for the rest of the trip - luckily, both survived the trek!  Mauro is a Buenos Aires native but has lived in a number of other countries in South America, including Brasil and Venezuela.  He speaks Spanish, English, Portuguese and is trying to improve his German as well.  Mauro has cycle-toured and travelled most of South America, getting to know some of the continent's best kept secrets.  When people ask him where to travel on their next vacation, it's no surprise that Mauro get's excited to dish out bits of advice from his travels.  An Industrial Engineer by trade, he really enjoys the precision involved in making things run well.  Mauro founded JauntMe,  a website to connect travelers and share experiences in off-the-beaten-path locations, encouraging tourism in places that may lack resources and exposure to grow their economies.  Mauro is SolAura's coordinator for many of the trip's details and will be joining the group at different points, as he manages the logistics to make sure the trip is a success.  Mauro looks forward to sharing his passion for Argentina with the group and to getting blown away by his first total solar eclipse!

Languages spoken: Spanish, English & Portuguese (fluent), German (learning)

MALIA PAALUA

Co-Organizer

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Malia is a Bay Area native, although she has also lived in Morro Bay and on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.  Having spent time with her grandfather who was an accomplished professor of natural sciences, she has always enjoyed being outdoors and learning about the organisms and systems of the natural world.  Malia’s first time to South America was during college, when she took a break to travel for 6 months through the countries of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia and Peru. Wide-eyed and curious, she had some pretty amazing experiences, including running from a rockslide outside of Cuzco, Peru and camping next to penguins and whales along the Valdes Peninsula in Argentina.  She has since returned twice to South America and is learning more Spanish on every visit. Malia helped lay the foundation for SolAura and has since been manicuring the infrastructure of the itinerary. She will continue to provide support in-country and can’t wait to help our guests get the most out of every experience!

Languages: English (fluent) and Spanish (learning)

CAROLINA VALENTINI

In-Country Guide

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Carolina was born in Mendoza, Argentina of an Argentinian father and Chilean mother.  At an early age, she went to live in Chile and her earliest memories of nature were from that point. Carolina’s passion for the outdoors grew each day, from weekend trips with her father to the outskirts of Mendoza to traveling Chile’s wild south forests and volcanoes with her mother. Carolina originally studied business at Diego Portales University and currently works admin at a coworking space in Santiago yet she has had a wide range of experiences with outdoor leadership.  From being an assistant guide for expeditions at the world’s tallest volcano, Ojos del Salado (Chile), to guiding in Torres del Paine National Park (Chile), she’s no stranger to leading groups and has a wealth of information about the places we will be visiting! She is also a fanatic of Barreal and hopes to buy her own plot of land there soon. Carolina’s primary passion is to share life-changing experiences in nature and to transmit her knowledge and love for the surroundings, therefore creating consciousness and awareness for planet Earth.  She is SolAura’s main guide for the Barreal and Mendoza portions of the trip and excited to leave her desk job for a few days to be part of this amazing journey!

Languages spoken: Spanish & English (fluent)

FRANCISCO MARTIN EJPEJO (“BEBO”)

Barreal Activities Coordinator

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Bebo is a native of Barreal, where he works throughout the year as a high-mountain guide and rafting guide in the region and is also a connoisseur of cycling tourism.  Bebo will be your local host during this segment of the trip, arranging ground-level details and making sure the days surrounding the eclipse go as smooth as possible. Bebo is passionate about his hometown and prepared to show you the area, meanwhile making you feel totally at home there too!  

Languages spoken: Spanish (fluent) & English (learning)