| ||Although her home is in Bozeman, Montana, Shannon Ongaro's extensive world travels have made her a citizen of the world. After graduating with a master's degree in history from Montana State University, Shannon was a history teacher and academic program director for The Traveling School. She also holds an MFA from Naropa University and teaches as an adjunct faculty member at Montana State University. Shannon has been working with The Tandana Foundation since 2007 in both Mali and Ecuador. Shannon is a keen observer with a sincere interest in the social and political conditions of the countries in which she works. Her upbeat personality and friendly demeanor make her a natural leader and a welcome addition to any group, whether hiking in the wilderness or debating issues. |
Paul Dreyer is certainly no stranger to planning, organizing and coordinating group projects and travel experiences. He has worked for more than 20 different schools and organizations that focus on experiential and alternative education, working mostly in wilderness areas and developing countries. His work has taken him to Morocco and Nepal, as well as to areas all over the United States. But his credentials don't stop there--Paul also has a master's degree in counseling and is a registered wilderness emergency medical technician who has taught with the Wilderness Medicine Institute. An
outdoorsman who is drawn to the mountains, Paul is excited to work with Tandana, an organization he praises for being well-organized, staffed by good people and focused on doing the best possible work for the communities it serves.
|Her experience in the nonprofit sector, working abroad, and facilitating world travel tours makes Meghan Sullivan a perfect fit for Tandana. She has worked for the American Cancer Society as a Community Event Specialist; at The Working Boys’ Center in Quito, Ecuador; as a Tour Manager for Trek America; and as Director of Programs/Puerto Rico Director for Global Works. Meghan first experienced Tandana when she was working as a Program Leader for Carpe Diem International Education, and took part in a service project organized by Tandana for her students. Inspired by the high quality of the program and close connections between Tandana and the communities, Meghan decided to work for Tandana. Meghan is from New Jersey and graduated from Boston College with a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Theater Arts.|
Aaron DiMartino’s knowledge of Ecuador ranges from the entertaining “fun facts” that he shares with volunteer groups to deep connections he has made with host families in three different regions of the country. After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years, Aaron joined Tandana as a group coordinator and long-term volunteer, both leading groups and working on school gardens, a native tree nursery, and other projects in between. Aaron enjoys the win-win feeling of making participants happy and at the same time bringing so much good to communities. Experience at the United States Forest Service, Deer Hill Expeditions and Boojum Institute, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Expeditionary Studies have all given Aaron skills that enhance his program leadership. His musical talent on guitar and banjo enlivens group events.
|Lauren Armstrong is a Community Planner with the County of Marin, where she focuses on climate adaptation, coastal planning, and education. After earning a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Middlebury College, Lauren went on to earn a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Hawaii. Lauren first traveled to Ecuador in 2005 for a college semester abroad. In 2009, she returned to Ecuador as a Tandana intern to teach English at the Panecillo school, as well as support health care trips and conduct follow-up with patients. The relationships she built in the communities continue to draw her back. Lauren's kind thoughtfulness makes the programs she leads very special. |
|Having grown up in Panecillo, Ecuador, Verónica Pazmiño brings a wealth of local knowledge and skills to the programs she coordinates. Empathetic and caring, she leads by example and loves helping visitors understand her culture. Verónica worked as an English teacher while continuing her education at Polytechnic Army University. Since 2008, she has served as a liaison between community members and Tandana’s health care volunteers. In 2015, she became Tandana's Scholarship Coordinator, and she loves to involve scholarship students in the volunteer programs. Mixing bread dough, driving safely on remote mountain roads, and understanding Kichwa are just a few of the many skills she shares with the groups she leads.|
|When she served as Tandana’s Volunteer Coordinator Intern, Danika Robison’s life was changed in ways she never could have imagined. She was more determined and excited than ever to help others, and since that time she has spent the majority of her months leading student groups in the Andes. She currently works for The Traveling School, where she teaches history, Spanish, and global studies. Danika loves seeing her students' lives enriched by the experiences they have abroad. In the summers, she leads trips for Tandana, especially programs for scholarship students through a partnership with REACH, which she developed for Tandana. Her hilarious sense of humor and readiness to handle any situation make her a sought-after leader.|