José Irauzqui – President and Co-Founder
Born in Peru, José traveled from a young age with his parents around Latin America and later went to boarding school in Switzerland and traveled extensively around Europe and Asia. In 1990 José earned a law degree in the UK and went back to Peru until 1998 when he met Monica, his future wife and co-founder of Yampu, during a trip to New York; their first trip together was to Machu Picchu. It turned out to be a life-changing experience. Shortly after, José and Monica were married, moved to New York City, and began to create their travel website.
Monica Irauzqui – Vice President and Co-Founder
Monica is the co-owner of Yampu Tours with her husband José Irauzqui. Monica is an expert in family travels, always bringing her kids, ages eleven and thirteen on her trips; Monica loves what she does and being able to do it with her family! Monica is the authority at designing themed itineraries including culinary, spiritual, adventure, experiential, girls’ trips, and sightseeing tours. All tours are compiled with well-trained and knowledgeable experts leading the way. Monica also has a refined eye and memory for special places, hotels, eco lodges, and boats that will thrill the pickiest of travelers.
Karolina Guilcapi – General Sales Manager
Karolina was born in Warsaw, Poland, and emigrated to Brooklyn, New York at a young age. This trans-Atlantic crossing has inspired her to take any opportunity to explore the world. She graduated with honors and a degree in International Hotel and Tourism Management from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. An ecotourism program in Guatemala solidified her desire to work for the travel industry, and she has been managing the Sales Team at Yampu Tours ever since. Her passion is family travel as she brings her husband and children along on her adventures. Her expertise is Latin America and she spends her days supporting her sales team and assisting her return clientele with their own journeys.
Stephanie Rudolph – Regional Sales Manager & Groups Coordinator
Stephanie has worked in travel for over 18 years and during that time has collected a wealth of experiences and knowledge. Whether driving solo across South Africa, trekking in Peru, snorkeling with sharks in Ecuador, learning to weave in Bali or dancing the night away in Rio, she continues to collect insider tips and ideas that she can share with her clients and groups to make each trip unique. She crafts once in a lifetime trips for her clients, fine-tuning each itinerary to specifically fit each traveler’s own individual travel-style. Stephanie is also Yampu’s Galapagos expert, and group guru, so whether you are interested in the local art scene or exploring the great outdoors, she will work with you to create the perfect experience.
Wendy Murray– Assistant Sales Manager
Wendy has been in the travel industry for over ten years and was attracted to the profession because she loves to meet people and immerse herself in different cultures, discover exotic places and experience the beauty of cultures and landscapes worldwide. Beginning in a customer service department in the high-end travel industry, Wendy is very empathetic and understands the importance of the fine details. Wendy has traveled throughout Latin America including Peru, Ecuador, Mexico and Panama, and around Africa, taking several safaris in both Tanzania and Kenya.
Linda Gardner – Air Coordinator
Linda has been working in the travel industry for several years. At Yampu Tours she is the primary flight contact using resources to find the best flights available to match the client’s itinerary, schedule and budget.
Marianne Scarzello – hr consultant
Marianne has worked in the hospitality industry since she was 15, and is excited to contribute to the fluidity of Yampu Tours. She was born and raised in England and has traveled all over Europe as well as Africa. She is looking forward to traveling to the various destinations that Yampu has to offer and loves being part of the team!
Lance Caron – Product Assistant / Media coordinator
Lance was born and raised in rural Vermont where he has always had an itch for adventure, travel, and culturally rich experiences. In high school, Lance took part in International Club taking several trips throughout Europe. While in college, studying Media Arts, he spent some time studying throughout France and was selected by his school’s Visual Art Staff to attend the International Symposium on Electronic Art conference 2014 in Dubai. He has since traveled independently to several major cities around the world. With photography being his passion, he naturally loves to document and create based on his global experiences and is always in the midst of planning trips to new destinations.
Renee Bean – Marketing Assistant
Renee grew up with a second home in the Adirondacks, where she developed a passion for wildlife, nature, and exploring. She enjoyed many years sharing her knowledge of the area with visitors to the Adirondacks and creating memorable experiences for them in her restaurant and hospitality roles. Since, she has traveled to Nicaragua where she enjoyed meeting people from a different culture, exploring Mombacho, and drinking sun-roasted coffee. Renee received a B.S. in Public Relations from SUNY Plattsburgh and spends her free time jumping her horse, enjoying Northeast lake beaches, and reading.
Samuel jay- TOUR DESIGNER
Samuel was born in England and has traveled extensively throughout Europe. He has also visited Egypt, Malaysia and the Seychelles and is always searching for exciting trips and destinations to explore. In 2015 Samuel moved to Vermont with his wife Lynne. Samuel loves working to provide tailored trips that provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience to Yampu clients.
Maggie Dykshorn- Tour consultant
Maggie grew up on a dairy farm in Iowa and developed a passion for traveling early on. She moved to Vermont for the mountains and maple syrup and graduated from Champlain College with a degree in Professional Writing. Maggie has traveled all around the globe, eager to learn, explore, and maintain an impressive Instagram profile. She has visited Ireland, England, Wales, France, and recently went on a solo trip to Iceland. Maggie studied abroad in New Zealand where she went hiking every week and developed a taste for feijoas and Sauvignon Blanc. She is an avid outdoors enthusiast living in Burlington, and when she’s not traveling, Maggie is happiest hiking or camping in the Green Mountains.
Emily Cryan- Tour consultant
Emily is a graduate of Saint Michael’s College with a degree in History and English. Originally from Bridgeport, Conn., she decided to stay in Vermont once she realized her love of skiing outweighed her aversion to the cold. Emily now resides in Winooski, Vt., but the opportunity to spend her workdays building custom travel itineraries makes the commute to Stowe well worth it! Interests include: good food, good beer, travel, rugby, local history, and podcasts.
Michelle dorval- tour designer
Michelle recently graduated from Lyndon State College with a degree in Visual Communications. Originally from Massachusetts, she moved to Vermont for college and realized that the way of life there and her love of the outdoors have kept her in the beautiful Green Mountain state. Her passion for travel has brought her all around the world where she has enjoyed exploring foreign places and immersing herself in the amazing cultures. When she is not traveling, she is busy exploring and adventuring around the many beautiful mountains of Vermont. Michelle is excited to spread her passion for travel by helping to create custom itineraries for our clients.
Karen Smegal- tour Consultant
Karen is an experienced hospitality professional with a passion for exceptional customer service and helping people create the most memorable travel experiences. She graduated from Lyndon State College with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a focus in meteorology. Her love of weather and nature makes Vermont her ideal home, however, her desire to explore new places, experience great food, beer, wine and meeting new people is always present.
Kerry slora- operations administrative assistant
Kerry lives in Waterbury, Vt. with her boyfriend Robert and their cats Olaf and Mia. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication: Writing and Publishing from Trinity College of Vermont. In her free time she likes canoeing, golfing and spending time outdoors. Kerry’s passions include creating artwork, selling vintage toys online, and sponsoring shelter animals. She has a fraternal twin sister and an adorable niece and nephew. She lived in Sarasota, FL for 2 years and have recently enjoyed excursions to Miami, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. She is looking forward to future travel to international destinations in Latin America and South East Asia.
Kendra sciortino- product assistant
Kendra was born and raised in Vermont and just recently moved back to the area after living in New York for a few years. After traveling internationally in high school, she fell in love with exploring new places and cultures. She graduated from Hofstra University with a dual degree in Geography and Global Studies. She studied abroad in Istanbul, Turkey, where she became obsessed with their cuisine. She’s traveled to many cities in Europe, Costa Rica, Trinidad, Thailand, and Singapore. She’s passionate about traveling to new places, politics, her cat, and trying new foods.
imman Leyberman- Tour Designer
Imman was born and raised in the city of Los Angeles before going to UC Santa Barbara to complete his Psychology degree. While in college, he studied abroad in New Zealand, also visiting Australia and Fiji. This amazing experience led Imman to spend time travelling and working in Europe and South America after graduating. He is excited to share his knowledge with fellow and future travelers! Outside of travel, Imman enjoys snowboarding, surfing, and hiking around California.
susan bokobzha- air ticketing agent
Susan has been in the travel industry for her whole adult life. She was blessed to get to travel many different places. She started her career working in Reservations with Braniff Airlines in Kansas City, MO.. Then, Susan moved to California where she worked for large and small travel agencies. She also worked at LAX ticket counter for Continental Airlines,worked for Princess Cruises and Viking River Cruises. Now, Susan is here at Yampu Tours, and is looking forward to more traveling.
niyeara mubarak- accounting administrative assistant
Niyeara was born in LA and traveled to west Africa, The Gambia, at a young age, where she was raised. Their warm culture inspired her to travel and learn about other cultures. Niyeara has been been to Manchester, Canada, Senegal and many states in the US. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting. In her free time, Niyeara loves reading, learning about different cultures and trying out different foods.
meghan holly- operations supervisor
Meghan is originally from Chicago —which explains her love of deep dish pizza and Cubs baseball— though she has lived all over the U.S. including Florida, Missouri, Wisconsin, Texas etc. and now calls California home. She earned a degree in Communications/Journalism from the University of Denver in Colorado where she also studied Spanish and Italian. Spending a semester abroad in Florence, Italy ignited her passion for travel and exploring new cultures. She has worked in tourism/hospitality since 2010 with luxury hotels, tour operators, and even aboard a cruise ship in Alaska to help create unforgettable travel experiences for clients. Always up for an adventure, Meghan’s travels have included many countries throughout Europe as well as visits to Brazil, Mexico and the Caribbean.