MEET THE FOUNDER
KATALINA MAYORGA || WASHINGTON, DC
FOUNDER | @theyoufinder
Lovely to meet you on the internet!
I want to tell you a little secret. I never meant to start a travel company. A quick conversation (about drug cartels) with a taxi driver in Guatemala dramatically changed the course of my life and veered me from international development to hospitality and tourism.
That conversation has resulted in us taking over 400 travelers to 5 different countries in a few years. While I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish in a short period, I am prouder of the full life I have lived at 33.
Below are few quick facts about me that have been core to shaping me into the woman I am today:
I started my first business at 6 years old. It was a "water stand” where I sold water (instead of lemonade) from the tap, so I could maximize profits. It failed within a day, but hey, it taught me the value of failing forward.
At 20, I took a six-month break from university and backpacked on my own through South America. When I ran out of money, I ended up working at a hostel for 6 weeks in Buenos Aires and traded room and board for boxed wine and food. Don’t worry, I still graduated on time and got my BA in International Studies and Human Rights and eventually got my MA in Global Environmental Policy.
My husband and I met the last possible day of college and within two months we drover cross-country from Seattle to Washington DC together and have lived together ever since. That road trip taught me the sweetness of loving hard.
My first job out of college was as a union organizer for the hospitality industry. It was the toughest job I have had to date, but this is where I learned the power of listening deeply and asking the right questions.
Throughout my professional career, I have been lucky to work with some of the brightest minds across the world who are passionately fighting with their whole heart and soul to create a more equitable world for all. This includes innovators in Brazil, Peru, Uganda, Sudan, and Haiti. These individuals have pushed me to think big and crazy, because they have shown me that these are the ideas that will change the world.
When not traveling for work, you can find me sweating it out in Hot Yoga, getting arrested for things I care about, or watching cute animal videos on Sunday morning with my husband.
I was selected as a 2017 Tory Burch Foundation Fellow and have been featured in Marie Claire, Creative Mornings, and Project Entrepreneur as a thought leader on the topics of travel and entrepreneurship.
One of the best parts of El Camino Travel has been meeting (and becoming friends) with all the inspiring and incredible travelers who go on our trips. I hope to meet you in some random corner of the world soon! xx