The onsite directors will be your program leader and are there to lead and guide you during your Arcos Journeys experience. Our programs also have assistant directors that help manage the programs, especially during the excursions and cultural activities. Onsite directors are usually host-country nationals with cross-cultural experience. All of our directors have experience working with groups and have international experience (travel and work) and many studied abroad themselves as students.
Germán Casado was born and raised in Dúrcal, a small Andalusian town outside of Granada, Spain. He holds a Master’s Degree in Translation & Interpretation (English, French, & Italian) from the prestigious University of Granada. He also has a degree in Business French from the Business Chamber of Paris. Germán is also a certified tour guide and guide of the Sierra Nevada Natural Park. Germán has studied and lived in France, Belgium and Italy, where he perfected his language skills. He is a true outdoor enthusiast! Germán has worked for sporting events such as the World Championship for Alpine Skiing in the Sierra Nevada (Granada), and the World Cup for mountain biking. Germán is skilled at rock climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking, skiing and rollerblading. There isn’t much Germán doesn’t do! He has worked as a mountain guide leading hiking trips to the Alps and the Atlas mountains. Besides travel and outdoor extreme sports, Germán has worked as a producer for documentary films for the BBC and other European programs that focus on Andalusia. Since 1997, Germán has operated a travel and study abroad business in Granada for North American and European students.
Marcell was born in London, but grew up in Granada, Spain. His father is German and his mother is Spanish. His last name, Doerrier, is of French origin and he has ancestors from Hungary, Denmark, and Norway. As an adult Marcell has lived in both Germany and Spain. Since he was a child Marcell has always had a love of travel, something his parents instilled in him by always taking him along on their travels. Especially his father who lived in Hawaii, Mexico, Brazil, England and France, as well as Spain and Germany. Marcell has travelled to the United States and Canada as well as Morocco, Russia and most European countries. He has also traveled to visit his Italian, Greek, German, Spanish, Argentine, Peruvian and even American relatives! Marcell has dedicated himself to many activities over the years; both in work and leisure. He has been a basketball coach, a volunteer guide for both Spanish and foreign groups, coordinator and translator for sister cities, and an organizer of recreational activities. Marcell has also worked in the banking sector, real estate, social media, tourism, and retail. He was the program coordinator of an Erasmus Association in Granada (Erasmus is an European exchange program), as well as the homestay coordinator for American students studying abroad in Granada. As far as hobbies are concerned, Marcell loves scuba diving and completed his PADI certification a few years ago. He also really enjoys board games, hiking, reading, writing stories, and playing music. In fact, Marcell is currently part of a band. He also enjoys humor and history, and is a born collector. He loves to collect all sorts of things from drink coasters to Smurfs. Marcell is a lover of the city of Granada and the province of Granada, in particular.
Rocío Salinas was born and raised in Adra, a small town on the coast of Almería, Spain, which is famous for its fishing and agriculture. At the age of 18, Rocío went to study in Granada and fell in love with the city. She studied Pedagogy and Socio-Cultural Anthropology at the Universidad de Granada and received scholarships to study at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid for a year and in Orleans and Besançon, France for a year and a half. Rocío discovered a love of traveling and exploring new cultures, which led her to a masters degree as a Professor of Spanish as a Second Language at the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca. She has lived and worked as a language instructor for several years in Southampton in the UK and Breda and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Her passion for traveling led her to India and Nepal for six months where she completed her yoga and meditation teacher training. She has worked as a yoga instructor for the past several years, offering classes to people of all ages and backgrounds. She continues to learn about diverse cultures, people and cuisines. Her most recent travels have been to Peru and Senegal. She enjoys practicing English, French, and a little bit of Italian. She adores spending time in nature especially, the ocean and the mountains. Rocío looks forward to sharing everything she can about her culture and all of the wonderful things Granada has to offer!
Isabel Aldama is originally from a small city in the north of Spain called Santander. She has lived in Granada since 2005 and loves everything that the city and region have to offer. Isabel understands the importance of a study abroad experience for language learning. She lived in London and Cambridge for 2 years where she studied English and got to experience life abroad through work and study. Isabel loves teaching and working with people so in college she studied to be an English teacher and took classes in Santander, Cambridge and Madrid. Isabel has worked as an English teacher around Granada for many years now. For her, Granada is one of the most interesting and cultural places to live and she loves sharing it with others. In addition to teaching, Isabel enjoys traveling and pottery, which is her favorite hobby. Isabel is also the very proud mother of her daughter, Telma (DOB July 2013). You will love having Isabel as your director. She looks forward to welcoming you to Granada!
Ivan Ruiz was born in 1983 in a small village of Axarquia, Málaga. He has worked as a journalist, professional diver and tour guide for many years. While he has deep roots in Andalusia, he also loves traveling and has lived abroad on various continents. After graduating with a degree in journalism in Mexico Ivan traveled throughout the country interviewing people from all walks of life. In Tanzania, he worked as a construction manager building a school for orphans. He loves the countryside, where he feels he most belongs. He also loves the sea. Ivan is also a lifelong student of history, which he believes is where we come from and what unites us. Ivan loves art and all forms of creative expression including theater and music. He channels his artistic vision as an audiovisual creator. Ivan has collaborated and worked for various newspapers and television channels such as Canal Sur and Discovery Channel. Ivan is the founder of the Horizontes Collective newspaper and his writing has been published internationally. He is currently finishing a documentary about a shipwreck of a rice boat that will soon be released. Ivan considers himself a lifelong learner who is curious about the world and always willing to learn from anyone. He enjoys the simple pleasures of life– laughter, smiles and love. Ivan looks forward to sharing the culture, nature and traditions of Andalusia with you!
Alejandro was born and raised in Cádiz, Spain, but finished high school in Kingston, TN. Tennessee is where he earned the nickname, "The Spaniard", which he loved. Back in Spain, Alejandro studied at the Universidad de Granada and graduated with degrees in Law (2000) and Political Science (2003), while also studying Philosophy. Alejandro is very passionate about learning and academics! He has always been interested in the history of political thought, a passion that sheds light on his academic journey. Alejandro has also lived and worked abroad starting with Aarhus, Denmark (1999-2000) and then Edinburgh, Scotland (2003-2005). These past years he has worked as a private guide in Andalucía, and led bike tours for a US company (2010 - 2019). Alejandro loves languages and is currently studying German. Recently he has been spending many months in Germany, embracing life once again as a student. Although, Alejandro says, “above all, sport is my passion”. He is an outdoors person now: swimming, cycling, running, and playing tennis. He especially gravitates towards endurance sports. Out of this passion, he has become well-versed in nutrition, a topic about which he can spend hours conversing. Alejandro loves to work with foreign travelers, especially Americans, to whom he still feels quite connected after his high school year in Tennessee and summers spent working in the Smoky Mountains. Alejandro feels like an ambassador showing his home country to others. He is very aware that there is more to a language than just the grammar and the vocabulary. Without experiencing first-hand the culture that lives with the language there is no real learning. He understands very well the importance of why it makes so much sense to spend time in the country where the language of study is spoken. As to his private life, Alejandro has no children of his own but instead he has a niece and a nephew who constantly remind him that he’s become a professional uncle now ("Tito Ale").