Why GVI?It is our mission to build a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.
GVI tackles critical local and global issues by operating award-winning education and training programs on sustainable development projects around the world, working in partnership with renowned international partners.
We operate our own programs and partner with local and international NGOs, government organizations, and educational institutions including Save The Children, WWF, The Red Cross, PADI, Project AWARE, and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. We have also partnered with the National Parks of South Africa, Costa Rica, Seychelles, Mexico and Thailand, among others.
Founded in 1997, over 25,000 participants have traveled with us, with over 3,000 participants every year. We are very proud that the vast majority of our participants describe their experience with us as life-changing, with over 95% stating that they want to travel with us again.
We are an extremely tight knit, friendly, and passionate organization that is made up of an amazing team of people from all over the world. We are true experts in our fields, ensuring that your experience with GVI will be truly life changing.
Every year, we work hard to ensure that we provide programs that meet the expectations of all participants. We are proud to announce that in 2015, we had a satisfaction rate of 98%.
Meet Our Team
Our staff are experts in service-learning and international sustainable development. We are regularly called upon to consult with educational institutes, governments, NGOs, and aid agencies around the world. In addition, we frequently speak at conferences such as WYSTC (World Youth Student Travel Conference) and The International Ecotourism Society, as well as commonly advising schools on employability through our outreach teams. Our staff have been actively involved in setting industry standards on Work and Volunteer Abroad best practices with WYSE Work and Volunteer Abroad, International Volunteering Guidelines through TIES and researching the positive impact international service-learning courses can have through work with the likes of the British Council and WYSE Work and Volunteer Abroad. The full expertise of our team can be seen through their LinkedIn profiles below.
FounderAn experienced entrepreneur in youth travel with a keen interest in international educational initiatives, with over 15 years of experience in the industry.
Director of Educational PartnershipsAn international business development and service learning specialist with 15 year of environmental and development based experience.
Director of Alumni ServicesAn experienced manager with vast expertise in youth engagement and event management. Ty is in charge of alumni engagement, HR, outreach and the GVI Charitable Trust.
Assistant Director of Programmes
With a comprehensive background in community development, international education and traveling, Shayle now overseas all of our operations in South Africa.
Mexico Country Director
A PADI Divemaster and Biologist with a background in environmental education and passion for marine conservation, Lluvia now overseas all of our operations in Mexico.
Service Learning Manager Cape Town
A sustainable development extraordinaire with a Master’s degree in International Education and a great commitment to create sustainable solutions for local communities.
Chief Executive OfficerA passionate leader with 15 years of experience starting and managing mission driven sustainable development projects and educational programs in remote locations.
Director of ProgramsA specialist in setting up, managing and evaluating high impact conservation and community development projects, with a passion for conservation initiatives.
Director of MarketingA keen traveler, passionate about international educational within the world of conservation and community development, with experience in social enterprises and start ups.
Cynthia Arochi Zendejas
Costa Rica Country DirectorA certified veterinarian with an International Environmental Science Masters, Cynthia’s devoted to supporting critical causes and overseas our operations in Costa Rica.
Nepal Project ManagerA former teacher and special needs educator with a passion for youth educational experiences, Cheryl oversees our operations in Nepal.
Erin L. Barnhart
Senior AdvisorErin L. Barnhart, Ph.D, is a professor at the University of Oregon and Concordia University-Portland who sits on the Board of Directors for the Building Bridges Coalition.
Assistant Director of ProgrammesAn experienced teacher, passionate about providing educational opportunities and managing community development programmes for local communities.
Director of Program EnrollmentA detail orientated and organized individual, passionate about conservation and community development, with over 8 years experience working with diverse, international teams.
Thailand Country Director
With a degree in family development and psychology, Molly is passionate about volunteering and contributing to local communities.
India Country Director
With a passion for community development, and extensive conservation experience around the world, Zeno now oversees all our operations in India.