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This is the Groundswell

Our mission at OG is to nurture a generation of ethical travellers, each one of us working to better the world in our own unique way. Community is at the heart of what we do, and we know that by banding together we can be greater than ourselves.
Our Alumni Action Team are here to share their individual OG experiences with you. From heartwarming stories of solidarity and friendship to hilarious travel mishaps, they can give you exclusive insights into what an OG program looks like on the ground and provide you with the support you need as you embark on your next journey. Meet them all below and be sure to schedule a chat with them!

Meet our Alumni Action Team

DEBIE | Guatemala

Debie Villafuerte is a Guatemalan American born and raised in Los Angeles. She now resides in New York City. She has a Master’s degree in Global Development and Peace. When she’s not working for a non-profit that aids the unhoused, she’s volunteering on the weekends helping asylum seekers. She first started her journey with OG by going on the Guatemala: At Origin trip. Can you believe she’d never been to Guatemala? Although it was her first time, it was one of the best experiences she’s ever had. OG has been stuck with her ever since. Now, she’d like to help you have your unforgettable one!

CAROLINE | Peru | Southeast Asia

Caroline first became a part of the OG community in 2017 when she went on our Peru Secrets of the Sacred Valley program. From then on, she was family. She has helped out at OGHQ in many ways, and this year ran her first ever OG program in Cambodia. She currently lives in Berlin, Germany engrossed in the local art scene pursuing her love of theatre and improv. Read Caroline’s OG story.

Sara | South Asia

Hi, I’m Sara. I first joined the OG family in 2017 when I joined the Bangladesh: Fashion in Flux program soon after graduating from university. From day one I fell in love with the OG philosophy and knew I wanted to continue being a part of it, so here we are. I am Mexican, born and raised, but have always jumped at the opportunity of immersing myself in other cultures, with a strong belief that there is always something we can learn and something we can share. I look forward to chatting with you about all things travel!

Tyler | Guatemala

Hi my name is Tyler! I was a part of the 40 day Guatemala Extreme 2018 program. I knew I wanted to travel but I also knew I didn’t want to do it alone. Along the journey of looking for travel destinations I found Operation Groundswell and they checked off all of my boxes and filled that gap of a program with a lot of independence and gave me an unforgettable travel experience! I am Born and raised in Calgary Alberta. Hiking and the outdoors is in my blood, as well as having a very creative and cultured family!

Morgan | Peru | Cambodia | Guatemala | India

Morgan is an avid explorer of the world and elementary school teacher.  She first traveled with Operation Groundswell in 2015 when she went to Guatemala for the Seed to Shelf program.  She immediately fell in love with the adventurous and human centered style of travel that OG offered. She has since traveled to India, Peru and Cambodia with Operation Groundswell.  She is a backpactivist through and through! She would love to chat with you about her AMAZING experiences with OG! Read Morgan’s OG story.

Madi | Guatemala

Fueled by a love of coffee and a desire to find the best ways to be in solidarity from across the globe, I travelled with OG in 2015 on a 40-day trip to Guatemala. It is an understatement to say that this trip changed the trajectory of my life. Since 2019, I have been an active alum, including many years of chatting with new potential OG-ers and a prolonged stay at the Hub on Lago Atitlan on my 2nd trip to Guatemala. I continue to hold the learning I did with OG very closely. I recently completed my MA in Adult Education and Community Development, exploring the ways that experiences like that which OG provides contribute towards global solidarity in the West. I look forward to chatting with you about all things OG, Guatemala and more!!

Victoria | Guatemala | Peru

Victoria first traveled with OG in 2017 on our Guatemala: Rights and Resistance program. She loved it so much, she joined the 2019 Peru: Amazon to Andes program too! She currently lives in Michigan, working in coffee and agriculture. She would love to talk with you more about OG!

Already an Alum looking TO get more involved?

Join the alumni Action team!

Connect with OG’s fresh faces, provide guidance, support, and plenty of advice on topics such as what to pack, where to go, and how to find the best chapati. Get in touch to become part of the team.


This is our way to keep in touch after we return and when we catch the post-backpacking blues! It is a place for us to continue to inspire each other, to build relationships with rad backpacktivists across the world, to get informed of magical job and volunteer opportunities, and to support each other’s dreams and ideas! Request access.



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