Heather Lopez | Daniel Lopez l Pam Rathke
HEATHER LOPEZ, Director Tour and Travel Programs
With over 12 years experience in the tour and travel industry, Heather has a passion for sharing the travel experience. She personally visits and selects all our tour accommodations, chooses the finest culinary establishments, and bends over backwards until she's sure every aspect of every tour is perfectly tied together. Heather has plenty of expertise to back her up: She has been the President and Director of Tour Colorado.
She was also the Director of Group Sales for Burner & Associates, as well for the historic Georgetown Loop & Royal Gorge Route Railroads. Among her other noteworthy accomplishments are: Marketing Director for People's Choice Transportation, and Secretary for the Golden Business & Professional Women Organization. Along with her husband, Mike, she conceived of, owned, and operated the "Mad Creek" Bed & Breakfast, and "Comin' Ground the Mountain" Coffee House in her scenic hometown of Empire, Colorado. Heather enjoys all outdoor activities, yoga, cooking, and spending "quality time" with her family. (She attends ALL of daughter Makayla's school activities - even if it means working overtime!!)
DANIEL LOPEZ, Director Service Programs
Daniel is a native of Colorado. He brings a wealth of experience to Kindred Spirits. He has been actively involved in the field of International Educational for many years. At the ripe age of 15, he backpacked for a summer through India and Sri Lanka. He then went on to become an exchange student in both Spain and Venezuela. These life-changing experiences firmly set him on the path of global exploration.
While earning a B.A. in Spanish / International Studies and an M.A. in Education from American University in Washington, D.C., he studied for a semester with the Partnership for Service-Learning in Ecuador. Daniel's strong connections with Ecuador were further strengthened when he was chosen to be a Fulbright Scholar there in 1993. The U.S. State Department/School for International Training sent him to Southern India for a year to teach American Studies. Ever since, Daniel has sought opportunities to share his knowledge of the world with others and lead a variety of cross-cultural programs: He has been a Program Director for VISIONS Service Adventures in the Dominican Republic, British Virgin Islands, and Peru; Country Manager for Global Volunteers in Tanzania; and Team Leader in Peru for Where There Be Dragons, all volunteer-based travel organizations.
Daniel's expertise has also extended to more formal academic settings: He has taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Spain; Spanish Language and Culture at Red Rocks Community College and the University of Denver; and World History at Colorado Academy. He currently serves on the National Steering Committee for Human Rights Education for Amnesty International, and has presented teacher-training seminars all over the world.
Whether inside the classroom or out, Daniel is acutely aware of the power of transformational life experiences, and possesses a thorough understanding of how best to facilitate them.
Needless to say, you are in good hands!!
Pam Rathke - Director of Educational/Cultural Programs & Teacher Continuing Education Program
After 15 years as a Marketing Manager in the Health Care Industry, Pam decided it was time for a career change. While working in the medical industry, she had the opportunity to travel widely and grew to love the adventure, surprise, and cultural differences that travel brings. In 1995, she created Adventure Destinations, a tour company dedicated to the singles travel market. She created and hosted her own tours as well as promoted other "singles-trips" for many other tour companies; most of which were adventure treks, multi-sport, and hiking/biking trips.
More recently, she has developed tours for the Denver Botanic Gardens , Denver Art Museum and The Wildlife Experience Museum. This experience has allowed her to competently and knowledgeably organize incredible educational and cultural adventures.
Pam has traveled widely throughout the world and has developed and hosted tours to many destinations. With a degree in Environmental Biology from The Ohio State University, her favorite trips involve the natural sciences; and her passion is Africa . With a broad background in tour development addressing a wide range of client needs, Pam will be a great asset in developing a customized tour for your group.