My name is Silvia Rico Coll. In Latin countries, we use two family names: the first corresponds to my father, who was Bolivian, and the second one corresponds to my mother, who is originally from Catalunya in Spain.
I was born in Barcelona to a Bolivian father and a Catalan mother. I was raised there during my childhood. Due to my father originating from South America and family who moved from Bolivia to Lima in Peru, I have always had a fascination with travel in general and a curiosity for South America, specifically Bolivia and Peru. I have lived in Paris, The Netherlands and in Peru, where my heart and soul is. However, three years ago I moved back to Barcelona to strengthen our position in the European market, where we were almost not present, and to show and enjoy with my kids where I come from.
I am very fortunate to have studied in a top-ranked world-class Business School (ESADE’s BBA & MBA in Barcelona). My major in Finance and Strategy gave me a solid base and my job in Marketing Departments in top multinationals (Henkel and Danone) with incredible professionals and state-of-the-art methodology and trainings gave me invaluable experience. However, I’d say the main ingredient to become an expert at what I do, if I can be considered one (there’s always SO much to learn and get adapted to!) has been my passion for travel. I believe doing things with true passion drives the best results and the best version of ourselves.
I think a dream experience for a client is so wide, and so we set it depending on their expectations. Dream experiences could be anything from spotting a jaguar in the Amazon, experiencing the delights of Peruvian cuisine in the hands of our experts, having a spiritual experience in the Sacred Valley, sailing on Lake Titicaca, crossing the Andes in the first -sleeper train in South America and of course, visiting Machupicchu. It always takes my breath away to go back to Machupicchu and marvel at the peace and pure energy one feels up there. It cannot be missed. At the same time, day by day encounters with locals are the true salt and pepper of a visit to Peru, and are not to be missed either.
Rather than in giving back, we believe in not taking away. And we like to start the work from our own home. This way, our growth is together, we don’t feel we have to give back but we don’t take away, we grow together.
We have a strong Responsibility and Sustainability Policy with priority guidelines regarding Environmental Respect and Social Commitment. We operate in Natural Protected Areas in Peru (ANP) through our adventure division and we are very conscious of the laws and situation. For example, we were the very first company to start operating with solar lamps along the treks in Cusco. Regarding social projects, we push those who primarily support women and children, who we find to be the two most needed social groups in Peru.
After having done this amazing service for over 15 years, we have a long list of funny anecdotes, challenging guests requirements, unexpected situations, crisis and love demonstrations. The best stories in my case are those who have most touched my heart and in general, all reports from satisfied guests. It gives us goose-bumps to read how people have felt – that they fulfilled a dream, that they have travelled to so many places and yet Peru will remain in their hearts as the trip of a lifetime…this is what motivates us, the fuel to our motivation and the reason for being passionate about what we do.
In this line, I can now think of a client of ours, actually an agent visiting, who came across a boy on his bike during a ride in the Sacred Valley. The kid’s bike was very old and did not have tyres anymore. Despite everything, he seemed to be happy and blessed to have a bike. Our client felt impacted by this and decided to buy him a new bike. He was travelling with his family and his son was the age of this kid. He gave us the money and asked us to buy a new bike for him and his sister as he had to depart from Cusco shortly after. The picture of the family and the new bikes was sent to him and the letter he sent us back is one of those you will never forget! Combining generosity acts and emotions is quite unbeatable.
Joro creates bespoke trips to South America and the rest of the world. Get in touch to start your journey.
Silvia Rico Coll
Meet The Guides is a series of stories from our favourite guides whose local knowledge is unrivalled, and invaluable to us at Joro. In this series we are able to share with you their most treasured stories and how they work to protect and conserve the environments they love.