Number one on Gwyn’s bucket list had been to live in another country, learn another language, and meet people who do amazing things. This has taught life lessons in patience, letting go of ego, not having expectations, and listening rather than talking. Developing a new cultural identity is difficult, and Gwyn uses this as a driving concept when teaching English. She knows it is not enough to simply translate words, but rather works to help students communicate their ideas the best they can. With a background in mental-health therapy, acupuncture and Western medicine, Gwyn makes up for her lack of experience in teaching English through connection and breaking down barriers.
A college trip to Ecuador during his first year set Max on a course that changed his life. Originally visiting to study environmental science, he discovered his love of all things Ecuadorian. He returned to the States, changed his major to Spanish, and later earned his Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). He returned to Ecuador on a break from teaching in 2009, and fell in love with Otavalo and the lovely hotel La Posada del Quinde. After running the hotel from 2010-2019, Max and Gwyn have dedicated themselves to the Foundation’s programs. Max’s strong belief in the value of education is the foundation for everything he does, and he feels strongly about the value of providing humans opportunity to become their best selves.