A Global Network

Planeterra is made up of a dedicated team of individuals who work in Canada, United States, Thailand, Zambia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Italy, India and Peru with frequent travel in the field. Our entire global community – including our in-country partners, G Adventures’ global staff, board, and advisors – are integral to the success of our work.

Our Team

Jamie Sweeting

President

Jamie has spent the last 25 years working in tourism, conservation, development, and business management. He is passionate about Planeterra because in his decades of traversing the globe, he has yet to encounter another organization that is so effective at using tourism to improve the lives of some of the most under-resourced people on this planet — especially marginalized women, disadvantaged youth, and rural communities (with a priority focus on indigenous communities.) Prior to Planeterra, Jamie was Global Chief Environmental Officer at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and headed up the travel industry program at the Center for Environmental Leadership in Business at Conservation International. He was formerly Chairman at Sustainable Travel International and has served on the boards of The International Ecotourism Society, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Travel.  When Jamie is not working, you can find him enjoying time with his family or fishing (unfortunately rarely both at the same time!).

Alanna Wallace

Senior Manager – Development & Communications

Alanna is passionate about finding new ways to engage travellers in making positive, lasting impact on communities across the world. She holds a Masters in Global Development Challenges from the University of Edinburgh, and has more recently studied fundraising and non-profit communications. Having worked across Africa in youth travel and voluntourism since 2011, Alanna sees unlimited opportunity in Planeterra’s strategy to empower social enterprises to create sustainable livelihoods and reduce poverty. She is passionate about telling Planeterra’s story, and amplifying the stories and voices of Planeterra’s partners around the world.  Alanna loves combining her passions for being active and outdoors, so you’ll find her on a hike with her rescue dog, Goose.

Rhea Simms

Senior Program Manager

Rhea has spent her education and career focused on meaningful livelihood development, especially for women and at-risk communities, as a catalyst towards a more equal future. Rhea has a Masters of Development Practice from the University of Waterloo, focusing on interdisciplinary solutions for sustainable development. In 2012 she moved to Pakistan working on women’s empowerment through enterprise development, and later went to Cambodia researching livelihood diversification options for Indigenous women. Shifting her knowledge and experience to tourism, Rhea joined the Planeterra Foundation in 2017 where she continues to advocate for women and communities. Rhea is motivated by the amplification of impact that can be achieved when nonprofits work together with socially-minded companies. . Rhea loves doing anything active and spending time outside in the sunshine.

Crystal Browne

Development & Communications Lead

Crystal has always loved to travel and knows that responsible travel is the only way to do it! After graduating from Queen’s University and then spending time in Northern Brazil,  Crystal applied to a Master of Arts program studying International Relations at the University of Manchester in England. There, she wrote her dissertation on girls’ education and its implications on development and security of nations through a feminist post-structuralist lens. After finishing her degree, she spent time exploring Southeast Asia and it quickly became one of her favourite places to explore! Planeterra is the perfect combination of all the things Crystal is passionate about!

Joel Callañaupa

Program Manager, Latin America & the Caribbean

Joel was born and raised in the sacred valley of Cusco, Peru, sharing most of his childhood and adolescence with Quechua speaking communities, with a deep belief that tourism can contribute greatly to sustainable development, he is a strong advocate for responsible travel. Holding a degree in tourism development and a Masters degree in Cooperation for Development, Joel has worked 10+ years with several Indigenous communities in Latin America, including Perú, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Belize, leading community tourism programs for public, private and international organizations in tourism.Currently he works as Planeterra Foundation’s program manager for Latin America and the Caribbean. After years of traveling, living, sharing, laughing and dreaming together with Indigenous communities he believes deeply that tourism can contribute greatly to sustainable development.

In the Field

Planeterra’s team extends into the field, with part-time staff members around the world assisting our partners in their regions. At Planeterra, we call these individuals Community Development Specialists, and they are an integral component of our regional work. These individuals can communicate with Planeterra’s partners in local languages, understand local customs, and their proximity to the communities they work alongside means Planeterra can be more effective as a global organization.

Panot Pakongsup

Community Development Specialist, Southeast Asia

Panot, also known as Tung, enjoys seeing how responsible tourism can benefit sustainable development in communities. He has seen the positive change tourism can bring to help people live a better life in some of the most rural parts of Thailand and Myanmar. Tung is responsible for the in-country research, coordination, and facilitation of Planeterra projects with local communities and organizations in Asia. He has been working in the tourism industry since 2001, owning a tour operator that specializes in community based tourism experiences with the hill-tribe communities of Northern Thailand. When he’s not travelling, Tung spends his free time taking photos of scenic places and spaces, and meeting locals wherever he goes.

Evie Ndhlovu

Community Development Specialist, East & Southern Africa

Evie is a Zimbabwean with a passion for community development and Indigenous tourism. From a very young age she has been actively engaged in social work and developmental roles that saw her pursuing a career in community service and global development. As a native from a tourist attraction, she has a first hand experience of how if done correctly, tourism can have a positive impact for local and indigenous communities. She holds a degree in Economic Development and Management from Monash University and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Global Development. Evie is very passionate about sustainable tourism and micro-economical business training for Indigenous entrepreneurs.She is an activist for equality and has experience in development roles that spans over 10 years. Evie believes that there are a very few problems in life that can’t be fixed with a smile or a hug. Since 2017, Evie has been proud to be a part of the Planeterra team in Southern and East Africa, working hard to communicate Planeterra’s message and share the stories of the partners in her region.

Priyanka Singh

Community Development Specialist, South Asia

Priyanka is an avid traveller and passionate development worker. For Priyanka, Planeterra provided the perfect synergy to continue doing what she loves while spreading the benefits of tourism. With almost 15 years experience working with communities and a Masters degree in Conflict Analysis and Peace Building, Priyanka’s work has brought her to remote locations across India, as well as Cambodia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. These experiences made her see the kindness and desire to provide a healthy life for our families that connects us all. As the Community Development Specialist for South Asia, Priyanka works closely with our partners across India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In her free time, Priyanka likes to make travel plans (if not already travelling), and spends most days keeping busy with the theatrics of her toddler and her furry baby (dog!).

Carlota Morales

Community Development Specialist, Central America

Carlota is a Costa Rican living in Guatemala who is passionate about meaningful travel and getting to know communities on a deeper level. She has spent her entire career in the non-profit and social business sectors facilitating volunteer engagement programs, hosting volunteers from all over the world, and supporting community development projects. Carlota holds a Masters degree from the UN Mandate University for Peace in Responsible Management and Sustainable Economic Development. Passionate about languages and the cultures they represent, Carlota has learned several different languages throughout her travels – French while living in France, English while living in the USA and Portuguese during an internship in Mozambique. When she is not at work, you can find her designing and creating original textile art for “De Carlota” or diving in the deepest parts of the ocean.

Rosselin Rodriguez

Community Development Specialist, South America

Rosselin believes in responsible travel and has long been engaged in community development and women’s empowerment. Rosselin holds a degree in Tourism from the National University of Cusco, has more than 10 years’ experience in travel industry focused on responsible travel and quality service and during her time leading tour in Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Brazil, she realized that tourism is an excellent way to generate positive development impact in the communities involved. Working in Planeterra as Community Development Specialist for South America, gives her the opportunity to work closely with our community partners and be part of their development. Rosselin on free time loves being outdoors, especially trekking.

Laura Gasparini

Community Development Specialist, Europe

Laura is Argentinean of Italian origins and her desire to see the world led her to travel and work in Latin America, Oceania and Europe. After several years in the tourism sector, she realised that the predominant model did not generate the benefits attributed to it and found in sustainable tourism the opportunity to generate a positive impact in communities and the environment.  She holds a Masters Degree in Tourism Economics and Management from the University of Bologna and her areas of expertise include community-based tourism development, sustainability measuring and capacity building. Laura loves being outdoors, in contact with nature, so being based in Rimini, Italy is the perfect location to enjoy both the sea and the hinterland!