OUR STORY

Much more than a world-class tour operator, RED designs unique experiences that create sustainable employment opportunities in rural communities, and that contribute to the conservation of species and habitat in natural protected areas in Mexico. Since our launch in 2009, RED’s founders have implemented a vision to use tourism as platform for conserving species, from the bats of Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve to sea turtles and whale sharks. Along the way, we have trained individuals and microenterprises in Baja California Sur, Sonora, Sinoloa, Nayarit and Oaxaca. As part of this vision, RED’s founders launched the non-profit organization Red de Turismo Sustentable AC, which takes RED’s know-how to rural communities and works with government agencies to create tools to sustainably manage tourism in natural protected areas. Read more below about the projects RED implements in conjunction with our non-profit arm.

Strengthening individuals families and microenterprises in rural communities

Over the years RED’s co-founders have turned their know-how into a training program that, together with RED’s nonprofit arm, has benefited individuals and micro-enterprises in Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Sonora, Nayarit and Oaxaca.

Preserving endangered sea turtles in Magdalena Bay

RED works with Grupo Tortuguero de las Californias to recruit, train and employ fisher conservationists, creating sustainable employment alternatives, funding the monitoring, and in the process generating important data about the health and movement of sea turtle populations. By putting the monitoring in the hands of local fishermen RED and funding the participation of students from surrounding communities in sea turtle monitoring, RED is helping to create local stewards of Magdalena Bay’s natural resources.

Reforestation in the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve

The Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere reserve is a natural paradise, boasting natural springs, oak trees, and one of the peninsula’s premiere spots for biodiversity. Mining, uncontrolled grazing and logging hasten desertification, threatening habitat and the natural process that makes this Reserve one of the principal water resources in the region. Working with CONANP and local rancheros, RED created a tourism based program focused on reforestation and soil restoration, along the way providing training and sustainable livelihoods.

Meet the team

LUIS GARDUÑO

COFOUNDER & GENERAL MANAGER

Luis is a dreamer. He dreams of people having dignified jobs, working in harmony with their natural surroundings, and building strong communities throughout Mexico. As Co-founder of RED, Luis brings over 20 years of experience in tourism, as an adventure travel guide, a SCUBA instructor in Australia, and as a guide, chef, and host on live-aboard yachts. Luis knows the travel industry inside and out. Luis also created RED’s micro-enterprise training program, now housed in RED’s nonprofit arm.

CHRIS PESENTI

COFOUNDER & DIRECTOR GENERAL

Before co-founding RED Travel México and its nonprofit arm Red de Turismo Sustentable A.C., Chris spent a decade building up the grassroots conservation movement along the Baja California peninsula. Seeing the close link between environmental issues and economic concerns, Chris experimented with models of linking tourism to conservation, resulting in the 2009 launch of RED.

BIANCA DIAZ

ADMINISTRATOR

SALWA EL KHATTABI

SALES & MARKETING ASSISTANT

HUBER MURILLO

CAMP MANAGER AND HEAD CHEF MAGDALENA BAY

Hubert runs the show out at RED’s Gray Whale and Sea Turtle Conservation Camp in Magdalena Bay. He works wonders with a dutch oven, loves a culinary challenge, and won’t rest until everyone has a full stomach. Hailing from the fishing town of Puerto San Carlos, his warm nature and sense of humor have been enjoyed by many a traveler, guide and panguero in the RED camp. You can also catch his appearance on the Rick Bayless show Mexico: one plate at a time.

ANDREA ADAME

NATURALIST GUIDE

Andrea is a top naturalist guide who lets the rest of us at RED see life through the eyes of a youthful marine biologist. Andrea can’t get enough time in the water, and boasts WFR and Divemaster certifications in addition to speaking perfect English. Her passion for the outdoors is contagious, and her luck for out of this world marine encounters is uncanny.

MARIO MEZA

BOAT CAPTAIN

Mario comes from a rural rancho community in the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve. This might seem an unlikely place for an accomplished boat captain, but makes perfect sense when you learn that as fate or luck would have it, that small community in the sierras is where RED implements its reforestation project. We’ve never seen him ride a horse a mule, but he is definitely at home at the helm of a panga.

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