After graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism, Maria honed her skills in adaptability working a handful of temp jobs before the ultimate test in resourcefulness, joining the Peace Corps. Serving in the Philippines as an English education volunteer, she learned Tagalog, how to do laundry in a bucket with no running water, and the cross-cultural bonding power of Disney classics. Maria believes travel and cultural exchange are important to a person's education, and since returning from the Philippines, she has sought to expand her own global education while encouraging others to gain this experience. This commitment led her to a role with a company offering people-to-people travel to Cuba for Americans. She was based in Panama, which allowed her to reunite with extended family 20 years after her first visit. Returning home to Oregon in 2016, Maria helped train and support AmeriCorps members serving across the state. Then, after years of planning trips for herself and her friends, Maria landed a job as a travel consultant creating unique itineraries across Europe and South America. Today, she is thrilled to be part of the Nat Hab team as an Operations Coordinator, combining her organizational skills with her love of travel.
In her spare time, you will likely find Maria searching out new trails to hike (bonus points if there's a brewery at the end), patios to enjoy on a sunny day, and cheap flight deals to continue exploring the world.