Simón Bolívar Spanish School Staff

Our dedicated staff and teachers help you feel right at home at our school from the very first day! There is always someone around to help you out in whatever you need - books, traveling, questions or to send an e-mail back home.

Together with our teachers, we form the Simon Bolivar Spanish School in Quito, offering excellent Spanish training at reasonable prices and in a friendly environment.

The Teachers

The School Administration:


Kjetil Haugan
Kjetil Haugan is the owner of Columbus Travel. He is a Norwegian citizen who has lived in Ecuador since 1994. Kjetil has a Graduate degree in Organization Development from England and an Undergraduate degree in Management from Norway. Kjetil has worked as Director of the Olympic Villages during the Lillehammer (Norway 1994) and the Atlanta (USA 1996) Olympic Games. He speaks Spanish, English and the Scandinavian languages fluently.

Luisa Cordova
Luisa has a degree in tourism and administration from UTE university in Quito. She is the Commercial Manager of Columbus Travel. She works for Columbus since 1997. Luisa speaks English and Spanish.

Academic Area

Sandra Quishpe
She’s our Academic Director; responsible for organizing students’ schedules, the weekly activities, as well as organizing and preparing the educational material for the students. Sandra also coordinates monthly meetings with the teachers in order to evaluate and be able to improve their capabilities. She loves to be in touch with students and be sure they are learning much Spanish and fulfilling their goals.

Read the letter from our Academic Director

Sofia Valdivieso
Administrative Director and Salesperson for all locations (Quito, Cuenca, Amazon and Coast). She will answer all new registrations and e-mails from prospective students, and will reply quickly to all queries. Sofia organizes your program, taking into account all your needs, level of Spanish, length of stay, type of accommodation, etc and will send useful information that you can't miss before your arrival. Don't' hesitate to tell her about all you are looking for!

Daniela Boada
She's our Student Coordinator and organizes Online lessons. Very friendly and out-going, loves to be in contact with students. She sends a Welcoming Package and tips for arriving students, and also receive payments and prepare the invoices. Daniela also gives information to clients that visit the school directly; always ready to hear about your expectations, goals, how you are doing in class and homestay, and help in any way possible.

Operations Department

Xavier Proaño
Is the first person you will meet! Xavier always offers a friendly smile, which you will see when he picks you up at the airport and takes you to the place you will be staying at.

Marketing Department

Juan Carcelen
Juan is in charge of the working with the corporate image, web design and advertising for company. He has a graduate degree in Communications and Advertising from University of the Americas and has also completed course studies in New Technologies of Communication at Andina University in Quito. He speaks English.

Kathryn Beckwith
Born in New Hampshire and raised in the state of Maine, Kathryn completed her BA in Environment Recreation and Tourism at the University of Maine at Machias in 2008. Most of her experience has been working in the environment practicing conservation in State Parks or working at summer camps as Assistant Program Director or Head Program Director focusing on program development and eco-tourism and conservation. After graduating, Kathryn moved to Quito, Ecuador, where she is now Head of Business Development, as well as Social Media Marketing and Social Networking for Columbus Travel Group. English is her native language, though she also speaks Spanish and French.

Andrés Trujillo
Andrés studied at the Metropolitan Institute of Design with a degree in Multi-Media Design and focuses mainly on projects which involve audiovisuals that include web, video, animation and illustration. Andrés has also completed other media courses at CIESPAL, and applies these studies in the Marketing Department for Columbus Travel, Simon Bolivar and the Simon Bolivar Fundation. Andrés also acts as Web Coordinator on specific sites.

Finance Department

Ximena Almeida
Ximena studied accounting and audit at Universidad Tecnologica Equinoccial (UTE). She's in charge of the income of all the companies.

Nancy Alencastro
Nancy got a Commercial Engineering degree in Business Administration at the Polytechnic Xaverian School of Ecuador. She began working for the company in June of 2011. Her functions include managing hotel invoices, issuing checks, managing Human Resources and Sales budgets, and overseeing transfers, honorary payments, and commissions.

Marylin Brito
Marylin completed her degree in two years at Ecuador’s Central University and is currently working in Accounting, serving as an Assistant in Finance and Assistant Accountant for Columbus Travel Group.

Human Resources

Gabriela Diaz

Gabriela is a very nice lady who always has a smile on her face.  She does a fantastic job of making the classrooms a relaxing and nice, clean place to study.

Guillermo Calderón
He kindly helps us in whatever we need him to do. He knows how to fix almost everything and make a lot of chores at the bank; this is why he is very important for the school. A very nice man always willing to help and do anything to please the staff and the students.

Systems Department

Luis Avalos

Luis graduated from the ESPOCH with a degree in Computer Applied. He works at Columbus Group in web development. He is also responsible for the preventive and corrective maintenance of computers.

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