More Local - About Us
More Local is part of an experiential travel initiative founded in 2009 under the name LARGE minority. It is a personal dream carefully crafted by two Colombians and a Kenyan who are passionate about local travel. Having traveled and worked in different corners of the globe, we decided it was time to bring our travel expertise home.
Our idea has always been to leave a positive mark everywhere we operate, therefore we incorporate responsible travel initiatives in everything we do. In Asia, we have already planted over 750 fruit trees at local schools, donated organic water filters to IDP´s, funded educational and environmental school projects, and much more. In Colombia we have continued with our responsible travel philosophy and are already contributing towards a reforestation program in Antioquia & Nariño and a social project in the Colombian Amazon. And now, we want to share our passion for Colombia with you.
Annemone Hmielorz - Travel Expert(German)
Discover Colombia in the company of an inspiring travel aficionada.
Annemone first set foot in Colombia in 1999 as a volunteer for the ICYE program. Besides learning Spanish, she traveled extensively through the country and gained great local knowledge of Colombia’s political situation and its unique culture. Overwhelmed by the friendliness of its people, Annemone is now committed to carry on learning about this diverse nation.
Our Berlin native studied both Geography and Global Change Management in Germany, and since then has traveled extensively through Latin America and Africa.
In Colombia Annemone has great local knowledge of places like Villa de Leyva, Quindio, Mariquita, Guajira, Amazon, Rioacha, Tayrona, Santa Marta, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Baru, Medellin, Ibague, San Agustin, Cali and Pasto.
Her top trip: Villa de Leyva.
Career highlight: Design & implementation of a community-based educational nature trail, Dominican Republic.
Michael Coppinger - Travel Expert (Kenyan)
Michael is our number 2 Kenyan connection, brought up on the coast at Mombasa. He has always admired the approach More Local and Large Minority have taken to travel - everyone is a winner!
After working in the fast paced London world for a couple of years, he went on to capture and experience the love that south East Asia has to offer. There was no holding him back when this opportunity to work with More Local in Colombia came along. He brings a Business degree from Cardiff, Wales as well as 2 years trading experience.
His favorite experience:The Altiplano.
Outstanding Moment: Motorbike Safari around Laos.
Previous employers: Sporting Index (London) Remote Africa Safaris (Zambia).
Julian Carnall - Co-founder & Director BDM (Kenyan)
Our Kenyan legend has the job of setting out into the wide, blue yonder and hunting for destinations. We think of him as an improved version of McGyver, because he is the most resourceful handy-man around. Julian has a Swiss BA degree in International Hospitality and Event Management and has worked in tourism and events in countries such as; France, U.A.E, Switzerland, Kenya, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.
He co-founded LARGE minority in 2009.
His favorite excursion: The Amazon.
Previous employers: The Emirates Group (UAE), NH Hotels (Switzerland), Royal Parc Evian (France).
Career highlight: Looking after the G8 delegation in Evian, France.
Juan C. Pena - Director the Americas (Colombian)
After living abroad in places like New Zealand, USA, Switzerland & UK, completing a BA degree in Hospitality Management and a Masters in Finance - JCP decided to bring his extensive travel knowledge back home. With almost 10 years of experience in the world of international travel and hotel management, JCP is a true ambassador of Colombian hospitality.
He is an exceptional cook and a real "hands-on" character who will always deliver at the highest standards. Passionate about his country, he is determined to improve the image of Colombia, and what better way to do it than through our travel initiatives in the Americas, which he now leads.
His top experience: The Coffee Region.
Previous employers: Loews Hotels (USA), Hotel Santa Clara (Colombia), Rydges Hotels (New Zealand).
Career highlight: Taking care of the Spanish Royal family in Cartagena, Colombia.
Juan P. Goicochea - Co-founder & Managing Director (Colombian)
The instigator and visionary behind the inspiring LARGE minority escapade, he’s notched just under a decade in the travel aficionado trade. Juan has a Swiss BA degree in International Hospitality and Event Management (First Class Honours) and has been a guest lecturer at various universities around the world. He has worked in world-class events and tourism projects in countries such as Cambodia, South Africa, U.S.A, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland and U.A.E.
His number 1 trip: Guasca.
Previous employers: The Emirates Group (UAE), MTN Global Communications (SA), The Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts (USA), Hotel de la Paix (Switzerland).
Hangouts: Destination Accelerator.
Career highlight: Handling logistics at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Joburg, South Africa.