We are a small team consisting of two Peruvian gentlemen (Gilder and Victor) and a Belgian woman (Stefanie). Co-founder Gilder and his cousin Victor are the main guides. Stefanie is responsible for organization and administration.
Responsible for organization and administration
Stefanie Van Erps studied to become a primary school teacher at the Erasmus University College in Jette, Belgium. She has been teaching since January 2007, mainly in special primary education for children with speech and language problems and children with autistic spectrum disorder. She combined work and study in 2009 and obtained an additional Bachelor’s degree in Special Education. After a couple of years working in Belgium, Stefanie decided to go and teach abroad. She followed a postgraduate course on North-South Relations and Development Cooperation in Kortrijk.
Afterwards, she went to Peru to work in an educational project in Cusco, which is where she met her future husband, Gilder. Following him back to his roots, she discovered the town of Curahuasi, south of Machu Picchu, where she founded the educational project Oye LENA and co-founded the travel agency Casa Lena with her husband. Together they have two children: Sofia and Elliot.
Gilder & Victor
Gilder was born and raised in Cconoc, a small place located on the Apurimac river banks about 30 minutes away from Curahuasi and known for its natural hot springs. Growing up along the grand Apurimac, Gilder and his cousins Victor and Cesar fell in love with the river. When they were 16 years old, they had to stand on their own feet and decided to follow a training to become certified raft guides in Cusco. Since that day they worked together as raft guides for almost 10 years, becoming the best team of the country.
They became members of the “Peruvian Class V Rafting Guides Association” and followed many courses in first aid and White Water Rescue by both national and international entities. During this time, they also spent many seasons working in Norway, Chile and Argentina. In 2013, Victor and Gilder moved back to their hometown Curahuasi to settle down after many adventurous years. Gilder dedicates all his time to the projects Oye LENA and Casa LENA, offering many outdoor activities to tourists. When Victor is not working at Casa Lena he guides for other agencies in Cusco and runs a small company organizing events together with his wife.