Welcoming Solimar International’s Spring 2021 Intern Cohort

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies around the world to reevaluate their structure and ramp up their virtual skillsets and knowhow. As a result, Solimar International has used these newfound techniques to build out its Virtual Sustainable Tourism Internship Program and create a fully remote program where aspiring sustainable tourism practitioners from all over the world can work closely with our staff and contribute to our many projects. For the Spring 2021 semester, we are proud to introduce a diverse and creative cohort that comes to us from four different countries. These bright young-minds will play a pivotal role in Solimar’s projects based in Southern Tanzania, The Republic of Georgia, Timor-LesteTobago, and here in the United States along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

Anastasia Vepkhvadze

Anastasia is finishing up her final semester at American University, where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and a Spanish Translation certification. Anastasia was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. In addition to her first language of Georgian, Anastasia speaks English, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic. Anastasia loves to travel and explore new cultures, and she spent an incredible semester studying abroad in Rabat, Morocco. She is interested in exploring careers in international development and peace and global conflict resolution. She is excited to learn more about sustainable tourism and gain real world experience in the field.


Mason Meadows

Mason is a graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in Public Relations. Prior to joining the Solimar International team, Mason lived in Australia where he spent his winters working alongside the indigenous Jawoyn People at Nitmiluk National Park, and his summers living in the city of Melbourne and backpacking Southeast Asia. Previously, Mason served as Sponsorship Coordinator for the international nonprofit Children of Uganda, and as an AmeriCorps NCCC Team Leader based in Denver, Colorado. Mason is a passionate thrifter, avid adventurer, and strong believer in the power of using sustainable practices to minimize negative environmental, economic and cultural impacts. Mason plans to use his experience with Solimar International as a stepping stone towards a career in Ecotourism.


Nino Chkhaberidze

Nino is passionate about travel and believes that sharing culture and creating new connections makes life better. Therefore, she is determined to further spread the idea of sustainable tourism and see how tourism changes in this digital world. Last year, Nino started a project Sight Georgia to share the information through a website about travel and culture in Georgia in hopes of inspiring people to travel in Georgia and discover amazing spots, heartwarming hospitality and experience unforgettable moments. Previously, she has been working as an event manager and a project coordinator for several years in the tourism industry with experience in marketing. She was also a travel consultant for Swiss travel agency for 5 years. Nino holds a BSc in Social Science and Governance and is currently an Orange Knowledge Program fellow doing master studies in Tourism, Society and Environment at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Marco Ramazzotti

Marco is at his last semester of the Master’s in Tourism within the Global Tourism Development track at Aalborg University in Copenhagen, Denmark. Originally from a small town in central Italy, he moved to Denmark right after high school to pursue his dream studies. Marco has always been interested in venturing out his comfort zone and in learning new cultures thus, he spent every bit of free time travelling around Europe and ended up deciding to spend a semester in Barcelona, Spain where he deepened his knowledge of the Spanish language and culture. Sustainability in tourism development has become a great interest of his and he hopes to build a career supporting destinations worldwide in their effort to become more sustainable.


Cailey Heffley

Cailey is a graduate of the University of Limerick with a masters degree in International Tourism. She also holds an undergraduate degree from the State University of New York College at Geneseo in International Relations and Geography. Her love of travel and adventure led her to work on small expedition ships after college, sailing everywhere from Alaska to Antarctica. Following graduate school she pursued this passion for outdoor travel and began working in field operations for an active travel company. This work allowed her to experience life in some of the world’s leading tourist destinations including Jackson Hole, Hawaii, and the South of France. While she relishes her nomadic lifestyle she always finds her way back home to Upstate New York where she spends most of her time eating and working at her family’s restaurant. She is looking to blend her experiences in hospitality, operations, development, and outdoor recreation to help destinations make tourism work for both the environment and the local community.

Hannah Garland

Hannah is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. While studying at Pitt, Hannah earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication along with a minor in History and a certificate in Spanish. Hannah enjoys traveling and being outdoors. She has been to many National and State Parks within the US, as well as in Ireland, Italy, and Canada. While in Ireland, Hannah experienced her first taste of Geotourism and is looking forward to furthering her knowledge of the intricacies of Geotourism.



Shelby Amato

Shelby is a senior at George Washington University with a degree in International Affairs. Shelby is originally from Lexington, Kentucky where she discovered her passion for environmental sustainability and social justice. Prior to joining the Solimar International team, Shelby has worked with nonprofits, including Sister Cities International and Feeding Kentucky, and as a research assistant on projects pertaining to gender and climate resilience.
Shelby plans to pursue environmental law and use her experience with Solimar International as an important step toward a career in equitable international development.


Daniela Mastronardi

Daniela is a junior at The George Washington University pursuing a degree in International Affairs, with minors in Geography and Italian Language and Literature. She is excited to gain valuable experience in tourism development, as this internship ties together two of her greatest passions: travel and sustainable development. Daniela is eager to learn more about how tourism can promote a better livelihood for local communities and hopes, in the future, to pursue a career in development consulting.



Amina Abrafi Ahmed

Abrafi is currently a graduate student studying Tourism Administration with a concentration in Sustainable Tourism at the George Washington University.  Her enthusiasm to develop tourism began in her final year when she was working on my thesis in her first degree.  It revealed that tourism is important and needs to be built into a developing nation’s industry. Prior to her masters, Abrafi ran a consultancy with a team who shared in the vision of improving tourist’s experience and sparking innovation to sustain and promote tourism in Africa. She looks forward to being a sustainable tourism expert and running a tourism institution in Africa that will train young people to master the intricacies of tourism development and train them to be entrepreneurs in the tourism industry. She believes that her experience with Solimar International is going to be a perfect fit in her career journey of being an expert in the tourism industry.

Maddy Hraber

Maddy is currently a sophomore at George Washington University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Public Health as well as a minor in sustainability. I am originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and love my city, so I’m very interested in learning more about how to attract people to great places like Pittsburgh! In the past I have been involved in laboratory research and various volunteer experiences, so I am excited to develop some consulting skills and learn more about business strategies. I hope to study abroad in my upcoming undergraduate years and fully pursue my love for traveling, and I’m anxious to learn all about what sustainable tourism has to offer!


Mehak Chadha

Mehak is a senior at American University pursuing degrees in International Relations and International Business with concentrations in international political economy, global health and environmental sustainability. At American University, Mehak explores her passion for advocating for others through her role as Director of the university’s Center for Advocacy and Student Equity, where she leads a team of 35 students to provide confidential consultations to students facing potential code violations and understanding university policies and procedures, alongside engaging in several advocacy initiatives to strengthen the student voice. Mehak also has a strong background in public relations and digital media through her previous internship at the Optical Society of America and the CORE Group. In addition to her experience in communications, Mehak  has also served as the Assistant Head Delegate for American University’s Model United Nations Team, where she was responsible for coaching delegates to compete in simulations and tackle current international issues. She also assisted delegates in conducting research and developing policy ideas, gathering knowledge of how to craft solutions in multiple realms of international affairs along the way.

Stephanie Romero

Stephanie RomeroStephanie is currently a senior at the University of Missouri, Columbia pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Parks, Recreation, Sport and Tourism with an emphasis in Tourism Development. Originally from Los Angeles, California, Stephanie actually started out with a career in teaching kindergarten. After realizing she could contribute to public service in a different way, Stephanie uprooted her life to pursue a degree in tourism, as travel has been a lifelong love of hers. Through road trips across state lines and country borders, Stephanie has gotten to know some of the oddest and charming destinations that most have never even imagined. With sustainable tourism, Stephanie hopes to bring what experience she’s gained as an educator to inform others about the merits of traveling outside their comfort zone, while shining a light on more deserving obscure destinations.

Feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] if you are interested in joining our Summer 2021 Internship Cohort.

“We rely confidently on Solimar's deep technical experience and professionalism as tourism consultants. You always are exceeding our expectations.”
Leila Calnan, Senior Manager, Tourism Services Cardno Emerging Markets

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