Galapagos Safari Camp was built out of passion. Michael and Stephanie Mesdag stumbled on the property while visiting the islands. They gave up life in Europe to build a dream conceived while up a tree admiring the mesmerizing views where the lodge now sits. Galapagos Safari Camp reflects their love of travel and encapsulates their concept of aesthetic harmony with nature.
Every detail at the camp has a personal touch and every element has a history. Our energetic team is the soul of the operation. With Katrien at the helm in Galapagos we are able to deliver what we offer, an unsurpassed sense of care and nurturing.
Michael’s first visit to the Galapagos Islands led him to explore the very last farm on Santa Cruz Island, where he determined that setting up Galapagos Safari Camp was worth exchanging for his life and business in Andalucía. Born in Spain to Dutch parents, educated in England and graduated in the US, Michael’s love for nature and adventure has found a free rein here, where he is involved in several agricultural projects that go hand-in-hand with his vision of sustainability.
Brought up in Ecuador and England, Stephanie has lived, studied and worked in over 20 countries. She exchanged wanderlust for a decade-long love affair with the Galapagos, where Michael’s and her children were born. After years living out of a suitcase, Stephanie committed to making Galapagos Safari Camp an authentic experience that brings guests up close and personal with nature, rather than being another predictable hotel.
As Head of Sales for GSC, Belen thoroughly enjoys travelling, and she welcomes new experiences. Born and raised in Quito, she studied finance before beginning a career in tourism. She now has a Masters degree in the Management of Protected Areas, and GSC has given her a wonderful opportunity to grow professionally. Belén works with Daniela Morales who assists us with the booking process, adding extreme patience and charm to the mix!
Katrien has been the Hotel Manager of Galapagos Safari Camp since June 2010. She is responsible for the development, implementation, coordination, and supervision of all accommodations, catering, and other hotel services. Her tourism career began in 2000 as an International Tourism Consultant in Belgium and abroad. Eight years later, she made the decision to move to Ecuador, where she became General Manager for a local hotel chain. Two years later the opportunity arose to manage Galapagos Safari Camp and since then we are proud to be the leaders of client service in the Galapagos with remarkable records of client satisfaction.
And of course Galapagos Safari Camp would be nothing without the loyal support of its housekeeping, kitchen, maintenance, farm, and supportive administrative staff.
Juan Sebastian Galarza
Sebastian is our head chef. He started his career 13 years ago specializing abroad in Mediterranean cuisine. He then returned to Quito to further his studies in restaurant and bar administration. He was involved in a project of Ecuadorian vegetarian cuisine and has participated in several master classes achieving prizes in Ecuador and Mexico as well as gained experience working alongside top chefs in the country. Sebastian is a creative young chef who caters for our guests with passion and innovation. Paula Díaz is our sous-chef and she will delight you with her delicious desserts and beautiful smile. Santiago Soledispa is our chief cocktail maker and is being groomed by Katrien to fill in the shoes of a world class Maitre d’
Amparo joined GSC to assist with Business Development and she now manages the Quito office. Born in Quito, she studied ecology and tourism before embarking on a career in tourism. She has worked for tour operators, developing packages and itineraries, as well as managing costs and budgets. Her goal is to design improved standards to facilitate work in Quito as well as in Galapagos for the company. She has traveled extensively throughout Ecuador and is familiar with all the country's attractions. Amparo works with Paulina Torres who heads the accounting department and runs a tight ship!
Karina is Head of Operations at GSC. She studied tourism and ecology at the Catholic University of Ecuador. She has been involved with tourism for the past 15 years, specializing in Galapagos. She loves to travel, enjoys nature and is particularly keen in watersports and diving. She is proud of her country and is passionate about using her knowledge to create memorable operations for guests visiting the Galapagos with us. Cynthia Valverde and Katiuska Romero assist her with the smooth delivery of logistics and operations.