By definition, universal means “affecting or done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group.” It’s one thing to claim that a company is “universal”. It’s a completely different thing when it is actually true.
It’s always interesting to meet people from all walks of life and nationalities, and even more fun when you get the chance to work with them! Here at Canadian Outback Rafting, we have a very diverse group of employees. We have guides from New Zealand, Argentina, Holland, and even places closer to home like America.
Working in the tourism industry, we have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world every single day, and I think that it’s great that our guests also get to share a similar experience. Let’s take a quick glimpse at all of the different countries our guides come from:
Mariano, our resident Casanova and van lifer, comes from a long line of river rafters.
His family owns their own river rafting company in Argentina, so be sure to check them out if you are ever visiting there.
Not only is he talented at guiding a boat, but he is also an excellent swimmer. Although he has never worked in the retail industry Mariano has a real knack for folding clothing. His charming accent and sense of humour will have you laughing the whole way down the river!
Kevin hails from a little known place called California. After following a girl to Canada he figured out our country wasn’t so bad, and the girl wasn’t too shabby either. When Kevin isn’t driving our Vancouver shuttles or trip leading, he is the number one expert on getting our buses to run on stoke. Whenever they are a bit low just call Kevin and he’ll fill them right up. He is also our Master Dunker, a specialist in cleaning wetsuits. No one gets them quite as sparkling as he does. Kevin is also working on his thesis paper for his master’s degree titled, “The Effects of Scented Candles on The Brain in Relation To Third World Countries”.
Ben is our crazy loud Aussie, who is always up for an adventure. You will find him walking around base belting out his favourite song, “American Pie”, enjoying the views of our base wildlife, like eagles, worms, and other van lifers, and preparing extravagant dinners from his trunk! Ben is our professional overnight guide, making sure everyone is well-fed and having a “mad time”. He loves guiding because he gets to meet new people every day and enjoys having a “good yarn”!
Growing up on a penguin and sheep farm, the Squamish Valley is a whole new experience for Theo. Having finally left the small farm, this wide-eyed youngster is amazed by everything. The first time he saw indoor plumbing he wouldn’t stop talking about it. When not on the water, Theo spends all of his day wine tasting, herding donkeys, and doing standup comedy. There really is nothing that Theo can’t do. It’s all chill.
Steven stays energized for his role by hydrating with Coca Cola, so much so we can’t believe he isn’t sponsored yet. (@Coke)
Taking laps down the river isn’t Steven’s only talent. He is also a GoPro uploader extraordinaire and can clap with one hand. He is easily spotted on our base. Just look for a pair of fluorescent short shorts, or his adorable white dog, Fara.
Our Expedition Expert Leon was birthed in the wild outback of Tasmania. Rumour has it that he is the secret son of Bear Grylls. Leon prefers to stick to his rustic roots and avoid new technology, like sliced bread, and wheels. He says hammocks, fire, the great outdoors, and good company are all you need! His upbeat energy and Rastafarian exterior are guaranteed to provide you with a party down the river.
Born and raised in England, Joel’s fair skin and sensitive eyes had to adjust to our “Always Sunny Squamish”. After experiencing his first tan Joel became quickly addicted to the outdoor lifestyle. A jack of all trades at our base, you will find Joel driving, kayaking and guiding our 2-day trips. In his free time, Joel keeps busy with competitive charades and making homemade ramen, because the store-bought just isn’t the same.
King of the double Cheakamus Splash, Marijn runs like the energizer bunny! As a rare house dweller, he has the advantage of a good night’s sleep and a fully stocked fridge to keep him going. In his free time, Marjin likes to seek quiet with his watercolours and paint windmills from his hometown. Once our summer season ends, Marijn’s deep passion and commitment to ensuring that everyone knows that Bald Eagles aren’t really bald, keeps him in the Squamish area. You can find him hosting our Eagle Viewing tours all winter long!
In the right-hand corner, weighing in at only 100 lbs, we have Martina! Do not let her tiny structure fool you. Her strength and agility rival many members of our team. Martina has spent many years travelling the world and experiencing new cultures. A walking Google translate, she can speak over 6 languages, so be sure to put her to the test if you have her as your guide! When she is not guiding on the water, you can find her in the mountains skiing or climbing. She also makes a wicked casserole.
Although he was born and spent most of his life in England, Danny spent a few years living in Ireland on a potato farm with his 8 siblings. Growing up with so many kids, and relying on their own creativity for entertainment has made Danny into the great Outback Kids leader he is today! When he isn’t teaching our youth groups to build fires or carry car tires, you can find him kayaking nearby waterfalls!
Make sure to bring your sunnies when you’ve got Jacob as your guide because his pearly whites are always on full blast! This exuberant Kiwi will have you entertained no matter what trip you are on. Jacob was not always a charismatic character. He was once a quiet and composed ballet dancer. His change in career came after discovering the art of rafting on a family trip to the Caribbean. But not to worry, Jacob has brought the two art forms together and can even teach you how to spin the raft.
While JC’s origin is unclear, we do know that after arriving in California during a wild desert sandstorm she swore to avoid the dry desert land and live the rest of her life out on the water. She now works in unison with mother nature, tackling giant white waves in a large yellow tube. If you don’t see JC out on the water, you will be sure to find her rallying our guides around the base and teaching little-known secrets of the river.
Due to his quiet demeanor your first observation about Jeremy may not be his hilarious sense of humour. But we promise you, he is funny. His passion for aquatic life is what first introduced Jeremy to the rafting community. Hoping to become closer to the river and its bursting life, he sought out rafting trips all over the world. After discovering he could capture marine life through the lens of a camera, he became our full-time bus driver and photographer. He now captures the excitement of others as they witness flying fish, bathing brown bears, and diving seals.
And of course, we have a number of Canadian guides that we love and hope to introduce to you one day. So, even though our countries may be different, and the river’s we run may flow in alternate ways, we can guarantee that you will meet someone new, from a place you didn’t think you would, who may teach you something you didn’t know.
Working for a company that is so inclusive of different nationalities is amazing. It makes meeting new people and making new lifelong friends that much easier! Whether you are a local or have travelled from far and wide, we would love to meet you and take you on the adventure of a lifetime!