Andres Aray

on August 6 | in | | with No Comments

andres“Roamer, wanderer, nomad, vagabond; call me what you will…” James Hetfield.

For every adventure there is a beginning, and after you take the first step the world opens to you. A statement that has even more meaning when I think of all the opportunities at Les Roches.

Certain important events led me to embark on this adventure. I was born June 23rd, 1982 in Guayaquil, Ecuador. A city regarded as the “Pearl of the Pacific”. A metropolis on the rise and it caters to many international tourists. From an early age, traces of hospitality and proper service were beginning to mold me, as I was selected to be part of a school committee to create attractions, science fairs and manage special events requiring someone with a sense of style and decorum.

When I got a chance to go to Switzerland to further my education, life had different plans for me. On July 10th, 2001 I suffered a heart attack that left me with a debilitating arrhythmia for years to come, prohibiting me from travel. While the news was devastating I decided not to give up. I continued my career, and in the course of five years of higher education and medical checkups, I obtained my Associate Degree in Tourism with accolades and with mention in Hotel, Bars & Restaurant Administration as well. A diploma that had me trek through all of Ecuador, learning more about traditional and modern tourism, ecotourism and ways to give back to the community. Also, I took part in the International Tourism Fair Ecuador (FITE in Spanish), organized by the Ministry of Tourism. I also contributed to monthly expos showcasing the best from each class.

Life after that was rewarding financially. With the creation of my first business (an insurance company) and working alongside my family, I felt that there was still more for me to do. A challenge that I could never take before and a promise not fulfilled, the sensation of still proving myself and knowing that there can be something else to broaden my horizons. So in 2009, I sold my shares of the company, left my apartment and decided to start from scratch in Les Roches, to finally take on the challenge of the world, and prove that I can come out on top.

Despite the setbacks, problems, and discouraging attempts from non-believers, I found a new universe opening in front of me. To learn from some of the best in the industry validated my decision. Each day offered a new adventure for me, not only from the faculty but from fellow friends and classmates as well. As students introduced new cultures to me I became eager to learn more. Les Roches offered not only the chance to learn from the best, but to also transfer to different parts of the globe to learn more about the world. After completing year one in Bluche, I decided to transfer to Shanghai for the remainder of my academic studies. The ability to transfer between campuses was perfect as each campus presents new prospects, new adventures and most importantly new friends. I finally achieved my Diploma in International Hotel Administration with accolades, including class valedictorian, class representative for years 2 and 3 and a work opportunity to be part of one of the best restaurants in the world.

It was this same career that took me to Switzerland, The Caribbean and China. I will always be grateful for my educational experience at Les Roches. Now I am part of the Professional Hoteliers Association of Ecuador representing Manta, a long term project for a resort.

Finally, I will always know that wherever the road leads me, the words “It’s not a school, It’s a way of life” will always define me, and continue to define those who decide to take that first step, leaving good memories wherever the road take us.

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