People on the Ground

Our first-rate Expedition Leaders and knowledgeable In-Country Agents are there to guide you through your expedition

Wherever your World Challenge takes you, we make sure your team has all the support you need on the ground. 

Expedition Leaders

Every group is accompanied on expedition by a World Challenge Expedition Leader. We pride ourselves on attracting the best in the industry, selecting candidates based on their qualifications, experience of working with young people and familiarity with travelling in the developing world. New Expedition Leaders are put through our rigorous four-day training and assessment process so we can identify which type of expedition they are most suited to. All leaders attend our Expedition Preparation Conference or receive an in-depth one-to-one briefing from the Expedition Planning Manager before setting off on a trip. They also have access to a range of Continuing Professional Development courses to help them develop their skills.

Guiding teams to personal growth

The Expedition Leader helps your team get the most out of the experience. Safety is paramount and they help team members to make sensible and considered decisions by educating them on how to assess and manage risk. The Expedition Leader also helps Challengers develop key skills such as leadership, communication, independence and problem solving. Don’t expect them to tell the team all the answers or sort out all of the problems they face; instead Expedition Leaders aim to get the team to take ownership of the expedition and help them to come up with ways of overcoming challenges themselves.

Paul Lewis, MIC

Paul holds the Mountain Instructor Certificate, the UK’s highest mountaineering qualification, and has been working with World Challenge since 2008 when he led his first expedition with us to Southern Tanzania. By the end of 2015 Paul will have led nine expeditions for World Challenge and, being a mountain man, this has included journeys to the summits of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Kang Yatze in Northern India. Paul also instructs on a number of our Continuing Professional Development modules, first aid courses, Potential Leader courses and has been involved in delivering local guide training in South America. Away from all of his work with World Challenge, Paul also runs a successful outdoor company based in the Peak District.

If you have the skills, experience and attitude, why not   apply   to become an Expedition Leader?


In-Country Agents

In each of our destinations we employ an In-Country Agent with in-depth knowledge and extensive contacts throughout their country. An agent is available to support your team 24-hrs a day while you are on expedition. Most agents aim to meet all teams soon after arrival to help with any initial queries and can offer lots of useful tips and information to help the team get off to a good start. Our In-Country Agents can also advise Expedition Leaders on any specific cultural differences and security information.
We aim to bring each agent to the UK once every two to three years for additional training and to give school teachers and Expedition Leaders the opportunity to learn about their destinations and itineraries first hand from their In-Country Agent at the Expedition Preparation Conferences. 
It was great to meet the Laos In-Country Agent and although we didn't contact him, his initial advice at the EPC was very helpful and valuable. So a big thanks to him for coming over.
Cambodia and Laos, 2013

Maria Gracia Moran Quiñones – Peru

Maria is based in Lima, Peru and has been working with World Challenge since 2006. She has travelled widely in Europe and South America and speaks both Spanish and English fluently. Maria’s working life is centred on the development of sustainable tourism and she delivers lectures to university students in Lima on this subject. Maria regularly visits the UK to attend our In-Country Agent training week and Expedition Preparation Conferences. Maria has an extensive network of contacts in Peru and works with World Challenge to help plan exciting and fulfilling itineraries. And of course, she helps us deal with any issues that arise with teams on the ground. 


During our main seasons, World Challenge places extra members of staff in strategic locations across the world. These ‘Hubs’ provide an enhanced level of support for teams and agents where we have the highest volume of Challengers. Typically, Hubs will look after any sick Challengers, step in to balance adult and gender ratios if a team need to split, give teams tips and advice, provide an extra layer of emotional support for teachers, carry out spot-checks on providers and attend to anything else that teams may need while in country. 
In 2013 we had Hubs in Marrakech (Morocco), Cusco (Peru) and Bangkok (Thailand). Our Hub in Peru was able to transfer to Venezuela towards the end of our expedition season to help support a Challenger who needed to undergo medical tests over a number of days before eventually being repatriated. Our Hub was in constant communication with our Operations Centre who were able to relay regular updates to the parents and provide them with peace of mind. The Challenger was successfully repatriated to the UK under the supervision of a medical chaperone provided by FirstAssist and the World Challenge Hub.

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