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Eco trip: Alumnus creates sustainable travel company

February 16, 2017 12:30 PM
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As the founder of Gondwana Ecotours, Tulane Law School alumnus Jared Sternberg coordinates adventures around the globe. (Photo provided by Jordan Schoonover)

 

Whether your ideal vacation involves spotting pink river dolphins from a corner of the Amazon rainforest, gorilla trekking in Rwanda or gazing up at the awe-inspiring Aurora Borealis in Alaska, Gondwana Ecotours can be your global guide to extraordinary remote destinations. Founded by Tulane University Law School alumnus Jared Sternberg, the New Orleans based company provides sustainable travel through its curated itineraries.

Sternberg’s passion for travel stemmed from family trips he embarked on while in high school.

“Seeing other parts of the world — both beautiful and impoverished places — opened my eyes. It lit a fire in me to see more,” said Sternberg.

“We offer a very intimate, educational experience that you can’t get on your own or with another company.”

— Jared Sternberg, founder of Gondwana Ecotours

During his last year of law school, the 2013 graduate began planning small group adventures, and his business organically grew from there.

Named for the ancient landmass that was once part of the Pangaea supercontinent, Gondwana currently offers seven trips spanning across three continents.

“The name jumped out at me. I liked the idea of bringing people and places back together again,” he said.

The ecotours provide a unique experience for the traveler while benefiting locals who call the destinations home.

Sternberg donates about 10 percent of the tour profits back into the communities visited. He also collaborates with nonprofit groups, works with locally owned and eco-friendly hotels and pays carbon offsets for guests’ flights.

“We offer a very intimate, educational experience that you can’t get on your own or with another company,” said Sternberg.

The Alaskan Northern Lights expedition is Sternberg’s most popular trip, as guests are invited to stay at an off-the-grid homestead near Fairbanks, Alaska. During their stay, they can learn to dogsled with a team of rescue dogs, walk with reindeer, take a dip in a hot spring and even learn the sport of curling.

To Tulane students hoping to launch careers as entrepreneurs, Sternberg offers this advice: “Know what you want, and don’t give up. Also, work backwards. Ask yourself: where do I want to be, and how will I get there?”

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