If you're a leader, a fellow that other fellows look to, you've got to keep going.
PEOPLE PART OF
“As my dad always used to say if you want doors to open, you have to push them open”
- Stephanie Wunsch, Destination Manager, Sales & Communications
Stephanie Wunsch, Destination Manager, Sales & Communications
Stephanie was born in the United States and grew up in Mexico. As young girl she developed a passion for wildlife, nature, travel and business. As an adult she moved back to North America and graduated at the top of her class. She quickly learned that life is about working hard and making smart decisions. “As my dad always used to say if you want doors to open, you have to push them open”. Over the next decade she accumulated a world of experience living in 4 different countries, and becoming a successful manager directing various corporations. Having now lived in Chile for 6 years she has taken on the role of Destination Manager for Mari Mari, overseeing all sales and communications. “What motivates me every day, is the idea of making a client dreams a reality”. “To me, there is no detail that is too small or challenge that is too big.”
Daniel Almonacid, Director of traffic, Entertainment and Guides
“My first childhood memories are of riding on horseback with my mother.” Years later, his mother would teach Daniel to ride. Growing up in the small coastal town of Maullin, an area of dense forests and expansive wetlands, naturally influenced his favourite pastimes. He would spend his time climbing trees, leaping from boat to boat in the dock, fishing, and building rafts. Ten years later, during a student internship in Canada, it dawned on him that there was a career to be made doing those things he enjoyed so much (and a very nice way to make a living). Once back in Chile, he commenced his studies and also started working as a guide. The experience gained in some of the most beautiful places in the country together with the hundreds of hours spent with travellers from all over the world, have prepared him for a project like Mari Mari. “It gives me such a buzz to see how guests experience the same sense of wonder as my childhood self in this very same corner of the country.”
“I was lucky enough to grow up in the countryside”
- Macarena Zapata, Head Guide
Macarena Zapata, Head Guide
A guide for some twelve years, Macarena’s interest in nature began much earlier than that. “I was lucky enough to grow up in the countryside, where my grandparents passed down to me the same key lessons I share today with guests on each of my excursions”. For Macarena, that could mean something as simple as identifying edible fruits or describing the basic properties of plants, or perhaps the more complex matter of the role each species plays within the ecosystem and how they manage to adapt and evolve according to the conditions of each area.
“Today, I’m back in the place that gave me so much”
- Daniela Flores, Executive Chef
Daniela Flores, Executive Chef
My first experiences in a kitchen were as a mere spectator, watching my mother and grandmother prepare simple dishes. Each one created with love. I never imagined I’d end up cooking professionally, but the writing was on the wall from a very early age. Many years have passed since, and with them experiences, knowledge, and friendships. Today, I’m back in the place that gave me so much and now is the time to show my appreciation. I worked for nine years at The Cliffs Preserve, which was my home, my school, and my family. My mission to set off in search of new experiences brought with it the most beautiful of all; meeting my soul mate and giving birth to our son, Manu. He brought us closer to the world of the Mapuches, as his birth was a traditional Mapuche-Huilliche ceremony. Today, we belong to a Mapuche community in Puerto Octay and my outlook on life has changed. I feel the need to show the world how wonderfully noble our Mapuche culture is and to extol the virtues of its cuisine and its medicine. It was a wonderful to return to this special place and join the Mari Mari family. I feel eternally grateful, not just for being able to do what I love for a living and having the opportunity to spread our culture and its wisdom, but also for everything this land gives me every single day.
“I started mixing pisco with various fruits, vegetables, and spices ”
- Luis Cerda, Maitre
Luis Cerda, Maitre
It was when I chose to pursue a career in Tourism and Hospitality, with our geography, culture, and exquisite cuisine in mind, that I discovered the world of cocktails. I started mixing pisco with various fruits, vegetables, and spices, to create my own personal seal with a bunch of recipes that have travelled all over Chile, as well as several other places in the world. That’s what happened with my ‘Avocado Pisco Sour’. That recipe ended up in Moscow, New York, and Sydney, to name just a few places where guests have taken the secret. It has also been fun to be interviewed on Brazilian, Russian and American television, revealing my formulas to the world.
So, I’ve now been immersed in this career for a good thirty years now, working in some of Chile’s best hotels along the way, and making their bars my home. The ski centre of Valle Nevado, The Grand Hyatt Santiago, explora Patagonia, The Ritz-Carlton Santiago, W Santiago, and of course The Cliffs Preserve Patagonia, which reopened under a new name. The magical and surprising Mari Mari. That’s where I am today, together with a great team of colleagues and friends, showing the colours and flavours of the rich fruits of this corner of Chile. Myrtle berry pisco sours and blackberry martinis delight our guests, along with the in-season Chilean rhubarb plant that is the star ingredient in one of our most exotic cocktails. The most comforting thing is to see foreign visitors in our country exclaiming "Enjoy Chile!", while they drink with a glass overflowing with some of our best national elixirs. Cheers and welcome!
“Ever since I was a young, I knew that the Hospitality Industry was my thing.”
- Patricio Bello, Member of the Mapuche community and local consultant
Patricio Bello, Member of the Mapuche community and local consultant.
Ever since I was a young, I knew that the Hospitality Industry was my thing. With almost nine years of experience in the world of tourism, from airlines to inbound tourism to experiential tourism, I have had the opportunity to work in some of the most renowned hotels in Chile and share with visitors from all over the planet, which has nurtured my career and has given me the experience I need to carry out my work here. Besides tourism, my passion is languages. I am a polyglot, which helps me relate better to foreign gusts and communicate with them. I am convinced that if you speak to someone in their mother tongue, you get right to their heart. I am a speaker, teacher, and activist for the revitalization of the Mapuche language, which I have known since my childhood, long before any other foreign language.
Are you looking to surprise that special someone with a romantic getaway, or would you like to indulge in a culinary feast until the sun goes down, maybe you’d like to unwind while enjoying an amazing bike ride through the dunes? We’re now offering 9 special arrangements that take leisure to a whole other level.
A NATURAL RESERVE EXPERIENCE