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Who we are

(Above) The Projects and Events teams at Christmas

The LATA Foundation is run entirely by volunteers both in the UK and in Latin America. Most of them are acknowledged specialists in Latin America with a background in the travel industry. We have close links with the Latin America Travel Association and through them we have contacts on the ground in Latin America to be our eyes and ears locally, to help us identify new projects and to make sure that our projects are well run and kept on track.

Our committee:

Our projects and events teams meet about every 6 weeks and are tasked with identifying and managing projects, organising events and fundraising.

Projects Team

Events Team

Jude Berry (Head of Projects) Nicola Gude (Head of Events)
Aurelie de Brouwer Chloe Dillon-Smith
Carmel Hendry Megan Parkinson
Claire Betts Rosie Al-Adwani
Sonia Bungaroo Millie Allen
Tamara Ramos Alex Walker
Katie Aston Richa Ghai
Jonny Livingstone Fran Dobing
Jill Forgham Caroline Hawes
John Stanley Silvia Vizzoni
Odile Palustran Lucy Clark

Meet our trustees:

Richard Brass has worked in international banking in the City, in the leisure industry in the United States and in specialty retail which is his current project. He has been involved with the travel industry to Latin America since 1994 as a director of Austral Tours. He was the treasurer of the Latin America Travel Association (LATA) for a number of years and was inducted into LATA’s Hall of Fame in recognition of his work.  Richard founded the LATA Foundation in 2007, was Chairman until 2009, and currently acts as our Treasurer and Company Secretary.

ed-paineEdward Paine has been involved in the travel industry since 1991 as Founder and Managing Director of Last Frontiers Ltd. Prior to this he spent a decade farming in the Venezuelan Llanos and Orinoco Delta, and Brazil where he ran a 50,000 acre farm in São Paulo state. Edward was Chairman of LATA from 2000 to 2010 and continues to be heavily involved, particularly with regards to the Health and Safety. Edward is well known throughout the travel industry and is an accomplished public speaker.

byron-shirto-talking-stick-marketingByron Shirto was elected Chairman of the Latin America Travel Association in May 2014, having previously served as Hon. Secretary. He was  elected a LATA Officer trustee of the LATA Foundation in June 2012. Byron has a wealth of experience in the travel industry, having spent several years with a leading ground agent dealing with adventure travel, photographic safaris and event management. In 2009, Byron set up a Marketing & Representation Company, specialising in Travel Trade  Relationship Management for tourism products in Latin America, Africa and Asia.


Chris Pickard lived and worked in Brazil for over 20 years and established and ran the Brazilian government’s first overseas Tourist Office in London. He has worked professionally in journalism since 1974  writing extensively about all aspects of Brazil and South America. An ex-director of communications for the World Travel & Tourism Council, he is currently Managing Director of Critical Divide, a marketing and PR consultancy that specialises in tourism, the arts and Latin America. Chris was Chairman of LATA 2012-2014.

lucy clark photoLucy Clark has worked in the travel industry since 2001. She started her career as a Latin America specialist at South American Experience, after backpacking through South America and having lived in Mexico. She later became PR and Marketing Manager at luxury travel company Exsus and is now Director of Sales at Belmond, representing their collection of trains and cruises to the UK travel industry and beyond. Lucy joined our projects team when it was set up in 2009 and became Head of Projects in 2011. She joined the board of trustees in 2013.

00 Lee Hills web pic

Lee Hills has been involved in the legal side of the travel and tourism industry for many years. He is recognised as a leader in the field of travel law by both Chambers UK and The Legal 500, having worked for a major regional law firm where he was Head of the Liability Insurance Department and Travel Sector Team. He now heads the Travel Sector Team at Mayo Wynee Baxter Solicitors. Lee was elected a trustee in 2015.


Note: Up to four of our trustees are elected as LATA Officers. Other trustees are elected for two year terms by resolution of the LATA Committee.  The board consists of a maximum of ten trustees.