Director of Program Development

Dan Siefken

Raised on a farm in Southern Michigan, Dan is no stranger to the outdoors. Michigan, known for some of the countries most beautiful lakes, rivers, forests and hiking trails, instilled in a Dan a drive for adventure that has yet to be satiated. During college, he took his first trip to Mexico, where the language, culture and people encountered added a dash of internationalism to his bowl of adventure stew. After one bite, Latin America became his new favorite dish.

Dan began leading group travel to Latin America right out of college, where he worked for a university leading service-learning trips to Guatemala and El Salvador. Through the multiple trips to Guatemala, Dan then took a position as a country director for a medical non-profit in Zacapa, Guatemala working for two years primarily developing and leading group medical teams from the US.

After Guatemala, Dan moved to Scotland for a wee stint, where he expanded his understanding of sustainable travel into Europe and the Middle East. After living in both the developing and developed worlds, Dan began to recognize the need for healthy and purposeful travel that introduces the traveler to the host in an earnest, collaborative and non-consumptive way. With this in mind, Dan returned to Guatemala for a short while to work with his alma mater's Study Abroad program in Antigua, before moving to Austin where he coordinates short-term Study Abroad programs for faculty and students at a local university.

Purposeful travel has become one of Dan's Raison d'être. As a founder of Southern Star Travel, Dan brings to the table his passion for travel and years of experience doing just that throughout the world. His goal for this company is that each client travelling with SST will get to dip their ladle into a bowl of adventure stew and taste just how good, healthy and engaging it is meant to be.