Full Service Air Desk

Steven Soto

Retail Team
  Steven Soto serves as the Senior Director of Retail & Affiliate Sales at Exito Travel, a role he has excelled since 2008. Born in the United States with roots in Costa Rica, Steven is bilingual, fluent in both English and Spanish, which enables him to effectively bridge cultural and linguistic gaps in his work. Steven’s passion for travel was ignited during childhood trips to Costa Rica to visit family, fostering a deep connection to his cultural heritage and a love for exploration. His favorite travel destination is Israel, which he regards as his top choice due to its rich historical tapestry and vibrant cultural scene. In May and June, Steven is looking forward to a family trip that will include visits to Italy, Portugal, the UK, and Turkey, embracing the opportunity to create lasting memories with his family. His travel philosophy is to “Unplug & Enjoy the moment,” advocating for a genuine immersion into the local culture and community by avoiding tourist traps and engaging with locals. At home, Steven enjoys spending time with his family, including Duke, their beloved dog. He is also an avid reader and frequently visits the beach, taking advantage of the Florida lifestyle. His personal and professional life is characterized by a passion for travel, family, and the pursuit of new cultural experiences.

Jorge Mora

Retail Team
Jorge Mora serves as an International Airfare Specialist at Exito Travel since 2022, bringing a rich background of international experiences and a deep passion for exploration. Born and raised in the vibrant landscapes of Costa Rica, Jorge has always been drawn to the diverse cultures and stories that our world has to offer. His proficiency in both Spanish and English has enabled him to navigate various global settings, enriching his personal and professional life. Jorge’s travels have taken him to the bustling streets of Buenos Aires and across the varied terrains of Europe, where he has immersed himself in the local cultures and histories. These travels have not only broadened his horizons, but also deepened his appreciation for the intricate tapestry of global societies. Jorge’s adventures in these regions stand out as highlights in his life, encapsulating the essence of joy and discovery that travel brings. Beyond his role at Exito Travel, Jorge is an avid triathlete. This discipline requires dedication, endurance, and a spirit of adventure – qualities that Jorge exemplifies both in his professional endeavors and personal pursuits. His participation in triathlons mirrors his approach to travel and life: embracing challenges, pushing boundaries, and constantly seeking new horizons. Jorge’s adventurous spirit and love for travel make him an invaluable asset to the Exito Travel team. His experiences and insights enrich the company’s offerings, ensuring that clients receive knowledgeable and passionate service. Whether he is planning a complex itinerary for clients or pushing through the final leg of a triathlon, Jorge Mora embodies the essence of exploration and the relentless pursuit of excellence.

Igor Andonov

Retail Team

Igor Andonov is the Assistant Manager of Exito’s Retail team of Flight Specialists since 2022. Having been with Exito for one and a half years, Igor’s passion for travel stems from the opportunity it provides to meet new people and explore the world. Originally from North Macedonia, Igor is fluent in English and brings a unique perspective to his role at Exito.

Igor’s favorite travel destination is Palma de Mallorca, Spain, which showcases his affinity for beautiful locales and vibrant cultures. Looking ahead, he has exciting travel plans for 2024, including trips to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, indicating his continuous quest for adventure and discovery.

Igor’s best travel advice is to “embrace the journey and capture moments,” reflecting his philosophy of appreciating the journey as much as the destination. His hobbies outside of travel include going on relaxed bicycle rides, enjoying fishing for fun, and seeking out new and undiscovered places to explore. These interests highlight Igor’s love for the outdoors and his curiosity about the world around him.

In his role at Exito, Igor combines his professional skills with his personal passions, contributing to the company’s mission of providing exceptional travel experiences for its clients. His background, expertise, and enthusiasm for travel make him a valuable member of the Exito Travel team.


Lukas Blajis

Retail Team

Lukas Blajis brings a wealth of cultural insights and linguistic prowess to his role as an International Airfare since 2023 Specialist in the Retail team at Exito Travel. Born and raised in the vibrant city of Lisboa, Portugal, Lukas’s passion for travel and exploration was ignited early on through extensive travels across Europe with his parents, laying the foundation for his future career in the travel industry.

Fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Catalan, and English, Lukas’s linguistic abilities enable him to connect with a diverse clientele, enriching their travel experiences with his deep understanding of various cultures. His travels have taken him to some of the world’s most captivating destinations, including Japan, Argentina, and Ecuador, each journey further enriching his appreciation for the world’s diverse cultures and landscapes.

One of Lukas’s most cherished travel memories is his trip to Japan, where he was mesmerized by the country’s blend of ancient traditions and cutting-edge modernity. Argentina and Ecuador are also close to his heart, showcasing his affinity for both the urban sophistication and natural beauty found in these countries.

Looking ahead, Lukas has an adventurous plan for 2024: embarking on a motorvan trip through California and nearby states. This upcoming journey reflects his adventurous spirit and desire to explore the vast landscapes and cultural diversity within the United States.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Lukas is deeply committed to respecting and understanding the cultures he encounters. He advises travelers to approach their journeys with an open mind and respect for the local customs and traditions they encounter, emphasizing the importance of cultural sensitivity in enriching travel experiences.

Lukas’s hobbies outside of travel include caring for his dog named Blau, adhering to a plant-based diet, and expressing his creativity through photography and cinema. He is also the author of “Two backpacks,” a testament to his love for storytelling and sharing his travel experiences with others.

In his role at Exito Travel, Lukas Blajis combines his professional expertise with his personal passion for travel, making him a valuable asset to the team and an inspiration to those looking to explore the world with respect, curiosity, and an open heart.


Daniela Villalobos

Retail Team

Daniela Villalobos is an International Airfare Specialist at Exito Travel since 2018, having joined the team after previously working at Avianca. Her career in aviation and travel began at Avianca, where she discovered her passion for the industry. Daniela is captivated by the exploration of new countries and cultures, highlighting her love for travel and adventure.

Born and raised in Costa Rica, Daniela is fluent in both Spanish and English. She expresses a particular fondness for New York City and has a strong affinity for road trips, which align with her adventurous spirit. Daniela recently enjoyed a trip to Las Vegas, which was a bachelorette party for her sister, utilizing the travel benefits offered by Exito for this personal celebration.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Daniela is a lover of all animals, with the exception of serpents, and she has a rescue dog named Chloe, whom she adores. Her interests extend to watching movies, reading books accompanied by a glass of wine, and spending quality time at home with her loved ones. Despite her homebody tendencies, Daniela’s passion for travel and exploration is undiminished. She finds great joy in providing her family with the opportunity to explore new countries, valuing the shared experiences and memories created during these journeys.

Daniela’s approach to travel is both practical and philosophical. She advises enjoying the journey, embracing the unexpected, and adopting a relaxed attitude towards unplanned events. Her philosophy underscores the importance of focusing on the positive aspects of travel and being open to new experiences, including trying local cuisines.

In summary, Daniela Villalobos embodies a blend of professional expertise in the travel industry, a deep-rooted love for exploration and adventure, and a personal commitment to family and home life. Her story reflects a balance between professional achievements and personal passions, making her a unique and valuable member of the Exito Travel team.


Carlos Leiva

Retail Team

Carlos Leiva is an International Airfare Specialist at Exito Travel since 2022. His journey in the travel and aviation industry began when he started working for Air France, which sparked his love for flying and the exhilarating feeling of a plane taking off. Carlos hails from Santiago, Chile, and is proficient in Spanish (specifically Chilean Spanish, though he can adapt to a more neutral accent) and English.

Carlos has a passion for travel, with a particular interest in running marathons or simply sightseeing. Among his favorite destinations are London and Tokyo, cities he always yearns to revisit. He also looks forward to exploring Berlin, Florence, Venice, and Pisa in September. His travel tips include choosing the window seat to enjoy the views, trying new food, learning about the local culture, and the importance of being kind, respectful, and smiling to open many doors during travels.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Carlos has a rich personal life characterized by his love for running and photography. He is also a numismatist, which indicates his interest in the study or collection of currency, such as coins and paper money. At home, he enjoys the company of his two black cats, Olivia and Amanda.

Emilie Czepyga

Retail Team

Emilie Czepyga, an International Airfare Specialist at Exito Trave since 2022l, embarked on her travel journey at 18 with a trip to Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Driven by a desire to learn Spanish and discover the Maya culture, she hasn’t stopped traveling since. Born in a small town on the French Riviera and now based in Barcelona, Emilie is fluent in French, Spanish, and English. She credits her love for travel to the opportunity it provides to discover new cultures and connect with nature, believing it deepens understanding of the world and oneself.

Chile holds a special place in her heart, where she lived for 5 years, enchanted by its incredible people, outstanding cuisine, and diverse landscape. Emilie’s next destination is New York, reflecting her adventurous spirit. She advises planning trips with openness to surprises and curiosity, embodying her belief in the enriching power of travel. Outside of exploring the world, Emilie cherishes spending time with her cat, Blue, showcasing her love for animals alongside her passion for travel.


Bekim Xhaferi

Retail Team

Bekim Xhaferi, with a commendable tenure of 23 years in the travel industry, currently shines as an International Airfare Expert in the Retail sector, having joined the team since 2023. His journey has led him from the United States, where he now resides, to various corners of the globe, enriching his life with diverse cultures and experiences. Fluent in English and Albanian, Bekim brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to his role, ensuring travelers embark on journeys that are not just trips but transformative experiences.

Bekim’s personal travel highlights include the enchanting city of Paris, France, and his homeland of Albania, suggesting a deep appreciation for both the sophistication of European capitals and the raw beauty of the Balkans. His travel advice is succinct yet profound: “Arrive early,” underscoring the importance of punctuality and preparedness in travel. Beyond his professional expertise, Bekim emphasizes the importance of familiarizing oneself with local customs, indulging in local cuisine, exploring hidden gems, and considering travel facilitation programs like TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or Clear to enhance the travel experience.

Bekim Xhaferi’s biography reflects a person deeply rooted in the world of travel, whose extensive experience and personal journey through different cultures and destinations have shaped him into an invaluable resource for those looking to explore the world. His advice and insights are not just drawn from his professional experience but are also a testament to a life lived in the pursuit of discovery and understanding.


Karina Alonso

Retail Team

Karina Alonso’s journey in the world of travel and exploration began at a young age, fueled by her imaginative spirit and curiosity about what lay beyond the mountains visible from her childhood home in Mexico. This early wonderment blossomed into a hunger to learn about new cultures, foods, languages, music, and landscapes, propelling her into a career that aligns with her passions. Today, as an International Airfare Specialist, she brings this enthusiasm and a wealth of knowledge to Exito Travel since 2017, where she has become an invaluable asset.

Fluent in English and Spanish, Karina’s expertise and linguistic skills enable her to create meaningful connections with travelers and colleagues alike, enhancing the travel experiences of those she assists. Her love for all of Latinoamérica is evident in her work and personal travel choices, showcasing her dedication to exploring the rich tapestry of cultures within the region.

In October, Karina plans to venture to Puerto Viejo in Limon, Costa Rica, for open water swimming training, combining her love for adventure with her passion for sports. This trip also serves as an opportunity for her to unwind on the beautiful beaches of the area with family and friends, further demonstrating her commitment to balancing professional aspirations with personal fulfillment. Following this, she anticipates returning to her hometown of Tehuixtla, Mexico, to immerse herself in the authentic fiestas honoring the patron saint, a celebration rich in tradition and culture.

Karina’s best travel advice is to immerse oneself in the culture of a country for the most authentic local experience. Her hobbies outside of travel include hiking, open water swimming, dancing, and temporarily putting her triathlon training on standby. She also shares her life with a dog named “Muñequita,” reflecting her love for animals and the joy they bring to her life.

Karina Alonso embodies the spirit of exploration and discovery, leveraging her role at Exito Travel to fuel her passion for uncovering the world’s wonders and sharing them with others. Her journey is a testament to the transformative power of travel and the endless possibilities it holds for personal growth and adventure.

Maria Belen Balbi

Retail Team

Maria Belen Balbi’s journey in the travel industry is marked by a profound passion and extensive experience. Having joined Exito Travel as an International Airfare Specialist since 2023, Maria’s fascination with aviation was sparked early on by her mother, who worked at United Airlines for 9 years. This childhood inspiration led Maria to pursue a career in aviation, starting her journey with American Airlines at the age of 20, where she dedicated 12 years of her career.

Originally from Argentina, Maria is proficient in both English and Spanish, allowing her to navigate the global nature of her role with ease. Among the numerous places she has visited, South Africa and Paris stand out for their unique charm and the incredible experiences she shared with friends in both locations. While she currently doesn’t have any exotic travel plans, Maria looks forward to a laid-back, all-inclusive vacation with her family and four kids in the Caribbean.

Maria’s approach to travel is all about immersion and exploration. She advises engaging with locals and being open to trying new things, diving into the local food scene, and venturing beyond the tourist hotspots to discover the true essence of a destination. Beyond her professional life, Maria is a fervent animal lover, with a household that includes 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a hedgehog—all of whom are rescues. While dancing used to occupy much of her free time, these days she enjoys hanging out with friends, showcasing her sociable and adventurous spirit.

Maria Belen Balbi’s biography reflects a life shaped by a love of aviation and travel, a dedication to family, and a commitment to exploring the world’s diverse cultures and landscapes.


Leanne Reuss

Retail Team

Leanne Reuss has been a vital member of the Retail Team at Exito Travel since 2014, embodying the spirit of adventure that drives the company’s mission. Her role as an International Airfare Specialist leverages her passion for discovery, allowing her to assist clients in crafting memorable journeys that span the globe. Leanne’s dedication to exploring new places and cultures not only enriches her professional life but also reflects the core values of Exito Travel, where the pursuit of adventure and the creation of lasting memories for travelers are paramount. Her tenure at Exito demonstrates a commitment to excellence and an unwavering enthusiasm for the transformative power of travel.

Jeremy Sandi Villalobos

Retail Team

Jeremy Sandi Villalobos, an International Airfare Specialist and a member of the Retail Sales team at Exito Travel since 2019, brings a unique blend of curiosity and connection to his role. With a keen interest in discovering new places, cultures, and creating connections with others, Jeremy’s journey in the travel industry is fueled by his desire to explore and understand the world. Originally from Costa Rica, he is proficient in both Spanish (native) and English, enabling him to navigate diverse cultural landscapes with ease.

Jeremy’s travel experiences are rich and varied, with recent adventures through Peru leaving a lasting impression on him. Looking ahead, he aspires to visit Thailand, a destination he believes will offer new experiences and opportunities for growth. Jeremy’s approach to travel is adaptable and open-minded, valuing flexibility and the willingness to embrace new experiences, try local cuisines, interact with locals, and explore off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Aside from his professional pursuits, Jeremy enjoys running, traveling, and spending relaxing times at the beach, reflecting his love for his home country’s natural beauty. Although he doesn’t have pets, he cherishes his 10 plants, treating them with the same care and affection. Jeremy’s life and career are a testament to the enriching power of travel, not just as a means of leisure but as a profound way to connect with the world and its diverse inhabitants.

Stephanie Bonilla

Retail Team

Stephanie Bonilla has been a valuable member of Exito Travel’s retail department since 2018. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, and having spent most of her life in Costa Rica, she is fluent in Spanish, English, and Portuguese. Stephanie was drawn to the travel industry by her childhood dream of becoming a flight attendant and her love for discovering new places and cultures. Her favorite trips so far have been to Dubrovnik, Cuzco, and Yosemite, places she fell in love with for their unique beauty and charm. Although she currently doesn’t have any trips planned, Stephanie is hopeful to start planning something soon. She advises travelers to have a list of places they want to visit and to be mindful of the requirements needed. Stephanie enjoys going to the gym, theater, shopping, and nature, showing a particular preference for cold weather despite her love for the beach. She also shares her home with two dogs and one cat, highlighting her affection for pets.

Grettel Alpizar

Retail Team

Grettel Alpízar has been an integral part of the retail team at her company since 2011, and since 2022, she has embraced the role of “New Hire Airfare Trainer,” contributing significantly to retail training initiatives. Although Grettel did not start her career in the travel industry, her strong passion for exploration and unwavering commitment to providing exceptional customer service propelled her into a successful career as a travel agent. Her enthusiasm for travel, combined with an eagerness to learn and adapt, enables her to offer fresh perspectives and genuine commitment to assisting clients in creating memorable journeys.

Hailing from Costa Rica, Grettel is fluent in both Spanish and English, reflecting her ability to connect with a diverse clientele. While she hasn’t settled on a single favorite destination, her heart is drawn to the thrill of travel and exploration. Grettel has an upcoming trip planned for September with her sister and brother-in-law, followed by another family trip in December, showcasing her love for both domestic and international travel.

Beyond her professional life, Grettel has a deep appreciation for coffee and exquisite cuisine. She values expressing gratitude daily and treasures quality time spent with loved ones. Her biography reflects a passionate travel professional who is dedicated to enriching the travel experiences of her clients while also cherishing her personal journey of discovery and connection

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