Your Trip Leaders

We’d like to give you a warm welcome to ELC Educational Travel. At ELC, we’re passionate about providing exceptional personalized service to our travelers, and to ensure this, both of us accompany our groups to our many exciting destinations in Spain. From the time you begin to consider a trip with ELC, we’re here to assist you every step of the way to create treasured memories of Spanish adventures lived to the fullest. We’d love the opportunity to host you on an unparalleled journey in Spain. ~ Tammy & Juan Carlos

Dr. Juan Carlos Ortiz-Ordóñez (ELC Director)

Juan Carlos is our host and guide. He’s based in Ubrique, where he was born and raised before spending years in the USA pursuing his high school and university studies and earning his PhD from the University of North Carolina. He has extensive experience hosting and guiding groups from around Europe and the US on tours in Spain (leading his first group in Spain when he was still a high school student), and he has also led students studying English at ELC on many trips abroad.

During our time together, he’ll share his broad knowledge of Spain’s rich culture and history. He’ll also ensure that our guests experience the authentic Mediterranean lifestyle, which he proudly promotes, as he educates travelers on everything from famous Spanish dishes, exceptional wines, cheeses and other local products, and also encourages us to slow down and enjoy each other’s company during meals, a tradition that he strives to preserve.


Tammy Schmidt (ELC Educational Travel Program Coordinator)

MA Foreign Language Teaching – Michigan State University

Tammy is the program coordinator and leads the trips along with Juan Carlos. She is based in Texas, USA, where she works to develop ELC’s Educational Travel programs and to customize group trips and studies abroad. She also assists travelers in navigating pre-trip preparations. She has years of experience planning and leading trips abroad for her students when she taught high school Spanish. Furthermore, she has helped lead youth humanitarian trips, working alongside indigenous groups. She has earned advanced level Spanish language certification through ACTFL. 

Tammy has traveled to Spain numerous times to realize Spanish language immersions to improve her own Spanish and to work with the ELC team to create our travel programs. She also lived in Ubrique for a short time, to teach English at ELC, filling a temporary position. She considers Spain, and especially Ubrique, her home away from home.