Grant has spent extensive time in Cuba over the past 15 years, becoming an expert on the island's unique culture and developing meaningful relationship with its citizens.​

Casey applies his expertise as an educator to develop engaging activities in order to provide travelers with a more profound experience.​

Dr. Grant Cohen

Casey Champion

Grant, who holds an MSc in Latin American Politics and PhD in International Relations, is CHACO's CEO and Latin America Specialist. He has been traveling to Cuba for almost 20 years and understands the many intricacies of the country. Grant’s academic background regarding the region, as well as his long-term, first-hand experience in Cuba, and passion for the country and its people, helps craft memorable trips to Cuba.

 

Grant’s dedication to traveling, studying and researching the region is undeniable:

 

Grant lived in Havana, Cuba for more than a year when the country was still under the reign of Fidel Castro. His experience in Cuba, during a very different time in terms of the country’s basic laws and freedoms, adds a unique perspective. Given the rarity of long-time American travelers to Cuba, as well as Grant’s many years living in Miami, his input regarding each of CHACO’s trips to Cuba is a valuable asset. He has also lived in Oaxaca, Mexico, for one year and spent a significant amount of time in countries throughout the region, including the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia.

 

Grant has made a point to continue studying and teaching about the region’s history, society, culture, and, especially, its political landscape. In 2017, he earned a PhD in International Relations from the University of Miami, where much of his research centered on Cuba’s economy and transition in the post-Fidel era. Grant also contributed to numerous studies, working with professors from Colombia on historical analyses of the roots of the civil conflict in the 1980s and the country’s transition into a more peaceful, stable, progressive time. Before earning a PhD in International Relations, Grant obtained a master’s degree in Latin American Politics.

 

Grant currently works as a professor of Latin American politics, international relations, global development and political science at the University of Colorado-Boulder, as well as at other institutions in the Denver area, and is fully dedicated to ensuring that the participants have a fun, safe and educational experience.

 

Apart from Latin America, Grant lived in London for about five years, where he worked as a researcher for two Westminster-based think tanks. He relocated from the UK to Miami in 2010, where he entered the PhD in International Relations at the University of Miami. His time in Miami, which included two stints, each about 5 years, adds to his fully rounded perspective of the views of Cubans living in Cuba as compared to the Cuban community in South Florida. This is an important and often understated aspect of relations between the US and Cuba and presidential elections with respect to the power of winning Florida.

 

Apart from the Americas, Grant has explored most of Europe as well as parts of the Middle East and Southeast Asia. He frequently travels to Paris to visit with his in-laws.

 

As CHACO Travel's co-founder, CEO and Latin America Specialist, Grant aims to provide the most personalized service and best trips to Cuba. Grant is excited to assist you in planning your personalized trip to Cuba or Colombia.

 

Contact Grant at grant@chacotravel.com to get started.

As CHACO Travel's co-founder, CEO and Latin America Specialist, Grant's aim is to design premier itineraries that feature engaging cultural and educational activities that stimulate interaction with locals of all types.

• Ph.D. International Relations (University of Miami)

• M.Sc. Latin American Politics (University of London)

• M.A. Journalism (University of Miami)

Casey, a licensed attorney who holds an MBA and an MA in International Education, serves as CHACO's Chief Legal Officer and Education Specialist.

 

Casey's passion for education and travel is clear:

 

Casey began traveling extensively after high school and has spent several years living abroad. He lived in Spain for a year during college, then spent another six months living in Mexico after graduation in order to improve his Spanish. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe, spending two summers studying in Austria during law school. 

 

Casey began his career as an immigration attorney at the Center for Legal and Social Justice in San Antonio, Texas.  There, he represented indigent clients in complex pro bono immigration cases. Subsequently, Casey moved to Colorado where represented Spanish-speaking clients in immigration, criminal, and civil matters.

 

Casey's passion for travel and education inspired him to leave his law practice and take a teaching job at a university in China. He fell in love with teaching, which gave him an opportunity to share his own culture and knowledge, while also learning a different culture and knowledge set from his students.  He also fell in love with his future wife, leading to many more trips to China to visit in-laws.

 

Upon returning to the US, Casey enrolled in the International Education masters program at New York University and continued teaching ESL classes. While at NYU, he participated in short-term study abroad programs to China and Mexico, which helped shape his vision for the educational travel programs that led to CHACO Travel.

 

Casey moved back to his native Texas to complete his teaching certification, using his diverse knowledge set to acquire certifications in English, ESL, Spanish, and Social Studies. He immediately began teaching ESL at a high school in Austin, and subsequently moved to New Orleans where he taught at an alternative high school for at-risk students.

 

Casey's extensive travels have led to unforgettable experiences in more than 35 countries on 6 continents, including trekking between yurts in Kyrgyzstan, crossing Tibet to Mount Everest base camp, completing 100 km of El Camino de Santiago, and playing mas at carnival in Trinidad and Tobago. His experiences as an ESL teacher have given him the opportunity to teach, and learn from, students from over 30 countries on 5 continents.  

 

Casey's unique combination as a traveler and educator help him design itineraries that allow CHACO's guests to permeate the touristy facade of their destination and fully engage with the country and its people.

 

Contact Casey at casey@chacotravel.com to customize your travel experience today.

As CHACO Travel’s co-founder, CLO, and Education Specialist, Casey’s goal is to promote communication and understanding between people from different cultures and backgrounds.

• M.A. International Education (New York University)

• Juris Doctor (Saint Mary's University - San Antonio)

• M.B.A. (Saint Mary's University - San Antonio)

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