Our Team

“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.”  Tom Brokaw

Danita Walton

Executive Director & Director of South Pacific Programming

Before I decided to take my experiences abroad and start Different Drummer Travel, I was a volunteer, having volunteered for as long as I can remember. Beginning with Allegheny General Hospital, located in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania I would spend my summers as a candy striper doing anything necessary to aid the many departments I worked in. I was there so much that I accumulated over 200 volunteer hours in one summer alone. The next significant placement that I had was at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, where I worked almost daily with children with severe mental and physical disabilities.

After making the tough decision to leave the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, I decided to travel to India and Namibia to do more volunteer work. It was in India that I worked with nine HIV positive children. This experience changed my life, in particular after the passing of one of the children. Namibia was a much more lighthearted post, where I worked with orphaned wild animals, like cheetahs, lions, and monkeys, with both of these organizations now partnering with Different Drummer Travel.

Alexis Ray

Director of European Programming

I started traveling abroad as soon as I graduated high school and I haven’t stopped since! I’ve traveled extensively throughout Western Europe and Southeast Asia. I have also lived in Spain and Australia. Europe is one of the most amazing places to travel. The people, the history, the beauty, the entire atmosphere is truly captivating. I absolutely loved my time there!

When I’m not finding new opportunities abroad, I’m working here in the US. Most recently at a non-profit summer camp in Northern Idaho. It was a great privilege to bring a wonderful summer experience to so many children who would otherwise not have an opportunity to attend camp. I’m currently completing my degree in Health Science with a concentration in Public Health.

Janice Chaka

Director of African Programming

As a well-traveled professional from England who has lived and worked in a variety of countries and cultures, I have become an expert in the nuances of seeking and improving employment opportunities without getting lost in translation.

Over the past seven years I have worked for large multi-national companies as well as small businesses in over five different countries, mainly focused on Human Resources. I’ve quickly risen through the ranks through a combination of hard work, professionalism and a gift for making long-lasting friendships.

I have traveled extensively, and have been to Africa, Europe, Mexico, Canada, North America and the Caribbean. I adore learning about local dishes as well as trying my hand at fishing.

Joyce Ocampo

Director of Latin American Programming

Traveling the world is something everyone dreams of. Fantasizing about one day being able to plunge into the world’s best and most exclusive beaches, exploring underwater caves and climbing the Himalayas are things that pique the imagination, especially mine!

That’s why I love being a travel agent. Being a travel agent has showed me how beautiful the world is. I’ve had the chance to learn about some of the best and most magical locations in the world, even if I’m unable to visit them myself. Nothing makes me feel more satisfied then hearing my clients feedback when the return from the trip of a lifetime! Knowing that I made that happen for them, is almost as good as having been there myself….almost.

Raquel Rafallo

Director of Asian Programming

I have been in the travel industry for quite some time. I started out my travel career as a reservations agent for one of the world’s largest airlines, even moving up the ranks to be named a supervisor. Even with all of my success, I felt like I still needed to learn more about the travel industry. Recognizing this, I decided to leave my position and became a travel agent for a premier travel agency. That is one change I will never regret making. It was at the new agency that I was able to learn more about vacation destinations and booking vacation packages.
I bring all of this knowledge and experience to Different Drummer Travel, so that I can help individuals with a smaller budget to explore and see the world on their terms. While I mostly travel within my home country, the Philippines, it is my ultimate dream to someday travel the world and experience the different cultures that I send my clients to.

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