Meet the Team

Against the Compass started as a travel blogging site back in 2016, run by a humble, budget backpacker named Joan Torres.

Today, Joan is still a humble traveler but he managed to make a simple travel blog become one of the world’s top travel companies in promoting tourism in countries like Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan.

Obviously, he didn’t achieve all this by himself, but there’s a full team of amazing people and travelers who have helped him immensely pursuing this dream.

Here, we wanted to introduce the full team behind Against the Compass.

Joan Torres

Founder of Against the Compass

Joan used to do everything by himself but fortunately, thanks to an amazing team, that’s not the case anymore. Theoretically, he is now doing all the marketing and overall strategy for Against the Compass. He also builds all the itineraries and schedules all upcoming tours. People tell him that he has the most dreamt job ever but at the end of the day, all he does is spending hours on the phone solving problems, and taking care of incidences and financials. Basically, he’s in charge of the most boring part of Against the Compass. When has time, he still tries to lead some expeditions, especially the newer ones, while trying to enjoy and spend more time with his little baby James. Joan is now based in Barcelona.

Rhenzy Caguioa

Virtual Assistant, aka back-end manager

If it wasn’t for Rhenzy, Against the Compass wouldn’t exist any longer. Rhenzy is in charge of everything that has to do with the back end of Against the Compass, the content you find across the website. From publishing tours to updating all our travel guides, writing our tour itineraries, and adding the respective reviews on the website, she is dedicated full- time to making Against the Compass look neat and pretty for all our readers and customers. Rhenzy is from Manila in the Philippines, and like everyone in the ATC team, she has a passion for travel, as well. She is been traveling to many places across Asia and now we are waiting for her to visit us in Spain.

Erika Castillo

Brand Ambassador

Erika is our official Brand Ambassador at Against the Compass, and the person who accepted the massive challenge of organizing and executing the logistics of 30 group expeditions (only in 2024) to the most off the-beaten-track destinations, while taking care of all the individual requests of every person that compose each one of those groups; without never losing the smile in her face. Erika is the person behind all the emails, and she does it all by herself. Originally from Barcelona, she is currently backpacking indefinitely in South America, while working remotely in Against the Compass.

Oriol López

Tour leader

Nobody in the Against the Compass team has traveled as much as Oriol. Oriol is our
traveler inspiration, the stories of whom are already a default in all the expeditions he
leads. Traveling non-stop for the last 25 years, visiting over 130 countries, he visited
Afghanistan in 2008, and also Mosul back in 2010, shortly before ISIS took over. Oriol is
also from Barcelona and leads around 12 expeditions a year.

Leti Lagarda

Tour leader

Leti is our free soul, the only official full-time traveler in the family. She leads several tours
a year but we never know where she’ll be flying from, it can be from anywhere. Something interesting about Leti is that no other foreign traveler in the world has been so many times in Syria since 2011. She’s led over 12 expeditions there, and still counting. Born in the Spanish northern region of Galicia, Leti is an avid backpacker and a kick-ass female traveler, one of the very few Spanish female travelers who’s been backpacking and hitchhiking solo across Pakistan, Iran or Iraq.

Feli Paganti

Social Media Manager

Our latest and youngest member of the team is Feli. Feli joined the first expedition we ever organized in Afghanistan, which was led by Joan Torres, who was amazed by the creativity and passion she had for leading brands to the next level in social media. Feli is now fully in charge of all Against the Compass Social Media strategy, including Instagram and Facebook. Born in Argentina, Feli is not only a content creator but also a journalist, who’s been working in CNN, as well as Argentinian-based newspaper Clarín.