Mary Jo Figuerero, a professional archaeologist who studied at the Smithsonian, has led WT journeys in Patagonia since 1996. Born in New York to an American mother and Argentine father, Mary Jo lives in Buenos Aires with her husband and daughter, and teaches at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Her research on the hunter-gatherer cultures of Southern Patagonia involves annual fieldwork deep in the Patagonian wilderness, and she’s an expert interpreter of the geological history and flora and fauna of the region. Mary Jo’s knowledge of Patagonian natural history is vast, but WT trip members also call her a “gem” for her effusive charm and endless enthusiasm. Mary Jo says guiding gives her "another way of looking at the world: new cultures, new landscapes, new friendships. My favorite spots are Tierra del Fuego, Calafate, and El Chalten, but then Paine is so special, and then there is the Milodon Cave! It's difficult to choose a favorite spot. I find it a privilege to return to these places year after year."
Mary Jo was a delight, so knowledgeable and engaging.
Mary Jo set the tone for fun, laughter, and group comeraderie. Always on top of day-to-day activities and situations as they developed.
Mary Jo was a sensational leader in every way—warm, “on top of things,” knowledgeable, and responsive to participant needs. Her familiarity with the Patagonian land and culture based on her research and field work made the experience even richer.
Mary Jo was awesome. She made the trip, took care of everyone, and was a super companion to all.
There are no words to describe how terrific she is. Whether it was creating a sense of ease, describing the history or culture or geology, being available, sharing her own enthusiasm, she was the ultimate professional and yet made us all feel like her friend. She's just fabulous.
Outstanding leader: calm, decisive, able, fair, considerate, charming, knowledgable, and so much more.
She is a marvel...so very knowledgeable, flexible, and creative. Oh yes, and FUN!
Excellent doesn't even begin to define what a wonderful leader Mary Jo was. She is truly a jewel and I think all of us felt that way.
Mary Jo brought 12 strangers together and guided us through an experience of a lifetime. Her knowledge is deep and broad of the history, landscape, culture, flora and fauna, but perhaps more importantly, her enthusiasm and wonder never wanted. That energy and passion made this trip very special.
Never let Mary Jo get away! She’s incredibly knowledgeable and is one of the best Trip Leaders we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
It was a pleasure to travel with Mary Jo Figuerero. She was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
Mary Jo is a gem. The kind of leader that makes WT special.
It was a pleasure to travel with Mary Jo. She was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic.