Greg Custer - Mexico for Retirement - Welcome To Baja Alive

Retirement Ambassador

Greg Custer – 40+ years in all facets of travel industry!

* Americanista & Mexico specialist with passionate cultural interests and hemispheric perspectives.

* 40+ years in all facets of travel industry, including vast B2B tourism marketing and educational design accomplishments.

* Business owner, entrepreneur, private/public sector facilitator with agency-client experience and multilingual business acumen.

Born in SoCal (1958), longtime California resident, then 25 years in Oregon. Now five plus years living atop Mexico’s altiplano, as a residente permanente. I’m part of a highland lakeside community (Chapala, Jalisco), surrounded by volcanic mountains, facing Mexico’s largest freshwater lake. Here I work developing my company Choosing Mexico LLC, while connecting with a Mexican pueblo lifestyle. I pursue interests related to theatre, running, writing, photography. I live and breathe Mexico and Latin America, with a unique globalist perspective.

The international travel industry has been my constant vocation, dating back to 1977.

  • The airline industry swept me to explore the world (from LAX), 1977 to 1990; 14 years with TWA, Mexicana de Aviacion, Aero California; positions in airport operations, as trainer, DSM, Regional Director USA

  • 1990 relocation with wife Jane and three children from SoCal to central Oregon (Bend). Executive Director of the regional tourism association, managing all B2C destination marketing and in-house tour product powered by travel agency sales

  • 1993-2011 served as VP and co-owner of Destination Ventures, Ltd. Focused on creating and delivering travel agent education for destinations throughout Mexico & Latin America; deep engagements and contracting with regional tourism authorities and federal governments
    • Daily operational oversight; sales, company branding, agency-client relationship management, e-learning instructional design, program marketing, course authoring and live event delivery
    • Three-time Magellan Award winner for creation of B2B travel agent training innovations

    • Founding agency partner of United Nations Foundation/Expedia-created World Heritage Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (2006-09)

    • 25+ year experience working directly on behalf of Mexico, Central and South American tourism authorities in B2B travel agent education, destination marketing and private sector brand development

    • Trilingual (English-Spanish-Brazilian Portuguese) sales development and CRM experience

  • Orchestrated 2012 sale of Destination Ventures to New Jersey-based travAlliancemedia, developer of print and digital media for North American travel agent audience (travalliance.com)

  • Between 2011-2018, I was employed as Managing Director, Mexico and Latin America, for a US travel media company (travAlliancemedia/Northstar Travel Media), working from Jalisco State. I connected with Mexican and South American customers (federal tourism agencies, hotel chains, inbound tour operators, CVBs) around B2B print, digital, education and SaaS products.

  • Masters and BA degrees from UCLA; 1986; Latin American Studies major

  • Fluent in spoken and written Spanish; conversational Brazilian Portuguese

  • Extensive travel and client relationships across South America

  • Business founder and CEO (founded in 2007) of brand choosingmexico.com a leader in helping American seniors explore curated adult living opportunities across Mexico.

I’m a life-long learner and educator, with all things Latin America as a constant source of personal wonder. Completed Latin American Studies programs from UCLA, earning BA and Master degrees. Specialization: economic development and tourism. Native English speaker, with advanced Spanish skills and a less proficient (but enthusiastically embraced) love for Brazilian Portuguese and culture. Extensive Latin American and Caribbean travel, including keen interest/study about countries of Mexico, Chile, Peru and Brasil.

I’m now living in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. Three adult children living and thriving in Pacific North West. Keen interest in reading (almost exclusively LatAm history), local theatre acting, Latin Jazz and Brazilian culture/musicality. Living, working and always growing personally while living lake-front, amidst incomparable weather (altitude of Denver, latitude of Hawaii), the Mexican people and mountain-fresh air laced with bird chirps and toad squawks.