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Like A Local Tours Launches Social Impact Initiative with New Partner: Carmen Portela

Like A Local Tours is excited to announce the appointment of Carmen Portela as Head of Social Impact. Like A Local Tours aims to launch a series of experiences aimed at supporting organizations working in sustainability, environmental, and social and food justice in New York City and its boroughs.

Carmen was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She started her career in the public sector, where she held various positions in the marketing & public relations departments at the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. Through Carmen’s work with tourism stakeholders and her deep passion for traveling (with a purpose), she identified the demand for more immersive and community driven experiences in the Caribbean. She launched Local Guest, a platform serving as the link for travelers who want to make a difference by supporting the local economy via regenerative experiences that impact community through sustainability.

She is currently supporting the US Forest Service El Yunque National Rainforest through the Love In Motion Foundation with the development of three community-based projects: trailing, volunteering and wellness. 

About her new role, Carmen says, “I am very excited to begin collaborating in the co-creation of social impact experiences in New York with Like A Local Tours. Like A Local has been offering authentic local tours in NYC since 2014. Lauren and her hyperlocal and community driven view of NYC has made me fall even more in love with the city. Puerto Rico has been a wonderful school on resiliency. I have learned so much from our grassroots organizations and community leaders. Now I am excited to apply our best practices in other spaces.”

Lauren Beebe, CEO of Like a Local Tours has been a long and active member of NYC & Co. as well as Tourism Cares and is partnering with these organizations on this new initiative. Lauren is also currently enrolled in an Executive Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center For Social Impact Studies, which will conclude in September of this year. 

“During the pandemic, I was able to take some time to consider the mission of Like A Local Tours. The best part of running this company is the ability to create and share unique experiences based on my passions. Social impact is an area I have been passionate about for a long time. Taking on this initiative or new direction allows me to marry my passion with our clients requests for new and unique experiences. Our social impact tours will offer guests a special opportunity to experience and give back to a neighborhood through the eyes of a non profit or community organization doing work in various areas,” says Lauren Beebe, Like A Local Tours Founder & CEO.

About Like A Local Tours

Like A Local Tours has offered highly curated, food and art experiences made for tourists and locals alike. There is no better way to know a neighborhood and savor its unique charm than by walking in the shoes of its residents. Like A Local Tours has received the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence every year and is recommended by Fodor’s, Vogue Australia, Daily Telegraph, HollywoodLife and many many more. Like A Local Tours was rated top 10 Tours & Attractions in NYC’ by NYC & Co and top 5 NYC Food Tours by Sherman’s Travel. Specializing in stylish and buzz-worthy tours, from epicurean adventures to must-see sights, these unique and memorable tours are a one stop source to experiencing Brooklyn & NYC … like a local.

a woman sitting on a mountain looking at the landscape

Carmen Portela admiring El Yunque National Forest.

a woman addressing a group of volunteers