My name is Maria Angustias García-Valdecasas Escauriaza, and I was born on 11th March. I usually say that I am three-quarters granadina, because my maternal grandfather was Basque. I was born in Malaga, but w moved to Granada when I was still very young, so I consider myself “granaína”, as they say here.
CICERONE, founded in 2003, is the result of all the baggage and experience I acquired during my training, and my previous professional work and life. I earned a degree in Translation and Interpretation, and soon went to live and work abroad. Ireland, England, Scotland, Heidelberg and Dusseldorf. 10 years altogether. A lot of different jobs, but the most important was promotion and foreign sales of “Spanish Wine”, marketing and Public Relations, for 4 years.
I came back from Germany in 1995 with a baby barely 15 months old, and because I knew that Granada is the “best place in the world to live”, I chose to bring my son up in this city, with his family. So it was that I went back to study in my 30s to learn new professional skills that I could use in Granada, and entered the world of Culture Management and Heritage Interpreting, earning a post-graduate degree in this speciality. Since 1999 I have also been working as a tourist guide in the city of Granada.
CICERONE is the result of efforts to link the philosophy that lies behind Heritage Interpretation: a certain way of showing and explaining heritage to visitors who are interested in it; with a demanding professional and entrepreneurial approach that is concerned with the quality of the service, the content of the guided tours, and which makes personal attention to the client a priority.
I am the only responsible for CICERONE since 2012. I must say that, to date, CICERONE has given me a lot of gratifications. I am truly happy and proud of the professional staff who work with me, and the awards and quality certificates that we earn every year thanks to their excellent work.
I still work as a tourist guide, so I am still connected with this fascinating activity, working hard to ensure our visitors leave us with the best possible memories they could have of the city of Granada.