In 1977, John Estrada answered a call for volunteers to assist the HI Los Angeles Council open their first hostel. John was promoted from volunteer to Executive Director of the Council by the time the Harbor City Hostel opened in 1978 and he continued to serve in that position until the Council unified with the national organization in 2013.
John worked with local volunteers to develop and open a hostel in Fullerton in 1983 and one in San Pedro in 1986. In 1990, John, a team of local volunteers, and national HI USA staff, opened one of HI USA’s flagship hostels in Santa Monica. Under John’s leadership, the Council developed an array of travel programs for area residents, these programs serving as a model for HI USA travel programming nationwide, including WT101 and travel scholarships.
After 40 years of service, John will be retiring this month. Throughout his career, John has distinguished himself as a person of integrity and care, with the spirit of HI USA always in his heart. He will be once again be traveling the world and we wish him the best on this new adventure. Thank you John, your service to HI USA is outstanding and we will miss you very much!