MEET THE TEAM

Our team is comprised of both local and foreign national staff dedicated to creating the highest quality program for our students.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS & ADVISORY BOARD

As all fundaciones in Costa Rica, we are led by a five-person governing board. These persons are supported by a larger Advisory Board. Together, they help effectively recruit qualified staff, expand program impact, assist with outreach to Costa Rican youth, and ensure a robust safety and risk management program. These board members generously contribute their time and talent to ensure the ongoing success of Outward Bound Costa Rica and guide us in furthering our mission.


LEADERSHIP TEAM

2.1.1 JimJim Rowe, PhD: Executive Director & Founder
First Year at OBCR: 1991
Hometown: Sun Valley, Idaho, USA

Education: B.A. in International Business Management, Brigham Young University Hawaii; Masters & PhD in Cultural Anthropology, Greenwich University

In 1991, after having traveled to over 25 countries searching for the ideal place to establish a nature-centered adventure program, Jim Rowe settled in Costa Rica. With one monolithic raft and some scuba diving equipment, Jim began what would become an international adventure school employing over 30 staffers who are equally passionate about using adventure to help develop life skills.

A leader in experiential cross-cultural learning, Jim has facilitated seminars and lectures in areas of sustainable development, ecotourism and adventure programming worldwide. He serves as our lead Scuba instructor in addition to his many other duties and loves the opportunity to introduce students to one of his favorite pastimes.


2.1.2 DannyDaniel Jiménez: Director of Programs & Operations
First Year at OBCR: 1999
Hometown: San Isidro del General, Costa Rica

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer, Whitewater Rescue Technician, Technical Rope Rescue: Operations, International Rafting Federation Guide Class I-IV, International Rafting Federation Instructor, Instructor Judgment Training, Land Instructor Training, Waterfront Lifeguard, Sea Kayaking Training, Whitewater Kayak Instructor, Lay Responder First Aid and CPR/AED Instructor

Danny was born in San José, but grew up in the city of San Isidro, three hours south of the capital. During his years at Outward Bound Costa Rica, Danny has avidly pursued rafting, kayaking, climbing, surfing, and scuba diving, of which rafting and scuba are his deepest passions. After over 14 years of unwavering commitment and dedication to the Outward Bound Costa Rica mission, Danny is now the Director of Program & Operations, a crucial behind the scenes role that ensures our courses run safely out in the field.


2.1.3 AllisonAllison Hodsdon: Director of Communications & Marketing
First Year at OBCR: 2012
Hometown: Kennebunk, Maine, USA

Education: B.S. in International Business & Spanish with Concentrations in Marketing & Accounting, Northeastern University & ICADE Business School

Allison spent two years of university studying marketing and living in Madrid, Spain, which changed her perspective on life and sparked her interest in promoting cultural and language immersion programs. Allison began her time with Outward Bound Costa Rica as the Marketing Manager; her passion for experiential education has only grown ever since. She feels blessed to work with such a talented team, who make her feel part of a very special family here in Costa Rica.


2.1.4 EstherEsther Garcia: Accountant & Human Resources
First Year at OBCR: 2008
Hometown: Tres Ríos, Costa Rica

Education: Accounting & Business Administration, Universidad San Marcos

Esther, our fashionable accountant, loves nature and animals. When not working, she is volunteering with different social groups. She has traveled throughout Europe and speaks Portuguese thanks to a long stint working in Brazil with a rural community. Esther has a big job taking care of all the finances of the organization and is always there to lend a hand to both instructors and office staff. She is a wonderful caretaker of our base pups Bandido and King, as well as any and all other pets we have here on base!


INSTRUCTORS

2.1.5 PhilPhil Perez: Lead Instructor & Safety Chair
First Year at OBCR: 1997
Hometown: Sacramento, California, USA

Phil’s extensive training as both a river guide and emergency care professional began in the 1970s when he worked for the rafting company American River Recreation and Life Assist in the Sierra Mountain Range. Phil came to Costa Rica in 1995. With his company Aventura Seguridad y Rescate, he serves as Rescue 3 International’s authorized agent for whitewater safety training and education for Central America. Currently, Phil instructs many of the outdoor certification phases for our Outdoor Leader Semester. He also trains our instructors in these same technical skills as well as leads our Instructor Judgment Training. In addition to being a member of Outward Bound Costa Rica’s governing board, Phil is the head of Outward Bound Costa Rica’s Safety Board and is in charge of our routine, organization-wide safety reviews.


2.1.6 AntonioAntonio López Salazar
First Year at OBCR: 1998
Hometown: Piedras Blancas, Costa Rica

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer, Whitewater Rescue Technician, Technical Rope Rescue: Operations, International Rafting Federation Instructor, International Rafting Federation Guide Class I-IV, Instructor Judgment Training, Land Instructor Training, Waterfront Lifeguard, Whitewater Kayak Training

Antonio is a hardcore kayaker who enjoys adventure and loves the outdoors in his great country of Costa Rica. He began raft captaining in 2002 and became a certified kayak instructor shortly thereafter. Antonio moves fast both by land and by sea; rumor has it that he can complete the trek between Domer’s Hill and Piedras Blancas (usually two days of hiking on course) in eight hours flat – carrying both of his kids and his kayak. Antonio is the son of one of Outward Bound’s homestay families in the countryside of Piedras Blancas.


2.1.7 OrlandoOrlando Zamora
First Year at OBCR: 2002
Hometown: Piedras Blancas, Costa Rica

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer, Whitewater Rescue Technician, Technical Rope Rescue: Operations, International Rafting Federation Guide Class I-IV, Instructor Judgment Training, Land Instructor Training

This grandpapi of Outward Bound Costa Rica has been challenging students through the rugged outback of Costa Rica for over a decade. Orlando’s ability to stop every five feet in the rainforest and point out different medicinal plants used by Costa Rica’s indigenous groups is only outdone by the remarkable fact that he can do it without boring our students. He finds every course to be a cultural exchange – For Orlando, the learning never stops.


2.1.8 DiegoDiego Chinchilla
First Year at OBCR: 2009
Hometown: Santa Maria de Dota, Costa Rica

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer, Technical Rope Rescue: Operations, Instructor Judgment Training, Land Instructor Training, Emergency Responder

Diego was born and raised in Copey de Dota, Costa Rica. He studied Natural Resource Management at the Universidad Estatal. Before joining Outward Bound Costa Rica, Diego volunteered at the Pacuare Biological Reserve working to conserve and protect sea turtles. He enjoys spending time in nature, hiking, dancing and reading. When he’s not working with us, Diego works as a guide for local tourist companies and spends time on his small blackberry farm.


2.1.9 SantiagoSantiago López Salazar
First Year at OBCR: 1999
Hometown: Piedras Blancas, Costa Rica

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer, Whitewater Rescue Technician, Technical Rope Rescue: Operations, International Rafting Federation Guide Class I-IV, International Rafting Federation Instructor, Instructor Judgment Training, Land Instructor Training, Waterfront Lifeguard, Sea Kayak Training, NAUI Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver

Santiago, known around base as “Chago,” joined his brothers back in 1999 to work with OBCR on the rivers and mountain passes that are at the heart of our courses. Although the countryside is his backyard, he spends most of his free time playing soccer, watching and cheering for soccer, or simply talking about soccer. If you are lucky enough to have Santiago as one of your instructors you will benefit from both his detailed knowledge of the backcountry and the river. Above all else, Santiago loves being able to motivate his students, teach life skills, and watch the transformations and development that each student undergoes from being on an Outward Bound Costa Rica course.


2.1.10 DonnaDonna White
First Year at OBCR: 2007
Hometown: New Bern, North Carolina, USA

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer, Whitewater Rescue Technician, Technical Rope Rescue: Operations, International Rafting Federation Guide Class I-IV, Instructor Judgment Training, Land Instructor Training, Sea Kayak Training, Whitewater Kayak Training, NAUI Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver

Donna joined Outward Bound Costa Rica as a full-time instructor after training through our Outdoor Leader Semester. Also known as Mama Donna, she has a comforting way about her with her southern drawl and delicious home cooking. Before working with Outward Bound, Donna worked as a kayaking guide with Pirate Queen Paddling in Morehead City, North Carolina and also has years of catering experience. Donna is known to camp, hike, sail, kayak, and make beautiful jewelry in her free time. She is also renowned for her ability to connect with students of all levels, as she shares with them the activities she loves most and brings out the best in each of them.


2.1.11 ZachZach Mumford
First Year at OBCR: 2012
Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer, Whitewater Rescue Technician, Technical Rope Rescue: Operations, International Rafting Federation Guide Class I-IV, International Rafting Federation – Instructor, Instructor Judgment Training, Land Instructor Training, Waterfront Lifeguard, Sea Kayak Training, Whitewater Kayak Training, NAUI Scuba Diver

Raised across the street from a state park containing a lake and thousands of acres of wooded game land, Zach grew up hiking, hunting and fishing in the backcountry of North Carolina. When he was 16, Zach’s family moved to Granada, Nicaragua for a summer, where he learned Spanish and fell in love with Latin American culture. After graduating high school, he alternated between working a job to save money and taking extended backpacking trips to Nicaragua and Peru, where he realized his childhood dream of seeing Machu Picchu and the Amazon Jungle. His travels only served to cement his addiction to exploring the outdoors; a passion he now gets to share with students on a daily basis. Zach is a lead instructor for Outdoor Leader Semester, which he completed back in 2012!


2.1.12 IreneIrene Corrales
First Year at OBCR: 2012
Hometown: Heredia, Costa Rica

Education: Bachelors of Science in Forest Engineering & Tourism

Certifications: First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer, Instructor Judgment Training, Land Instructor Training

Irene is a lead instructor for our Girl Scout destinations program, with a passion for sharing and teaching about Costa Rica and its culture and the environment. After completing her degree in Forest Engineering, Irene decided to pursue a career in sustainable tourism. After completing exams, Irene came to Outward Bound as an energetic and incredibly knowledgeable instructor. Irene enjoys surfing, backpacking and creating art. She often teaches students on course how to create intricate jewelry and is famous for her hair wraps.


2.1.13 JesusJesus Zamora López
First Year at OBCR: 2006
Hometown: Piedras Blancas, Costa Rica

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer, Whitewater Rescue Technician, Technical Rope Rescue: Operations, International Rafting Federation Guide Class I-IV, Instructor Judgment Training, Land Instructor Training, Waterfront Lifeguard, Whitewater Kayak Training

Jesus enjoys the river above all other types of adventures in Costa Rica. As he teaches students to navigate the rapids on their rafts, he feels at home. Originally from the Piedras Blancas countryside, Jesus grew up on the Outward Bound Costa Rica trails. While others may struggle to hike the Piedras Blancas mountain rainforest passageway over three days, Jesus can run the length of it in half a day. Jesus also loves playing soccer with the students and spending time with his wife and son.


2.1.14 CarlosZamoraCarlos Zamora López
First Year at OBCR: 2010
Hometown: Piedras Blancas, Costa Rica

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer, Whitewater Rescue Technician, Technical Rope Rescue: Operations, International Rafting Federation Guide Class I-IV, Instructor Judgment Training, Land Instructor Training, Waterfront Lifeguard

Carlos, affectionately known as “Carlitos”, is both a long-time instructor Orlando Zamora’s son and a Piedras Blancas native. Carlitos’s technical skills partnered with his fun loving attitude (and entertaining sense of humor!) makes him a favorite instructor at Outward Bound Costa Rica. He thrives on river rapids and enjoys being able to share his country with Outward Bound Costa Rica students from around the world.


2.1.15 EmmaEmma Zamora López
First Year at OBCR: 2008
Hometown: Piedras Blancas, Costa Rica

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer, Whitewater Rescue Technician, Technical Rope Rescue: Operations, Land Instructor Training

As one of our lead Girl Scout destinations instructors, Emma is known for her high energy and excitement for sharing tico culture with Outward Bound Costa Rica students. She is an excellent Spanish teacher and enjoys being with her family, swimming, fishing and observing wildlife. She often leads students on hiking expeditions that arrive to her countryside home in the rainforest, where students learn about the local traditions during their homestay experience.


2.1.16 MichaelMichael Cordero Arguedas
First Year at OBCR: 2011
Hometown: Brujo, Costa Rica

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer, Whitewater Rescue Technician, International Rafting Federation Guide Class I-IV, Land Instructor Training, Waterfront Lifeguard, Whitewater Kayak Training

Michael has been described by his students as one of the most caring people around. While his students appreciate his dedication to making the course fun and safe, Michael enjoys most the river phase because he feels renewed and more knowledgeable every time he goes out on course. Michael loves hiking, fishing, and spending time with his family when he is not on course.


2.1.17 GiselleGiselle Jiménez Fallos
First Year at OBCR: 2007
Hometown: Piedras Blancas, Costa Rica

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, Technical Rope Rescue, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer

Giselle loves everything about nature and is passionate about interacting with her students and showing them the natural wonders that her country has to offer. One of her favorite course activities is hiking, but she enjoys surfing and spending time with her family as well. Wherever she is, Outward Bound Costa Rica and her students are always in her heart.


2.1.18 AmeliaAmelia Garita
First Year at OBCR: 2012
Hometown: Pérez Zeledón, San Gerardo de Rivas, Costa Rica

Education: Business Management in Sustainable Tourism, National University of Costa Rica

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer, NAUI Scuba Diver, Instructor Judgment Training, Land Instructor Training, Waterfront Lifeguard, Sea Kayak Training

Amelia grew up near the highest mountains of Costa Rica, near the Chirripó National Park. Her passion for the mountains started when she was 11 years old and has since grown thanks to her proximity to this national park. The magic, peace and tranquility that Amelia received while in the mountains was what led her to become a tour guide- she has been working as a mountain guide for 5 years now. Amelia is a lover of diving, rafting and hiking. She is also a professional dancer to Costa Rican typical tropical music. Her studies focused on sustainable tourism.


2.1.19 CarlosDiablosCarlos Castro Montero
First Year at OBCR: 2005
Hometown: San Jose, Costa Rica

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer, Technical Rope Rescue: Operations, Instructor Judgment Training, NAUI Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver, Waterfront Lifeguard

Above all else, Carlos loves learning about his students – They make everyday of every course different. To Carlos, the diversity of his students’ backgrounds, interests and goals represent a metaphor for learning about life. Carlos is a well-known for his surfing ability and leads many of our surf programs here at Outward Bound Costa Rica.


2.1.20 MaurenMauren Granados
First Year at OBCR: 2009
Hometown: Piedras Blancas, Costa Rica

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid and CPR for the Professional Rescuer, Instructor Judgment Training, Land Instructor Training, Technical Ropes Rescue, Open Water Lifeguard

Mauren has been leading students through her backyard, the Costa Rican countryside, for twelve years. Through her no-nonsense approach to instructing, she pushes students physically and mentally beyond what they ever thought possible – and they love her for it. With an abundance of rainforest knowledge, Mauren specializes in backpacking and hiking. She happily opens up her home and her family to students at her homestay while hiking through Piedras Blancas. Her favorite thing about being a Outward Bound Costa Rica instructor is meeting and sharing her abundance of knowledge with all of the interesting students.


2.1.21 PedroPedro Montera
First Year at OBCR: 2010
Hometown: Sabanilla, Costa Rica

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, Waterfront Lifeguard, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer

Surfing is one of Pedro’s main passions and he loves working with students and teaching them all the ins and outs. In his free time, Pedro participates in triathlons. He has completed the Ironman 70.3 Mile race and is actively training for his next. Pedro enjoys learning about new cultures and getting to know new people and always looks forward to the students’ arrivals.


2.1.22 GabiGaby Aspitia
First Year at OBCR: 2012
Hometown: Sabanilla, Costa Rica

Education: Degree in Psychology, Universidad Fidelitas

Certifications: NAUI Scuba Diver, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer

Gaby has lived in Costa Rica her whole life with her two brothers. She has always enjoyed working with people and previously worked with the Association of Guides and Scouts of Costa Rica as a leader in camps based on teamwork and experiential learning. She enjoys working with her students at Outward Bound Costa Rica, challenging them, and watching them grow throughout the course. On her downtime, Gaby likes to read, write, and spend time in nature hiking and exploring different places.


OFFICE & MAINTENANCE STAFF

2.1.23 ChelseyChelsey Perron: Marketing Manager
Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Education: B.A. in International Studies/Spanish with a focus on Global Environment & Latin America, University of Kentucky

Chelsey grew up in a military family, moving from coast to coast for most of her life. Most recently she claims to be from Kentucky but besides the occasional “Ya’ll” her southern roots are limited to horseback riding and making a mean casserole. She has lived or traveled in 10 countries over the past 5 years, and is excited to be living in Costa Rica again. Ever since working at an experiential education summer camp in 2009, Chelsey has had a passion for this kind of education and the people in the industry. Most recently, she was the Director of Marketing at a zipline canopy tour start up in Lexington, Kentucky where she balanced time in the trees with tweets, facebook updates, and maintaining relationships with just about every print and sign company in the city. Chelsey is stoked to be living in Costa Rica and to keep everyone in the loop and excited about Outward Bound Costa Rica via social media and updates.


2.1.24 KateKate Burke: Group Programs & Partnerships Manager
Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas, USA

Education: B.A. Journalism & Communication, University of Oregon

Kate’s love for the natural world was born on Oregon’s Pacific coast beaches, Colorado’s high mountains and the pristine prairies of Kansas. She studied at the University of Oregon in Eugene, where she dove into environmental journalism and biological anthropology. An Alternative Break trip to Perú in 2011 inspired her to spend a summer studying abroad in Spain and lead a second Alternative Break trip to Jamaica. These trips, in addition to a 30-day outdoor educator expedition in the Alaskan wilderness, have cultivated a passion for experiential learning and the alternative classroom.


2.1.25 RyanRyan McCann: Enrollment Manager & Girl Scout Coordinator
Hometown: Floral Park, NY

Education: B.A. International Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Development & Military Science, University of Denver

Ryan grew up right outside New York City with a large family. He was a competitive gymnast competing nationally at the Junior Elite and NCAA Division I level at West Point. His love of the outdoors and health and wellness led him to hike every “14er” mountain in Colorado and become a fitness coach and personal trainer from the American College of Sports Medicine. He gained further insight into how sport and physical activity can help personal and community development in a unique master’s program in Sustainable Peace through Sport with the United Nation’s University for Peace and International University of Monaco. Ryan has lived abroad in Russia and France between his studies, traveling all over from Hawaii to Siberia though always calling New York home with his close knit family and his 40+ cousins. You can find him looking for the next craziest place to do a handstand.