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


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.


IMG_7113Jim 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.

2.1.1 Jim


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.


Danny Jimenez: Director of Programs & Operations
First Year at OBCR: 1999
Hometown: San José, Costa Rica

Danny began his long tenure at Outward Bound Costa Rica as a chauffeur before becoming an instructor and now Director of Programs & Operations. He is passionate about all things outdoors including whitewater rafting, kayaking, scuba diving and ropes. He enjoys working at Outward Bound Costa Rica because of the contact with students and the chance to meet new people from other cultures. Danny has a five year old daughter named Allison who is a favorite among the rest of OBCR’s staff members.

Debra Woolley: Director of Communications & Marketing
First Year at OBCR: 2015
Hometown: Long Branch, New Jersey, USA

Education: University of Colorado and Roosevelt University

As the Director of Marketing & Communications, Deb brings 20 years of experience to OBCR.  Her passion for intercultural education was fueled as the Director of Marketing at AFS-USA.  Her love of sports allowed Deb to fall in love with Costa Rica when she participated in a 10 day bike ride from San Jose to Arenal to Samara. She is happy to be back in country and part of a dynamic team that brings the OBCR experience to life for more than 500 students each year. Deb is enjoying her own cultural exchange program right now!

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 mascots Rafi, Bandido, King, Mimi and Suli, as well as any and all other pets we have here on base!


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.

2.1.7 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.

2.1.10 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.

Jorge Vélez Soto
First Year at OBCR: 2013
Hometown: San José, Costa Rica

When Jorge isn’t with students on course he lives on a farm in San Jerónimo de Esparza with his children. What he loves most in life are his parents, his children, surfing and exploring the mountains. Jorge says he has found a new passion in Outward Bound, and that is to work with a new family and to be a leader for youth who will impact the future of our world.

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.

Bailey Palmer 
First Year at OBCR: 2015
Hometown: Ventura, California

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, and AED for the Professional Rescuer, Technical Rope Rescue: Operations, NAUI Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver, Waterfront Lifeguard, International Rafting Federation Guide Class I-III, Swift Water Rescue Technician

Bailey loves Costa Rica and Outward Bound Costa Rica. Since joining us on several Girl Scout Destination programs in high school, Bailey has completed four courses with Outward Bound Costa Rica including Outdoor Leader Semester. Bailey is excited to share her love of all things pura vida with more students.

Ilia Corella 
First Year at OBCR: 2015
Hometown: Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands

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

Ilia is another instructor who transitioned from student to intern to instructor through the Outdoor Leader Semester course. A native of Saipan, an island in the South Pacific, the outdoors played a prominent role in her childhood, and she enjoys sharing similar experiences with students on course. A talented photographer, Ilia can often be found exploring Costa Rica and sharing her experiences with friends and family through her GoPro pictures and videos.

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 many of our courses and has 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 Costa Rica 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.

Nico Vallejo

First Year at OBCR: 2014
Hometown: Cartago, Costa Rica

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

Nico’s biggest passion in life is rafting the great rivers of Costa Rica. He finds rivers to be a blessing and says exercise is very important for him. He also enjoys running, hiking and sea kayaking. What he likes most about being an instructor is the opportunity to share his culture with young people in an honest and positive manner. He feels that outdoor activities are a big help in growing physically and mentally, and he enjoys being able to help students learn more about themselves.



Soizic Hagege: Marketing Manager
Hometown: Angouleme, France
Education: B.A. Global Studies and Economics, University of Bordeaux, M.A. International Development and Social Entrepreneurship, George Washington University

Soizic Hagege is a French world citizen, researcher, and marketing manager. She speaks French, English, and Spanish fluently and understands basic Mandarin and Portuguese. She lives in Costa Rica, after having lived in Washington, DC, Quebec, England and California, and worked in South Korea, Ireland, Ecuador and Tunisia on diverse business projects—all of which included business administration, social entrepreneurship and/or international communication.

Carolyn Crist: Lead Enrollment Management Specialist
Hometown: Coventry, Rhode Island, USA
Education: M.A. International Education, SIT Graduate Institute; B.A. Communication Studies and Spanish, Clemson University

Carolyn is a firm believer in home is where the heart is. Having traveled to Texas from Rhode Island to visit family throughout her childhood, being on the move was a thrill. Her decision to attend Clemson University in South Carolina allowed her study abroad in Cordoba, Argentina, opening her up to the exciting world of international travel! She’s backpacked across Southeast Asia, participated in a field course in the Caribbean, and earned her Master’s degree in International Education to allow her to share her love of travel for a living! Carolyn is excited to work with students to embark on their own life-altering journeys in beautiful Costa Rica!

Julie Duthey: Group Programs & Partnerships Manager

1896939_10152625474364976_3061281858183986680_nHometown: Valenciennes, France
Education: Bachelor of Cultural Coordination, EAC Paris

Julie is a tireless traveler, animal lover and problem-solver. She has lived and worked in several countries including rural India, fancy Paris, a small island in Thailand and cosmopolitan London before settling in Costa Rica. She can speak French, English, Italian, Spanish, and basic Hindi. Her experience in Tourism, Project coordination and Public Relations makes her a choice partner to tailor trips and courses based on groups’ objectives and interests. She firmly believes that outdoor adventure is the best form of education! She has earned several certifications: Horse-Riding Galop 5, and PADI Advanced Scuba Diver.


20151010_154802 (2) Anthonny Cordero: Accountant & Programmer Assistant

Hometown: Cartago, Costa Rica
Education: Tecnico en Comptabilidad y Finanza, Colegio Vocacional de Artes y Oficios de Cartago

Anthonny was born and raised in Costa Rica. He  studied Accounting and Finance at Colegio Vocacional de Artes y Oficios de Cartago. Here at Outward Bound Costa Rica, he assists Danny Jimenez, Director of Programs & Operations and Esther Garcia, Accountant & Human Resources and supports marketing staff and the programming team. He loves his country and, most of all, playing football. He also has a passion for hiking when he has free time.

Carla Mebreño: Chef
First Year at OBCR: 2015
Hometown: Matagalpa, Nicaragua

Carla is a favorite among our students because of her delicious recipes and warm spirit. She says her favorite part about working for Outward Bound Costa Rica is cooking for students and bringing them happiness. Her favorite food is fish. A native of Nicaragua, Carla has four children, two boys and two girls.  When she isn’t cooking, Carla enjoys spending time with her children and family, and taking walks in the outdoors.

Wilson Masi: Driver
First Year at OBCR: 2014
Hometown: Cartago, Costa Rica

Wilson is one of our beloved drivers at Outward Bound Costa Rica. He plays the drums for a band called Independente Vieja Metropli based in his hometown of Cartago. Wilson also enjoys playing basketball and football. His favorite place in Costa Rica is San Carlos because he loves the views of the nearby volcano and to swim in the thermal water the rivers there provide.