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

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!


2F4A5720Esther 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!


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.


2F4A5857

Mauren 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 eight 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 an Outward Bound Costa Rica instructor is meeting and sharing her abundance of knowledge with all of the interesting students.


Lucia Granados

Lucia 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

Lucia, along with her sister Mauren and her husband Pablo, has been leading students through her backyard, the Costa Rican countryside, for eight years. Through her artistic approach to instructing, she guides with an eye to the beauty and serenity of the places where students hike or take to the water. She is a regular on the Girl Scout Destinations Sea Turtle Retreat in December. She happily joins her family when students are at their homestay while hiking through Piedras Blancas. Her favorite thing about being an Outward Bound Costa Rica instructor is being able to share her knowledge and philosophy of life as well as her amazing works of art with her students.


Pablo LopezPablo Lopez
First Year at OBCR: 2005
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

Pablo and his family have a long standing relationship with OBCR.  His family has welcomed students into their home during their hike through the Costa Rican countryside. Pablo’s passion for the outdoors is evident in his love of adventure activities.  His favorite thing about being an Outward Bound Costa Rica instructor is helping students build confidence in themselves and watching them grow through their experiences.


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.


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.


carlosCarlos 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.


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

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

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.


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.


RogerRoger Mesen
First year at OBCR: 2017
Hometown: Goicochea, San Jose
Education: Diplomado en Educación Superior Parauniversitaria en Turismo con énfasis en conducción de grupos.

Roger was born and raised in Mata de Platano, Goicoechea. He studied General Tour Guide at the Universidad Tecnica Nacional and has been working as a volunteer in Costa Rica Nacional Parks since 2004. He loves spending time in nature, hiking, riding mountain bikes, running, playing soccer, basketball, dancing, and juggling.


Esteban

Esteban Umana Perez
First year at OBCR: 2017
Hometown: Santa Elena, Monteverde.

Outdoor certifications: Red cross CPR and First Aid, Wilderness First Response, Open Water Diving.

Esteban is 32 years old and crazy about mountain sports. Having finished podium in several trail running and adventure races, as well as 1st place overall in one of Costa Rica’s toughest and most competitive mountain marathons (the 2017 MoonRun) it is safe to say that “outdoors” is his middle name. Esteban enjoys the thrill of training and traveling. After selling all of his belongings (car, bed, fridge, furniture, etc) he took some time off and biked from Nicaragua to Peru. Upon returning to Costa Rica he became an adventure sports guide, and has been guiding for the past 5 years.


Fab

Fabricio Arguedas
First year at OBCR: January 2016
Hometown: San Josè, Costa Rica.

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid and CPR, Technical Ropes Rescue: Operations, International Rafting Federation Guide Class I-IV, Instructor Judgment Training, Sea Kayak Training, PADI Open Waters Scuba Diver.

Fab was born in San Josè, Costa Rica where he developed his love for the outdoors and nature. However, it was not until he travelled to Southeast Asia for the first time where he found his passion for experiential learning while working for different outdoor education companies in China. He enjoys traveling and putting himself in situations where challenges will be present. He knows that there is no better way to improve and grow than to step out of his comfort zone and face his fears one at the time. He heard about OBCR while traveling in Thailand back in 2015 and since then has been happy to not only join the team, but to share, learn and have a great experience with all the students and staff.


Grace

Grace Guerrero
First year at OBCR: 2017
Hometown: San José, Costa Rica

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, Technical Rope Rescue: Operations, Whitewater Rescue Technician.

Grace was born in Parramatta, Australia and moved to Costa Rica at the age of 7 years old. She studied Physiotherapy Aide, Sport, and Dance Education at the Australian College of Physical Education. Before Outward Bound Costa Rica, Grace was a sports and dance teacher at a High School as well as an Artistic Director at the University of Costa Rica. Grace has experience working on outdoor activities with groups of children and young adults with Pure Life Adventures and with NSW Sport and Recreation, Australia. Grace enjoys investing time with nature and the people around her, she loves music and dance. Outside Outward Bound, Grace works with other outdoor activity companies and teaches dance when possible.


Molly

Molly Lawlor
First year at OBCR: 2017
Hometown: Amherst, Massachussetts
Education: BS in Adventure Education from Plymouth State University

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

Molly began working in the outdoor education industry beginning in 2008 at a summer camp in Massachusetts. Since then she has continued to develop her passion for working with all different kinds of students. She enjoys Kayaking, both on the ocean and in the rivers, rock climbing, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and many other activities. She came to Outward Bound in 2016 for a leadership semester and fell in love with the organization and the country and hasn’t left since.


COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE

BrynnaBrynna Rao: Media & Marketing Manager
First year at OBCR: 2017
Hometown: Cheshire, Connecticut.
Education: Bachelor of Science degree, with honors in Health Services and Spanish from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Brynna became the first full-time employee at The Adventure Project, an international nonprofit in New York working to end extreme poverty by creating jobs in Kenya and Uganda. In pursuing her creative drive, she began working at Lifetouch as a Lead Photographer and received two regional awards for Excellence in Photography and the Gabriel Miller Award. Brynna is an advocate for social justice and economic empowerment causes. She has volunteered with several nonprofits and foundations, including Invisible Children, Half the Sky Movement, American Red Cross, and Fundación Rahab.

In her new role as Media & Marketing Manager at Outward Bound Costa Rica, she is looking forward to expanding creative media strategy to engage students and course participants. Since studying abroad in Costa Rica in 2012, she is thrilled to now call the rainforest and OBCR community her home.


MariaMaria Fernanda Batista: Open Enrollment Management Manager
First year at OBCR: 2017
Hometown: Turrialba, Costa Rica
Education: M.A. Human Rights and Education for Peace, National University of Costa Rica, B.A. International Relations, National University, Costa Rica

Maria is passionate about culture and history and loves sharing and learning with people from around the world. In addition to her responsibilities as the Enrollment Manager at Outward Bound Costa Rica, Maria is also a university professor at ULACIT, teaching International Relations, Human Rights, Politics and Peace Conflict Resolution. In her free time Maria enjoys cooking, dancing and being outdoors with nature. She loves spending time with family and friends and taking weekend trips to the beach or mountain. Maria came to OBCR to reconnect with herself and to be closer to nature. She wants to engage in a healthier happier life style by experiencing the outdoors and learning about the OBCR way of life.


Julie Duthey: Group Programs & Partnerships Manager

1896939_10152625474364976_3061281858183986680_n

First year at OBCR: 2016
Hometown: 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.


Caroline Dierksheide: Graphic & Web Design Intern

IMG_8360-2Hometown: Elmhurst, Illinois
Education: BFA in Communication Design from Washington University in St. Louis

Caroline is interested in using visual design to facilitate communication and understanding and is currently putting her skills to work promoting OBCR’s incredible experiential learning mission. After studying in Santiago, Chile for 6 months last year, she’s excited to get to know another Latin American country and culture, as well as the OBCR community. In her free time, Caroline loves to draw, read, write stories, and watch Star Wars movies.


Claire Larson: Video & Media Production Intern

IMG_8379-2Hometown: Salem, Oregon
Education: B.S. in Journalism with an emphasis in Investigative Reporting and Digital Video Production from the University of Oregon

Originating from Oregon, Claire grew up in a melting pot of adventure and film. She discovered her love of media while attending the University of Oregon and began writing and producing for the university TV station shortly after. With a large variety of climates only hours away, she enjoyed a range of the outdoor activities and soon struggled for time to do both. The answer was simple, “Hey, why not do both at the same time?”

And that she did. Claire is excited to contribute to Outward Bound Costa Rica and tackle them simultaneously.

In her spare time Claire enjoys eating, hiking, rafting, rappelling and photography. You will rarely ever catch her without her camera (Steve) by her side.


Susana Aguilera: PR & Copywriting Intern

IMG_8375-2Hometown: Naranjo, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Education: Creative Web Producer, Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje (INA)

As a Copywriter Intern, she works to help craft text for creative and web materials for the Communications Office. She finds passion in writing and in web design. In her free time, she likes to swim and also she works as a host for an educational tv show. Susana loves being around nature and animals, and even if she is a local, she considers the opportunity to work with Outward Bound Costa Rica a great way to live their philosophy and learn from all the challenges: both personal and professional.


MAINTENANCE STAFF

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.


2F4A5697Diego Mata: Bodega & Driver
First Year at OBCR: 2013
Hometown: San Ramon de Tres Rios, Costa Rica

Diego is not only a driver at Outward Bound Costa Rica but our Bodeguero. When he finds time for his own passions, you will find him on his motorbike heading into the mountains or down into San Jose.  He loves his bike! Diego is called upon to do many things here on base, and is always willing to transport students and staff to begin their course, or to pick up and drop off at the airport.


2F4A5693Fulvio Solis: Maintenance
First Year at OBCR: 2017
Hometown: Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica

Ful is the newest addition to our team.  He is responsible for maintenance at our Basecamp.  His knowledge of the land and ability to fix and repair comes in very handy.  He is always smiling and willing to tackle any problem.  He truly enjoys all the students who come and go with each course.