Student Travel Programs in Costa Rica
Since opening Costa Rica operations in 2003, Rustic has expanded to include the most spectacular regions of this Central American paradise. From the Pacific to the Caribbean, from rainforests to rivers, from service to adventure, our programs here encompass the breadth of what Costa Rica has to offer. Our team of talented local staff members challenge veteran travelers with new experiences and introduce more novice adventurers to the joys of travel.
Meet the Rest of Team Costa Rica
Since he joined Rustic Pathways in 2008, Wainer’s patience and constant smile have won him a special place in the hearts of our students. A Costa Rica native, Wainer has also spent time in the U.S., where he completed a cultural exchange at Hiram College in Ohio. Always the first person on the dance floor, he can often be found teaching salsa to our students. the Costa Rica team.
A native of the small coastal town of Pérez Zeledón, Nela brings her calming presence and kindness to our administrative team. After receiving her MBA from the University of Costa Rica, Nela’s bilingual skills and sense of organization keep our Costa Rica office running smoothly. Nela has been ensuring successful operations within our team since 2012.
Andres puts his master’s degree in environmental management and eco-tourism to use managing our Intro to Service program. He started working with Rustic Pathways in 2013 as a Program Manager and his passion and pioneering spirit have made him an invaluable member of our Costa Rica team. When not managing our base house or getting involved in environmental initiatives, Andres enjoys participating in outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, mountain biking, playing soccer, fishing and traveling.
Rolando’s passions for running, rafting, and surfing come in handy as he leads Rustic Gap Year students, private groups, and summer programs through Costa Rica’s great outdoors. This Turrialba native’s kind personality makes every student feel welcome, and his deep knowledge of Costa Rica’s history and culture turn every adventure into a learning experience. Rolo manages our Service and Surf and Sarapiqui programs.
Pame is an environmental lawyer who believes in the powerful and positive impact of volunteering to our community and to the rest of the world. She always has an optimistic and charismatic positive vibe surrounding her. With her endless energy and enthusiasm in the most overwhelming moments she is a great team-player. You can either find her running or exploring in the backcountry or in the kitchen preparing and decorating some healthy dishes. Share a dance, a song, or a cup of coffee with her and you will surely have an enriching time.
Dani is an agricultural economist who got a master degree in International Rural Development at the University of Ghent in Belgium, University of Humboldt in Germany and University of Pisa in Italy. His work experience in international development in Central America makes him a great fit to be our Community Impact Manager in Costa Rica. Traveling around the world is his passion and he believes that getting to know different cultures, languages, landscapes, and tastes is the base on how all human beings can overcome differences towards a better world. During his free time, Dani enjoys a good book, friendly conversations, and the water of the seas.
Pau graduated from business administration from the Universidad de Costa Rica and Fidelitas with great love for traveling and learning. She has worked in different volunteering programs around the world mainly focussed on conservation. She is very passionate about nature and one of the things she loves the most is showing her little boy to love and enjoy nature.
Nana has the “Pura Vida” running in her veins. She always has a positive attitude and good energy surrounding her. She is a Sustainable Tourism Manager from Tecnologico de Costa Rica. When not working on Financial and Administrative tasks in our Costa Rica office, she can be found working for a nonprofit environmental association, exploring new places and hanging out with her family and friends.
Felipe has a bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Tourism Management. He joined RP in 2017 as a program leader, but his experience as vice president of a non-governmental environmental organization in Costa Rica made him a great fit to manage our Turtle Conservation programs. He has worked on projects with protected wild refuges and in rural areas in different parts of Costa Rica. In addition to that, he has been part of different wildlife issues commissions and projects. If not working he can be found enjoying his two main passions nature and wildlife.
Eva has three things that inspire her more than anything in life one is love of the outdoors, the other is love of sports and art, and the last love is for the ocean. She started her studies in 2010 to build her career working in tourism and became a naturalist tour guide. Her guiding light for this decision was Confucius, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” When she’s not guiding environmental programs, she enjoys going to the beach, surfing, hiking with friends, reading and listening to poetry, singing, and drawing.