Andrea is originally from Texas, where she attended Austin College and graduated with a dual degree in Psychology and Spanish. During her third year at Austin College she attended La Universidad Nacional in Heredia, Costa Rica and taught English. She returned to Costa Rica in January of 2008 to perform a research project on the relationship between tourism and the local culture of Costa Rica.
After graduation and working as a translator and case manager for a non-profit organization in Houston, she moved to Sámara permanently as CREAR's Program Director in January of 2009. Since then, she has helped make CREAR a sustainable program within the community and spearheaded multiple new projects including a teen English program and girls empowerment courses.
In 2015, Andrea was awarded the Yo Creo Award for her work as a social entrepreneur. Andrea loves to surf and hang out with her black lab and CREAR's official mascot, Kimbo.
Lucas is originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee but he received his degree in Spanish and global commerce from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. Lucas first came to Samara with a volunteer group in 2014 and has returned many times since then, once as a CREAR intern in 2016. Lucas is now serving as the Volunteer Coordinator and Programs Manager here at CREAR. Outside of work, Lucas enjoys all things outdoors, surfing, reading, and watching sports.
PROGRAMS MANAGER & VOLUNTEER COORINDATOR
SAMARA & EL TORITO
Gail was born in Los Gatos, California. She moved to San Diego in 1987 where she lived, worked, and raised three children, before moving to Costa Rica in January 2021. A month after arriving she jumped into a full time volunteer role at Crear. Gail has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on Education, and has been a teacher for 30 years. Gail believes that through laughter, play, and shared positive experiences we retain more of what we learn. She is excited to infuse her English lessons at Crear with creative activities to inspire and nurture students’ interest in themselves, others, and their world. Gail believes enthusiasm is contagious, and she hopes to continue building meaningful friendships and a peaceful life while joyfully being in service to those around her. She enjoys exploring and adventuring wherever she is.
SAMARA & EL TORITO ART TEACHER
Rekha is originally from India but she was born in Switzerland. Growing up, she spent time in both countries but completed her degree in early childhood education in Switzerland. Rekha has been working with children for over fifteen years now. She does everything from homeschooling to day care. Rekha moved from Switzerland to Costa Rica in 2014 and began teaching art classes for young people. A fun fact about Rekha is that she speaks 5 languages. Outside of work she enjoys painting, drawing, listening to music, walks through nature, spending time with family and traveling the world.
Our Marketing Team
Bill was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona where he earned a degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona. He has worked in business, management, marketing, and sales for over 13 years in a wide range of fields. He is also a certified English teacher and holds a master's degree in International Teaching from Framingham State University. Currently, Bill is a photographer and marketer for the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy. He also provides consulting in the areas of design and digital marketing for Asociación CREAR. Bill is passionate about adventures and spending time with friends and family.
Olivia was born in Hamilton, New York, yet lived all over the country and internationally during her childhood. She currently resides in Colorado, where she is working towards her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Education at Colorado College. Olivia is passionate about social work, photography, and videography. In her spare time, you can find her swimming for her college's swim team, taking photos, or spending time with her friends and family.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Johannah grew up in the small town of Bayfield, Wisconsin and graduated from UWM in 2009 with a BA in Conservation and Environmental Science. She is currently a preschool teacher at Sámara Pacific School and spends her free time running, hiking, swimming, dancing, cooking and crafting.
Originally from Albany, New York, Tess first volunteered at Asociacion CREAR in June of 2012 while pursuing her master’s degree in
non-profit management. After graduating from SUNY Albany, she returned to Samara and has been working closely with CREAR since. She is passionate about creating unique opportunities for growth among youth.
Barbara is originally from California and has lived in Costa Rica since 1999. She has a double Bachelors degree in Psychology and Multicultural and Gender Studies. She holds a Masters in Educational Administration, and a Masters in TESOL. She is the founding Director of Costa Rica TEFL, an ESL teacher training school in Playa Samara. In addition to training TEFL teachers, she is often invited by the MEP (Ministry of Public Education in Costa Rica) to lead workshops in classroom management and the use of multiple intelligence activities in the EFL classroom. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and exploring beautiful Costa Rica.