Juan Jorge Araya Castillo
Operations Manager / Naturalist Tour Guide / Surf Instructor
I was born and raised in Palmares, a small town in the western side of the central valley of Costa Rica.
I grew up spending a lot of time outdoors, which strengthened my connection with Mother Nature. When I was a teenager I was introduced to surfing, which completely changed the way I see life. The love for the ocean and its energy opened my mind and planted in me great admiration for the forces of nature.
I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hospitality and now I am studying Natural Resources Management at Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED). I have been working in tourism since 2008.
My appetite for knowledge and adventure has led me to explore places like Indonesia, Peru, India, Cuba, Mexico, Dominican Republic, United States, Nicaragua, Panama, and of course my beautiful Costa Rica.
Some of my pastimes and interests include literature, history, films, philosophy, music, cooking, snorkeling, fishing and photography. I also practice yoga and of course still surf as much as I can.
I have always felt a deep connection with the environment, it is my purpose, through my work, to help others find and strengthen that connection.
I am proud to be the founder of Costa Rica Outdoors & Waves.
Leah Kogen Busam
Owner, Pilates Bodies, Denver CO / Pilates Instructor
In 2000, Leah began Pilates to decrease chronic lower back pain. A year later, with her lower back issues resolved, her love for Pilates and her enthusiasm for teaching others led her into the training program to become a Certified Pilates Instructor. Leah was trained extensively in Classical Pilates at the Pilates of Cherry Creek Certification Center, a studio based on the work of Romana Kryzanowska.
Leah Busam is the owner of Pilates Bodies which opened in 2005. 775 clients and 12 instructors later, Pilates Bodies has grown exponentially since its inception and won Best Pilates Studio in Denver, CO for Channel 7’s A-List in numerous years. Leah creates individualized workout programs for clients wishing to increase core strength and flexibility, improve posture and help prevent injury.
Additionally, Leah has been trained as a Breast Cancer Exercise Specialist (BCES) through the Pink Ribbon Program, specializes in Pilates for pregnancy, and has continued her work with Pilates for Rehabilitation and the Pilates Method for geriatric clients.
Leah has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Pomona College in Southern California, majoring in Fine Arts and minoring in Economics and is an active member of the Denver Art Museum, the Clyfford Still Museum and the Denver Botanic Gardens. In addition to Pilates, Leah enjoys spending time with her wonderful 13 year old daughter and loves to travel, play tennis, garden, bike, ski and read. Leah and her family discovered the amazing little beach town of Santa Teresa in 2017 and falling in love with Costa Rica, Santa Teresa and its wonderful people, the Busams made it a second home.
Stefano Allegri began the deep exploration of “mind body” years ago through the world of martial arts. Stefano studied for more than ten years with Enzo Montanari, a legendary Sensei of Karate-Do. He received a second-degree black belt in the Karate-Do Shotokan style and he became an international instructor in this ancient practice.
Stefano’s love of nature and respect for a country that had no army moved him to Costa Rica where he took the first steps in learning Asana Yoga. His passion for the union between oppositional energies brought Stefano to Bali in 2003 to explore his first teacher training in Ubud.
In 2005 Stefano travelled to Mysore, India where his Ashtanga studies unfolded with K. Pattabhi Jois. In the last decade, he has spent time in California and Colorado practicing and learning from Masters Tim Miller and Richard Freeman.
In 2013, Stefano returned to India and studied intensely with one of the most recognized yoga masters in the world, Mathew Sweeney. Stefano loves yoga and working with body anatomy and alignment. His yoga practice is both on and off the mat. Stefano’s classes are a journey of the mind and the body and he always teaches with passion, joy and a fabulous sense of humor.
I was born and raised in the second biggest island of Costa Rica, Isla Chira, located in the Gulf of Nicoya. I moved to Mal País in 1997, with the man I now call my husband.
Long time ago I learned to ride waves here in the southern Nicoya Peninsula, but not until 10 years ago I learned to glide with the ocean on a SUP. My passion now is teaching the art and skill of SUP in the ocean.
I competed for three years in SUP Racing and I was lucky enough to win. I have 3 national titles, 2 Centro American titles, and I have competed in two World SUP Championships.