Costa Rica Directors

Sol Abroad recognizes the importance of knowledgeable, friendly, and well-trained onsite staff. Our onsite directors and staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you with any needs. The onsite directors will be your program leader and will be there to lead and guide you during your study abroad experience. Our programs also have assistant directors that help manage the programs, especially during excursions and cultural activities. Sol Abroad directors are usually host-country nationals with cross-cultural experience. All of our directors have experience working with groups and have international experience (travel and work) and have studied abroad themselves as students.

  • María Molina

    María Molina was born in Alajuela, Costa Rica but grew up in the town of Atenas on the Pacific slope. She graduated from the Liceo de Atenas in 2003, where she was involved in many cultural...

    María Molina was born in Alajuela, Costa Rica but grew up in the town of Atenas on the Pacific slope. She graduated from the Liceo de Atenas in 2003, where she was involved in many cultural activities such as salsa dance classes and theater performances. In 2006, she received her degree in Costa Rican Tourism at the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje, and is currently working on a second degree in Business Administration. María has worked as an onsite director with Sol Abroad since 2007. From spring 2009 to spring 2010 María participated in an Au Pair program to improve her English skills. She lived near Baltimore, MD and was able to travel all over the US during her stay. This was an incredible opportunity to experience the country where the majority of the Sol students come from. Maria also lived for a few months in the Netherlands and has travelled to France, Belgium, Holland, Nicaragua and Panama. In her free time María loves studying languages, dancing, reading, drawing and going to the theater in San José whenever possible. She loves Latin American literature! Her favorite authors are Gabriel García Márquez and Isabel Allende. She also is passionate about ecological conservation and is a member of Apreflofas, a non-profit dedicated to the conservation of land and wildlife in Costa Rica. María is very proud of her country and culture and looks forward to sharing it with you! She lives in Heredia, just a few blocks from the Universidad Latina.
    Email: maria@solabroad.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MariaMolinaEspinoza
    University Attended: Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje (San Jose, Costa Rica)
    Year Graduated: 2005
    Languages Spoken: Spanish

  • Orlando Murillo

    Orlando Murillo Castro was born in Costa Rica’s capital of San José, but was raised in the picturesque town of Atenas where the Sol Abroad program is based. For as long as he can remember...

    Orlando Murillo Castro was born in Costa Rica’s capital of San José, but was raised in the picturesque town of Atenas where the Sol Abroad program is based. For as long as he can remember Orlando has been in direct contact with study abroad students because his family has been housing students in their beautiful home for over a decade. This exposed him to different cultures from a young age and allowed him to learn English from very early on. He is currently studying Law at the Universidad Escuela Libre de Derecho. Orlando knows exactly what you’ll be going through living in a new country. He participated in a study abroad program to the US where he lived with an American host family in Tallahassee, FL and attended Florida State University for a semester. So he definitely understands everything involved in the study abroad experience! Orlando’s hobbies include everything related to nature; from hiking to the top of Costa Rica’s tallest mountain, Chirripó, to guiding students through Costa Rica’s famous rain forests. Another one of his passions is art. Both Orlando’s father and brother are medical doctors and his sister is a nutritionist. He feels very lucky to have grown up in such a healthy environment! Orlando loves being active and enjoys soccer, volleyball & swimming.
    Email: orlando@solabroad.com
    University Attended: Universidad Escuela Libre de Derecho (San Jose, Costa Rica)
    Year Graduated: 2014
    Languages Spoken: Spanish

  • Catalina Ovares

    Catalina (or Cata as she goes by) is a native Costa Rica. She actually grew up in the Atenas area and attended high school there. She lives in a small rural community right outside of Atenas...

    Catalina (or Cata as she goes by) is a native Costa Rica. She actually grew up in the Atenas area and attended high school there. She lives in a small rural community right outside of Atenas called Rio Grande. Cata has always had an intense love of nature which led her to study Tourism and graduate as a Naturalist Guide. For about 5 years she worked as a Naturalist Guide for a tourism company. She specialized in Costa Rican flora, fauna and history. As a guide for this company she met and led tourists from around the world. After that, she worked for 6 years as a sales executive in a travel agency. She worked with both groups and individuals. Her position consisted of providing quotes, making reservations and generally taking care of her clients while they were in Costa Rica. Cata is CPR and First Aid certified. She also has a bilingual tour guide license through the Costa Rican Tourism Board. Cata is an extremely friendly person and loves to help others. Besides her professional interests, Cata also enjoys soccer (she has taken university coursework to be a coach), horseback riding, extreme activities (zip lining and bungee jumping!) and, of course, spending time with her sweet son Franco (DOB 2008). Cata looks forward to assisting and accompanying you while on this amazing experience studying abroad!
    Email: catalina@solabroad.com
    Year Graduated: 2002
    Languages Spoken: Spanish

  • Judith Molina

    Judith Molina Espinoza was born in Costa Rica and lives in Atenas, where the Sol Abroad high school program is located. She graduated from the Liceo de Atenas (Atenas High School) in 2003 an...

    Judith Molina Espinoza was born in Costa Rica and lives in Atenas, where the Sol Abroad high school program is located. She graduated from the Liceo de Atenas (Atenas High School) in 2003 and studied Tourism at the National Institute of Learning (Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje) where she graduated in 2006. In 2018, she graduated with her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. In her free time Judith loves riding her motorcycle. Her favorite aspect of riding is enjoying the exuberant vegetation of Costa Rica. As to other hobbies, she is a self-described Marvel fanatic and enjoys movies in general. She likes to cook and is a huge fan of music from the 80s. One of her greatest pleasures, though, is simply sharing time with her family and friends. In addition to her human friends and family, Judith has a sweet schnauzer named Camila. She found Camila one day in the street, adopted her, and now Camila is an important part of her family! Camila always accompanies Judith on walks and trips. Judith has visited the neighboring countries of Panama and Nicaragua. In Panama, she has traveled to Bocas del Toro and Panama City. In Nicaragua, she has visited Granada, Masaya, and Estelí city, where her mother is from. Judith enjoys learning about different places and enjoys good food. Judith is excited to share her country with you and can’t wait to meet you in Costa Rica!
    Email: info@solabroad.com
    University Attended: Universidad Cristiana de Sur
    Year Graduated: 2018
    Languages Spoken: Spanish

  • Mercedes Arias

    Mercedes is a native of Atenas, Costa Rica and is the director and founder of ATESA, the Atenas Spanish School. The school and her home are both on a traditional farm that has been in her fa...

    Mercedes is a native of Atenas, Costa Rica and is the director and founder of ATESA, the Atenas Spanish School. The school and her home are both on a traditional farm that has been in her family for generations. Mercedes received her degree in Spanish Literature and Grammar from the prestigious National University in Heredia, Costa Rica. Upon graduating, she was immediately hired by the Peace Corps to teach Spanish to volunteers. She also coordinated the placement of these volunteers throughout the country. Later, she taught high school in Atenas for many years and continued to teach Spanish to foreigners. In 2004 she began receiving volunteer programs and since that point has dedicated herself full time to teaching Spanish to foreigners and coordinating volunteer placements throughout Costa Rica. Mercedes is married to Miguel Arias and has two lovely daughters, Noelia and Melissa.
    Email: mercedes@solabroad.com
    University Attended: National University in Heredia
    Year Graduated: 2000
    Languages Spoken: Spanish

  • Diego Baquero

    Diego is the assistant director and co-founder of ATESA. He has a love of languages and teaches Spanish, French, and ESL! Diego graduated with a degree in Spanish from the University of Cost...

    Diego is the assistant director and co-founder of ATESA. He has a love of languages and teaches Spanish, French, and ESL! Diego graduated with a degree in Spanish from the University of Costa Rica located in San José. He also received a degree in French from the Alliance Francaise. Currently, Diego is studying at the National University in Heredia to obtain his Master’s degree in Translation. His international teaching destinations have been in Canada, the USA, and in Europe. Diego was a teaching fellow at Hamilton College in upstate New York and he worked as a volunteer in France for a year. Currently, Atenas is Diego happy home!
    Email: diego@solabroad.com
    University Attended: University of Costa Rica
    Year Graduated: 2005
    Languages Spoken: Spanish

  • María Guerrero

    María Guerrero María is a bilingual education teacher and graduate from the University of Science and Technology of Costa Rica (ULACIT) in San José. She has worked in elementary and hi...

    María Guerrero María is a bilingual education teacher and graduate from the University of Science and Technology of Costa Rica (ULACIT) in San José. She has worked in elementary and high school settings teaching both English and Spanish as a foreign language. María has been an active member of both ATESA and Sol Abroad proving herself a skillful teacher of Spanish for Foreigners.
    Email: mariaguerrero@solabroad.com
    University Attended: University of Science and Technology of Costa Rica
    Year Graduated: 2006
    Languages Spoken: Spanish

  • Fabio Viquez

    Fabio is a native of Atenas, Costa Rica. After attending high school there he studied English at the North American Cultural Center (Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano - CCCN) on a...

    Fabio is a native of Atenas, Costa Rica. After attending high school there he studied English at the North American Cultural Center (Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano - CCCN) on a scholarship. Since he was very young, Fabio has been interested in technology, sports, wildlife and dance. He has studied technology at both the University of Costa Rica and the National University of Costa Rica, the two top universities in the country. Due to his interest and passion in dance, Fabio has actually worked with Sol Abroad as our Latin dance instructor for many years! One of the most interesting experiences for Fabio was traveling to nearby Nicaragua and meeting extended family there. Fabio is very personable and loves meeting people from other cultures. He is very passionate about his country; especially known for its peace and nature. Fabio looks forward to assisting and accompanying you while on this amazing experience studying abroad!
    Email: fabio@solabroad.com
    University Attended: University of Costa Rica, National University of Costa Rica
    Year Graduated: 2009
    Languages Spoken: Spanish