"Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Founder and lead guide at TuCamino, Nena Belen Ocampo has a long history with both Mexico and Costa Rica. Originally from Texas, Nena has always been proud of her Mexican-American heritage. Her father is from the state of Guanajuato, Mexico and much of Nena's extended family still lives there. It wasn't until the age of 23, though, that Nena was able to travel to Mexico to meet them, and ultimately, connect with her culture and heritage.
While in Mexico, Nena visited the town of Sayulita and fell instantly in love. What was originally to be a four-day stay turned into two weeks, and later, three months. Nena loves Sayulita, and the SayuVida as she calls it, particularly for its strong sense of tradition. Everything from the food to the language to the music and dress is rich in traditional Mexican culture. In addition, Sayulita is a popular destination for yoga and surf, two passions of Nena's.
At 18, Nena studied abroad and fell in love with Costa Rica, which has been her home for the past two years. It is there, in the Caribbean of Costa Rica that she first discovered surfing and fell in love with the water. Costa Rica introduced her to the concept of pura vida, "the pure life," and she found that it was the perfect place to connect with nature and escape from the hectic lifestyle she was accustomed to in the US.
Be it in Mexico or Costa Rica, Nena is truly at home in Central America and loves sharing these magical places with new travelers. Her experiences and the memories she has created in both countries were the inspiration for TuCamino, and she can't wait to guide you on your own adventures!
"Water does not resist. Water flows...Remember, you are half water.
If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does."
-Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad
Alia Kahan is a cook, but not a kook. She makes healthy, simple, tropical meals — based on what's available locally and seasonally — that give you the energy and power necessary to spend all day in the surf. Alia believes that natural food is the easiest choice and designs meals that do no harm to body, community, or environment. She's been surfing and traveling the Americas for three years and counting.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to manifest the glory that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Susanna is a passionate traveller and yoga teacher all the way from Australia. Susanna has travelled the world ending up in South America to realise she had fallen hopelessly in love with the culture and lifestyle she was immersed in, she has since chased her path of happiness through sun and simplicity. The last few years she has lived in Panama and Costa Rica and this is where she found her love for yoga. Through her journey with yoga she has found immense healing and self love, her ultimate goal is to now share that with others in the best way she can.
Susanna completed her 200hr Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica with Soma Yoga Institute and since has gone on to explore Yin Yoga as well as Reiki, all of which to be incorporated into her classes.
Susanna wants to use her experience to always lift others and show that nothing is holding you back from your path to happiness.
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”
- Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi
Abi was born and raised on an island off the coast of Maine. She grew up in a family of fisherman and salt water runs in her blood. Since graduating college with two degrees, in Anthropology and French, Abi has lived in both Senegal and Costa Rica. She came to el Caribe in search of warmer water and fell in love with the energy and community in Puerto Viejo.
Abi truly believes in letting your passions guide you and trusting in the power of the universe. Empowering the wild divine in herself and others is what sets her soul on fire. Abi is a licensed doula and Reiki practitioner.
Dex is from Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. He is head tour guide at the Jaguar Rescue Center and has over 5 years working there. His experience and work with the center and animals has landed him numerous interviews and features. He has over 11 years surfing and many years of experience coaching surf as well. His knowledge allowshim to get anyone up and riding on a wave---all while having fun! Regardless of your level, he is here to make your experience "pura vida"!
Danielle is the founder and director of Elevation Studio since 2005. She creatively and classically teaches both pilates and yoga. She received pilates certification from The Physical Mind Institute for both mat (1999) and apparatus(2011). Registered with Yoga Alliance, Danielle completed both her vinyasa and yin yoga certifications in NYC. She believes a blend of both pilates and yoga is a beautiful and essential combination to one's life, at any level. Combining yin(connective tissue strengthening) with yang(muscle strengthening) for a more balanced body approach is also necessary in today's modern culture and lifestyle. Core strength, flexibility, fun, and mindfulness are all elements present in her teaching. She is a resident of Block Island, and spends her winters in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. Danielle (DJ Libre) can also be found djing around the island each summer...as music is life and celebration.