Our Team

Jessica Sheffield Zamora
Founder & Executive Director Guardians of Nature

Jessica Sheffield Zamora is a Costa Rican, former Fulbright scholar with a Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Management, and a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology. Jessica is the Executive Director of Guardians of Nature and the co-founder and president of the DMA Foundation the umbrella for the  Del Mar Academy international school and the Guardians of Nature initiative.  In 2012, through a competition for entrepreneurs, her idea of Sustainable Home was adopted and implemented nationwide by the Commission of Ecological Blue Flag. Jessica writes opinion articles for the La Nación newspaper, has a blog in the regional newspaper La Voz de Guanacaste and is the author of the children’s series of The Guardian of Nature children’s book series. She is also founder and vice president of Nosara Recicla. Jessica lives in Guanacaste with her husband, Bram, and her children, Kai and Lucia. She dreams to create a wordlwide movement of Guardians of Nature children and teachers.

Andrea Víquez Benavides
Coordinator of Guardians of Nature community of Nosara

Andrea is a forest engineer and has a Business Administration Technician degree, both degrees are from the Costa Rica Institute of Technology. She has experience in environmental sustainability and environmental education issues. In 2014 she won the 1st place in the “IX NATIONAL FAIR OF ENTREPRENEURS PROJECTS” of the Costa Rica Institute of Technology. During 2015 she was in charge of the Department of Environmental Education at the Tirimbina Biological Reserve where she coordinated and executed the “CLASSROOM IN THE FOREST” program. During this same year, she obtained her certification in WET methodology (Water Education for Teachers). Andrea also has experience with the Tourism Sustainability Certification program (CST-hotels), Ecological Blue Flag and ISO-19011: 2011 Standard.

Helga Georgina Quesada
Coordinator of Educational Projects

Helga Georgina Quesada is a teacher by profession and certified educational trainer. She has 20 years of experience in primary education and adult training, working in both the public and private sectors. She ventured into environmental education in order to support the development of programs such as the Ecological Blue Flag and by collaborating with various NGOs. As part of her family heritage, she is passionate about the arts and literature.

Support team

Gabriela Gomez Matarrita
Coordinator for Nicoya and Hojancha

Gabriela has a degree in Social Work with extensive experience in community work and projects for the benefit of children. She has worked as an environmental educator in the Nicoya area providing workshops on the protection of water resources, as well as social work in a care network for the elderly. She is currently the coordinator of the Guardians of Nature workshops in the Hojancha and Nicoya schools, thanks to the First USA-CR Debt for Nature Swap.

Ana Beatriz Hernández Barquero
Environmental educator - Creation of material

Environmental educator – Creation of material

Ana Beatriz Hernández is a biologist, graduated from the University of Costa Rica and has a degree in Environmental Interpretation. She is currently developing her thesis focused on the prevention of forest fires. She has served in different volunteer projects in national parks and as a volunteer forest firefighter. She works as an assistant instructor of Ecology Project International and in the national campaign of forest fire prevention “A Summer without Forest Fires.” Throughout her career she has contributed to different  communication and environmental education activities, and participates in the creation of the Guardians of Nature material.

Laura Pérez Bertozzi
Environmental educator - Creation of material

Laura Pérez Bertozzi, has a degree in Natural Resources Management and Project Development in Organic Agriculture. She has experience in environmental education, forest fires, climate change, agroecology and risk management. She currently resides in Upala and works in the development of rural communities; also volunteer of the Costa Rican Red Cross and forest fire-fighter. Laura contributes to the creation of the Guardians of Nature material.

Marta Julia Díez
Editor

Marta Julia Díez has a degree in Mass Communication, journalist, editor and proofreader. For 12 years she served as editor of various media such as the newspaper La Nación, the newspaper La República, the magazine Niños, among others. Since 2010 and to date, after her studies in Spanish Philology, she has specialized as a consultant in Communication and publications for government institutions, written press media, and independent authors of literary works. Currently, she combines her philological work with teaching as a professor of Communication Theory at the San Judas Tadeo University. She lives in San José, Costa Rica, and is the mother of Luis Fernando, 19.

Rebecca Rodríguez Sibaja
Graphic design and infographics

Rebecca is an industrial design engineer from the Costa Rica Institute of Technology, who is passionate about goldsmithing and graphic design. In 2017 she dedicated her professional career as an entrepreneur in these areas, providing graphic design services in different projects to SME entrepreneurs and large companies, such as the BAC San José. Rebecca also creates her own brand of jewelry, “Rebe.joyería”.

Teaching and administrative team Del Mar Academy

Del Mar Academy is the laboratory of Guardians of Nature. Our staff, composed of 32 members who represent a wide variety of nationalities and cultures, as well as a variety of diverse academic backgrounds, provide essential contributions to and participation in our team efforts and goals.