Bram Shook

Bram grew up in Westport, CT. After graduating from San Diego State University, he stayed in San Diego for eight years working with a Fortune 500 Information Technology firm in sales and management. In 2001, Bram decided to trade in his suit and tie for shorts and flip flops and moved to Nosara where he immediately began working at Century 21 Nosara which he’s owned since 2006. Bram and his wife Jessica are co-founders of Del Mar Academy where their two children attend.

Hayley Macmillian-Ord

Hayley (with her husband and young daughter) moved from the Cayman Islands to Costa Rica in 2002 intending to move her private practice of Acupuncture and TCM to Nosara.  Both were put on hold as she turned her focus to co-founding Del Mar Academy and raising 3 children whom all attend DMA. Their daughter was the first IB graduate from Del Mar in 2018.  Currently she can be found supporting the different needs of Del Mar Academy as it continues to expand its programs and student or teaching Aerial Yoga classes at The Nosara Performing Arts Academy she co-founded with her friend Adrienne.

Jessica Sheffield Zamora

A Costa Rican Fulbright Scholar with a Master Degree in Environmental Resource Management and a Bachelor Degree in Marine Biology. She is a co-founder of Del Mar Academy and the driving force of the “Guardians of Nature” children´s initiative. In 2012, through an entrepreneurial competition, Jessica’s “Sustainable Homes ” idea was adopted and implemented nationwide. She currently writes op-ed articles for the newspaper La Nación, has a blog in The Voice of Guanacaste and is the author of the Guardian of Nature children’s book series.  Jessica is also a founder and vice president of the Nosara Recycling Association. She lives in Nosara with her husband, Bram and her children, Kai and Lucia. Jessica’s dream is to see her “Guardians of Nature” initiative and strategies be implemented worldwide.

Iain Ord

Born and raised in the UK, Iain owned a successful construction business in the Cayman Islands for 20 years prior to moving to Nosara full time in  2008. He is co-owner of Pacific design group here in Nosara and a co-founder of Del Mar Academy. When not building or renovating homes in Nosara, (Inky) can be found 3 times a week coaching the local NFC futbol team ‘Maniacs’ with his co-coach Bram.

Carlos Castro

Carlos was born and raised in San José, Costa Rica and moved to Nosara in 2003. He has a Bachelor´s degree in Pharmacy and a Master of Science in Commercial Management in Marketing from the University of Barcelona, Spain.  He currently works for Century21 as a real estate agent. Carlos, his wife Natalia and their two young boys have made their home in Nosara and their oldest boy attends Del Mar Academy. He is one of the original co-founders of Del Mar Academy.

Gerardo Brenes

Abogado y Notario Público con oficina en Playa Guiones. Vive en Nosara hace más de 20 años. Ha participado en muchas organizaciones locales y ha representado a Nosara en la Municipalidad de Nicoya (1998-2002).   Miembro del comité Ayuda Comunitaria de DMA 2011-2012.  Actualmente miembro del Comité Ruta 160 Nosara-Garza.  Tiene un hijo, José Ignacio Brenes estudiante de X año, en DMA desde el año 2010.


Alejandro Gutiérrez

Born and raised in San Jose and moved to Nosara in 2006 after finalizing a year of Social Service in the Nicoya medical hospital. Alejandro is the co-owner of  Paradise Medical Services here in Nosara. Wanting to bring some different options and shed some light on the local Zico music scene, in 2009 he co-created Caricaco Music Festival and has since produced over 100 events in Nosara featuring local and International artists.   Has one son, Matias, 10 years old and Julia, 3 years old both Del Mar Academy students. When he is not treating patients in his clinic he can be found out surfing Guiones with his wife and son.

Bart De Graaf

After completing his International Tourism Management & Consultancy study on Breda’s University for Tourism and Transport Studies in The Netherlands, Bart and his wife Karin moved to Peru in 1997 to set up what would grow into one of the leading Destination Management Companies in the continent: Encounter Latin America. With 70+ staff and 7 offices in 6 destinations Encounter is among the top 10 DMCs in the region. Bart & Karin moved to Argentina in 2004, where their two daughters Edie Annemare (2004) and Noa Elisa (2007) were born. In 2012 Bart went on to create Itereo Travel Planner, an online platform for the creation of tailor made individual journeys to 50+ destinations worldwide, aimed at retailers in Europe and North America. Since that time Karin runs Encounter Latin America as its CEO and Bart focuses his time on Itereo. Around that same time they decided work had become hectic enough and time had come to find a calmer place to live; on 2013 the family moved to Nosara, CR. Here the girls entered Del Mar Academy and Karin and Bart found another passion besides traveling: developing the family farm, Finca La Encantada. When he is not traveling, Bart likes to spend his time meditating, practicing Muay Thai and enjoying the Pura Vida life in Nosara.

Trent Christensen

Trent was born and raised in Des Moines, IA and attended the University of Iowa graduating with a BBA in finance.  After graduation, he moved to San Francisco and began working for a private equity firm and then later spent 8 years at a startup firm.  After 13 years in SF, he, his wife Sarah, and their son Henry, decided they were ready to try out a different lifestyle and moved aboard a sailing catamaran, named S/V Upside Up.  After almost 4 years, exploring the Eastern Caribbean Trent and his family found Del Mar Academy and permanently moved to Nosara for a new chapter of adventure.

Ethel 'kuki' Araya

Kuki was born and raised in Belén de Heredia, Costa Rica. She graduated as an economist from the University of Costa Rica and has studied Design Thinking, Private Social Investment and Collaborative Territorial Management. She is currently Manager of Community Projection and Sustainability for Harmony Projects, in Nosara Guanacaste, where she coordinates various initiatives and supports local organizations in the development of organizational capacities.

In 2012 she received the Yo Creo award, an award granted by the International Youth Foundation and Laureate University to young entrepreneurs, for the Nosara Recicla project that seeks to improve the waste management situation in the coastal district of Nosara.

In 2016, she received the recognition of 40 under 40, from the National Financial Newspaper, granted to those under 40 years of age with business and economic impact demonstrated and in force for her role as Administrative Manager of the La Voz de Guanacaste Regional Newspaper. Kuki is part of the Board of Directors of the Nosara Civic Association, the Nosara Recycling Association and the Nosara Development Association.