MEET THE TEAM

At Mareas, we are committed to creating a caring, child-centered academic environment, where freedom and flexibility go hand in hand with learning from the most qualified teachers in the Samara area.

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Lenina Araya Orocu

Founder & Director, 

Lenina is a native of San Jose, Costa Rica, where she completed her studies at the Universidad de Santa Paula with a specialization in Special Education, with an emphasis on Speech Therapy. She has worked exclusively with children  for the last 25 years and truly enjoys the time spent with them, nurturing them as they grow and learn. Her other passions are reading, riding her bicycle, and spending time with her family.

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Miroslava Castro

Presschool- Kindergarten 

Teacher

Miroslava Castro is from Caracas, Venezuela, Teacher in Preschool Education, she studied at the Pedagogical Institute of Caracas which is a university where teachers specialized in pedagogy are trained, she is also a Sensei of Karate-Do 4th Dan which she is passionate about. She currently has 2 Dojos in Samara and Nosara soon in Nicoya. She has worked with children for 30 years in different areas as a teacher, Sensei, with academic reinforcements, recreator and babysitter, she loves working with children because with a smile or a hug from them her day is filled with color. She loves to play sports, walk, read and watch movies. She is happy to belong to the Mareas Academy team starting her 7th year and always giving her best for the well-being of our community.

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Nadine Howell

Presschool- Kindergarten 

Teacher

Nadine is from Southern,Ontario, Canada where she gained her Early Childhood Education diploma and her Honours Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood studies. Her energetic spirit and passion for educating young children is apparent with her 25+ years of teaching in the classroom. When not teaching, Nadine loves to spend time with her friends and family, cook, bake and hang out at the beach.

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Carrlene McDavid

1st-2nd  Grade Teacher,

English, Science, Math and Social Studies.

Carlene is delighted to return to Maraes Academy as the Gr. 1/2 teacher. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Carlene has made her home in Sámara over the past year and is grateful to contribute to the beautiful community that already lives here. Carlene completed her Bachelor of Education at the University of Toronto. Carlene is certified to teach in all Primary, Junior and Intermediate divisions, with a specialty in teaching English. Carlene has taught at several private schools throughout Toronto "My responsibility to my students is to guide them towards realizing their gifts. To help them uncover what lights them up and what they have to offer the world. The students make me laugh and push me to grow, just as much as I push them to grow. Teaching is the most rewarding job one can experience, and I am incredibly grateful for my students’ trust and curiosity.”

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Hannah Lessware

3rd - 4th   Grade Teacher,

English, Science, Math and Social Studies.

Hannah is a teacher of Science, Math, English and Social Studies from the UK. Originally from England, Hannah is a Bachelor of Sciences, specializing in Biology, going onto then further her specialism with a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. She has been teaching for over 8 years and has found her new home in Samara. Hannah is a passionate and engaging teacher, who is extremely excited to share her enthusiasm and knowledge of the environment with Mareas. Hannah prides herself on building positive and respectful relationships with each one of her pupils.

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Diego Salas

5th - 11th Grade Math and STEAM teacher

Diego is native of Alajuela, Costa Rica where he completed his studies at the Universidad de Costa Rica. He is a Professor of Mathematics at Universidad Central , a private university.

He likes to practice soccer and volleyball, also likes listening to music and playing videogames.

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Jason Wright 

5th-12th Grade, English and   Social Studies Teacher

Jason is from Devon in the United Kingdom. He has worked in mainstream and special education for over 25 years. He holds the title of Associate Professor in Education. Previously, he lectured at Brigham Young, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong Universities. Additionally, Jason was the Director of Education at Heritage Schools and for the Cambian College. He holds a doctorate in Educational Inquiry, Measurement and Evaluation and Master's degrees in History, Education and Diplomacy and Policy. Jason loves sport, martial arts, playing the piano and cooking.

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Melissa Jimenez 

Grades 1st - 11th Spanish and  Spanish as a Second Language, Social Studies from Costa Rica and Economics for the upper grades.

Costa Rican economist, native of Playa Sámara, Guanacaste. She loves reading, practicing sports. She has worked in several universities in the country as a teacher of Social and Economic Sciences degrees. She has been a member of the Mareas Academy family for 5 years, and this year 2022-2023 she will teach Spanish and Social Studies classes for non-native speakers.

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Nicolás Tejada

1st-9th Grades, Spanish and  and Social Studies from Costa Rica

Originally from Cusco, Peru, Nicolas studied Hispanic Literature at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and later completed a Master degree in Education and Social Justice in Madrid. In the educational field, Nicolas had the opportunity to teach in alternative schools in different cities of Peru. In which he collaborated in the development of participatory methodologies for children and teenagers. Also, he worked at university as a teaching assistant of philosophy and narrative courses. Nicolas believes that his educational labor is an opportunity to show that tenderness is revolutionary

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Stephanie Rangel 

5th-12th Grade,  Science and STEAM Teacher

Stephanie is Mexican, born in Mexico City. She has a Bachelor's degree in Biology and a Master's degree in Science in Natural Resources and Rural Development. She has worked constantly on environmental education issues. She is very passionate about field work, and she loves it when her students share with her the love and respect she has for nature and all the beings that live in it. What she enjoys most about teaching science classes is being able to appreciate live and direct all the wonders that the environment has for us.

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Isabella Di Capua 

Assistant

Isabella is our third student to graduate from high school. She has decided to take a gap year before defining what she wants to do in her future. This year she has the opportunity to work at Mareas as an assistant and she is very excited to be part of the educational experience of our students.

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Hillary Campos

Assistant

Hillary was born in San José; she is 25 years old and has three girls who attend Mareas. She is currently studying to be a bilingual preschool technician, and this is the second year that she works with us.

She has really enjoyed her experience as an assistant to the little ones at school.

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Silvia Rangel 

Preschool Assistant

Silvia is originally from Estrada de Hojancha, Costa Rica. She is 44 years old and has 3 children. She has been part of the Mareas family for 10 years and for four years she has been a preschool assistant.

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Paulina Fahle

Assistant

Paulina is studying social work in Germany and is doing her practical semestre at Mareas. She will stay for half a year. After finishing school and before starting  university she did volunteering for one year at a school and kindergarten in Thailand. She loves going to the beach and meeting friends in her freetime.