Who we are

Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper is a non-government organization, whose mission is to monitor, protect and restore water quality in the coastal watersheds and marine ecosystems between the Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Reserve and the Caletas-Ario National Wildlife Refuge through research, field work, education and advocacy.

We want these watersheds’ water quality and scenic beauty maintained and restored to flourish, for present and future generations to benefit from and enjoy.

Measuring Ario pH

We are the guardians of clean water for the South Nicoya Peninsula, filling a critical niche in the coastal area as the watchdog, steward, and voice of the ocean and coastal watersheds.

Field Work, Education, Ario Valley Field Work, Education, Ario Valley

We establish broad-based community support aiming at fostering a community responsible for good stewardship of these aquatic resources.


Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper’s vision is to have fully functioning ecological, biological and hydrological aquatic ecosystems in the ocean and the coastal watersheds.


  • Preserve and restore continental and marine water resources
  • Promote law enforcement and accountability
  • Raise awareness and educate the overall population of the southern end of the Nicoya Peninsula regarding water protection and its sustainable use

Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance (www.waterkeeper.org), a global network of more than 300 Waterkeeper Organizations dedicated to cleaning up rivers, lakes and coasts through grassroots action. The vision of the Waterkeeper Movement is for swimmable, drinkable, fishable waterways worldwide. The guiding principle of Waterkeepers is that without water, there can be no life, and without clean water, there can be no healthy life.

Water is at the core of today's most pressing issues—security and scarcity, energy and climate change, the cause and spread of infectious disease. Communities are looking for ways to protect our right to clean water, as the quality and quantity of water resources decline around the world.

Coastal and marine water resources in the southern end of the Peninsula face threats which Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper addresses through research, field work, education, and advocacy.

Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper® implements innovative and sustainable programs that:

  • Protect water, communities and ecosystems
  • Foster access to water quantity and quality wise
  • Promote research
  • Encourage long-lasting solutions benefitting marine life, local communities, and coastal economies
  • Foster sustainable water management
  • Contribute to community empowerment regarding conservation, sustainable development and equitable use of water
  • Are socially fair, environmentally healthy and economically viable

Board of directors

Sergio Guido - President

Sergio Guido


Sergio’s family roots grow deep into the rural areas of Guanacaste and Puntarenas. His contact with conservation matters started at an early age, visiting different National Parks of the Guanacaste Conservation Zone which triggered his interest for Environmental Law. He is a University Professor and practicing attorney in Costa Rica and, after working in Spain and at one of Central America’s largest law firms, he is now a founding partner of Boutique Firm DEXTRA LAW in Santa Teresa. He holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Law from Universidad Complutense de Madrid and a Specialist Diploma in Environmental Insurance Law. Sergio currently lives in Santa Teresa where he is committed to different environmental protection initiatives and has been an active part of Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper since its origins.

Ana María Pinto Vice President

Ana María Pinto

Vice President

Ana is a Landscape Architect and Design Director and Partner at VIDA Landscape Architects & Planners. With projects located throughout the country, Ana is constantly visiting new places, learning about the challenges each area holds and helping clients visualize their dreams to create sustainable projects that balance development with the natural environment. Her love for the Peninsula started at an early age when her family would spend holidays in Santa Teresa. With an office in Santa Teresa and a house in Mal País, Ana is excited to be a part of the Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper Board where she can contribute to a better future for the area and bring awareness to those who visit.

Jennifer Harter - Secretary

Jennifer Harter


Jen is a professional photographer and co-owner at 2 Costa Rica Real Estate, Santa Teresa. Jen fell in love with the Nicoya Peninsula in her teens after learning to surf and do yoga. For the last seventeen years, she has made Santa Teresa her permanent home and has started a family here. Born in Costa Rica to American parents, she likes to bridge the cultural gap between her multicultural clients and her beloved country. Jen is honored to be a part of the Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeepers Organization and is happy to contribute to this community as it grows and develops in responsible ways. She is doing so by raising awareness and providing educational opportunities to the people she welcomes into the area.

Favio López - Secretary

Favio López


Born and raised in the Nicoya Peninsula, Favio owns a construction company. He is always ready to actively participate and contribute to community initiatives aiming at sustainable development. He knows the area very well and, having been involved in community issues since a young age, he is a strong networker who makes things happen. His passion for the environment resulted in his involvement in Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper’s Board since its early beginnings.

Grey Hecht - Vocal

Grey Hecht


Grey is a green home builder, philanthropist, farmer and restorationist who has been lucky enough to have grown up in the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest in the United States. Tempered by rural lifestyle and a family culture of environmental stewardship, Grey is committed to the Waterkeeper mission of water protection and has been Board member of the Waterkeeper Alliance since 2009.

Grey received a BA in Environmental Biology from Southern Oregon University, is owner of Grey & Green, Cloudburst Enterprises, and Small Creek Farm in Oregon, and co-owner/founder of the Ola Honua Restoration Project in Maui. He is husband to Nicoya, and father of two boys, Kadin and Gracen. Grey enjoys ultra-running, surfing, snow sports, rivers and mountains to help keep him sane and enriched.

Roberto de la Ossa - Fiscal

Roberto de la Ossa


Originally from San José, Roberto moved to Santa Teresa on 2009. He has a major in Industrial Engineering at the University of Costa Rica. He has been the General Manager at Tropico Latino Hotel since 2009 from where he has been actively involved in environmental initiatives like the Blue Flag Award from the local beaches and rivers. Roberto is member of the advisory board of the National Alliance of Rivers and Watersheds of Costa Rica. Passionate about water, surfing, and videography, Roberto founded Rio Documentaries which present relevant environmental issues intertwining research, facts, human, and personal experiences in order to explain in a visual, creative, and deep way different angles to a same story. His goal is to diffuse information and provide context enabling education, awareness raising, and a call for action. Roberto’s passion for water drove him to become part of the Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper Board of Directors.


Carolina Chavarría - Waterkeeper & ED

Carolina Chavarría

Waterkeeper® & ED

Carolina has a major in International Relations at the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, a Master’s Degree in International Cooperation for Development at the University of Pavia, Italy, and a Translation and Interpretation Certificate from the University of California-San Diego Extension. From 2004, she has been working with non-governmental organizations managing and designing social development projects and strategies for developing countries, which has taken her to live in Italy, Morocco, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bolivia, and back to her native Costa Rica. Originally from San José, driven by her passion for nature and water, on October 2012 she moved to the beautiful town of Santa Teresa on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast to initiate the Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper Organization.

Ariadna Sánchez Gutiérrez - Solid Waste Project Manager

Ariadna Sánchez Gutiérrez

Solid Waste Project Manager

Ariadna holds a degree in Natural Resources Management from Universidad Estatal a Distancia and studies in graphic design at Universidad de Costa Rica. With a background in the arts area at Conservatorio de Castella, and studies of science and nature at the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje and other institutions, she has combined these disciplines creating her own way of doing environmental education for the past 20 years. Ariadna has worked for non-profit organizations such as the Organization for Tropical Studies and Centro de Investigación de Recursos Naturales y Sociales being in charge of the Outreach and Environmental Education Programs. Ariadna has also worked as a naturalist guide for more than 15 years for different educational and travel agencies, mainly in the South Pacific area but also around Costa Rica and other countries. She has had experience working with different groups including young students, teenagers, teachers, decision makers, farmers, indigenous groups, and scientists on a variety of projects about environment and sustainability.

Mariana Cassini - Communication Coordinator

Mariana Cassini

Communication Coordinator

Originally from Argentina, Mariana moved to Santa Teresa in 2017 and fell in love with its nature and people. She studied Political Science at the University of Buenos Aires and wants to advocate her career to Environmental Politics. She also studied at Goethe University in Germany where she took courses related to participative innovations and citizen engagement and determined the importance of local governments and civic participation in public policies. Mariana always worked in the communication sector in companies such as Mercedes Benz or AHK Argentina and understands that through a conscious education you can inspire different actors to take action. She is certain that without biodiversity and clean ecosystems the world as we know it doesn’t work, so that’s why she will encourage nature from wherever she is.

Kenneth Alfaro Alvarado - Project Coordinator for Water Pollution Prevention

Kenneth Alfaro Alvarado

Project Coordinator for Water Pollution Prevention

Kenneth holds a degree in Environmental Engineering from the Tecnológico de Costa Rica. He has professional experience in wastewater treatment, community water management and integrated solid waste management, has worked as an independent consultant for the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), Fundación Avina and Marviva Foundation, and has experience in environmental education and political advocacy in water and sanitation from his work at the Suwo Di Foundation of which he is a founder and in the Youth Network for Water Central America as coordinator of Costa Rica, he was part of the board of directors of the Costa Rican Water Resources Association and Environmental Sanitation (ACREH-AIDIS), and currently serves as representative of the AIDIS Joven technical division. Believes in the importance of achieving a true sustainable development in the country to become an example for the world, he promotes the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) especially those that go hand in hand with the work of Waterkeepers # 6 Clean Water and Sanitation, # 12 Responsible Production and Consumption and # 14 Life Below Water.

Map print