Evolve Guides & Instructors
All of our professionally qualified guides bring distinctive talents to make the Evolve Gap Year program a unique, amazing and transformative experience for each participant. With their combined experience of multiple adventures around the world, our team is equipped to share their expertise and perspective with you.
BARUCH FIGUEROA ZAVALA
BARUCH FIGUEROA ZAVALA
Baruch, interested in marine and coastal environment from a young age, holds a degree in marine biology from Universidad del Mar in Oaxaca, México. He continued his master studies at National University of Costa Rica and El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Quintana Roo, México, specializing in coral reefs management and rural development. He is a certified PADI DiveMaster and AGRRA certified trainer. Baruch has worked in a variety of marine conservation projects in the Mesoamerican Reef area, ranging from monitoring and evaluation of reef communities, seagrass and coral reef restoration to conducting research on marine turtles, mangroves and inland-forests. He has collaborated with coastal management specialists in the design and implementation of Marine Protected Areas. Baruch enjoys teaching marine environmental education, coral reef monitoring and reef fish ecology as well as swimming, surfing, diving, snorkeling, wake and paddle boarding. Baruch is a passionate wildlife and landscape photographer/videographer; some of his latest contributions include providing visual and data materials for the Healthy Reefs Initiative and for the Exposure Labs’ Chasing Coral documentary. He also enjoys painting, listening to music, chatting with his mates, watching a good indie film, going out for salsa dance and a good read.
Marc Aquino Baleytó loved nature from his earliest youth. He was born in a village on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea where he developed his great passion for the sea and especially for sharks. He began his Bachelor of Marine Sciences at the University of Cádiz and finished at the Autonomous University of Baja California in Ensenada on an exchange scholarship. Marc also volunteered in conservation campaigns, underwater censuses and research with seagrass, fish, cetaceans, Humboldt squid and sharks. In 2016 he completed his Master's Degree in Marine Resource Management Sciences, studying the bioaccumulation of mercury in the white shark and pinnipeds of Guadalupe Island.
In January 2017 he started his doctorate in Marine Sciences studying the habitat use of the white shark in Isla, Guadalupe. Throughout this trajectory, he has strengthened his skills in outdoor fieldwork, both marine and terrestrial. He is a Dive master, commercial diver, little boat skipper, WFR by NOLS, field guide, sailor and, above all, a lover of nature.
JENNIFER MONGE FORBES
JENNIFER MONGE FORBES
Jennifer Monge Forbes is a local tour guide in Costa Rica. She owns and manages El Pilón, a Caribbean Restaurant in Limón, Costa Rica, and owns a medicinal tea company, FLORABUNDA. Jennifer is also a certified Metaphysical and spiritual healer and has been practicing different modalities of energetic healing for over seven years. Since she started these practices, she found true meaning and purpose in life by helping others to live in union with nature without boundaries of race or social class. She is committed to sharing this powerful way of living and to create healing and positive spaces in her community. Jennifer completed a full course in Bioenergetics and Extrasensory Perception, which granted her the title of Healer and Instructor from the Academy of Metaphysical and Spiritual Sciences School of Budapest.
Ramon Martinez was born in Madrid, Spain. Ramon studied Podiatry and has been in private practice for over 23 years. During this time, he attended courses in floral therapy. Dr. Martinez investigated and developed his own floral system of essences of orchids and trees. He is the author of several books about energy healing and healing music. In Hawaii, he discovered the energetic work of Tibetan tantra and subsequently studied Reiki. Dr. Martinez is a multi-master teacher in different styles of Reiki and gives healing energy workshops.
Fernando Bolaños is a kundalini yoga instructor who has taught for more than ten years in countries through Europe and Latin America. His vast spiritual healing background includes training in reiki, deeksha, family constellations, meditation, multiple types of yoga, and the use of Native American medicine. Fernando is also an actor and director, actively working in many films, a certified advanced scuba instructor, surfer and lover of traveling, nature and adventure. His varied experience has prepared him as a powerful guide, eager to share his knowledge. Yoga has given him deep insight and a solid doorway to open the heart and glimpse into the depth of our being. Fernando has an intense passion to help people connect to their own vast inner ocean of joy, love and deep peace, reminding us that all we require is already inside of us.
Laura Cohen grew up on a sustainable-living farm in Eastern Washington state taking care of horses and teaching wilderness horseback riding. Living in Senegal, West Africa, for 6 years and working with local youth, as well as guiding tours for Japanese youth in the USA, Laura gained much experience in hands-on education. She is a world traveler, speaks multiple languages and practices natural healing techniques. She worked as a Shiatsu massage practitioner at Heartwood Holistic Institute in Northern California and in a Spiritual retreat center in Kaluni Honua in Hawaii. Now in Northern California, she is a master gardener and teaches biodynamics and natural medicine to her community. She believes that a diverse landscape will always be the healthiest, and a diverse group of people will always be the strongest!
SHAMAN MARTIN MAMANI
SHAMAN MARTIN MAMANI
Shaman Martin Mamani was born in Yumani, Sun Island in Lake Titicaca, Bolivia, and was raised amidst the Aymara people. His studies included archeology at the University of La Paz. Martin now works in Lake Titicaca as a leader organizing cultural and agriculture events and he owns and manages the Inkapacha Ecolodge in Sun Island. He is also the director of the Sol Horizonte Organization, communicating the sacred Aymara wisdom and traditions. Over the past 20 years, Shaman Martin has been guiding foreign groups to many sacred destinations in Bolivia and Peru as he shares his knowledge and wisdom from Aymara Culture, Incan culture and his vision of unity among human civilization.
Marta Fabregas, is the founder of Evolve Gap Year with Daniel Rindzler. They dreamt this program by the desire to bring holistic living plus an excellence educational program into Youth lives though traveling to the most beautiful and exciting places they love on the planet Earth to co create sustainable living communities and harmony in our planet.
Marta is a MSc in Marine Sciences and Marine Biologist by University of Barcelona. Marta is an Open Water Scuba Instructor and she has been Scuba Diving since she finished high school and her passion for the oceans and wildlife conservation take her to found/create Nature and Oceans of the Americas, a marine conservation and educational non profit based in Costa Rica.
Marta is also Metaphysical and spiritual healer and life empowerment coach certified by University of Mount Shasta, California. Marta loves connecting people with their inner compass encouraging them to navigate their own way to the life they dreamt to live in.
The founder and primary Director of Punta Mona, has been living in Costa Rica, since 1995. Stephen observed the problems facing small farmers and communities in Central America and Costa Rica due to mega-monoculture agricultural practices and loss of dynamic community. He strives to provide students, landowners, businesses and neighbours regenerative solutions and strategies to increase quality of life. Stephen is an avid and passionate ethnobotanist, plant collector, permaculture designer and educator, operator of education environmental and botanical tours, implements permaculture gardens and food forests on home and many hundred acre scales, and community developer. He is the co-founder of both Medicines from the Edge: a Tropical Herbal Convergence and Envision Festival.