2016-Our Team

Members of the Association

  • Manuela Soltermann (President)
  • Paola Cubillo Mora (Vice President)
  • Maria Francy Carrillo Mora
  • Ingrid Lizeth Barrantes Cano
  • Jose Alexander Gomez Diaz
  • Marco Tulio Castillo Espinoza
  • Silvia Yarenis Diaz Baltodano
  • Sabina Salvatore
  • Leonie Alexandra Altink Have
  • Frank Miguel Fines Perez

Active Team

Manuela Soltermann, Founding Director of Day Care Amapla and President of the Association Alas para Niños de Sámara

I was born in Switzerland where I grew with my parents and brothers. When I was 7 I assisted my first dancing class and started to dancing acrobatic rock’n’roll. During my teenage years I trained every day and due to hard trainigns, perseverance and discipline I could celebrate big successes. I became part of the national team and due to this, had the chace to participate on european and world championchips all over the world. This very special experiance has teached me to stay strong, fight for a dream and never give up. I learnd how to focus, reach my goals and overstand difficult situations with perseverance for my personal and professional life. Beside my sport career I studied sales and commercial employee and later focused on human resources and people management.

In 2009 I was as a Spanish student in Sámara and felt in love with the country, people and the beach lifestyle. In 2013 I decided to move and start a new life in Cost Rica which since, fulfill me with happiness and joy. Especially since my son Ilan was born in 2014. We live a very simple and nature related life. In the morning the birds, monkeys or iguanas that life in the trees next to our house wake us up. We enjoy the beach and the ocean after work is done, the most lovely and special family welcomed us their life, and we are blessed to have good friends that surround us.

Even though living in the paradise is not always easy and involve lots of sacrifices, ss a single mother I had to find a solution on how to survive, and how to pay rent, food and day care for my son with only one salary. This is why I took the challenge for something totally new and decided to open the day care Amapola.

After one year of work I do have a very special team and an extraordinary group of children and families with whom we learn and grow every day. My objective and dream is to support and help especially parents, which are in the same situation as I and that have to fight hard to offer their family a decent life. With the realization of the project “Alas para Niños de Sámara” I want to offer and financially accessible day care for all the families in Sámara. Thinking on the future of all the children and teenager from the town, I also want to offer significate leisure and sport activities. I want to be an example for the kids, help them to enjoy unforgettable experiences, new adventures, and positive moments that allow them to have a happy childhood and become strong and successful adults.

With this manner, I would like to give thanks to my family Ruth, Walter, Susanne and Bernhard, my dancing partner Maurizio, Jürg, Sabine, Arlette and Gianni my trainers, Christian, Tina and Laura my superior, the Family Zúñiga and obviously the fabulous staff from the Day Care to be part of my life. Thanks to you all I have today the knowledge, the faith and power to realize a huge project that can bring lots of positive things to a whole town.

Paola Cubillo Mora, Vice President of the Association Alas para Niños de Samara

Paola grew up with her in Estrada, a neighbor village of Sámara. She studies primary teacher at the University in Nicoya and got certified in special needs education. She worked and made experiences in different schools and day cares before she joined Amapola in 2015. Paola is an extremely patient educator whoworks with a lot of sensitiveness and empathy.

“The day care is like my second home and the team my family. I feel blessed and happy to work with the children. It’s a huge opportunity for me to be part of the Day Care and it fulfills me with joy to give every day the best of myself, work with dedication and show the children my love. I’ll do all I can to help realizing the project. I want the children to achieve their goals and be champion. Therefor I’m here to educate, help and support the children and families however I can. I belief in “Si se puede” – “Yes we can””

Francy Carrillo, Assistent to the educators

Francy finished high school and want to study medicine in the future. Therefore she want to acquire more work experience and study on weekends English at the University. Francy work with lot of enthusiasm and her creative, entertaining and disciplined personality fulfill the kids and the team with happiness. The children admire and love, especially because she always invent new games and tells fascinating stories.

“Since my childhood I like interacting with children and I always enjoyed being surrounded by brothers and cousins. It’s incredible and fascinating to me, how children enrich, positively influence and change your life. This is why, I choose to work at the day care and why I love my job. To see the children’s smile and happy faces, see them learning and growing and as well learn from them, makes me feel very happy and proud.”

Ingrid Barrantes, Asistente de las educadoras

After the obligatory studies Ingrid studied medical assistant and keep studying English at the university. The children and team member appreciate her so adorable and humble personality. She is the most sweet and wonderful person and grateful when she join us on her fee day at university and during semester holidays.

Alex Gomez, known as Choco, main Trainer of the Surf club, ISA licensed lifeguard and owner from Choco’s Escuela de Surf.

Choco was one of the first surfers in Samara. He and a small group of guys began surfing in the late 1980s. He later went on to surf in National Competitions (Circuito Nacional de C.R.) for many years. He currently is ranked #2 in Costa Rica in Longboard (2013-2015) and represented Costa Rica in the 2013 World Longboard Competition in Huanchaco, Peru. Previously, he was Pre-Selected to represent Costa Rica in the Billabong World Surfing Tournament in 2008 and he also represented Costa Rica in Central America’s Surfing Competition in Playa Veneo, Panama, in November 2013. In December 2015, he represented Costa Rica in the PanAmerican Games in Nicaragua.

Choco is known for his smile and positive life attitude. He is always willing to help and dedicated for the wellbeing for the children in Sámara and to share his passion for the surf sport. He is a much respected person and example for much children and adults here in town.

Marco Castillo, Surf Trainer und ISA licensed lifeguard

Marco is Samareño and lived with his mother, who is a teacher in different regions in Costa Rica. When he was 10, they moved back to Sámara and got his first Surfboard from his aunt. Since he is an enthusiastic surfer and never quit the water. It was his father, a fisher man from the town, who always motivated and tried to support him as good as he could. Marco enjoy sharing his passion with his clients. He has an awesome talent to care, motivate and encourage children and is a big asset for our team.

“I want to boost the good image of the surfing and share my passion and love for the ocean with the children. Teach a healthy lifestyle with sport and work as a unit that train with humility, patience and dedication to achieve the children’s goals”