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Each of us has separately met Sonja and learned about the devotion and love she was giving away to support children of Costa Rica and keep them from situations of abuse and trafficking in her « CASA DE RESTAURACION » . We felt the urgency to help her create conditions to host more children and gather ressources to create a green home for them. 

Sonja Bautista: Vpresident & « Mother »

Sonja graduated from Santo Dominico and worked in hotel group. She was promoted to train a team in San Jose Palacio, 22 years ago. Later, she opened a spa in Santa Teresa. Attending church in Cobano, she was moved by the needs of the children and mothers of the area. She relocated to Cobano to dedicate her resources to feeding over 100 children and single mothers in poverty.

Strong and resilient, she dreamed of hosting the abused children into a loving and eco-friendly shelter, bringing them protection and hope.

In her own words: "I want these children to know that there's hope, to dream that anything is possible, to give them the opportunity that I never had to go to university and come out ahead. Just as you've believed in me, I know that we're going to accomplish great things together."


Cody Dilon

Tresorer & fundraising

After graduating from the University of Colorado with a degree in journalism, Cody Dillon discovered Santa Teresa where she has created a life with her two twin boys, Leo and Kai. She  brings more than 15 years of hospitality experience as General Manager of one of Costa Rica’s most environmentally conscious eco-luxe hotels, Florblanca Resort, and leads a team of 40 local employees. In her free time she loves to surf, travel, write, and participate in community outreach.


Marcelo Valanci


Marcelo is dedicated to the design, development and implementation of self-sustaining regenerative projects and communities. His latest project in Costa Rica,, transformed a pasture with cattle into an edible forest where he lives with his children and 45 families from 29 different countries. In addition to being an innovative entrepreneur, he is co-founder of a non-traditional school,


Emma Lacono

Vocal & fundraising

Emma is originally from St. Paul, Minnesota. She has an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Public Policy and a graduate degree in Educational Leadership. She has also spent time working in non-profit organizations for women and children. Currently she resides in Montezuma, Costa Rica with her husband and 3 young children. They own/operate Ylang Ylang Beach Resort, which has a strong emphasis on eco-friendly practices. Her passion is to improve the lives of women and girls. 


Mikell Lewis

Vocal & Operations

Mikell graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in International Business and Marketing, and went to work in tech startups, advertising and project management. She is constantly amazed by the strength and resilience of the children and mothers who reside at the refugio, and is tremendously grateful to be able to work with and for them. A lover of travel, nature, yoga and being of service, she has called Santa Teresa home since 2020.

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Canel Frichet

President & donor

Recidivist entrepreneur, Canel created her first company at 22 years old, in the sport industry. She grew Winamax as european number one online gaming comany, and was elected “Marketing personality of the year 2011”, outclassing giants such as Adidas and Orangina Schweppes.. Later, she created in NYC a genuine mobile app to pair working professionals with customers in need. She is now investing in real estate eco-programs in Costa Rica and in France.


Patrick Rey

Vocal & architect

Patrick began his career designing motorcycles and cars in France before he made the transition in 1995 to designing homes and buildings using the same attention to detail and craftsmanship, while adding a natural extravagance and an appreciation for the pleasures of life. French culture, ancient civilizations, and current world affairs influence his projects, whether it’s the Marseille Aquarium Park, Hotel CalaLuna, or the private residences of Villa Diosa del Mar and Oro del Sol.

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Tomas Richie



Tomas has been living in Santa Teresa for the last 30 years. He is co-founder of Santa Teresa Lifeguards and has been involved in supporting many projects from local Organizations sush as Waterkeeper, Bionic, L’Eco Project, Wild Sun Rescue Center and Casa de Restauracion.

The association Ecovillage for children and women of Costa Rica has been created on 18 of May, 2021.
The 10 associates are Laetitia Deweer, Andrea Sequeira, Sonja Bautista, Canel Frichet, Cody Dilon, Marcelo Valanski, Patrick Rey, Emma Lacono, Tomas Richil, Fatima Ottinger 

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