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Meet the Directors!


Creator of Opportunities (La Jefa)

Midwestern, born and raised. Having lived in rural Costa Rica, immersing myself in both the communities and language, I know what a life-changing experience immersion travel can be.  Go Tico! is our way of bringing that experience to groups of travelers of all ages.

I love to bring all pieces of a trip together: logistics, service, safety, and community & group compatibility. Working on brainstorming what service experience will fit a particular group of travelers, rallying support for student fundraisers, and preparing groups to maximize their time in their Tico community is part of the role I play. My hope is that travelers feel like they truly lived Tico in all forms: community, language, nature, food, and culture.

Costa Rica Travel Abroad
Costa Rica Travel Abroad


Director of Experiences (El Jefe)

Tico, born and raised. Go Tico! was born out of a love for my community, my country, and a dream to share what an amazing place Costa Rica is with anyone, young and old, who is interested in visiting! 

I work to find authentic, immersive opportunities for our groups. When planning trips, I look for places that are truly Costa Rican in their beauty & uniqueness and communities that are welcoming and eager to share their culture. My hope is every traveler we take to Costa Rica experiences true Tico hospitality and leaves feeling like they were part of a Tico community.


We are very proud parents of three adventurous and ambitious kiddos. They love meeting visitors of GoTico!

Costa Rica Family Hike

Johel grew up in La Flor, Costa Rica before moving to Madison, Wisconsin. From childhood he loved nature, leading him to become a guide. His most memorable hiking experience was the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire!

Costa Rica travel abroad student programs

Sara always knew she wanted to work in tourism and live abroad. She additionally works at the University of Wisconsin-Madison coordinating international student programs. Her most memorable hike was the Dolomites in Italy and being caught in a Glacier National Park snowstorm in shorts and a t-shirt.

Costa Rican Canyon

GoTico's first youth trip ran in 2018 with 7th, 8th and 9th graders from Madison, Wisconsin. We continued to run trips in following summers.  We also love coordinating itineraries for families traveling to Costa Rica on vacation.

Volunteering in School Costa Rica

We love Costa Rica so much that we moved with our family in 2020 to the  community of La Flor to explore more of this amazing country and culture.

Moving from Madison

Our travel style is authentic in how we travel with our own family and how we coordinate your trips. We eat at roadside stands, drive down bumpy roads to less-traveled sites, and stay in places that feel cozy and serve amazing food:)

Costa Rica Road Trip

Our most memorable travel experiences are from being among the people in whichever country we are visiting. We  believe that sharing intercultural experiences, friendships, languages, culture and food make the world a better place.  

Family Trip to Costa Rica

Our family has an organic fruit orchard, a garden, a farm-to-table cafe, and two small casitas on our property. We provide a peaceful retreat for guests in La Flor. It's all labor of love! 

Farm-to-table Costa Rican cuisine at Casitas Joys and Leo café.

When we aren't hiking, exploring, or hosting travelers, we love cooking/eating good food, reading, having family get-togethers, and playing board games! (Labyrinth and Pandemic are definitely favorites!)

Costa Rica Sunset

Want to Learn More About Costa Rica Tours? Reach Out to Us!

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