Joshua Canter – Founder and Director of True Nature Education and The CREER Service Organization
Joshua has a B.A. in Intentional Community Development and an MA in Contemplative Psychology with an Emphasis on Mindfulness. Joshua is a trained facilitator, mediator, NVC (Non-Violent Communication) practitioner and yoga and meditation instructor. Since 2002, Joshua has been living part time in Costa Rica and in Asheville, North Carolina, teaching courses and workshops, leading retreats, and accompanying his wife, Luna Ray, musically she travels throughout the United States.
Elizabeth "Lizzy" Gerson – Director of Operations
Lizzy is the newest member of the TNE team, coming to us from Guatemala, where she had lived for the past 19 years. Lizzy has over 35 years of business experience in organization development, staff management and operations. She has worked at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Villa Sumaya Retreat Center, and Fortune 100 companies along with her own consultant business. She is a single mom, now living in Asheville, North Carolina, with her son, Myles. Lizzy has been practicing yoga and meditation for over 30 years and brings the fruits of her practice into all aspects of her life. Lizzy dedicates her time with TNE by focusing on operations, correspondence, and systems helping us to continue improving our services.
Jessica Durivage-Kerridge – Global Relations Coordinator
Jessica is a traveler at heart. A mystic mama who wears the badge "seeker of truth" on her heart (and who wears her heart on her sleeve). Since 2001 Jessica has been an passionate and purposeful traveler with several trips around the globe sharing her gifts and talents to the communities she meets. She first met Joshua and Luna, founders of True Nature Education, in 2009 when she and her partner spent a retreat season with them doing karma yoga (the yoga of service) and living off the land. The bond she made with Costa Rica forever left an imprint on her heart and it is sacredly serendipitous to be working alongside them now. Side note: Jessica and her partner Carl were married in 2012 with a ceremony performed by Joshua and Luna. Jessica now resides in Myrtle Beach, SC with her husband Carl, son Ellis, dog Julia Olive and two cats, Suki and Spooky. You can find more about Jessica, her writing and teaching at www.whereismyguru.com
Ashley McClelland – Marketing & Sales Director
Since August 2012, Ashley has been aboard the True Nature Education Team overseeing the inner workings of the online marketing and outreach efforts. Her educational background in English–Professional Writing & Rhetoric with a B.A. from Elon University has led her to an enlightened and creative approach to grassroots marketing. She has worked with health and wellness companies since 2009, choosing each new venture to be closely aligned with her own personal values. Travel and music are her passions in life; Ashley often finds herself adventuring around the country, planning trips to new cities and pursuing the next can't-miss show. In between this exploration, she resides in Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, where she enjoys hiking, live music, cooking, gardening, working out, and spending time with her dog, Bear, and her partner, Gary.
Costa Rica Staff
Raylene has a B.S. in Education, a Master's Degree in the Art of Teaching, National Board Certification in Early Adolescent Science, and Yoga Certification; her education has greatly impacted her life journey. She encourages student growth in the naturalistic intelligence, which she feels is very fulfilling both inside and outside of the classroom. She feels that planting seeds in future citizens that have an environmentally sound background will hopefully lead to new solutions that make the local community, nation, & planet a more harmonious place. She has received many awards, including the Proctor & Gamble Environmental Teacher of the Year, Clermont County Educator of the Year, and has had the opportunity to give numerous presentations at State, National, & International Education Conventions. She is married with two daughters who also enjoy new cultures and trips off the beaten path.
While pursuing her undergraduate education, Ashley seized every opportunity to travel. She spent time working at an English-speaking summer camp in Turkey, a semester living abroad with a host family in Morocco, as well as time in Tanzania teaching at a community school. Her current interests have led her to pursue a graduate degree in Contemplative Psychotherapy in Boulder, Colorado. She is a teacher and student of yoga, as well as a passionate hiker and dancer. Traveling for Ashley has encouraged a deepening of her own self-knowing, as well as created a multitude of opportunities to share in deep love and connection with others. Ashley feels tremendous gratitude for the opportunity to support and empower others through the avenues of travel and service.
Jenny is a naturalist tour guide who loves her job and enjoys sharing her knowledge with new friends. Her love for nature, people and languages has given her the opportunity of being part of many people's experiences here in Costa Rica. Her adventure in life started with her first major, which was a B.A. in English as a second language from the University of Costa Rica. She also learned Portuguese at a Brazilian Center and got her naturalist guiding license from the National Learning Institute. A few years later, she started her third goal in her life, which was to become a biologist. However, before she was able to finish, she became a very proud mother and loves spending time with her four-year-old son. Jenny hopes to go back to school and finish her major in biology, but in the mean time, she enjoys her family as much as possible. Besides this, Jenny likes going to the movies, going to the gym, go running, go hiking and visit new places.
Mother of five, tour guide for decades, web designer, university teacher and founder of the most known group of tour guides in Costa Rica, Olga is a smiling face yet profound woman. For her guiding is more than a job... it is a passion and a privilege, where she can see for the first time the most beautiful and amazing places over and over again through the eyes of her passengers. For her, the most important thing a traveler can have is a deep and true sense of awe... and living is traveling through life.
Lindsay Padilla was born in San José, Costa Rica. She obtained a secretarial science degree and studied Spanish for teaching to foreign people. Now she combines her two big passions: Spanish and Tourism. She is a nature lover that enjoys learning from other cultures, traditions and sharing her indigenous roots with people from all over the world!