Staff

Kerri Bowers, TEFL Trainer & Co-Founder

After earning her Master’s Degree in International Training and Education from The American University, Kerri taught inner city high schoolers for four years. Then, it was time to combine her formal teaching experience with her nonformal educational training abroad. As co-founder of Proyecto Montezuma, she now works as the Academic Director for all educational programs. With lots of help, Kerri runs Proyecto TEFL’s teacher training course, English language school and manages the Volunteer Program. Kerri is an experienced language teacher and curriculum designer. Proyecto Montezuma allows Kerri to combine her passions for teaching, traveling conscientiously and caring for our fragile planet while preparing teacher trainees to become effective language teachers.

Cesar “Vill” Benavides, Spanish Teacher & Co-Founder

Cesar Vill BenavidesBorn in Alajuela, Costa Rica, Cesar fell in love with Montezuma at an early age. After studying Eco-Tourism at the Universidad Tecnica Nacional, he moved to Montezuma and founded Underground Sustainable Tours, Montezuma’s first sustainable tour company. Now, as co-founder of Proyecto Montezuma, Cesar directs all sustainable tours and adventures. Cesar is also one of Proyecto Montezuma’s Spanish Immersion teachers. He is eager to share his knowledge of the local flora and fauna, wildlife, and history with eager globe-trotters.

Jacqueline “Jacqz” Empringham, English Language Program DirectorSummer camp 4

Just ask any adult or child in town who the best English teacher is and the response is always JACQUELINE! Originally from Toronto, Canada, Jacqueline has traveled around the world…In 2004, she founded and led the Kilimahewa School in Tanzania, East Africa. Then, she ventured to Australia where she worked for six months to fund more travels around South and East Asia. She earned her Honor’s Science degree from McMaster’s University in Canada and later found her way to Montezuma. In November 2010, she earned her TEFL degree with Proyecto Montezuma and has lived and taught in Montezuma ever since. She previously taught Math, Science and English at a local private school and now leads Proyecto’s English Language Program. Jacqueline works with all volunteers and TEFL trainees in preparing and executing effective lesson plans, classroom management and co-trains
learning modules during the TEFL training courses.

Maykol “Chasis” Salazar, Surf Instructor

You might want to get Maykol’s autograph after your surf lesson because this guy is going pro! Maykol was born-and-raised right in Montezuma and is hands-down the best local surfer in town. Maykol not only is talented on the board, but an effective teacher for surfers of all levels. Maykol’s surf students have given him a 100% satisfaction record, so don’t miss your chance to catch some waves with Maykol while vacationing in paradise! Maykol is an ISA Certified Surf Instructor, trained and qualified to teach all ages and levels of surfers.

Andrei “Pitoto” Calzolari, Administrator & Spanish Teacher

andrei websiteAndrei will be the first guy you meet when you get to Proyecto Lodge and will quickly become your best friend! Originally from Heredia, he escaped to the beach often as a teenager and has lived in Montezuma for the past 4 years. He has traveled around Central America and Italy and now calls Montezuma his home. Andrei runs Proyecto Lodge and is in charge of all guests’ fun! Don’t hesitate to ask Andrei any questions. And he is is trilingual, so you can practice your Spanish, Italian or English while relaxing at the lodge. Andrei studied Tourism at CUNA and earned his TEFL teaching degree with Proyecto. In addition to running the lodge, he also teaches Spanish classes and knows how to have a good time!

Michele LaMountain, Yoga for Kids InstructorMichele Yoga

Originally from Boston, Michele studied Early Childhood Education and worked with infants and toddlers. She earned her TEFL certification at Proyecto in September and never plans on leaving paradise! She is children yoga certified through Kidding Around Yoga and excited to continue sharing peace and to spread the language that revolves around the yogi community. Years ago, she began to incorporate yoga in her life as a form of physical exercise and became aware of the many other positive effects and now she integrates her yoga practice as a form of  relaxation, meditation, and an overall stress-reducer both in and out of the classroom. In her yoga classes, children enjoy challenging themselves with balancing poses, dancing and meditation/breathing techniques. Yoga gives children another way to learn a healthy approach to obtain happiness in their minds and bodies. When in Montezuma, stop by “the lodge” and get to know Michele…You will leave with a new understanding of Namaste!

Megan Bowers, Conversation Coordinator

Megan has spent many years managing conversations in a variety of fields.  After traveling to 46 of the states, a few places in Europe and a few in Central America, she explored the beautiful beaches of Montezuma.  She has volunteered her time on several trips to Montezuma and currently works for Proyecto Montezuma, leveraging all the skills she has learned through her professional career, including recruitment, networking and development to increase the reach of the organization and development of the community of Montezuma.  She currently resides in Northern California.  Twist her arm and you can get her back down on the beaches of Montezuma!