Director-General of I.I.D.C., Monica, as she's affectionately known to her Spanish friends, is French-Canadian but she's been living in Costa Rica for many years, since leaving a management career with a large Canadian company to follow her dreams. She moved to San Jose, took English and Spanish language courses for several months and then enroled at the University of Costa Rica to study eco-tourism... in Spanish.
Arriving just as the tiny country was taking off as an important eco-tourism destination, she decided to help her newly adopted land by showcasing its natural wonders and resources - and making sure they are accessible to disabled people. She created a non-profit organization called F.A.U.N.A.*. and in short order, thanks largely to Monica's work, the ICT (Instituto Costaricense de Turismo) adopted the principles and standards for universal access that she had provided them from a model developed by Kéroul, - Tourism Québec's spokesperson to disabled tourists. Later, her work was deemed "in the National interest" by the Government - who awarded her with Residency - and then the Costa Rican Legislature passed universal access standards into law.
A tour facilitator, she lives in Valle El General, in the Talamanca mountains, when she's not traveling the country but most often you'll find her leading some sort of jungle adventure. She visits all the accommodations she recommends first, as well as trying all the activities and visiting the Nature sites and attractions to rate their accessibility and recommend needed adaptations.
In the summer of 1998, she led a group of 25 very severely disabled persons on a highly exciting 14 day tour around the country. From Europe, the first-ever group of disabled persons to visit the country, the experienced al it has to offer - from the rainforest canopy, the deep jungle trails, the volcanos, the andean paramo, a jungle rio and its mangroves, several Pacific beaches, a coffee plantation, an ecocenter and many other attractions. Later a 2nd group visited the Caribbean Coast and its a jungles and one of its exotic Gulf Islands. In 2000 Monic led a group of blind climbers to the top of Chirripo - at 4,730 meters, Central America's 2nd highest peak. She designs personal travel circuits that account for physical limits and relative mobility, and she's scouted and rated adventures of every description. She is recommended by the Exploring Costa Rica guides. Since she's helped every kind of physically challenged traveller to experience the wonders of Costa Rica - with some clients even touring the rest of Central America and Mexico with her help.
Monic is also involved in various projects that benefit the local community, and is a Board-member of the Chamber Of Commerce. She gardens, is a student of Aikido, plays squash and works out with "Aussie", her German shepherd. and "Bodee", a Tibetan terrier. Monica easily communicates her great passion for the beauty and intelligence in Nature.
(*F.A.U.N.A. - Fundacion Acceso Universal a
la NAturaleza - An ngo working with ICT and others to make CR's
tourism infrastructure more accessible to persons with restricted
We have a wonderful network of experts - Botanists, Biologists, Ecologists and Adventure-, Activity- and Field-guides of every description - all friends. We introduce participants in our learning adventures to them, as we tour Costa Rica. In addition, we enjoy collaborative connections with education, business and tourism professionals, and we look forward to meeting like-minded Spirits everywhere.