Reto Juvenil
Mission Statement

Reto Juvenil Internacional rallies volunteers from around the world to help improve the quality of life for people – particularly women, children, and indigenous populations – in Central America and beyond.

The Story
Reto Juvenil Difference

Together, we can change lives.
This simple idea rests at the core of the work Reto Juvenil Internacional has shouldered and supported since it was founded in 1991. Since its inception, RJI has trained and worked with more than 7,500 volunteers to complete hundreds of projects addressing education, health, community development and empowerment, and environmental conservation.
RJI rallies volunteers from across the globe to work with communities in underdeveloped areas to improve the quality of life and to teach about social, economic and environmental balance. The organization puts extra emphasis on projects to benefit women, children, and indigenous communities primarily in Central America.
RJI unites people for a common cause of improving lives. It raises awareness about the importance of culture and promotes the idea of a more fair and united world. It powers people, particularly youth, to become leaders. It enables communities to become actively involved in their own development.
RJI celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016. Looking forward, RJI leaders hope to increase the organization’s number of international partnerships to have a greater reach and make a greater impact.

Who is Reto Juvenil?

Our staff and board members are dedicated to the vision of creating a fair and united world. That is why our staff and board members will always ensure that your service learning trip will be a rewarding and enriching experience.



Meet the Staff

Fabio Fernández

Fabio M. Fernández
Fabio’s passion for social work led him to give involved with RJI as a volunteer for a project in Guyana in 1997, an experience that changed his life. He returned to RJI six years later as an employee, and has worked in a number of positions before being promoted to lead the organization. Now, Fabio manages projects in more than a dozen countries. His socially conscious work has earned him honors from organizations all over Central America.


Fabio has a degree in public relations. His professional experience before RJI includes working as a public relations manager for Intel Corporation and Toyota Motors.



Yazmin Ruiz

Yazmin Ruiz
Regional projects director


Yazmin first became involved with RJI as a volunteer in 1994. After graduating with a degree in forestry engineering from the National University of Costa Rica, she returned to RJI to work as a group leader. She has held various positions at the organization and has been its regional project director since 2010.



Marcela Murillo

Marcela Murillo
Finance director


Marcela has been RJI’s finance and administrative director since 2004. She first joined the organization in 2001 as an administrative assistant. She has extensive professional experience working in the nongovernmental and education sectors.



Sterling Miranda

Sterling Miranda
International program lead


Sterling started out as an RJI volunteer in 2001 and later joined the organization’s board of directors. He began a member of RJI’s permanent staff in 2011, working as regional projects coordinator. Sterling has a degree in tourism from the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje of Costa Rica and a degree in natural resources management from Universidad Estatal a Distancia of Costa Rica.



Shon Ilett

Shon Ilett
International program representative


Shon first volunteered with RJI in 2015, working on a project in Guatemala. He returned in 2016 to volunteer at RJI’s office in Costa Rica. Shon is an aspiring physician and a licensed paramedic.


Meet our board

Like our staff, our board members are professionals with strong ties to Costa Rica and commitment to the work and goals of RJI.




Andrés Morales
Andrés works for the Costa Rica Internal Revenue Service ministry. He has a degree in business administration.
Andrés served as a group leader for RJI in 1998 and worked for the organization as a staff member. He has been a member of the RJI board since 2002.
Gary Barquero
Vice president
Gary is an attorney who works in logistics and operations for a multinational company. He has been an RJI board member since 2012.
Alvaro Madrigal

Alvaro works as a finance coordinator for Peace Corps, Costa Rica. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He also has experience working as a group leader, field coordinator and field director for RJI. He has been an RJI staff member since 2011.
Adrian Madrigal Delgado
Adrian works for Hospital México in Costa Rica. He has been an RJI board member since 2016.
Margarita Alvarado
Vocal I
Margarita is a social worker and a lawyer. She works as a counselor for a primary school that is overseen by the Costa Rica Ministry of Public Education. She has been an RJI board member since 2015.
Ligia Esquivel
Vocal II
Ligia has more than 17 years of experience working in the sciences and public education. She is a former RJI volunteer and staff member. She is on her second stint as an RJI Board member, a position she has held since 2016.
Raquel Alvarado Sunikansky
Vocal III
Raquel works as a translator for a consulting agency. She also has a degree in communication from Rider University, located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. She also has a master’s degree in Hispanic literature from Villanova University in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. She has been an RJI board member since 2012.
Nancy de Lemos
Nancy is a reporter for a multinational company. She has been an RJI board member since 2014.

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