Strategic Actor: Susana Mendoza Matamoros

Susana Matamoros Mendoza has lived in Osa for the past 32 years. She comes from a simple family, the daughter of a farmer and a housewife. She is currently the President of the Pastoral Catholic Committee at Our Lady of Assumption in Cañaza, an alternate for the District of Puerto Jimenez on the Territorial Council of Communal Development (INDER), Secretary of the Osa Local Guide Association (AGUILOSA), and the local coordinator of the RBA-led Caminos de Liderazgo project. She considers herself to be an active person, always involved in community groups, who greatly enjoys direct contact with people and being able to help in any way possible.

Susana currently runs her own professional services company – SUSYMA – where she works as a naturalist guide as well as a consultant in entrepreneurship. She has worked for several organizations related to entrepreneurship, such as the Association of Entrepreneurs for Responsible Development (ASED), the Neotropica Foundation, the MarViva Foundation, and Conservation International.

As part of her personal business and in partnership with the company Ruta Verde Tours, Susana has carried out several activities with foreign volunteers, such as the beautification of the community - painting schools, health centers and community centers in Osa – managing the donation of uniforms and school supplies for children of low income in Osa, managing the donation of educational materials at various schools in Osa, and coordinating and executing construction work in the Guadalupe La Palma EBAIS (local clinic), among others.

She believes that the key to success for a community-based organization is the development of local capacities, which allows organizations to stay current, in addition to constant monitoring, which allows an organization to be able to deal with new situations in the best way possible. Additionally, she considers it essential to have positive, honest, committed and hardworking leaders. In her case, she practices what she preaches. She is constantly updating her knowledge of flora and fauna and local culture in order to provide great service with real, fun, responsible, honest, and professional information.

With regards to the work being carried out by Caminos de Liderazgo, Susana is emphatic in her belief that it represents a new opportunity for local entrepreneurs, with several significant advantages with respect to other entrepreneurship projects, thanks to alliances with SINAC, national tour operators (TON), non-governmental organizations, and private companies. These partnerships allow local entrepreneurs to not only educate themselves, but to learn firsthand what national tour operators are looking for, in order to be able to sell their services in the short-, medium- and long-term.

As the Local Coordinator of the Caminos de Liderazgo project, Susana is in charge of coordinating all logistic aspects, as well as supporting the decision-making process about the development of workshop content, as well providing local information for entrepreneurs and other interested parties. Furthermore, she represents the project’s local entrepreneurs, with whom she feels incredibly identified because she knows first-hand what their reality is like and the difficulties they face every day.

For more information, please contact Susana at or by phone at 8365 3848.