It takes a special kind of person to be part of the Pura Vida Adventures surfing lineup, and both Andy and Michelle fit that bill. An Argentinian and Costa Rican respectively, these worldly ladies pour their hearts into everything they do, including their jobs as surf instructors and running two surf-inspired fashion companies.
Andy always finds the good in every situation. For example, when we’re hanging at the beach, she’s the one who plucks the chocolate M&Ms from the trail mix, leaving the nuts and raisins behind. Andy is a powerful surfer, an amazing instructor, a kick in the ass, and a confidence booster all rolled into one. Having Andy as your surf instructor will transform your learning (kinda like that part in The Wizard of Oz when the picture changes from black and white to a gorgeous Technicolor). With a goldmine of practical guidance and encouragement, you’re ensured lots of “aha moments,” understanding, and joy.
Andy trained to be an architect in her native Argentina, but came to Costa Rica on vacation and never left (notice the trend?). She lives in Malpais with her Californian tattoo-artist boyfriend and just celebrated the birth of a beautiful baby boy.
An artist at heart, Andy created her own swimwear company, Mona—a swimsuit version of Spanx, but without the sweating and the discomfort. Her one-piece suits truly reflect her personality—hip, bright, and sexy. All the local girls rock her suits in the surfing lineup.
Andy is also a gifted napper and a superb parallel parker—just not at the same time.
If you took all five of the Spice Girls and rolled them into one, you’d have Michelle. She’s smart, sexy, sassy, and a good dancer. She was born just outside of San Juan, Costa Rica, but for the last ten years has called the beach in Malpais home. Initially, Michelle worked as a waitress in town. But soon after, her surf skills and her personality landed her a spot in the Pura Vida Adventures surfing lineup.
Michelle loves surfing and goes into withdrawal if she’s been out of the water for more than one day. Everything she does revolves around the surf. She’s a dedicated volunteer for the local Asociacion de Surf, which organizes the town’s surf contests and provides lessons for underprivileged kids. Michelle also runs her own ocean-inspired clothing company for women who like the sea and to be seen. And her super power is making gluten-free cakes, which she sometimes brings to surf camp.
When you’re in the surfing lineup with Michelle, you have your very own cheerleading squad. She always gives 100 percent, putting her heart into making others feel the magic of surfing. At the end of the day, her cheeks hurt more from smiling, than her paddled-out arms do.