About Us

Our Mission

To establish a more harmonious way of living within our natural and built environment, while implementing and supporting educational projects that encourage sustainable community development.

Our work aims to steward and conserve natural systems and at the same time help communities improve their economic livelihoods and overall wellbeing. Learning unites all the work that we do; all of our projects, regardless of their type, have a strong component of awareness building and education.

Our Vision

We envision pristine places where fresh air, healthy soil, and clean water reflect dedicated environmental stewardship. We imagine places where all people respect nature, find economic value in conserving bio-diverse resources, and believe in the restoration of native habitat. We see places that celebrate a cultural heritage dependent on sound environmental practices. We visualize a Good Life means people and nature are in balance, not at the expense of the natural environment.

Our Annual Report

Annual Report 2015-2016

Our Team

Equilibrium is a fusion of Michelle’s passion for learning and teaching, her love of the natural world, and her staunch beliefs in the power we each have for meaningful change. more...
Adriana likes helping people and is using her past skills in the electromechanical field and hotel sales management to oversee school infrastructure more...
Alejandra is Equilibrium's Program Coordinator. She manages administrative and business operations, tracks fundraising, helps out with the creative design for many of our materials, more...
Carlos is our collaborating engineer and insures that all of our infrastructure projects meet the highest building standards. Carlos has a degree in Civil Engineering more...
Helga is one of our environmental educators for the Learning is Change Program. She has fourteen years experience in primary education, and is a certified capacity builder. more...
Luz is one of our ad honorem collaborators; an architect by trade and artist in heart. She has collaborated with Equilibrium’s Books to Fly program giving art more...

Pictures by www.ekamora.com

Our Board

MICHELLE LIBBY (Founder and President)

Michelle Libby

Equilibrium is a fusion of Michelle’s passion for learning and teaching, her love of the natural world, and her staunch beliefs in the power we each have for meaningful change.

After years of working with the Nature Conservancy in countries around Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia Pacific, home is the place where this native Costa Rican brought an afternoon coffee - dream to fruition. Equilibrium is a fusion of Michelle’s passion for learning and teaching, her love of the natural world, and her staunch beliefs in the power we each have for meaningful change; trusting that giving something back makes telling differences in the lives we lead. The organization benefits from her global experience in strategic planning, stakeholder analysis, and organizational capacity building. Michelle has an MA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University, and a BA in Anthropology from Franklin and Marshall College.

JAMIE ERVIN (Registered Agent)

Jamie Ervin

Jamie was the quiet motor behind getting Equilibrium up and running. It was Jamie who listened to Michelle’s ideas for starting a non-profit, quite some years ago, and quickly and succinctly laid out a path, that made it all look so simple to achieve! Jamie is an independent consultant with the United Nations Development Programme and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. She specializes in protected areas and biodiversity planning. Jamison has a Ph.D. in natural resources from the University of Vermont, a master degree in administration from the School for International Training, and a bachelors degree in anthropology from Bates College. She has also worked for The Nature Conservancy, the World Wide Fund for Nature, the Forest Stewardship Council, and the Britain Nepal Medical Trust.

JUAN URBINA (Secretary, Board)


Juan graduated as a Civil Engineer from Lehigh University and acquired his license to work in Costa Rica from the Universidad Latina. As a builder, he travelled extensively to rural areas in Costa Rica building homes for middle and lower class families. This gave him a different perspective on the infrastructure, housing and education needs of rural communities and the limitations of government funded projects to fulfill those needs. As a result, he firmly believes that NGOs are a necessary, if not the only way to satisfy many of the needs of rural communities. Juan has made contributing to these organizations a priority.

For the past 12 years Juan has been involved in international trade and customs as the head of a privately managed bonded warehouse and has been the President of the Costa Rican Chamber of Bonded Warehouses for 7 years. During this time he has been an active participant in meeting with local customs authorities to improve existing legislation and has served as the link between the private and public sectors to improve policymaking and future regulations.

SAMANTHA BARBEE (Treasurer, Board)


Samantha is the CFO and VP for Finance, Administration and IT at the International Youth Foundation (IYF). Her years of experience with the nonprofit sector make her a valuable member of the Equilibrium Board and the ideal treasurer. Before going to IYF, Samantha worked as a senior associate at La Piana Associates, Inc, a firm specializing in strategic restructuring for nonprofit organizations, and prior to that as Associate Director of the Nonprofit and Public Management Program and the Director of MBA Student Services at Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

Samantha grew up in Costa Rica and received her undergraduate degree in government at Georgetown University. Before moving to California to pursue an MBA from Haas, Samantha was a Field Representative throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean with a consulting firm that managed the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program of the United States Department of Justice.

Samantha has served on several nonprofit boards. She is currently the Chair of the MBA Nonprofit Connection; which seeks to engage MBAs in the nonprofit sector and the Vice-Chair of InsideNGO, which works to support the operational and management capacity of the international development organizations.



For the past 8 years, Andreas has been opening foreign markets for companies from the state of Baden-Wurttemberg, and has also been profiling the German state as an ideal location for industry, business, and science. He is currently the Regional Manager, Middle East and Northern Africa/Turkey for Baden-Wurttemberg International. He focuses on developing business relations and location marketing for medical technology.

Prior to this area of focus he was responsible for international business cooperation and the establishment of business networks in the area of renewable energy and the health industry. Andreas is an International Relations major and a Masters in Public Policy and Management from the University of Konstanz in Germany.

Andi is a native of Trossignen Germany with a passion for Latin America where he has visited extensively and regularly visits his nieces and nephews in Costa Rica. When he is not organizing commerce ventures in the Middle East, Andreas enjoys skiing, travelling the globe, reading, and exploring the lazy, beautiful beaches of Costa Rica.



With over 20 years experience in the hospitality business, Barb brings a unique perspective to the Equilibrium Board, understanding the dynamics of travel philanthropy, the guest experience, and the challenge of working with staff to navigate endeavors outside their comfort zone.

Barbara is currently the Director of Revenue Management for the Westin Colonnade in Coral Gables, Florida. Throughout her career Barb has worked upper level management positions with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, Sonesta, the Mayfair, and now 7 years at the Westin, part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. Barbara has a BS in Hospitality Management from Florida International University, an Associate degree in Hospitality Management from the Aruba Hotel School, and a Diploma in Hotel Administration from the Hosta Hotel School in Switzerland.

Barbara was born in Holland and at the age of 11 moved to Costa Rica with her family. She has lived in Belgium, Switzerland, San Diego, and Grand Cayman. Although Miami is now home for Barb, she visits her family regularly in Costa Rica. She is an avid Miami Heat fan, is a faithful follower of Roger Federer, and plays some very good tennis herself. She has recently discovered the wonders of juicing, courtesy of Kris Carr, and loves to travel the world.



William Ulate Rodríguez graduated from Computer Science and Informatics in Costa Rica in 1991 and worked as software developer for 7 years, before dedicating to Biodiversity Informatics, first as analyst/programmer and then as Coordinator of the Informatics Development Unit of the National Biodiversity Institute in Costa Rica (INBio), then, since 2007, as Data Node Manager for the Latin America Region at The Nature Conservancy (TNC). In 2011, William moved to Saint Louis, to work at the Center for Biodiversity Informatics in the IT Department of the Missouri Botanical Garden, as Global Coordinator for the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

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