NP #17: Del Mar Academy: How did one school change Nosara so much? What’s next?

In this episode, Rich sits down with Del Mar Academy founders Haley Macmillan-Ord and Jessica Sheffield to discuss updates with Del Mar Academy and their side of the story with opening and operating a school deep in the jungle.

Short version (14 minutes):

Full version (55 minutes):

Most people understand opening and operating any kind of school is not easy.

Opening a school deep in the jungle in a small town hours away from major civilization (via sometimes horrendous roads), zero supplies, very few students, plus so much more… Well that is even harder.

But this is exactly what the Del Mar Academy founders did back in 2007.

People new to Nosara might not be aware of what Nosara was like just a short decade or so ago… Nosara used to be a tiny little town with very challenging access, almost zero publicity, no private schools, very limited medical care, and overall was an extremely challenging place for expats to live if they had kids.

However, Nosara of today is becoming a popular, well-heeled tourist town mentioned by major publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Outside Magazine, CNN, FOX, and so many others… There are doctors, dentists, chiropractors, the supermarkets are improving, there is a wide variety of restaurants and there is a chance the main road will finally be paved.

But it was not always this way. Del Mar Academy helped bring Nosara to the forefront of options for families looking for a spot in Latin America which is a big factor why Nosara is filled with families and nature preserves instead of nightclubs and condo developments.

The success of Del Mar Academy is now helping other private schools to open and operate, plus Del Mar Academy helps the local public schools a great deal, as well as providing scholarships to local Tico’s. Now that Del Mar Academy is a foundation their goal is to drastically increase their funding so they can provide more scholarships and increase environmental awareness not in Nosara but throughout the world.

Del Mar Academy Website

Del Mar Academy Facebook—donar.html

2 Replies to “NP #17: Del Mar Academy: How did one school change Nosara so much? What’s next?”

  1. Excellent presentation and representation of the school. The Mission Statement although not in written format is in evidence through the presenters. Jessi and Haley. My hope is that many people on all platforms of education are able to view this podcast and witness what two visionaries were able to accomplish. Their story is certainly worthy of a ” Ted Talk ”

    I was visiting Bram and Jessi shortly after the land was purchased. Bram took me to see the land. We stood on a bank and Bram gave an overview of what was being planned for structures. No blarney this time.

    My congratulations and admiration for all that have contributed to the success of this school.

    Anne Marie Hestnes-Harris

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