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The Vida Team

Melissa Sweet



Melissa came to Costa Rica in 2010 to focus on building a family and reconnecting with a healthier way of living. Inspired by the vibrant community surrounding her, she founded Vida Autentica in 2012 as a way to uplift and support the people around her. A world renowned bridal gown designer, Melissa recently launched her new collection; she will donate 100% of the proceeds to Vida Autentica.

Kevin O'Neill



Kevin has devoted himself to learning and sharing effective traditional techniques for understanding and reaching our highest potential. He is very happy to be the father of Ishmael and Samuel and be married to his beautiful wife Melissa. He is currently leading the development of the Vida Autentica Model Farm and Learning Center and is involved in a variety of spontaneous projects to support our work.

Eduardo Aguero

Workshops Director


Eduardo studied organic agriculture at Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje and Centro National de Agricultura Orgánica. His specialties are rural development and agriculture, biointensive growing and agroecology. He began working with Vida Autentica in 2013 as a Field Course Instructor, training nearly 100 people in organic agriculture and leading several workshops. As Workshops Director, he is responsible for leading workshops and supporting the Field Course Instructor.



Victor Vega Castro

Course Instructor


Victor is a certified organic, biodynamic farmer producing coffee, bananas, oranges and a variety of vegetables in the Southern Zone. His expertise include agroecology, microbiology biodynamic farming, aquaculture and animal husbandry.  His extensive hands-on experience and his deep belief in our ability to learn from nature has made him a wonderful addition the Vida family.   


Shannon Moran



Shannon has a degree from the University of Toronto and studied International Project Management at Humber college. She spent time working with tribal communities and landless farmers in India to advocate for policy changes surrounding land rights and it was there that her interest in sustainable agriculture was born.  In 2009 she studied biodynamic farming in Ontario and then moved to Costa Rica to study permaculture. 

Sabine Weber

Project Coordinator


Sabine studied biology in Germany before moving to Costa Rica in 1992.  A long time gardener and animal lover, Sabine managed the animal husbandry program at Finca Ipe, an organic, biodynamic farm and community, for nearly 15 years.  When she’s not busy in her role as project coordinator, you can find her selling organic goats milk yogurt, cheese, honey and fresh greens at the Feria Organica Tinamastes alongside the Pueblo Roots Initiative students and graduates.


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