Richard Fontes, Camarones Playa Retreat General Manager
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil in 1944, Richard grew up near beautiful beaches, such as Leblon, Gavea, Recreio dos Bandeirantes. He moved with his family to the U.S. in 1958 and lived in Chicago, Atlanta and New York City. Richard graduated from White Plains H.S.
He studied architecture at C.C.NY. for two years, and worked in the Hotel and Restaurant business for more than 10 years. His love of travel has taken him to beautiful beaches and coastal settings such as Montauk Point, N.Y., Bar Harbor, Maine, the West Coast of Mexico, Quintana Roo, the Yucatan Peninsula, and the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
Richard also lived in Peru's rainforest and investigated ethnobotanical herbs with the "River People" of the tributaries of the Amazon River for 6 years, and wrote his book Rainforest Diet.
He made his home in Vilcabamba, Ecuador after investigating the valley's rumored properties of longevity, and used his architectural skills and his perfect Spanish and English to help exPats from the northern hemisphere build their houses and make their lives there.
In 1991 he visited Bahia de Caraquez in the central coast of Ecuador. This area made a tremendous impact on him with its beauty, as well as a place for future investment.
In 2007 he visited Camarones, and the effect of its natural beauty and peaceful surroundings awoke powerful childhood memories of life by the sea shore.
Richard met Leonardo Loor in December of 2012, and together they crafted a vision for the renovation of the Cabañas at Camarones, the start-up of Camarones Playa Retreat and the development of Camarones Vista Mar.
Leonardo Loor, Cabañas at Camarones Playa Retreat, Owner
Leonardo was raised here at the historic Hacienda Camarones, and grew up with his brothers and sisters, raised on fresh milk, meat, fruits and vegetables from the family farm. Well educated, Leonardo comes from an old Manabi family. His father and his uncle Lalo Loor (Nature Preserve) are men dedicated to cattle, shrimp farming and responsible resource management the zone, as well as the need to protect the rich bio-diversity of flora and fauna in the area. Leonardo resides between Pedernales and Quito with his wife Luz Elena and daughter Catalina. Returning from the Sierra and big cities to his childhood home, Leonardo saw the potential for eco tourism on the beach, and the surrounding hills of "Bosque Seco" on his family property. In 2007 he opened the Cabañas at Camarones. Recently his VISION was encouraged by his new associates, who assured Leonardo that the time was perfect to work on bringing Camarones Playa Retreat up to date, as an international tourism destination for yoga and wellness, cacao, raw food and to bring people who love nature, South American culture, and a beach environment to Manabi, Ecuador. Leonardo is developing Camarones Vista Mar as a conscious residential alternative to the dense and poorly planned subdivisions on the coast.
Le`a Leslie Colter, Camarones Playa Retreat North American Promotions
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Hawai`i and California, Le`a Colter has served her community on Hawai`i Island since 1997, as a Psychotherapist providing individual, family, couples and group Counseling in Clinical and Private Practice. Le`a coaches Self Care techniques for professionals, teachers, parents and caregivers. She models and encourages making healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices while working hard. Le`a earned her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, emphasis in Drama Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco and continues to teach, heal and inspire. Le`a has 5 years of experience as Argosy University Professor, and Clinical Director, Clinical Supervisor of Therapy offices in Hilo and Kona. Le`a offers therapeutic Bentonite/Cacao MUD treatments.
She uses swimming, walking, dance, yoga and good food, to unwind from daily stressors.
She is owner/manager of Ohana Tropicana Island Guesthouse, vacation rental in Hawai`i. Le`a is pursuing her dream of co-creating a wellness retreat in pristine Ecuador, here at Camarones Playa Retreat, where guests can exercise active Self Care, and experience Vacation Therapy with respect for themselves and the natural splendor of the Manabi coastal environment.
Come eat fresh from the land and sea. Appreciate the flora, fauna, and the cultures past and present.