Meet our Team

Meet Our Team at the Rivers and Forests Alliance (RAFA)

At the heart of the Rivers and Forests Alliance are two dynamic individuals, Roberto Gallo, and Shannon Farley, each bringing unique skills and passions to our mission.

Backing them are the RAFA board members, each with a wealth of conservation and nonprofit experience and a deep love for the Pacuare. Our RAFA family is growing with many supporters dedicated to preserving the majestic beauty of the Pacuare River Basin and advancing conservation and sustainable communities. Without them, nothing would be possible.



Partnerships & Communications Director

Board Member

Shannon is the ​co-director and a founding board member of the Rivers and Forests Alliance. A passionate conservationist and a seasoned journalist, she has been a pivotal part of RAFA since its inception. With her extensive experience in international business, project management, and tourism, she manages our day-to-day operations and weaves her love for Costa Rica’s natural beauty into our story.

Originally from the coastal city of Ventura in Southern California, she has called Costa Rica home since 1999, when she came to work with Rafael “Rafa” Gallo at his rafting and ecotourism company, Rios Tropicales. During the last years of Rafa’s life, from 2016-2021, Shannon worked closely with Rafa as a project manager.

In addition to working with RAFA, Shannon freelances as a translator, copy editor, and writer, and is writing Rafa Gallo’s biography.

“It was the magical, majestic beauty of the Pacuare River that inspired me to live in Costa Rica, and it has been the connection over the years for me with Rafa Gallo. I am honored to continue his legacy of conservation, protection, and regeneration of the Pacuare River Basin, along with Roberto Gallo and his family. My greatest passion is to preserve our planet and live in harmony with nature.”

Contact Shannon at



Projects & Operations Director

President of the Board

Roberto is the ​co-director and Board President of the Rivers and Forests Alliance. He embodies the legacy of RAFA’s founder and his father, Rafael “Rafa” Gallo. With a background in civil and environmental engineering and a lifetime immersed in the Pacuare River’s enchanting environment, he is the driving force behind our project operations and conservation efforts.

Roberto grew up spending all his free time at the Pacuare River alongside his dad. He was rafting before he could even walk (two months old!), and he learned how to swim in the Pacuare. He worked at his father’s eco-adventure rafting company, Rios Tropicales, as a safety kayaker, a raft guide, and assisting with the company’s operations until he went to Pennsylvania State University.

Besides working with RAFA, Roberto is a Partner and the General Manager of Rios Lodge (formerly the Rios Tropicales Lodge) on the banks of the Pacuare River. He also manages his family’s extensive conservation properties by the Pacuare.

Contact Roberto at

“I grew up in the Pacuare River Basin with my family. From a young age, my father instilled in me his passion for conservation and sustainability. I spent 25 years by his side, learning from him and accompanying him on his many conservation and rafting adventures. Now that my father has passed, I am proud to continue his remarkable legacy of protecting his beloved Pacuare River and advancing RAFA's mission in Costa Rica and the world.” - Roberto Gallo

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