Diamante: People Make the Difference in Business
Diamante People Make the Difference: Costa Rica and adventure: this connection is immediate, real and known to travelers around the world. With its incredible climate, mountains, oceans, and rainforests, Costa Rica is a world-class setting for those offering up sought-after adventure activities. But what makes the country a world-renowned destination and one of the happiest places on earth is its people.
Diamante Eco Adventure Park is well known for Costa Rica’s longest zipline with an ocean view, as well as a first-class animal sanctuary and wildlife education center. The park receives rave reviews from adventure seekers of all ages, including families with small kids. Reviewers frequently describe the thrill of the ziplines, the beauty of the animals and the hands-on experience making chocolate in the cultural learning center.
“An employee’s passion and happiness
will translate across all language
and cultural barriers.”
These reviews often stand out for another reason: they feature high praises to the Diamante employees for making their park experience memorable.
“The sheer volume of reviews and times employees are thanked by name or by activity tells you that Diamante has a special group of employees,” says Jesus Gonzalez, General Manager. “We make every effort in the beginning to align the right person with the right position. We believe anyone with a great attitude can be matched with a job that will allow them to excel. An employee’s passion and happiness will translate across all language and cultural barriers.”
Luciana Smania, Director of Activities, agrees.
“I was one of the first employees at Diamante,” Smania says. “We all had many jobs to do and I was in charge of finding and training 20 zipline guides. I had a few simple requirements — a great attitude, love of people and the outdoors and basic English.”
The hiring process turned out to be less straightforward than expected, Smania recalls.
“Staff were screening candidates by phone and we brought in those who we thought sounded the best. I soon realized that we had one guy who spoke no English and was not even on the list. I went to tell him that he would need to leave, but instead found myself trying to find a way to keep him because his energy, attitude, and desire were contagious.”
Smania seems to have made a good call in retaining that employee. Danny, nicknamed “Hancock,” is not only still at Diamante but speaks English and has become a leader on the zipline team.
Smania also speaks highly of Diamante’s zipline supervisor, Aristides Crilio.
“He was in the first group I ever hired. He has worked his way into this leadership position with his attention to detail and respect among his peers for his hard work and great attitude.”
Biologist Valerie Valdelomar leads the animal sanctuary team at Diamante.
“I am proud to see the sanctuary staff thanked so frequently for sharing their passion and knowledge of the animals that they care for,” Valdelomar says. “We see Juan Jose [Juanjo] mentioned frequently. Juanjo has been taking care of our jaguars, Nico and Sama, for years. He is consistently popular with guests who know him by name.”
Valdelomar says one of her guides, Bryan, was so popular with guests that she ended up having to promote him. “He was promoted to a new role within the park. I am always happy to see my staff improve, learn and grow within the company.”
Alejandro Guerrero leads the maintenance team at Diamante and was on the team that built the ziplines, Smania notes.
“Alejandro was instrumental in creating a safety device used at the park. The owners were so impressed that they created the “Ali” award. This is given to any employee who shows initiative in creating solutions the park adopts.”
Alejandro also got special praise in a park review for an unusual reason, recalls Gonzalez. “We had a guest arrive at the park with a flat tire, and was really stressed. That was until Alejandro calmly told the visitor, ‘just go enjoy the park … I’ll take care of it.’ After finishing his tour, the guest was thrilled to see his car in perfect condition. He could not believe the staff cared so much.”
So much of its guest feedback affirms that Diamante truly is a place where you feel comfortable and cared for from the time you arrive until you leave. This is all because of the caring people at Diamante, and Diamante cares for its people by keeping local staff employed year-round, regardless if it is high or low season.
Some lucky visitors get to meet the famous Jorge “Gato” as everyone calls him. Gato started as one of the park’s first drivers and is now the transportation supervisor.
“There is no one better at welcoming you to Diamante than Gato,” Smania and Gonzalez agree. “His smile and energy radiate and you just know you’re going to have a great day!”
Gonzalez encourages all park visitors to engage with their hosts.
“Feel free to ask questions and interact with the staff. They love their jobs and sharing everything you are interested in knowing. You may soon find your own favorite employee connection at Diamante.”