Ariana was born in the tiny Costa Rican town of Gandoca on the southern Caribbean coast. She studied at Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica where she received a bachelor’s degree in marine biology in 2013, becoming the first member of her community to receive a degree in science. In 2014, she cofounded the small grassroots organization COASTS, which is dedicated to the research and conservation of sea turtles in Costa Rica. COASTS maintains several smaller research projects on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts and has one major community-based research and conservation project in her hometown Gandoca, which she manages as project coordinator. The main goal of her research is to study and safeguard the sea turtle populations in the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, as well as identify the connectivity that exists with other regions.