Johnny Araya Monge was born in San José, Costa Rica, on the 29th of April 1957 and was raised at the Palomares canton, a town in the province of Alajuela west of the Valle Central.
Son of Fabio Araya and Miriam Monge, he is a father of three children: María Gabriela, Gloriana, and Sergio, and is married to Sandra León.
From an early age, Araya grew into politics due to the constant presence in his house from former Presidents of the Republic of Costa Rica José Figueres Ferrer, Francisco J. Orlich, Daniel Oduber, and Luis Alberto Monge, his uncle.
He graduated as an agricultural engineer at the University of Costa Rica in 1980, and was elected as Municipal Councilor of San José in 1982.
In the year 1991, the Municipal Council elected him for the office of Municipal Executive, which he held until 1998. With the reform of the Municipal Law of the same year, he became Mayor and in 2002 he became the first elect mayor, through popular vote, of the City of San José, a position he held until 2013, when he renounced in order to run as presidential candidate for the Partido Liberación Nacional.
In politics, he is a member of the National Assembly as well as the National Political Board of the Partido Liberación Nacional, and is currently running for re-election in San José for this party.
On an international level, he has been Copresident of the World Federation of United Cities (FMCU); Copresident and member of the World Council of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG); Copresident of the Union of Iberoamerican Capital Cities (UCCI), currently standing as a member of the Executive Board of the organization, as well as Copresident of the Latin American Federation of Cities, Municipalities and Associations (FLACMA).
In 2015, he ran again for Mayor in the regional Party Alianza por San José, winning the elections in February 2016 to occupy the position until 2020.
Currently, he is also President of the Metropolitan Federation of Municipalities (FEMETRON)