We have known Alvaro for over 30 years. Neill Heath, my partner, met him when he was at the World Wildlife Fund when Alvaro and Mario Boza came to Washington, DC in 1983 to accept the Getty Prize awarded by President Reagan at the White House.
We kept our friendship up when he returned to Costa Rica. When Neill took a Smithsonian tour group to Costa Rica a few years later, Alvaro spoke to the group about the national park system. His talk that evening was groundbreaking, literally. A huge earthquake shook the country just an hour before Alvaro spoke. Nonetheless, he arrived on time and wowed the crowd.
We would later see Alvaro either in Costa Rica when we travelled there on vacation or in Washington, DC where Alvaro came to tirelessly promote conservation in his native country.
Neill remembers one time when we were at Nectandra about eight years ago and he asked him what he planned to do when he got too old to keep up his pace on behalf of the parks. Alvaro said at that point he'd probably sit in a rocking chair on the porch at Nectandra and loudly announce to one and all,
Neill Heath & Jay Hone
How are the parks? Are the parks safe?