FORMER MAJOR LANDOWNER OF PENINSULA PAPAGAYO
Three partners and I used to own a large part of the peninsula. In 1952, I bought 10,500 hectares, most of the Bay of Culebra. I was here when it all started. I used to own a lot of the land by the airport in Liberia. When the government needed an airport, I sold the land to them for 400 colones per hectare. In those days, 1974, the airport was a must, so I was happy with the transaction. The land that I didn’t sell for the airport, I sold at different prices to different people, about one million colones per hectare.
Here at Las Trancas, I have lived for 65 years in this house. I am 90 years old, married nearly 60 years to my wife, Miriam. Now I plant rice in both seasons. I also have sugar cane and cattle, and I plant trees for wood: mahogany, teak, pochote, cenizaro, cedar, melina, ron ron—200 hectares in trees. The rest is forest and pasture. I started in logging in 1936 and continued until 1944 or ’45, maybe 1948. When the Inter-American Highway was built in 1954, things changed. That is when Guanacaste was really incorporated into the country of Costa Rica.