Expats and others in the environmental movement are remembering Álvaro Ugalde Víquez, 69, who died Sunday. He is considered the father of the Costa Rican parks system.
He had a special relationship with expats because he spoke English, which he learned doing manual labor in Georgia before entering his master’s program at the University of Michigan. He did his undergraduate training in biology at the Universidad de Costa Rica.
He was director of the Parque Nacional Santa Rosa and the Parque Nacional Volcán Poás before becoming director of the park system where he served for 17 years.
He also is remembered as a defender of the Osa peninsula and the Parque Nacional Corcovado there.
Time magazine named him a Latin American environmental leader in 2000. He belonged to a number of international organizations and was a consultant for the United Nations.