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Leonardo was born and raised in Alajuela which is a city that is located to the west of San Jose, Costa Rica. His father is a retired topographer and his mother, a retired teacher. They are originally from Alajuela or “Ciudad de los Mangos” (Mango City as it is known for the huge amount of mango trees located in the Central Park). Leonardo has chosen to remain there still since he loves the fact that even while being a big city, everybody knows everybody, which makes you feel you belong.
One of the quirky things about living in Alajuela is that they have a habit of giving everybody a nickname. Leonardo remembers eating tons of French fries when he was young which led his peers to refer to him as “papas” or potatoes in reference to that. Now that he is a bit older and wiser he is most commonly known as Leo.
Leonardo got his BS degree in Biology at the University of Costa Rica to later move on to get his MA in Natural Resources & Sustainable Development at the UN –Mandated University for Peace. That has given him the opportunity to work in several fields such as Biology, Environmental Consultant, Naturalist Guide and even as a University Professor.
He started guiding for Costa Rica Expeditions in 2012 and past guests have referred to him as a traveling classroom due to his knowledge on topography, plants, animals, government, customs and Costa Rican history.
Leo works full time as a Conservation Officer at the NGO called “Costs Rica por Siempre” or the Forever Costa Rica Association, which administers funds of more than $50 million for environmental projects done within the National Parks of Costa Rica. He is in charge of following up on the projects they administer and manage. This keeps him pretty busy but he still enjoys guiding and he is found leading groups whenever he has time off.
Although Leo has traveled the world and visited places such as the Galapagos Islands, Kenya and Cambodia our very own Corcovado National Park stays close to his heart. He finds it to be equally breathtaking and he loves the fact that you can enjoy wildlife and nature along with isolated beaches.
When he is not out guiding or promoting the conservation of our National Parks, Leo spends his time with his wife Diana and his three year old son Luciano. They enjoy hiking, beach outings and visits to Luciano’s grandmothers.
Leo’s message to people considering traveling to Costa Rica is: “don’t think twice! Costa Rica is a top destination for nature lovers whose people are warm and friendly”