At the beginning of the 70’s and just 21, John, a college dropout, sensitive and idealistic, left the States feeling unable to adjust to militarism, materialism and racism. He overcame the turbulent 60’s of Civil Rights marches and the opposition to the Vietnam War.
When he arrived at Costa Rica’s southwest coast with its ocean, offshore islands, the rainforest and the mountains, he felt he was at the right spot at the right time. Nevertheless, everything was new to him, people, language, vegetation, fauna and the hot tropical sun. Feeling as the “first member of an invading species” he became a land owner and patron, roles for which he felt basically unfit. In order to make a living off his land he tried it all from agriculture to cattle raising. He found his workers and neighbors to be kind and hardworking, but more than once he had reluctantly to adjudicate their occasional quarrels to maintain the peace. He toiled not only with exotic creepy-crawlies that ravaged his crops, a hawk that stole his chickens, cattle that ate his newly planted palm trees, but he also had to fight with his conscience on whether to apply highly toxic poisons to kill “those damned termites”. During the last quarter of the century John became an active observer of changes in Costa Rica, trying to fight back the degradation of the environment. He played a significant role in establishing protected marine and coastal zone areas.
During our interview, John pointed out:
“Costa Ballena is stilled blessed with natural magic but that special quality which has attracted all of us here is endangered by development, unhealthy attitudes and destructive habits. To maintain this magic we need to nurture higher consciousness in ourselves and in those who visit.”
For John “the opportunity to learn, appreciate and enjoy this beautiful place is a priceless treasure.”
His book “THE GRINGO’S HAWK” is a available at: www.amazon.com