PUERTO JIMENEZ, Costa Rica — Osa Conservation, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula, welcomed over 250 guests to its Piro Biological Station to celebrate Álvaro Day on Saturday, February 15. Special guests included Minister of Environment and Energy Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Director of ACOSA Laura Rivera, the community of Rancho Quemado, local fishing groups, among others.
The event commemorated the life of Álvaro Ugalde Víquez, a conservation pioneer who established Costa Rica’s National Park Service and served as a founding board member at Osa Conservation.
The celebration was held on the Corcovado coastline, just kilometres from Corcovado National Park, the crown jewel of his life’s work.
The Minister of Environment and Energy, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, welcomed guests to the research station.
“I’m excited there are Costa Ricans who want to keep the memory of Álvaro Ugalde Víquez alive and continue the legacy he left us … He was a well-loved leader,” he said.
“I think Álvaro would be most proud to see the communities here in these activities where we celebrate his memory.”
Local communities and guests from around the world participated in cultural performances, guided hikes and environmental education activities.
A presentation from Alex Muñoz, National Geographic’s Pristine Seas Director of Latin American Policy, highlighted the benefits of no-take protected areas in the ocean that allow for the recovery of shark and fish populations, while providing greater catches for local rural fishing communities
As an icon of Costa Rica’s protected area system, Corcovado National Park conserves more than 40,000 hectares of land in the Osa Peninsula. Extending protection beyond land to its marine habitats and resources would further establish Costa Rica’s legacy as an international environmental leader and safeguard the long-term prosperity of coastal communities.
“Álvaro’s commitment to conservation can be seen throughout Costa Rica today, especially in his legacy that lives on in those carrying Costa Rica forward as a global environmental leader,” said Dr. Andrew Whitworth, Executive Director of Osa Conservation.
“We are grateful to all of our partners who make our work possible so that we can continue honouring Alvaro’s inspiring legacy.”