Board of Directors
Patricia Slump – President
Born in the Netherlands, nutritionist by profession, married, merchant. She has lived in the coastal area of Montezuma de Cóbano Costa Rica since 1980, together with her husband, at the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort. They own aswell the Sano Banano Village Hotel and Café. She has been active in fundraising for the expansion of the Karen Mogensen Reserve, ASEPALECO and their projects since the beginning. At Ylang Ylang Beach Resort, Patricia and Leonardo started a donation program in which, for each guest's accommodation, they voluntarily pledged $1 per day, collected and then transferred directly to ASEPALECO and the Karen Mogensen Reserve in order to buy more land for conservation. With the help of this program, 30 hectares of forest were added to the reserve in 2015. Patricia's vision and passion is to protect the forests and wildlife on the Nicoya Peninsula. She offers her conservation efforts as a service to Mother Earth and humanity.
Luis Ángel Mena Aguilar – Vice President
He was born and raised in Lepanto on the Nicoya Peninsula, where he still lives with his wife and three children. He is a studied Biologist, and visionary of the Karen Mogensen Reserve and everything related to the protection of nature and other efforts in favor of the environment in the Nicoya Peninsula. He is a founding partner of Asepaleco and an active member, in various periods he has been part of the Board of Directors including as President. He worked for SINAC-MINAE and currently enjoys his stage as a pensioner.
Olga Murillo Blanco- Secretary
She was born on 31 May 1959 in the beautiful city of Grecia. She has lived in Jicaral de Puntarenas since 1977. From his parents, who were both merchants, she inherited the passion for customer service and the spirit of service. Here he founded the Librería Sions. A successful business in Jicaral... to offer the region an option with the best brands for their needs. She enjoys reading, talking, listening to good music, cycling, drawing, dancing, cooking, walking and enjoying the countryside. In his spirit of service and community leadership, she gets to know Asepaleco where he develops a sensitivity and love for nature. She has gained many experiences and now fights alongside a group of people who, like him, fully identify with the conservation project. She is proud and grateful for the life she is able to share.
Benito Villegas López- Treasurer
Resident of Camaronal de Lepanto where he lives with his wife and daughters. He has a degree in Agricultural Management from the Technological Institute of Costa Rica. He is one of the founding members of Asepaleco, while working as Manager of the Cantonal Agricultural Center of Puntarenas. He has also been Mayor of Lepanto, professor of agricultural studies, professor at the CTP of Jicaral and was Director of the Rural Lyceum of Isla de Venado. He has been an active member of the Asepaleco Board of Directors in various periods, at the moment he holds the position of Treasurer. He is currently enjoying his time as a pensioner.
Miguel Escalante Arias – Board Member 1
I am a General Agricultural Engineer, with a degree from UCR. I am retired and have worked in government for 35 years. First, 5 years as head of the MAG in Cóbano, then 3 years as coordinating engineer of the Natural Resources Programme at the DRIP, and then 2 years as national co-director. Finally, I worked as head of the MAG office in Nandayure for 25 years. During my time at Drip, I helped establish Asepaleco, an organisation of which I am a founding member and with which I have been associated for many years as a member and several times as a board member; once I attended the World Conservation Congress in Thailand as a representative of our organisation before the IUCN. As part of Drip, I had the opportunity to visit Don Nicasio's family several times before the first farm was purchased; I was also involved in the purchase of the land where the recyclables collection centre in Lepanto is currently located. I am currently farming, mainly orange, mango and teak cultivation, beekeeping, and we have a commercial nursery owned by our family in Mansión de Nicoya. I believe in Asepaleco and its mission, and that is why I feel that I should be involved in this organisation, to contribute some of what I have learned in different areas.
Ana Patricia Fernández Cruz – Board Member 2
Lives in Río Negro de Cóbano. She has worked in the tourism industry since 1992 and is currently in charge of the bartenders and waiters at Ylang Ylang Beach Resort Restaurant, where she has worked for more than 20 years. She loves people and customer service. For Ana Patricia, ASEPALECO means contributing a grain of sand to what this beautiful peninsula has given us and continues to give us every day. She loves nature and hopes to contribute a little to continue this incredible vision that her creator had.
Dario Sonetti – Board Member 3
He is an Italian citizen and was born on 3 June 1951. He is a biologist and an associate professor at the University of Modena. Today he lives in San Ramón de Río Blanco, Costa Rica. He has combined his professional activity with that of an environmentalist. In Italy, 40 years ago, he was one of the founders of the Voluntary Ecological Guard and later of the association Foreste per Semper, which promotes international cooperation for the conservation of forests and their biodiversity by carrying out projects in Central America, Brazil and Madagascar. He came to Costa Rica 30 years ago as a researcher for INBio and returned every year with volunteers and students to work in the parks and reserves. He has worked with several national parks with official recognition in reforestation projects in indigenous areas. He has worked with Asepaleco for 25 years, participating with his Italian association in the land purchase programme for the Karen-Mogensen Reserve, promoting environmental education projects between primary schools in Italy and Costa Rica, and founding the Italia Costa Delicious Bioclimatic Research Reserve. He believes that what is being done and can be done in Costa Rica for the conservation of nature and for a better life in harmony and respect for the environment can be an example for other countries and an encouragement for the locals to improve, and that is why he wants to share the mission of Asepaleco.
Rebeca Quesada Güell - Board Member 4
She is originally from San José, Costa Rica, and came to the south of the Nicoya Peninsula more than 40 years ago, more specifically to the community of Montezuma, which at that time was still a small fishing village on the coast. Rebeca fell so much in love with the wonderful nature of Montezuma and the simple and harmonious way the inhabitants treated each other and their surroundings that she decided this was the place where she wanted to make her life. She is a tourism entrepreneur and community leader and has always been committed to ensuring that development is done in a sustainable way and benefits the original inhabitants of this land. She is a founding member of ASEPALECO and has always been actively involved in the association.
Ronald Montero González – Board Member 5
He is originally from Jicaral and is strongly connected to the nature of the Nicoya Peninsula through his family roots. He graduated in Business Administration with a focus on International Trade at the University of Costa Rica. He has held positions in the commercial sector for more than 25 years. He is the co-founder of Grupo Pentta, a sales and trade management outsourcing company, and holds the position of Commercial Director. He has been associated with Asepaleco since 1992, as a young man he was elected to represent the province and later his proposals allowed him to represent Costa Rica at the Pre-Earth Summit in Costa Rica. He later joined the Costa Rican Ecological Association ( A.E.C.O.) to maintain a link with the environment. This involvement furthered his interest in the conservation of flora and fauna. With his extensive experience in the commercial sector and his passion for the environment, he works with dedication and constant commitment as part of the team to promote or seek innovative solutions that encourage sustainability and balance between human development and the conservation of nature.
Víctor Manuel Barboza Jiménez – Prosecutor
De Paquera, retired educator. Activist in organisations and with experience in the community. He was director of basic subsidiaries of ANDE and SEC, founding partner and member of the Board of Directors of Coopepaquera R.L. Member of the Supervisory Committee of Coopeinpesa R.L., Puntarenas. Delegate of Coopeguanacaste R.L., currently holding this position. Secretary of the Regional Commission for the Development of Puntarenas. Founding shareholder and Managing Director in different periods of Asepaleco, currently in the capacity of Fiscal. He was Director in different periods for the Association for the Integral Development of Paquera-ADIP. Chairman of the Working Committee for the Support of Fishermen. Secretary of the Pro-Cantonal Commission of the Nicoya Peninsula. Founding member of the Peninsula Green Agenda Association and active member of the Peninsula Green Agenda Forum. Director of the Paquera Aqueduct in different periods, currently Secretary. Founding member and active member of the Christian Association of Paquera Rosa de Sarón, currently Secretary. Founding member and active member in different periods of the Association of Aqueducts of the Nicoya Peninsula-UNAPEN, currently Secretary. Don Víctor sees his greatest satisfaction in collaborating in the development of knowledge. He is always ready to serve. His greatest concerns are the absence of God in humanity, the destruction of the family, climate stress, environmental degradation, water and food shortages and Agenda 2023.