Jessica Rosales Godoy -Administrative Professional
Jessica was born in the town of Puntarenas and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business by the National University of Costa Rica. She is currently pursuing a degree in Finance at the same institution. She has been working for Asepaleco since February 2016 and has fallen in love with the association’s mission and the beauty of the Karen Mogensen reserve.
Arnulfo – Guide
Arnuflo is a world renowned nature guide and caretaker for the Karen Mogensen Reserve and Cerro Escondido Ecolodge. He was born in San Ranom de Rio Blanco, 3 kilometers from the entrance to the reserve. He has worked for ASEPALECO for 16 years alongside his wife Mery. His love for nature and the reserve as well as the enjoyment he gets from sharing this special place with tourists is his life. He manages the trails, takes tourists on guided hikes, helps Mery in the kitchen, and he genuinely loves his work because of the incredible people who come to see mother nature. He is grateful for this opportunity to spend most of his time in the reserve. Mery and Arnulfo have 5 kids together, and together take great care of all the wonderful tourists.
Mery – Chef and Caretaker
Mery was born in Dominicas, a small town of Jicaral. She currently lives in San Ramon de Rio Blanco a small town 3 kilometers from the entrance to the Karen Mogensen Reserve. She started working for ASEPALECO 16 years ago alongside her husband Arnulfo. They have been happily married for 30 years and make the perfect couple to manage the Cerro Escondido Ecolodge. Mery is in charge of all the delicious meals, and the daily cleaning of the cabins, kitchen, bathrooms etc. The work that she does in the lodge is her life. She is very grateful for the opportunity to be in the reserve and feels very happy when the tourists come to visit. She would like to take the time to thank all of the tourists for their love of nature in visiting this special place, and has hope that the food is something very special to the guests as she prepares every meal with tons of love. She hopes to work in the reserve as long as her health permits, and does her work for the love of nature and the people who visit the reserve.
Luis Mena – President
Luis Angel Mena was born in Lepanto, Costa Rica. He attended primary school in Lepanto and high school in Jicaral, the same area that he currently lives and works. He studied biology at Universidad de Costa Rica. By the time he was at university he started running and he became the national and Central American champion in 800 and 1500 meters.
In 1987 he won a scholarship from the US International Development Agency to study English at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Later, Luis enrolled at Texas A&M University to get his Master Degree on Marine Biology. In 1991, he returned to Costa Rica and became the founder and president of ASEPALECO. That same year he became the resident biologist at the Cabo Blanco Natural Absolute Reserve, the first natural protected area in Costa Rica. This reserve is located near the town of Montezuma, were he met and became friends with Karen Mogensen and Albert Ingalls.
He later married Xiomara Jimenez and has three children: Thais Valentina, Adriana and Luis Gabriel. He has worked for the Conservation Areas National System with the Costa Rican government (SINAC) since 1991. He supports ASEPALECO in many different ways; specifically, he helped create and actively supports the Karen Mogensen Reserve.
Daniela Masís Valverde – Vice president
Daniela holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the Distance State University of Costa Rica and is an independent entrepreneur in Jicaral.
Roy Felipe Arias Gomez
Roy is a trained mathematics teacher and accountant. He is currently pursuing a degree in Water Resource Management at the National Technical University in Costa Rica and is involved in the management of the Paquera aqueduct.
Maria Isabel Batista Sandi
Isabel is an organic farmer and a beekeeper of stingless bees. She is also a volunteer forest firefighter and takes part on the Cantonal Agricultural Center Board of Directors. She lives the color green with love for mother nature and enjoys the pure air of the countryside. Isabel and her family live in the small town of San Ramon, which is at the entrance of the Karen Mogensen Reserve.
Benito Villegas López – Treasurer
Benito holds a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Management from the Costa Rica Institute of Technology. He was among Asepaleco’s founding members while working as a manager for the Cantonal Agricultural Center of Puntarenas. Benito has also been the Mayor of Lepanto, a professor of agricultural studies and has served on the Board of Directors in the past. He is currently the director at the Rural High School on the Island of Venado.
Johny Marín Monge
Johny is a professional mechanic but currently devotes his time to agriculture. He is the president of Apoinfemie.
Kevin Castillo Fernandez – Secretary
Kevin is 27 years old and he is a businessman with a Bachelor´s Degree in Hotel Administration and a technical certificate in CISCO information systems. He is a lover of nature and is also a secretary for the Guides and Scouts of Costa Rica, Troop 256.