Don Carlos is maybe the coolest ever

Don Carlos Solano is one of the owners and the main person in charge of the biological station at Cuericí. He’s one of those people who knows everything and does everything, but just so efficiently and quietly that you almost wouldn’t notice. He’s got 50 projects going at once, and does them all with a DIY-attitude that I find super admirable (and lots of fun).

His major occupation besides conservation and management of what is essentially his patch of cloud forest is running a whole small farm, complete with blackberry patches (and accompanying blackberry-wine-brewing), chickens, ducks, a chubby hog named Petunia, and a trout breeding and growing system that uses gravity and the natural stream flow down the side of his mountain. Meanwhile, he makes fires and fixes showers in the field station, gives tours of the preserve, and is trying to reintroduce a species of edible palm tree to the mountainside.

Here he is showing us his hydropower equipment, kept in a tiny shack next to the stream. This tiny little machine provides all the energy for the farm’s workings, excluding the field station when groups are in residence.

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He doesn’t really speak English, (or actually speak that much at all when he’s not specifically asked about something) but he’s very eloquent on the topics of conservation and responsibility. Someday when I grow up I think I’d like to be a little like Don Carlos.

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