Originally from the Santo Cristo area near the Nauyaca Waterfalls in Platanillo, Ronald was born and raised in this south pacific region of Costa Rica. His grandfather first came to the Dominical area by boat from Nicoya and bush wacked his way to Santo Cristo, he was later
killed a short time after the revolution in 1948. Ronald’s parents lived off the land in Santo Cristo. They planted rice, beans, corn, plantains and fruit. They had cows for milk and cheese, chickens for meat and eggs and pigs for meat. The third of 7 brothers and sisters, Ronald first met Hacienda Baru in the early 80’s when he and Natalie Ewing became friends at the local agricultural rural high school.
Ronald guides canopy experiences at Hacienda Baru, we think this is fitting because his passion is orchids and most of these fascinating plants are found in the canopy of the forest. When Ronald was a little boy he didn’t particularly enjoy playing soccer or marbles, one day his school teacher asked him if he’d climb up into a tree to get an orchid down for him, it was a Gongora, this was Ronald’s first contact with orchids. He got three specimens down that day and his teacher gave him one of them. That was the beginning of several years of following this teacher and others into the world of orchids. To this day, Ronald is hooked. He is the person that is responsible for the more that 60 orchid species at Hacienda Baru and delights in pointing them out in the wild to his guests on a daily basis. While he really enjoys the rainforest and his favorite bird is the Red Capped Manakin, Ronald confesses his love for botany.
When he’s not teaching a guest how to climb up into the canopy 130 feet above the jungle floor or tending to his orchid garden, Ronald works at home with his wife Alejandra who recently gave birth to their second daughter and his 6 year old daughter Angel Maciel.