Strategic Actor: Zacarias Aleman Valencia

Zacarias Aleman Valencia hails from Guanacaste but has been living in Drake Bay for the past 32 years, where he arrived as a small boy with his parents. Currently, he serves as President of the Board of Education of the Curime School in Planes de Drake.

Zacarias has is own business in the region – Casa Drake Lodge - located in Los Planos de Drake, which offers lodging, food and tours to Corcovado National Park, as well as expeditions on horseback on the family farm. The proximity of Casa Drake Lodge to Corcovado National Park and other private primary forest reserves provides visitors unprecedented access to the Osa Peninsula’s most precious resources: its forests and its wildlife.

Zacarias Aleman, his brother Gregorio "Goyo" Aleman, and his wife Luz Marina Fajardo built Casa Drake Lodge in its entirety. Zacarias is a self-taught carpenter and has learned his craft from a lifetime of living in the forest. He has worked on the construction of many of the hotels in Drake Bay. Together, they cut wood, transported it to work, brushed the wood, sanded it, and built their beautiful house, which took four years to complete.

The communal support of his business is directed towards the local school community, which involves donating his time and, in some cases, the funds needed to defray some of the costs of the educational center. He is currently overseeing the remodeling of the Curime School, which is being carried out thanks to the community’s support and the use of school funds, In addition, Zacarias is currently overseeing the maintenance of municipal roads with his own personal financial resources, as well as working on issues of environmental protection within his family-owned business.

In his opinion, the success of a community-based organization lies in perseverance, having good communication with the community and neighbors and holding on to values and ethical principles. With regard to his personal business, he believes the most important thing is to be consistent, defend his values and moral principles, setting goals, and having clear and achievable objectives.

On the work being carried out by INOGO in the region through the Caminos de Liderazgo project, he considers it to be meaningful in that it has allowed him to learn new and important things, as well as have access to a network of good contacts and friends.

For more information about Zacarias and Casa Drake Lodge:

Phone: 2775 - 0703