On December 24, 1954, while my mother was preparing Christmas Eve dinner, I was born. At home, my parents always had a deep love and respect for family and for our country. My brothers and I grew up in this environment. My first memories take me back to Finca La Lucha, which my father established in 1927 as an agroindustrial complex. Since then, this property has been part of the Figueres history.
Our life on the farm was simple and pleasant. During my first years my father was elected President of Costa Rica. At home, my mother and father dedicated themselves to the family and to state affairs. In La Lucha I began my formal studies at the farm school, Cecilia Orlich Figueres, named in the memory of a cousin who perish in an accident.
My classmates were the sons and daughters of those who worked in the agroindustrial complex that my father had established in La Lucha over time. The football field was in front of the school. We played intensely which I would resume years later on the soccer team of the West Point Military Academy. I also remember many afternoons after school playing tops and marbles with my friends. The weekends were dedicated to crocket, which my father liked so much.
In La Lucha I learned to horseback ride. My first horse was named Cholo and my dog Buenamigo, a beautiful boxer, always accommpany us. I developed a special affection and respect for animals. The house in which we lived, built after the 1948 Civil War, which started at La Lucha, became our ' life classroom'. My parents introduced us to classical music, art and strong family values. At every meal we were not allowed to leave any food in our plate as a part of learning that we could not waste in a world with so much hunger and need.
Diverse national and international political figures frequently visited our home. The conversations were mainly about strengthening democracy. In the basement of the house my father operated an amateur radio station, TI2IG, with which he communicated with the region helping revolutionary movements to overthrow dictatorships, such as those of Pérez Jiménez (Venezuela), Batista (Cuba ), Trujillo (Dominican Republic) and Somoza (Nicaragua).
At the house there were also a couple of basements that from time to time were filled with weapons of all kinds. These caches or arms were them sent to different revolutionary movements in the region that were fighting againts dictatorships. The last major operation of this kind took place in 1979 to support the forces fighting to overthrow Somoza.
In many of the conversations between my parents and visitros, we were allowed to particiapte. The only condition was that we not interrupt the conversation. Needless to say, many dinner time convesations were filled with the questions we asked our parents about what we've heard during the day.
As a consequence of many of these activities, my father became a target of several dictatorships. It was frequent to see some of the workers of the farm, such as Moncho, Chuta and Juan become overnight guards of the family home.