An outstanding professional career
At my return as engineer, my goal was to start a professional career. However, my father asked me to work in San Cristobal Group, a company that, with the foundation of La Lucha, in 1927, he and his brother Antonio had created. Although my preference was to work in companies in which my family had no ties, in the end I agreed to their wishes. I started a decade of work that educated me about the business world. At that time I formed a family, from which I have two children: José María and Eugenia.
In 1987 we celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of founding La Lucha, the event was attended by the Costa Rica's President, Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez, a few weeks later he called me and told me that he had been impressed with the positive transformation that I had achieved in the family business group. Then he invited me to be INCOFER Board of Auditors CEO, since the institution was losing millions of colones and had decided to intervene the institution to try to recover its finances. I accepted the President request. I gave myself completely to the cause and that's where my public service begins. Short time after this I was appointed Minister of Foreign Trade, we quickly formed a program to double national exports betting on sectors in which Costa Rica had significant comparative advantages. When he reached the middle of his constitutional period he was forced to reorganize his cabinet, so he appointed me Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, since government policies called "Change Agriculture" had ground two ministers during the first two years of his government.
At the end of my public service as Minister, my intention was to return to La Lucha and the private sector. In order to do it in a better way, I continued my Postgraduate studies at the Kennedy School of Public Administration at Harvard University. The Berlin Wall fell after 60 years of Cold War, the Soviet Union opening began and the Iraq invasion of Kuwait was shown on television. Those events marked me deeply. I noticed that in Central America Democracy and Peace, which had been almost exclusive to Costa Rica, will become the normal conditions for the whole region. I found it important to make a new national effort to consolidate new comparative advantages, running as candidate for Liberacion Nacional party to become Costa Rica's new President.