I was first licensed in Costa Rica with a reciprocal in 1989 as TI5/WB3LUI. In 1994, I was licensed as TI5NW. Though my wife, Carmelina (TI5CMA) and I no longer live in Costa Rica, we are fortunate enough to go back once or twice a year to visit. In 1996 I lost my TI call and operated as TI5/K3LU.
Carmelina comes from a large Amateur Radio family. He father, Emigdio (SK) TI5SR and later TI5SRG, was one of the first pioneers in the 1950's to help to develop San Rafael de Guatuso when few cared about the region. He even learned to speak Maleku fluently. don Emigdio brought many of the "firsts" to the Canton of Guatuso. The first motor boat, electrical generator and TV to name a few. During that period telephone lines did not reach San Rafael de Guatuso. Amateur Radio provided a means of keeping in touch with friends in the San Josť area and through out the world. Later when his daughters became older, he wanted to provide for them a good education so he sent them to attend school in Alajuela. He encouraged them to get their Amateur Radio license. Amateur Radio was a way of keeping in touch with them while they attended school. As a result, Carmelina TI5CMA (my XYL), Amanda TI5ACY, Laura TI5LCC and Ena TI5ECC became radioaficionadas. When telephone lines arrived in San Rafael de Guatuso in the late 1970's, the four daughters enjoyed the same passion for Amateur Radio as their father and remained active on the air. TI5SRG was active on the air telling the world about the Maleku Indians and his family's life ins San Rafael de Guatuso until he became a silent key in 1982.
While in Costa Rica, we usually spend a few days in Alajuela and later go to the farm in San Rafael de Guatuso in the northern part of the country. [see the map] Alajuela is very easy to explain when someone asks where is my QTH as it is the second largest city in Costa Rica. On the other hand, it is pretty difficult to explain where San Rafael de Guatuso is located. Don't feel bad because many Ticos don't know either. Ticos is the nick name used for the Costa Rican people. San Rafael de Guatuso is a beautiful little frontier town that is about a four hour drive north from San Josť. There you will find mostly cattle ranches, farms and the colorful and ever so charming Maleku Indians. It is very beautiful and peaceful there. No stray computer RF! The only noise from time to time is QRN from thunderstorms, the heavy rain pounding on the tin roof where the ham shack is and the roosters calling in the early morning. Near town is a the Palenque Tonjibo where lives the friendly Maleku Indians. My Maleku friends even have their own AM radio station, Radio Maleku. Though a rather simple station, it serves the community well with local news and music. At times they can be heard transmitting the Maleku language. Visible from San Raphael de Goats is the volcano Arena. The volcano's majestic presence is quite breath taking for is power and beauty.
My favorite mode is CW. I especially enjoy 40 meter CW. Operating 40 meters at night leaves plenty of time for other things during the day. It is quite amazing to work Europe, North and South America and Japan at the same time when the band is really open. In 1994 I participated for the first time in CQWW CW Contest. It was the first contest I had ever operated. Since then the urge to do another contest hasn't been there but who knows? In 1995, thanks to the help of AD7D and The Satellite DX Foundation, I had the chance to work RS-12/13 while in El Salvador for the wedding of my compadre, YS4ADV, and later in Costa Rica.
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