Meet Visionary / Founder / Owner – Ray Beise
Meet the owner/developer Ray Beise, originally from Minnesota, USA. Ray left his hometown at the age of 18, the day after high school graduation, and embarked on a journey of discovery and adventure throughout Mexico and Central America.
From a very young age, Ray had an interest and passion for social justice and environmental activism. His socially responsible roots run as deep as his love for nature.
Prior to founding Pura Jungla, Ray was deeply involved with non-profit NGO’s and was responsible for directing and managing volunteers in Central America. During these years, Ray was engaged in various socially responsible programs, such as potable water projects for small villages and bridge building to connect rural villages.
After his travels, work and adventures throughout Central America, a young, 34 year old Ray, had a vision and a dream.
He purchased a cut-down / burned-out, 100 hectares (250 acres) cattle farm just outside the very small village of Paraiso, in Guanacaste, northern Costa Rica. This is where he would make his dream and passion become a reality.
Thirty one years ago Ray bought Pura Jungla, a stripped-out cattle grazing land and began the arduous, yet daunting task of bringing the land back to its primary, indigenous forest condition. He used permaculture techniques including soil building, water conservation and actually brought in dump truck loads of organic material to create compost. Ray converted it from back to indigenous primary forest by planting hundreds of thousands of indigenous trees and properly caretaking the land. This was and is a labor of love and commitment to nature and the earth by Ray and by those who participate in the Pura Jungla lifestyle.
He planted hundreds of thousands of indigenous trees, such as; laurel, pochote, cocobolo (ronron tree), guapinol, alcornoque, tempisque and many others.
Right from the get-go, acquiring original indigenous seeds proved to be a difficult task.
Ray would patiently observe and wait for the exact moment when these seeds would be ready for harvest. There were times when he would sleep under certain specific rare trees just to make sure he got the seeds before the birds and animals.
Imagine an open air nursery with tens of thousands of sprouting seedlings ready to be planted and begin their new life as an authentic dry tropical deciduous forest. Ray was even approached by MINAE, the Costa Rica government conservation department, specifically to acquire these indigenous seeds for their own projects.
All these years of Ray’s continuous care-taking, nourishing and dedication to the land has been successful.
MANY EXPERTS SAID IT COULDN’T BE DONE.
RAY PROVED THEM WRONG !!
Pura Jungla was, and still is, Ray’s labor of love and commitment to nature and to the earth. People who come to visit and tour Pura Jungla quickly understand Ray’s vision and his successful implementation. Most can’t believe this flourishing ecosystem was once barren land.