Jonathan was born in Costa Rica in the cityof Puerto Limon, a place known for its Rain Forest and Beaches. At the age of one Jonathan’s parents moved to the U.S. and settled in the state of Texas. Every summer he would go to his home land to visit for a few months and stay with family. Jonathan remembers being encouraged to surf and dive off cliffs with his cousins, but was always warned to stay away from the Rain Forest.
As a child he heard numerous stories of children being taken away by Jaguars and even Monkeys. As a matter of fact, most stories of legends and folk tales were based on animal attacks.
He remembered a story that was told to him by his elders, the story of (La Llorona) meaning “The Crier.” This legend had been passed on through many generations of Islanders of Costa Rica. This legend kept the natives out of the Rain Forest at dusk.
The story is about a woman whose ghostly silhouette could be seen at a distance. From out of the Rain Forest
she goes to the waters edge in search of her lost son that had supposedly drowned, and most that had never witnessed this image, will tell chilling stories of how they heard echoes of haunting screams and cry’s of a woman that could be heard from near by streams and rivers.
Growing up, on one particular night, Jonathans relative warned him and his cousins as they were ruff housing and playing in the room, “that she was near.” The kids instantly settled down with fear. They all went to bed and shared amongst themselves stories of what they knew and have heard of “La llorona.”
Throughout the night, he and one of his cousins were the only ones awake as Jonathan remembers clearly what happened next. High pitched sounds of a baby crying were heard. His cousin kept saying “it’s the Llorona’s baby.” Behind Jonathan’s uncles’ house there was river near the wooded area. Frightened as Jonathan was he wanted to find the crying baby.
He and his cousin walked outside to investigate. Scared out of their minds they ventured into the Forest with flash lights. The sound got louder and louder, and then it faded away, the cries sounded like it was coming from all directions. When they approached the river, the cousin shined his light across the water just to witness from a distance, a set of glowing red lights slowly moving away. Frantically Jonathan’s cousin screamed, “La Llorona!” “It’s La Llorona!” then he ran off. Jonathan witnessing the same thing, as he aimed his flash light to the direction of the red glow, he noticed movements on the waters edge. As he got closer it turned out to be the reflection of a Caimans eyes.
He noticed that in the small reptiles’ jaws it had a large frog, and to his misbelief the high pitched cries came from the frog. “It was loud.” A lesson learned. Maybe the legends and Myths of “La Lorona” is not real, and can be easily explained as to why the crying sounds of a human is none other than frogs being caught by the jaws of a predator.
This new found knowledge gave Jonathan the extra courage and curiousity to venture more into the Rain Forest and explore its wonders. “Despite of what was warned to him.” The Rain Forest has many mysteries and beauty, its large abundance of wildlife became more of a fascination to Jonathan. He was given a laminated identification chart of native snakes of Coast Rica as a gift on his flight back to the States.
He remembers always wanting to see a snake in the Rain Forest for according to the chart the Forest was teaming with all kinds of snakes, but the only ones he ever seen were of the snakes killed by villagers as they displayed them for all to see.
In one of their visits to Costa Rica, knowing that at the age of seven, Jonathan was developing an interest for snakes; his father took him to meet “Jimmy” a dear friend of his that worked as a Herpetologist at the “University of Costa Rica.” Jimmy spoke to Jonathan about snakes, and then they ventured into the Rain Forest. That was the same day that Jonathan witnessed and handled his first “live” snake. It was an exciting moment for Jonathan as held his first Boa Constrictor.
Today Jonathan has the same passion for these reptiles. His outlook and understanding goes far and beyond from stories and myths, in search for facts and a deeper knowledge to represent the truth of these legends he once known to be afraid of, and it all started that night by the river as the story of “La Llorona” was unveiled.
Jonathan's first Boa at age seven.
Jonathan surfing at Billie Swamp Safari on an Alligator
Jonathan on a 14ft Alligator "Superman"
Free handling a Pygmy Rattle Snake.
At the Everglades Alligator Farm