12 years ago, I started an adventure that I do not regret: becoming a protector of the Isla del Coco National Park. Yes, I am one of the four female park rangers currently in the Isla del Coco National Park. My home is also that little piece of land located more than 540 kilometers from the coast of Puntarenas.
More than a decade has passed since I left Colorado from Violey in Buenos Aires for Puntarenas, trusting that my husband, two children, and three grandchildren would be okay. I do not deny them, at the beginning getting away from them was very difficult, honestly I had never been separated from my family for so long, but today, looking back, I can tell you that the experience has been enriching and full of satisfaction.
I have already learned to take stock during the month that I have to be working and the 22 days off. August is a very emotional month and even more so when the celebration of Mother’s Day I had to celebrate it away from loved ones, the feelings surfaced. Fortunately, technology keeps us together and through video calls or a normal call, it allows us to remind ourselves how much we love each other.
Taking care of the waters of the marine treasure of Costa Rica has not only allowed me to protect the environment and be close to unmatched species, but also with my example, I have motivated my children to study and improve themselves. At almost 52 years of life and 34 years of marriage, the only thing we want as parents is to make the most of the time and replicate the experience to have a more beautiful life.
A hard decision
It is never easy for a mother to be away from her children, but today seeing them as mature men and living their lives fully, I know that the decisions have been the right ones. I enjoy every time we patrol and we reaffirm the care of the marine space of the Cocos Marine Conservation Area;
In addition, I am in charge of the kitchen together with two other people. Inside the Island, my day starts at 4:30 in the morning: breakfasts, coffee, lunch, snacks, dinners. We prepare everything with love so that more than 15 people can go out to take care of this Costa Rican natural jewel. In this activity I put my heart and even that feeling of maternal protection … what I will tell you, that is part of the DNA when we are mothers.
The stories during my career as a park ranger are many, but what marks me the most is to value my family more. We are divided by the sea, but the love for my children remains intact and because of them I am strong.
I am Marta Bogantes, a Buenos Aires woman who loves Cocos Island, working as a park ranger and with my example I want to reach other mothers to fight for their dreams, do not forget that we are the mirror that our children observe and protect the heritage Costa Rica’s natural marine is also a legacy that I leave to my children and to future generations.