Painting- For Jairo Mora Sandoval, martyred at Playa Mora, May 2013

Jairo Mora Sandoval was a young conservationist and activist in Costa Rica who was slain by poachers.
Jairo Mora Sandoval was a young conservationist and activist in Costa Rica who was slain by poachers.

This painting is of Jairo Mora Sandoval of Costa Rica. He was a young conservationist and activist in Costa Rica. His non-profit was called Wider Carribean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (or Widecast for short). In the course of doing his work protecting leatherback turtle nests from being robbed by egg-poachers, he was kidnapped and killed in May 2013; from witnesses there with him up until he was taken away, we know that the poachers (hueveros) were disturbed by the work of Widecast and Mora, in particular. Captain Watson of Sea Shepherd has posted a reward for any information leading to the killers, but they have not yet been apprehended yet (as far as I know. The article I read was the February issue of Outside). Mora was so young, so dedicated, so energetic and enthusiastic that he filled everyone around him with hope and passion. What a great loss to the world. He was the same age as my own son.

But, as Mother Jones once said- “Mourn the dead and fight like hell for the living!” The best appreciation we can all make for Mora’s contribution is to continue to do his work. I wish Roger Sanchez, Marjorie Balfodano, Vanessa Lizano, Almudena and all of the volunteers at the Costa Rica Wildlife Sanctuary peace and luck in their ongoing efforts to defend wildlife. There really are heroes out there, even in this age of meanness and greed.”