I was born in Santiago, Chile in 1954, the youngest of six children. My 5 older siblings are between 20 and 11 years older than me, I was definitely the baby of the family. Yeah… I’m the Baby boy. My Mom was 40. My Dad was 50 when I was born.
At a very young age, I decided to become a Civil Mining Engineer, just like my father. When I was little I asked my Dad why he became a Mining Engineer. He told me that he found it fascinating to dig in the ground and find minerals that could be used for the betterment of humankind. This story intrigued and excited me, my decision was made right then!
As a young boy I enjoyed playing outside in the garden, and pretending that I was an actor in a movie with my friends. I spent many hours observing and analysing the world around me. My Mom used to tell me not to touch everything but my curiosity got the best of me and I ran into many troubles!
In my early teen years, I spent almost three months every year at the beach. My parents owned a summer house in La Herradura, Chile. La Herradura is located 450kms north of Santiago. La Herradura was my special place filled with possibilities – boys, girls, beach, boats, swimming, diving, good food, lots of fun, so much to discover!
I went back to La Herradura in November 2007, let me tell you, it had changed. It’s now built up with high rise apartment buildings and stores. Where this new development now stands, I used to walk through the sand dunes to get to the beach. In front of my parent’s old summer house is now a major four lane highway.
During my younger days at La Herradura I became fascinated with sailing. I learned to sail there. My Dad had a 6 metre Pirata that I sailed daily. I sailed, swam and dove everyday that I spent at La Herradura. What wonderful memories!
When I was a teenager I also discovered reading. I read everything that I could get my hands on. My Dad had library at home, the room was filled to the ceiling with books. I had to climb the shelves to get to the books at the top! I read everything in my Dad’s library!
After high school I went to la Universidad de Chile in Santiago. It was there that I discovered oil painting. I loved it right away, and still do. My aunt, Deidamia, was a painter. She taught me to look and see light and shadows of shapes and colours. When I wasn’t painting or studying, I spent the majority of my free time outside chasing girls, playing tennis, hang gliding, windsurfing, skiing, playing soccer, field hockey and a little rugby. I have always been an outside guy. I like to always be doing something so I also learned to play the piano, electric guitar and drums. My most memorable time playing these instruments is when me and my neighbor, Santiago, drove the neighborhood crazy with our loud noise!
After six years at the Universidad de Chile I was a proud Civil Mining Engineer. My goal was to build a mine. Results driven, very early in my career I had successfully built two mines. The mines were close to Antofagasta, in the north, Carolina de Michilla. I continued for seven more years in mining and then I was ready for a change. I began to explore wider horizons in the industrial area and moved into the exciting world of sales. I sold mining equipment. During this time I travelled all over Chile, Argentina, Germany and Sweden. By the end of my first year in sales, I captured 100% of the market share and maintained it for two years.
My next adventure was spending five years in Germany successfully transferring waste management technology to South America. When I wasn’t working I enjoyed painting, travelling and camping. I soon realized that Europe was far too polluted, and moved to Canada in 1993.
When I arrived in Canada, looking to the future and unsure of the future in mining, I took the real estate licensing course through the University of British Columbia. Real Estate would have to wait, shortly after completing the course, I found employment in mining. This was the start of five and a half years in the international mining business that took me to Peru for three and a half of those years.
In late 1998 I returned to Canada. The destination this time was north – Prince George! I seized the opportunity to expand a business in Prince George and ran a truck stop and service station for five years.
One day in September 2002 I travelled to Vancouver for my nephew Jason’s wedding. At this time Prince George was grey. Arriving in Vancouver I was amazed by the green grass and the amount of people. That was when I decided to leave the cold north and relocate to Vancouver. I started my life as a Realtor shortly after.
With my natural leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit, selling residential real estate proved to be the perfect career choice for me. It was a most successful and fulfilling venture. I loved meeting all the different personalities in real estate, different people, different places, solving problems – all day long! I spent ten years selling real estate in Vancouver, the Lower Mainland and British Columbia, thoroughly enjoying every, or almost! Every minute of it!
In late 2012 I took a contract in the mining industry. I travelled to Chile for three months to work on strategic planning and development for a mine north of Santiago – Cerro Negro. During that time I rediscovered my passion for mining and eagerly took in everything that I possibly could over the three months. I have been to Cierro Negro before, many years ago.
In March 2013 I took on another contract in the mining industry – a gold mine. This time I headed to Peru and Ecuador for a month. I landed in Lima, Peru, spending the better part of the month working out of the mining office in Lima. After a few weeks in Lima, it was time to go see the mine. The mine is located close to the Peru-Ecuador border in “La Cordillera del Condor” a historical gold district since the Incas.
In May 18, 2013 I fell from a cliff coming into Ecuador. A surreal experience that I’m still recovering both physically and mentally!