By Laura Alvarado, April 8, 2018. Published in The Costa Rica Star, April 14, 2018
Carlos Alvarado Quesada was elected President of Costa Rica just a week ago and will take the lead of the country on May 8th, with the big responsibility of dealing with a high fiscal deficit, a divided congress and a country that demands actions against corruption and inequity.
But who is and what is the background of Costa Rica’s 48th President? Does he have what it takes to make positive changes in the next four years?
Carlos Alvarado was born January 14, 1980 he is 38 years old. Son of Adelia Quesada Alvarado who dedicated her life to her family, and Alejandro Alvarado Induni an electric engineer; Carlos Alvarado grew up in the community of Pavas, in San Jose, along with his brother, Federico, the eldest, and his younger sister, Irene.
His family is a middle class family that made an effort to put his kids through private education with the dream that they’d learn to speak English, Carlos attended elementary at the Anglo American School, “I remember I was always introspective, serious, well behaved even as a child”, stated Alvarado in an interview with Channel 7; he graduated high-school from St.Francis. It was precisely in high school that he discovered three of his loves in life, the love for reading awaken, with books such as The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway; he also discovered his interest in music listening to Pink Floyd and he met the woman that today is the First Lady of Costa Rica, Claudia Dobles.
He studied communication at the University of Costa Rica.
His first job was as a clerk in a sportsbook in 1999 in San Pedro, he took the job to be able to buy an electric guitar, when he had enough money to buy the guitar he quit his job and later went to work as a journalist for newspaper Semanario Universidad.
He was part of several musical bands. He wrote his first book called “Transcripciones Infieles” a recompilation of short stories he had written throughout the years, “this is a book I probably shouldn’t have published, I was too young”, he said.
His second book was a short novel, “La historia de Cornelius Brown”which won the Joven Creación Award in 2006. His second novel was published in 2010 “Las Posesiones” a book about the internment camps of Germans and Italians in Costa Rica during World War II. The last novel he wrote is “Temporada en Brighton” about his experiences living in France and England.
His interest in politics began during his university years and at some point through his journalism career he felt the need to do something that could create change and that brought him to study political sciences.
He worked in France giving Spanish classes for a while. He also attended the University of Sussex in England where he lived for a year where he got a Masters in Development Studies. He also lived in Panama due to his wife’s career where his son was born.
He was part of the communication team during the campaign of Luis Guillermo Solis, and he later was named Labor Minister for the government.
“Nobody ‘convinced me’ to run for the presidency, I did it for Costa Rica”.