A group of the indigenous population in Costa Rica residing in the southwestern part of the country has shared their memories of then-Letizia Ortiz, who was a journalist at the time, with El País Costa Rica. The Naso people recalled her trip to the area in July 2003 – just a few months before her engagement to the future King of Spain was announced.
Her guide during her visit, Paulino Nájera, explained to EFE about the future Queen, “She is an excellent woman with a noble heart. She spent four days here, and we had the pleasure of seeing her act in difficult situations.”
Paulino cited an example of her big heart and how she was always willing to lend a helping hand. When she and those with her were driving through heavy rain, Letizia “did not hesitate to get out of the car and help some people fighting against water and mud. She did not want to leave anyone hanging, and she did not care to throw herself in the mud in the rain to help. There I discovered that she is a great person.”
She made such an impression on Paulino that he still recalls the exact date when he met Spain’s current Queen on Sunday, 6 July 2003. His wife cooked for Letizia while she was in Costa Rica, and she loved the food so much that she requested the recipes to take home with her to Spain.
Paulino spoke about taking Her Majesty to the area where he was planning to build a mountain lodge. He wanted opinions of different people from across the globe on the lodge. He said, “My dream – which became reality with the Terraba Ecological Corner – was to build a mountain lodge and today, little by little, has borne fruit.”
Another person, Efe Marina, she encountered in Costa Rica spoke about meeting her saying, “She was very affectionate with the children and spoke a little about being a journalist, and that’s why she had come to Costa Rica to meet the indigenous communities.”