San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

In Memoriam of Carlos Vargas Gené and Tim Ryan

Carlos Vargas Gené, Leading Journalist

Former reporter and editor for La Nación and La República, Carlos Vargas Gené, died in his home on Aug. 2. He was 87 years old.

Vargas, who worked for La Nación between 1955 and 1969, was a survivor of the La Penca bombing in southern Nicaragua in 1989, an incident that claimed four lives, including that of Tico Times reporter Linda Frazier. Vargas lost both a hand and a leg in the incident, but never let the loss affect his attitude or his love of life, say family and friends close to him.

“Never in my life did I hear a word of hate or blame for the person that placed the bomb,” his daughter, Georgina Vargas told the daily Diario Extra. “He underwent great physical pain and never complained.”

Often referred to as one of the “masters of Costa Rican journalism,” Vargas also worked as public relations director for the Costa Rican Petroleum Refinery (Recope) and was part of the team that developed the country’s first television transmission in color. He worked for La República when his brother, Joaquín, was director. Vargas also had a degree in soil science, which he attained in Honduras.

Journalism ran in his family. His father Joaquín was a reporter, along with his two brothers, Jorge and Joaquín Vargas Gené.

Vargas was father to seven, including Carlos Vargas, a former legislator and planning minister.


Tim Ryan, Creator of HeliconiaIsland

Tim Ryan, award-winning art director, graphic designer, college teacher, landscape artist, creator of HeliconiaIsland in Sarapiquí, father, brother, and great friend of the many folks who loved and admired him, passed away on Saturday, June 24 in Escazú. He was 65.

An Ohio native, Ryan attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York where he excelled in art direction, advertising, graphic design, and photography. After receiving a B.F.A. Degree from Pratt Institute, Tim worked for several New York advertising firms for the next 20 years, where he won two distinguished international awards for “Best Art Director.” Tim also taught graphic arts classes at several New York colleges and universities including the Pratt Institute, KingsboroughCommunity College, Cooper Union and the School of Visual Arts.

Due to his love of Spanish-speaking cultures, Tim moved to Costa Rica in 1991. There, Tim met Corina Barberena and eventually purchased a 5-acre river island near Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí. Ryan focused his artistic talents on transforming the island into a botanical garden, framed by the PuertoViejoRiver. A history of the island can be seen at:

–Tico Times

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