The Lake Arenal area mourns the passing of Gunter Bertelmann, who died March 6, in Liberia of complications stemming from a car accident. Born in Danzig, Germany, on March 25, 1935, he later moved to Canada and then Costa Rica and became a permanent resident of both countries.
An architect and developer, Gunter came to Costa Rica in 1989 and built two homes in Playa Flamingo. On a visit to the Arenal Volcano, he fell in love with Nuevo Arenal and became one of the first developers in the area. He created Las Flores, where he lived, and the La Vista communities. His developments featured a visionary terraced layout of the properties, Spanish styling and exquisite woodwork. He employed a crew of 20 local craftsmen in Nuevo Arenal for 19 years and subcontracted work to many others.
Gunter was also passionate about Trakehner horses, used in dressage. Perón, a horse that he imported into Canada, went on to win the Bronze Medal in team dressage in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. His latest project was developing a horse farm on the Baltic Sea in Germany.
He is survived by wife Gisela, daughters Martina of Germany, Anja, and Inga of Canada as well as five grandchildren.