Interview with Mr. Manuel León Salazar. Day November 1, 2018.
The Commissariat was founded in 1924, by Mr. José Heng Lee (d.e.p.) of Chinese nationality and his wife and mother Mrs. Graciela Salazar (d.e.p.) of Costa Rican Amugre nationality of the Talamanca reserve. This place today is 94 years old, the year of 2018. It is one of the first suppliers or pulperías of Costa Rica, if the first in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca de Limón.
The León Salazar family consisted of 8 brothers, 3 men and 5 women, of which there are only 4. Mr. José Heng came to Limón and sold lottery, then he managed to earn good money, and he moved to see some opportunity in Puerto Viejo, and here he achieved all his capital. Mr. Manuel León Salazar was born in Limon on April 15, 1938, today he is 81 years old, he looks strong, healthy, and with a lot of enthusiasm for life, he left at the age of 9 to the country of China in 1946 and returned in February of the year of 1953 at the age of 15 years, and his parents were in Puerto Viejo and Mr. Manuel León remained the absolute owner of the commissary, because his father could not stay in the area due to a health issue.
Then the oil company arrived in 1954 and here it became a re-fire, there was everything and people with bad habits and dangerous at that time. Mr. Manuel León stayed in Puerto Viejo because here he had everything, cocoa farms, owner of 83 hectares for cocoa farms. When he arrived at the old port there was an approximation in the year of 1953 of 113 children in the school, 95 blacks, 4 Costa Rican “Costa Ricans”, and one Chinese, plus their relatives, with many small cocoa farms.
There were or were the first families like the Bennett, Patterson, Meison, the architects of Puerto Viejo. Mr. Manuel León married in Hong Kong at the age of 21 with Mrs. Delfina Chang, and they had four children, and again they returned to Puerto Viejo, unfortunately he lost his daughter Dr. Rosa León Chang (d.e.p.) for health issues. The most difficult thing that happened to Mr. Manuel León was the loss of his daughter, the disease of cocoa in the year 1979 called locally “monilia”, which financially bankrupted many, and the earthquake of 1991, a tragedy. Today he continues to attend his commissariat with great honor and pride, his personality confused by many, as strong in expressing himself, and for many as a good human being.
Thank you Mr. Manuel Leon for the opportunity to meet and interview him …