Mask Artist Carver - Boruca, Costa Rica

“I really like snakes and identify with them. Walking through the ravine it is common for me to encounter one or two different species.”

Francisco started carving masks while in high-school and learned his distinctive style from his stepdad. Carving diablitos is his specialty and although he doesn’t consider himself a perfectionist, he takes his time to add those extra details that make his pieces stand out!

“My favorite place to work is on my ranch. In the mountains, and surrounded by nature, everything becomes an inspiration. So, I grab a piece of wood and start to draw, and little by little my designs come to life.”

“For my work, symmetry matters, so I tend to measure everything at every step. Sometimes I use balsa wood, but I particularly enjoy carving cedar. Lately I am also working with ron ron, also known as tigerwood. With those hardwoods, I can create larger sculptures.”

One of Francisco’s goals is to learn English to communicate with the tourists that visit Boruca. He also hopes one day to learn how to paint his own masks.

“As indigenous artists, we have always lived in harmony with nature and we harvest our wood with respect. For each tree that we cut, we plant one or more.”