Call him inspired. If Biblical Ishmael were banished to the desert, naturalist Hugo Santa Cruz is quarantined to wander in paradise, a paradise in the Costa Rican jungle, that is. He is in the Central American rainforest along the Paso de Las Lapas Biological Corridor, an area near the Pacific coast that converges with the mountainous foothills of the western dry tropical forest. Roaming some 370 hectares of ample primary and secondary forests, regenerated forests restored from human damage, plus plantings, ponds, and biodiverse jungle, Santa Cruz is deep in the wilderness, far from home due to the COVID-19 shutdown of travel and normal activities. He is exploring the jungle, studying the animals, photographing, filming, and registering the species he encounters. The Turrubares Hills in Costa Rica’s Central Pacific region. Photo courtesy of Hugo Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz has found a paradise that allows greater depth and originality of observation, a refuge from isolation while in isolation, a perfect place for environmental inspiration. The zone provides food for scarlet macaws and some 350 species of birds. “I am surrounded by nature in its maximum splendor,” Santa Cruz tells Mongabay. “Here I am studying and experiencing that it is possible to live sustainably.” He is finding ways to connect with himself with nature and with the world: “The trips to jungles, beaches, deserts, mountains, and rivers, they were replaced by trips to the interior of my being, trying to get to know myself better, reflecting on what is happening to me…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer