A couple weeks ago, I took my family on vacation to Costa Rica, an amazing country that I was introduced to by my best friend, Kyle Puerner. After flying into San Jose, we drove a couple hours south to the resort town of Manuel Antonio. While I was in CR, I managed to scratch my itch for riding by hooking up with the guys from Moto Shop Jaco for a quick trail ride through the rain forest. I also set out on a mission to find my old friend Ernesto Fonseca, who moved back to his home country a few months ago.

When Ernie was first injured at the Honda Supercross track, he spent some time in a hospital in Colorado that was known as one of the best spinal cord injury treatment centers. In town already for the Thunder Valley National, I made the short drive and spent some time with him . Through it all, I was blown away at how positive he was, and along with the rest of the motocross industry, I hoped for a full recovery for Ernie. Sadly, Ernesto’s injury is permanent, and he has remained in a wheelchair in the years since.

Fonseca was a source of comfort for me when my own brother Ross was paralyzed in 2010, as I turned to him for some advice and encouragement. Recently, Ernesto has moved home to Heredia, Costa Rica, where he lives with his family. During the week, when he’s not doing physical therapy, he works as a dealer rep for Troy Lee Designs, calling on the numerous motorcycle and skate/surf shops that carry TLD apparel. Mid-week, I made the drive north to Heredia and spent the afternoon with Ernie, catching up and reminiscing about old, good times, too. I used my “tourist” camera to record our conversation, and the result are two videos that total over half and hour. Die-hard Fonseca fans will enjoy hearing what Ernie is up to these days, but please, remember that this was an informal, casual conversation between us, and not a high-production value taping. Ernie’s bull terrier took quite a liking to me, and wasn’t too happy that he was put out back… Enjoy!

Go to page 2 for part 2.