While growing up in Brooklyn my grandfather, John C. Padron, would often bring me to an island called Culebra.
My grandfather showed me the trails and fishing spots that make Culebra and Cayo Norte (an island that’s a short boat ride from Culebra) such special places. As a kid on Culebra, I had odd jobs like working on a farm where I fed the goats and cared for the horses. Eventually I ended up working at the restaurant Happy Landing with the owner, Gladlys Ortiz. Over time she taught me the hospitality business during our visits. Over time, I became familiar with the locals and was known as “The Culebra Kid”.
By 2001 I had a family of my own and was a municipality worker in New York City. The mother of my child, Lillian Lorosa, worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as an Operation Supervisor. We continued visiting Culebra over the years. The day after 9-11 she went to the twin towers and spent weeks helping with the clean up. After a few weeks she complained of head pain and was diagnosed with brain cancer. Sadly she passed away on May 5th, 2005.
I have launched Jawsome Tours to honor the memory of my grandfather and Lillian and keep our family’s story alive.
With Jawsome Tours we work to build up the Culebra, Cayo Norte and San Juan communities. Our future plans include fund risers and forming business associations and with our profits invest in these communities. Our mission is simple: share the love of Culebra island and help the community in every way we can.
AKA “The Culebra Kid”
Jawsome Tours Owner