Courtesy of Randy Soler, Ceiba, Puerto Rico.

In May 2018, Joel Matos Ortiz completed his first RSOT Swim Across The Caribbean. The unprecedented 80.4 km 4-island solo stage swim stretched from St. John’s to St. Thomas to Vieques to Ceiba, Puerto Rico.

This coming May, Matos has even bigger, longer and tougher goals in the Caribbean.

Three weeks ago, Matos Ortiz set a national Puerto Rican record by swimming 24 hours in a pool in order to raise money for Special Olympics Puerto Rico, raising over US$20,000.

The pool training augmented what his coach Randy Soler has set out for his next big adventure – that is expected to take somewhere between 35 – 45 hours total.

Matos will attempt a 100 km non-stop solo charity swim in the Caribbean Sea is help raise money and awareness for children on May 24th. “He will swim from Jost Van Dyk in the British Virgin Islands to Ceiba, Puerto Rico across the Caribbean scheduled for May 24th.

He will swim shark cage free with the money going to support the San Jorge Children Hospital Foundation, Solar explained.

Matos knows what he loves, “In the water, I have found my life’s purpose.”

He also offers a unique program called Programa de Acuatismo y Natación Antitrauma (or PANA).

This [Anti-Trauma Aquatic and Swimming Program] program was created for children and adults, who have suffered traumas in the water and/or suffer from hydrophobicity.

The love and passion I feel for the water and open water swimming, along with the desire to help families who battle each day for their children with disabilities and sickness. I witness daily their battles and challenges.

My desire is to be able to complete swims of long distances, which represent a physical and mental challenge for me, with which I can demonstrate them my solidarity with these families and children, letting them know that is possible to achieve goals that most people wouldn’t even try.

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