Courtesy of Randy Soler, Caribbean Sea.
Joel Matos is planning a unique Swim Across The Caribbean on May 25th – 26th. The 50-mile 4-island 2-day stage swim will benefit the Hospital del Niño de Puerto Rico and will stretch from 7 miles from St. John’s to St. Thomas, 35 miles from St. Thomas to Vieques through the night, and then 8 miles from Punta Arenas, Vieques to Ceiba, Puerto Rico.
Randy Soler who serves as coach and paddler, explains, “The swim is a benefit for Fundación de Niños San Jorge with Ronney Robles as the escort captain and Carlos Alsina as a lifeguard.”
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.
This charity event is even more relevant when my island, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean is recovering from the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. I want to demonstrate that, even in these hard circumstances, we can achieve anything, if we set our minds and will to do it.”
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