Sometimes you come across people in life that you know are very special, even if you don’t personally know them at all. Yusvani is one of those people. Yusvani is originally from Cuba but a few years ago moved to Antigua and started a family. He played for the Cuba National football team and currently works as a gardener at one of the best resorts in Antigua and has his own physical therapy company on the island.
Maddy, who was there on her honeymoon, met him her first day in Antigua and could immediately feel his positive energy and saw how hard he worked.
“He told my husband and I a story of how he once caught a barracuda with his bare hands, he then became known as “Barracuda Man!” As the days passed we looked forward to talking with him and getting to know him more. I knew that I wanted to do something to impact his life significantly because he was simply one of the happiest people I had ever met and I wanted to make him feel appreciated. We found out he has to walk an hour and a half home from work after working two jobs. I then knew what I wanted to do. I talked to Yusvani and asked him to tell me more about his circumstances. He shared with me that he had never owned a car in his life. It was something he always wished to have but never thought he would. Everything he made went toward providing for his wife and son and he could not afford one. With a car he would be able to get to more clients, drive his wife and baby around, and drive himself to and from work. The next day we went to look at a used car with the help of his best friend Julio and I was hopeful that I might be able to buy it for him. The day after that, he owned his first car at the age of 37. Yusvani inspired me with his work ethic and outlook on life. He told me there is no reason for him to ever be anything but smiley, happy and grateful. Something that I and many others take for granted every day, having the freedom of a car, is something this man dreamed of. The gratitude that came from him was something I have never experienced and will never forget. He taught me to always be smiling no matter the circumstances you face in life. He kept telling me I had changed his life but truthfully, he has changed mine. We could all be a little bit more like Yusvani, an amazing man I now call my friend.”