The first town in Puerto Rico to join the Retire 21 Campaign.

Maricao, PR – Deep in the South-Western hills of Puerto Rico there is a quiet and serene town nestled in the mountainous area called, Maricao best known for its fabulous coffee. The town literally sits on the hills surrounded by a river that is so clean that people still use the water to drink and cook. The town was one of the largest coffee producers back in the 1800’s and still to this day supplies coffee to other towns that market the coffee under a more popular name, like “Yaucono.”


The town has only one road to come in and out of. It does not have major chain stores, no McDonald’s, HomeDepot, or mini-malls selling items that people do not really need. It has one branch of Banco Popular and everyone in the town knows each other. Everyone is so friendly that you are taken back by the genuine hospitality of everyone you meet. The minute you are introduced to any official, or town employees, they all say the same thing: “Bienvenidos a Maricao.”

It is in these tranquil hills that the first municipal government resolution to support the retire 21 movement will take place. The town will pull out all its support to not just pass the resolution that has the full support of the mayor, Honorable, Gilberto Pérez Valentín but to make it the central theme of this year’s town patron saint festival, known here as “Las Fietas Patronales.”


The mayor will present a copy of the resolution to the representatives of the Retire 21 Campaign on Saturday June 21, 2008 during the unveiling of a statue of the town’s patron saint, San Juan Bautista (John the Baptist) baptizing Jesus. This will be taking place in one of the most soon to be favorite places here where a mountain stream brings fresh water down to this particular spot. The city planners have built these marvelous statues that will have water from the mountain coming out of John the Baptist cup flowing onto Jesus’ head. The site is incredibly beautiful and the unveiling of this holy site site will coinside with the presentation to retire 21.

The symbolism of such an action is beyond words, especially since those of us that have been working on this campaign since its inception have always believed that we had some support from beyond, from outside our physical world. Call it what you may, but the fact is that we have been blessed with support throughout this campaign. We have been able to accomplish many great things in record time with little, or no resources. The number of people throughout the country that have expressed their support and how they came to us is quite telling, perhaps for some future book, or film.

The fact is that the campaign has had great support outside of its base, New York City. That support continues to grow where we have seven cities that have passed city council resolutions urging commissioner, Allan “Bud” Selig to retire Roberto Clemente’s number 21. Chicago, Philadelphia, Hartford, Brideport, New Haven, Holyoke, MA, and Perth Amboy, New Jersey will soon be joined by the first town in Puerto Rico that will open the doors for many others to come.

About Julio Pabón

Julio is President and Founder of Latino Sports LLC., the parent company of Julio is a product of the South Bronx where he still lives and runs his businesses. Julio has written and has been interviewed for numerous publication and networks on sports & political issues. He has been an activist promoting social justice and respect for all communities. He is a recognized motivational speaker, was an adjunct professor of American History and presently volunteer's as a lecturer in local South Bronx High Schools. His primary goal is to make a multi-facet sports portal that will engender social and economic empowerment to the Latino community.