Love affair blossoms from Cuban baseball tour for Island woman

Trucker Guzman ties the knot with Union de Reyes coach

As a long-haul trucker, nothing put the brakes on Patricia Guzman’s life. Until Jose Luis Munoz came along, that is, and steered her in a different direction.

Crofton’s Guzman and Munoz were married in Cuba, the culmination of a relationship that blossomed during the Union de Reyes Cuban baseball team’s ongoing exchange in both Cuba and Canada with the Chemainus & District Baseball Association.

Little did Guzman know at the time, but the wheels went in motion when she met the association’s Rick Shay through a friend and a trip to Cuba was discussed for 2016.

“I was asked to go on board as a translator,” Guzman pointed out.

“I didn’t really think my life was changing, but it did,” added the longtime driver for H&R Transport, based out of Calgary.

Guzman met Munoz, one of the coaches of the Union de Reyes team, during the first day of that 2016 Cuban trip.

“We were so busy with ball,” she recalled. “He caught my eye. It was one of those fleeting thoughts, ‘what are you going to do? He’s in Cuba.’ Something sparked and then I tried to reason against us.”

In 2017, the Cubans received clearance to come to Canada to reciprocate the tour.

Guzman was staying at her friend Chris Childs’ place and he opened his home for two of the visiting ballplayers to stay there. As fate would have it, he wound up housing two adults, including Munoz, of course, and not two ballplayers.

“That was my go-to-place when I came off the road,” said Guzman, who otherwise lived in her truck, and found herself rekindling those previous feelings with Munoz.

“We ended up spending the week together,” she noted. “The fourth day in, we were ‘what is this?’ We decided if fate kept bringing us together, we should give it a try.”

Guzman and Munoz maintained a long-distance relationship when he returned to Cuba and then hurricane Irma happened there, sparking fears of what it would be like if they never saw each other again.

Guzman decided to do some humanitarian work for the cause and went back to Cuba in October to give out clothing and do whatever she could to help out.

“In the midst of the two weeks there, he proposed,” she said. “I wouldn’t believe it if I wasn’t living it.”

And, then, on May 11 of this year, Guzman, 48, and Munoz, 44, tied the knot in Cuba during the latest trip by a baseball contingent from Chemainus that had grown to include Duncan and Campbell River players.

Guzman interpreted Munoz’s thoughts about the relationship.

“He was impressed I was elegant and well-spoken and professional when I was on the field. He had hoped I would be somebody who could add to his life. It’s unbelievable the love we have and how it’s all transpired.”

Guzman has taken a break from her job so they can enjoy some time together. There are still issues to sort out since they’re both obviously from different countries, but the long-term plan is to spend six months here and six months in Cuba.

“Crofton will always be home base,” said Guzman. “It just won’t be the cold months – go figure.”

“It’s been very beautiful,” summed up Munoz through Guzman’s translation. “I never thought I would live here. The relationship we have, God put us in each other’s pathway.”

A bittersweet part of their time together is the recent sudden passing of Munoz’s mother. “God put us together, we’ll get through,” said Guzman.

Just Posted

District of Ucluelet and Yuułuʔiłʔath First Nation announce fire protection agreement

“It’s a fantastic start about helping our neighbours.”

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

Most Read