20 years as a SCUBA instructor and 5 years as a fishing boat captain means that Captain Juan, or “Papi Fuego” as he is sometimes called, has sea water in his veins! Born of Dominican parents, in Queens, NY and raised in West Palm Beach, FL, Juan has served in the United States Marine Corps AND the Dominican Army, where he was a helicopter pilot.
Always the life of the party, living his dream captaining the Reef Surfari snorkel boat for Ocean Surfari, Captain Juan has lived a life that many would envy. Once a competitor on reality TV’s “Ultimate Diver Challenge” in Cozumel, he is also an instructor with certifications in deep tech, rebreather and advanced nitrox and gas blender instruction. But to keep it real, Juan also took a turn as a male stripper once! He is also an FAA licensed private pilot rotorcraft (that’s helicopter for the uninitiated). A World traveler, Captain Juan has been as far as Thailand and the Maldives.
Juan counts “Maverick” from the movie Top Gun among his greatest influences and says his grave stone should read, “It’s Hot Down Here”. Far from the end of life though, Captain Juan’s day job now includes putting Reef Surfari snorkeling clients right on top of some of the World’s best reefs and wildlife here in the US Virgin Islands.