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

Incumbent mayors in Victoria, Esquimalt retain their roles

A high voter turnout saw the mayors unchanged, but new faces on both councils

What to pack in an emergency-preparedness kit for earthquakes

Several earthquakes of Vancouver Island’s West Coast have people wondering how to be ready

Business is booming as Black Press gears up for Victoria career fair

One stop shop for questions about entering the workforce, finding work experience

Multiple earthquakes off Vancouver Island recorded around the world

Five earthquakes overnight on Oct. 21 were measured as ‘strong’

Rotating Canada Post strikes begin in Victoria

Monday’s mail will be delayed one day due to strike

UPDATE: Lisa Helps re-elected as mayor of Victoria

Nine people were seeking the mayor’s seat for the City of Victoria and 29 candidates hoped to be chosen for council

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

BCHL alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

Most Read