By RAY QUIROGA
South Padre Parade
Taj and Korey’s eyes said it all. As the Parade was photographing their family patriarch, Raul Alcozer at Isla Blanca Park, these young lads looked on with pure awe and admiration. Their glow wasn’t so much due to the fact that they knew they and Raul were to grace our cover (in fact, the blue-eyed Taj is the working model in the family, having a photo shoot or two already under his young belt) they looked on in pride, and for good reason.
As the old saying goes, “Anyone can be a dad, but it takes a special guy to be a father.”
Raul is the first to admit that he’s far from being the perfect father in the perfect circumstance, but in his own way, he represents a large and growing number of fathers who don’t live with their children full-time, but who are trying to make the best of the situation.
With his own children living hundreds of miles away, Raul, now 33, could have given up and allowed distance and time to take their toll on his relationships with his two children, which also includes his daughter Destiny. To his credit, however, he’s worked at being there for not only his two kids, but for his nine-year-old nephew, Korey, who looks to Raul as his surrogate father.
Raul’s roots stem from the Island of Guanaja, one of Honduras’ bay islands. Raul credits his Honduran roots for giving him an incurable attraction to the sea, one of the reasons he loves living, working and playing on South Padre Island.
These days, when Raul is not working at Sea Ranch, he can be found at some of his favorite spots on the Island like Isla Blanca Park where he enjoys surfing and spear fishing.
He joking said he took up Tai Chi to ease his stress. Tai Chi, as it turns out, is a cornerstone of his fitness routine.
Fitness, in fact, is such a big part of Raul’s life that he’s hoping to become a certified trainer. “Every morning I do Tai Chi; every morning I work out, mediate, just to guide me throughout my day.”
Fitness and athletics have long been part of Raul’s life, having begun bodybuilding at a young age and practicing Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, music, and quick and complex moves. Raul also earned a third degree Black Belt in Kung Fu.
But most importantly, Raul just wants to work at being a good father, son and brother for those who rely on him. “I’ve been the man of the house for a very long time,” the laidback Alcozer said. “Anything my family needs, I work hard for it. I get them what they need because I don’t need much. All I need are my chanclas (sandals), my shorts and my surfboard, and I’m set!”