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If you’ve ever enjoyed the beautiful flora and fauna around Christopher Columbus Condos, you have our gardener, Brian, to thank! Brian is dedicated to keeping CCC beautiful by maintaining our trees, flower beds, and hedges. You may recognize him if you've done any early morning walks on our beach; he checks in on our stretch every day, raking the sand to make sure it's in tip-top shape for visitors.

Originally from Jamaica, Brian moved to Grand Cayman two years ago to make a better life for himself and his family. He has worked at CCC for those two years and says his favorite part about coming to work is meeting the guests and feeling welcomed by his coworkers every day.

When he’s not working, Brian enjoys going to the beach (who can blame him?) and playing football. He recommends guests make a trip to Stingray City to see the beautiful ocean and amazing animals.

Next time you’re visiting, take a moment to appreciate Brian’s hard work while taking a stroll on our property!


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While many of you already know and love her, we’re so happy to tell you more about our very own “moviestar,” Patricia!

Patricia has been with Christopher Columbus since 2007 and has lived in Cayman for over 20 years. Originally from Jamaica, Patricia visited her sister here years ago and fell in love with with the island. She says her favorite part about Cayman is two-pronged—the people and the beaches, and even better is getting to meet new people on the beach! Her love of the beach also extends to her recommendations for guests—she says the number one thing every visitor should do is just kick back, relax, and take in the beautiful Seven Mile Beach. Once you’ve gotten in some vitamin sea, then you should check out the Turtle Farm.

As our regulars can attest, Patricia is a fantastic ambassador for the condos. She loves to take care of guests, always making sure everyone feels like they’re coming home when they arrive at CCC. “Making things nice for our guests,” she says, “that’s me, that’s who I am.” She recounted one memorable experience, when she helped a guest who was getting married on the beach. Patricia saw that nothing had been decorated yet, so she decided to help out to make sure everything was done well and in time for the ceremony. When the guest saw the decorations in the gazebo, she exclaimed, “Oh, our decorator did a great job!” Patricia, who didn’t know a different decorator was coming, told the bride-to-be that she’d actually put up all the decorations. Surprised but thrilled, the guest said she would have to tell other brides to just have Patricia handle the decorating because she did such a fantastic job!

For fun, Patrica loves to swim in the ocean with her German Shepherd, Bogie, and dance the night away. While reggae and salsa music are some of her favorites, she isn’t picky when it comes to dance music—she'll dance to anything and with anyone who wants to join in. She says she loves to dress up and enjoy all that Cayman nightlife has to offer. In order to fuel up for all that dancing, she enjoys stopping by her favorite restaurant, Catch, for some crab legs or other seafood. From the food to the atmosphere to the ocean views, Patricia says Catch is “amazing.” (You can read more about the owner of Catch here.)

In case you were wondering, Patricia’s “moviestar” nickname comes from her featured role in our Christopher Columbus Condos video (which you can watch here!), plus her fabulous and vivacious personality. If you ask nicely, she will no doubt give you an autograph!

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Give a warm welcome to Josephine! She is our newest Office Assistant, who will be greeting you when you check in for your next visit.

Josephine has lived in Cayman for over thirty years. Originally from Jamaica, she moved to Cayman after college, where she got her degree in hotel management. Starting out, Josephine worked at the old Cayman Holiday Inn, the inn on the beach, where the Ritz Carlton is now. While working there, Josephine first met our very own Lisa Hernandez! When that hotel closed, she spent around fifteen years in the banking industry. But after being outside of the hotel business for years, Josephine realized she missed hospitality. “Tourism is my passion,” she said. And lucky for us, she reconnected with Lisa and joined us here at CCC!

Since starting in May, Josephine says she’s really enjoying the whole Christopher Columbus package, from meeting all the guests to the wonderful staff to the grounds itself. “The property is so pristine—who wouldn’t want to work here?” She also adds that “the staff is very nice and knowledgeable, very professional.” Another one of her favorite parts of the job is being so near to the beach and the ocean—and who could disagree on that?

To Josephine, the best thing about the island is its people. “Cayman is the people. Everyone is very real. It’s why people keep coming back to visit.” She appreciates how friendly and kind Caymanians are, noting that not everywhere in the world is so welcoming and hospitable. Caymanians are the face that truly makes the island the paradise that it is. 

If you’re a first-time visitor, Josephine recommends that your first stop should be, of course, Christopher Columbus. But next should be Stingray City. “There’s nowhere else like it in the world. If you come to Cayman and don’t go to Stingray City, you’re missing out.” Josephine loves to visit Stingray City herself, and also enjoys stopping off at the Coral Gardens to admire all the amazing plant life and flowers in the ocean. “It’s an experience. So beautiful!”

In her free time, Josephine enjoys her hobbies. She has a green thumb and relishes time in the garden in front of her house. Passers by enjoy admiring all the flowers, plants, and vegetables she's tended. Her favorite flower is a gladiolus, which comes in all colors. Gladiolus flowers grow really well back in her native Jamaica, but they have a little more trouble blooming from year to year in Cayman. Her Christian faith is also a huge part of her life. Josephine enjoys sharing the Bible and teaching others about God. When she takes a moment to recharge, her favorite snack is avocado with tomato and cucumber, or avocado toast—yum!

Don’t forget to introduce yourself and make Josephine feel welcome next time you’re at the condos!

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We first featured Willie, our Maintenance Man at CCC, in our newsletter a couple years ago, and wanted to share more with you about this kindhearted man who will be celebrating 31 years of service at Christopher Columbus Condos next month.

Almost everyone has met one of those people who quietly work in the background, with a servant's heart and no request for recognition, yet we know without them a business, organization or family would not be as successful. At Christopher Columbus Condos our behind-the scenes-guy is Joseph a.k.a "Willie."

Willie just so happens to call one of our housekeepers, Delma, his wife! When asked what it’s like working with his wife, he said it’s a blessing that “can’t be put in just a few words.” It’s a joy every morning to get to ride to work with his wife by his side. Willie is a big family person. He has two girls and one boy, of whom he’s very proud. His oldest daughter is a lawyer, the next daughter in line is a doctor and his son works in customs at the airport. Willie has 6 biological grandchildren and 5 grandchildren through an informally adopted son from Honduras. Willie himself is originally from Honduras.

On any given day at CCC you can see Willie fixing a hut, cleaning the grounds or hanging lights up for a party. He loves seeing tourists visit because it’s good for the island and he recommends outdoor activities (Turtle Farm, Botanic Park, etc.). His favorite place to chill out, aside from being at home with his family, is Smith’s Cove. He says he also enjoys eating out a couple times a year, but that he mostly enjoys cooking for his family, making things like turtle stew and rice, ribs on the grill, stew conch and green salads. “They say I’m a pretty good cook,” he laughs.

After being at CCC for over 30 years, Willie has got to know owners and other staff members very well (some have come and gone). He has especially enjoyed the special bonds that are built. He said a previous owner even took part in a couple of baptisms that his church had in the CCC pool. You read that right! In the 90s (he guessed about 20 years ago) a couple of baptisms took place at CCC. I joked with him that I had no idea the waters were so holy. He attends church at the Church of God Gospel Hall and worships with a congregation called the Ambassadors of God that he helped found over 20 years ago with the pastor. They rent a place in Georgetown and are currently looking into building a church for permanent placement.

Talking with Willie is such a pleasure, one that I hope each of you will get to experience. He has the most warm personality, and has a way of reminding you what is most important in life. He says, at the end of the day, “I don’t ask for too much other than seeing my family happy.”

Comments 3 Rating: Rated 4.5 star by 1 people.
Isabel Llauger Abreu  is one of the newest members of the Christopher Columbus family. She began working in June 2017, so be sure to say hi and introduce yourself if you haven't met yet! 

Originally from the Dominican Republic, Isabel came to the Cayman Islands about 12 years ago, seeking job opportunities. There's a lot of girl power in her family, with one sister and one grown-up niece. She loves the beach and enthusiastically recommends that any visitor spend as much time as possible with the sand between their toes! She also loves the country as a whole and how welcoming it has been to her. 

Like some of her co-workers, Isabel enjoys eating anything that comes off a grill. She didn't give away any of her grilling secrets, but she might be willing if you ask nicely! 
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Hiraydis Rivero has been with Christopher Columbus for one year. She says many people have trouble pronouncing her name, so it’s okay if you call her Miss Iris for short when you see her around the condos.

Hiraydis moved to Grand Cayman from Cuba with her husband, Olisdel. She loves the Cayman people, and recommends that every visitor to the island gets out there to meet them! The friendliness of the Caymanians is what she likes best—they’re always happy to see you. She says the food around the island is pretty great, too, and her favorite dish is chicken with vegetables. For fun she likes to put on her dancing shoes and listen to live music, especially steel bands and any kind of Cuban music from back home.

She also loves meeting new people, so be sure to say hello and introduce yourself the next time you're visiting!

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Lisa with certificateOur very own, Lisa Hernandez, was recently honored during National Heroes Day on Monday, January 23rd. National Heroes Day is a national holiday where people from various walks of life are honored by the government for their contributions to the Cayman Islands. Lisa received this much deserved honor for the dedication, hard work and professionalism that she has given the Cayman Island Tourism Industry for almost 40 years!

When Lisa received the call that she'd be receiving an award she said she was in disbelief, but immediately felt a huge sense of gratefulness. Of course, none of us heard about the award directly from her because of her humbleness, but word eventually reached us that she would be honored. The ceremony took place in Heroes Square at a stage put up especially for the event in front of the courthouse. Several streets were closed and seats were set up in the middle of the square and on main roads.

The honor that Lisa received was the Long Service Award which is bestowed upon those who are long standing contributors to the development and/or delivery of tourism in the Cayman Islands for ten years or more. With almost 40 years in Cayman hospitality this was much deserved.

Lisa got her start in the tourism industry as a "bus girl" at the old Spanish Bay Reef hotel in 1979 and soon after got a job as the Food and Beverage cashier at The Inn on the Beach (a Holiday Inn hotel where the Ritz Carlton stands today on Seven Mile Beach).

Following in her mother's footsteps, who also worked in tourism, Lisa has thoroughly enjoyed her years in hospitality. She said the Holiday Inn was particularly good at continuously recognizing her hard work, and her hard work definitely paid off as as they promoted her to Front Desk Clerk, Assistant Front Desk Manager and eventually to Front Desk Manager in 1989.

Lisa has always loved serving others, and Christopher Columbus Condos was blessed to have her join our team in 1998 after the closing of the Holiday Inn. She started out as an Office Assistant and became our Property Manager in 2005. When asked how the tourism industry has impacted her life, Lisa said that before her life's work began,  she was a shy person and through the years her positions have given her the opportunity to open up.

Having been a part of the CCC family for 18+ years, Lisa is a staple here, and she's a huge reason why we've been able to offer such wonderful experiences for our guests. You can go anywhere in the Cayman Islands and enjoy beautiful scenery, but not every place has a Lisa! Both she and the supportive staff genuinely make CCC a home away from home for each and every traveler. For that and all of your years of service we thank you, Lisa! Christopher Columbus Condos wouldn't be the same without you!

placing wreath Lisa honoured with group
Caymanian school children with flags   governor entering

 

Want to learn more about Lisa and her love for Cayman? 
Read a Q&A we had with her here! | Read Story >>
Comments 4 Rating: Rated 4.8 star by 5 people.

Lisa Hernandez has worked at Christopher Columbus Condos since 1998. She is the property manager here at Christopher Columbus Condos, and she, along with her staff keep this place shining. When you first speak with Lisa you'll notice her sweet Caymanian accent, her extremely attentive nature and her genuine desire to help others. I recently sat down with Lisa to get to know her better. I asked her everything from where she was born to what she most recommends on the island. Enjoy!

Me: Are you Caymanian?
Lisa: Yes. I'm a born Caymanian. There are many that call themselves Caymanians now which is fine, but I was born and raised here... a "born Caymanian".

Me: Have you always lived here?
Lisa: I have. When I go away and come back there's just something about our island. It's just so different. Although we've grown it's still peaceful. You feel safe. I can't imagine living anywhere else.

Me: What are your favorite activities to recommend to vacationers?
Lisa: I love to tell people to get in their car and drive...to take their own island tour! It's such a neat place. Of course, I always tell guests that they have to check out Stingray City and The Turtle Farm. I recommend snorkeling. And you can even snorkel from our beach. Many times guests come back with the best snorkel stories right from our beach. People love horseback riding so I recommend the beach rides, and Dolphin Discovery is cool. There are so many things to do here. I could go on and on.

Me: What's one of the island's best kept secrets?
Lisa: Oh the local entertainment! We have great local bands with excellent singers who put you in the island mood. Listening and dancing to them gives you that feeling every time. We also have great local food and fruits that you can find at the Farmers' Market in Lower Valley. And you should really get out to Pedro Castle while you're here, too.

Me: What do you love about your job?
Lisa: I love seeing guests year after year and meeting new guests. Hearing new guests say the same thing that repeat guests always say is neat. They all say they love our island and our property. We also have a great bunch of owners. They're very positive and helpful which makes my job very enjoyable.

Me: So, what separates the Cayman Islands from other Caribbean islands?
Lisa: Our friendly local Caymanians!

Me: What do you think makes Christopher Columbus better than other condos and hotel accommodations?

Lisa:
Although we're a small complex, we have a large beach, lots of shade, a kiddie pool (very few places here have a kiddie pool). We're very family friendly. There's great snorkeling from right off the beach. I'm always told how friendly our staff is and how our property is so well maintained. We're on the quieter side of Seven Mile Beach, so we're away from all the hussle and bussle.

Me: What tips would you give to travelers before coming?
Lisa: All of our units are unique. They're different in their own way. Get to know the unit that you're booked in before you come.

Me:What are some of the most common questions that guests ask you before and during their vacations?
Lisa:Do you have hair dryers, and do you have iron boards? Answers are yes and yes. We also provide basic necessities like soap, toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, beach towels, etc. Call us if you have questions!

Me: Tell us a little bit about your personal life.
Lisa: I have two lovely daughters. They both live and work on the island [Grand Cayman]. I have a wonderful husband whom I've been married to for 31 years, and we live here at Christopher Columbus.



Me:
Anything else that you'd like to share about Grand Cayman?
Lisa: Tourism is the biggest industry here. We're very proud of our island. We like to keep our island clean, and we like to promote that everyone help us take care of the island.

Comments 7 Rating: Rated 5 star by 2 people.
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