Juan is a Battle of the Blocks Captain for the North Philly Narwhals! Juan is from Colombia, but became a US citizen abut 15 years ago. He lived in Bogota, where he started climbing in 1996, and moved to Miami to escape the economic downturn in Colombia after winning some money placing 2nd on a speed competition.
When and how did you first get into climbing?
My cousin took me to our local crag called Suesca, north of Bogota. I fell in love with climbing right away, and my first climb was a 5.9. I’d stopped climbing but loved the outdoors so I kept wakeboarding and golfing as much as I could in South Florida.
What do you like about your neighborhood and what makes it unique?
I love NoLibs and fishtown, the vibe, the restaurants, and the cute blocks. Once we moved to Philly, I was really impressed by Go Vertical and the climbing community that pulled me back into the sport I loved so much, I started teaching right away and helping as much as I can and last year became a member of the AAC, and also helped the Tufas crew with some of the marketing and any design needs I could be helpful with.
What do you love about climbing and how do you think this comp is going to bring your team together?
I love climbing, because it brings you close to friends and the outdoors, creates a sense of community and inspires you to grow as a human being but also as a part of something bigger.