Juan Bautista Garcia

Juan Bautista Garcia (1904-May 31, 1974), born Jean Baptiste Romanacce was a Corsican immigrant to Puerto Rico whose life and family became the inspiration for one of Puerto Rico's most successful television shows in history, Los Garcia


Juan Bautista Garcia's father died before he immigrated to Puerto Rico in 1906, at the age of two. Bautista Garcia and the rest of his family settled in the southern city of Guayama.

His mother passed away when Bautista Garcia was only eight years old, and Bautista Garcia had to begin working to earn a living. His parents were very rich; Bautista Garcia as a child could not manage the family's fortune and thus he actually became a homeless person for some time. At the age of thirteen, he got on a vehicle driven by bulls, and arrived in San Juan.

Bautista Garcia became a YMCA resident in San Juan. At the YMCA, he learned various skills, such as plumbing, painting and other jobs. Bautista Garcia became a noted artist in Puerto Rico's capital, although he never gained national or international fame with his paintings.

Juan Bautista Garcia got married to Josefina Santiago, with whom he had several children. Soon, he met television and radio producer Tomas Muniz, one of the most well known producers in Puerto Rico then. During the 1940s, Bautista Garcia travelled across the island with Mr. Muniz, helping him with the production of concerts, plays, and other events. Sometimes Bautista Garcia would help Muniz for free, other times for such goods as animals, and, less often, for money. Eventually, the money he did earn allowed him to buy a residence for him and his family at the Valencia urbanization in Rio Piedras, a large San Juan suburb. Tomas Muniz's sisters became his neighbors at Valencia, and Bautista Garcia met Mr. Muniz's son, Tommy Muniz, who also gained a lot of appreciation towards Bautista Garcia.

One fact that got Tommy Muniz's attention was that the Bautista Garcia's had weekly meetings, held on sundays, and that sometimes as many as thirty family members would reunite. Rafo Muniz, Tommy Muniz's son, befriended Godofredo Garcia, whose character he would go on to play at the series.

Towards his later years, Tomas Bautista Garcia was hired by a college in San Juan to paint a mural on it's interior. Since Tommy Muniz's children as well as those of Tomas Muniz's adoptive sisters attended that school, Tommy Muniz saw the paintings and he became inspired by them.