By: Sergio Cabrera
Motorcycle lover and store owner Orlando Cabrera made his dream a reality in the town of Naguabo. On a Sunday night on November 9, 2014, Orlando shared his life story. It is a cool, rainy night. Orlando is wearing jeans and a blue button-up shirt. He has black hair and his blue eyes sparkled as he told his story.
Orlando was born and raised in Humacao, Puerto Rico. He lived with his parents Efrain Cabrera and Olga Soto. He has a brother named Efrain Cabrera, also referred to as “Junior.” Since he was a child, Orlando has loved motorcycles. This passion later turned into his life. Orlando occasionally likes to go out on Sundays with his friends and ride motorcycles. He has made many great friends throughout the years.
Orlando didn’t go to college. After completing high school, he began working in his family’s supermarket. He started to realize that he wanted to do what he loved. In 1998, he opened his business Caribe Cycle in Naguabo.
“My passion for motorcycles and riding motorcycles motivated me to start my business. I started with not much money, but a lot of passion,” he said, as his hands rested on the chair in the balcony.
His parents and friends guided him. His family supported what he loved. Many of his friends also loved motorcycles and some even had their own business as well. His knowledge of motorcycles, gained since childhood, has lead to the success of his business.
The store was quickly successful, as there were no other motorcycle stores in the east of the island. It also diversified its merchandise, selling ATVs, bicycles, skateboards, generators, and even jet skis. Orlando said: “It was something this part of the island was missing. There were no other stores of that kind in the area, so I thought it was a good idea to build one.”
Caribe Cycle started in a small building, but quickly tripled its size and built a second floor.
Orlando opens Caribe Cycle at 9:00 am and closes at 6:00pm. He works 6 days a week, opening from Monday to Saturday. Some people say that they don’t like their jobs or are tired of going to work. However, Orlando enjoys his job on a day to day basis. “Even though there are some bad days, the passion for motorcycles keeps me going,” he said
Whenever a customer comes in to the store, you think they are just friends with Orlando. The way he interacts with people is as if they were family. Vicente, who has worked at Caribe Cycle for more than 15 years, said that they don’t see customers as customers, but as friends.
Orlando treats his customers as if they were family. He knows everyone by name and most people in Naguabo know him. On the way to his store, Orlando greets and is greeted by many people across the town of Naguabo. Although he used to live in Naguabo as a child, he moved to Humacao more than 20 years ago. However, he recently moved back to Naguabo and says that he feels at home. He knows the town and the people very well.
Having a business has helped him interact with people and earned him the social skills he has today. “A businessman must have a good attitude, provide good service, honest, and be committed,” he said. He is kind, loving, and caring. Not only does he treat customers like family, but the people around him. He has even helped those that are taking bad paths by motivating them to do something different like riding motorcycles. His kindness and care are the reasons people in Naguabo know him.
In the recent years, Orlando has begun attending church in Naguabo. Here he has made even more friends from Naguabo. Church has helped him follow the path of God. This has made him a better person.
Orlando talked about the things that make a business successful. He said: “The key to a successful business is the love and interest you have towards it. Most importantly, be consistent. You have to be responsible, be nice, and treat people nicely. “ His hands moved as he emphasized that a person must be consistent.
He also mentioned that the most important thing to being successful in life is doing what you love. People often think that a person is only going to succeed in life by being lawyers, doctors, or engineers. For Orlando, even if they make the money, they aren’t successful because they aren’t happy. If a person does what they love and is happy, they are truly successful.