BY FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ
The Annual Caboholics Convention was founded in 2010 by Johnny and Maddie Corona, years after they made their first visit to Los Cabos in the early to mid-1990s. This year will mark the 13th annual convention.
“We got really involved with what was going on in Cabo during the 2009 swine flu influenza scare, and the negative publicity Mexico was receiving at the time,” said Maddie, originally from San Antonio, Texas. “And there were so many people who were afraid to come down here, that we decided to start a group and help spread the word that things weren’t as bad as they heard on the news. So, we started the website, cabofriends.net, which took us six months to create. After that, it became The Caboholics once we obtained the trademark, and the website was changed to caboholics.com.”
The social group now boasts over 17,00 members, a far cry from the 30 to 40 people that flew down and met in February 2011. That group raised $483 USD for local charities.
“Everyone had a great time, kicking back and relaxing, and we all agreed that Cabo was something special,” added Maddie.
The subsequent Caboholics reunions grew, and in 2015, they raised $11,000 for Los Cabos charities.
“We do not donate to any charities that have good paying salaries that go to their director and organization administrators. We donate to charities where those who need help get all the money so that we can reach as many families as possible,” said Maddie. ”And we do not have members who join so they can ask where they can get the best deals on a resort hotel, Airbnb’s, or people that want to know the cheapest way to get from the airport to Cabo. We only have members that are committed to giving back to this community and paradise city we love so much, and for some of our members, a city we have made our home.”
While the group continues its philanthropic work, they also like to have fun and enjoy the weather, beautiful beaches, and memorable activities that brought them down here to begin with. Every convention includes a snorkeling tour, booze cruise festivities and ocean catamaran outings along with a trip to La Paz for a visit to La Isla Espiritu Santo Island.
Their motto proudly states, ”We are Caboholics! Caboholism is a serious condition and until rehab is covered by health insurance, we’ll do our best to get back to Cabo for that next fix. If you’re not sure, but think you might be a Caboholic? Check our description and symptoms that are listed here. If you are experiencing even a few of the symptoms, you might already be a Caboholic.”
“This website was created not only for Caboholics, but also for the many businesses that have welcomed us and helped make our visits so much more enjoyable,” said Maddie. “We give businesses an affordable option to have an online presence where they can offer Caboholic discounts and promotions. More importantly, we give them the best type of advertising money can’t buy – word of mouth! We are constantly sharing all the hidden treasures we’ve found and the wonderful experiences we’ve had while visiting the smaller, off-the-beaten-path type of places!”
“Sure, we all come down to relax, party, eat, drink, be merry, get crazy, and have an unforgettable time just like most typical tourists and visitors. The difference is this– for the countless memories of good feelings and great times that we take from this great place—we ‘Give Back’,” states the website homepage.
A Caboholics requirement asks its members to help those less fortunate, which includes children, the elderly, the homeless, the animals, and the volunteer fire department.
When the Caboholics are in town they are pretty easy to spot since there are so many of them.
“Only a true Caboholic can understand the feeling you get when you arrive at the airport in San Jose del Cabo,” said Johnny Corona, decades before leaving Los Cabos forever.
Born Johnnie R. Haney, Johnny Corona passed away on February 4, 2017, in Salem, Oregon surrounded by family and friends at the age of 63. At his funeral, in lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requested donations be made to Johnnie’s favorite charity, El Ranchito Orphanage (www.elranchitocabo.com) in San Jose del Cabo. For information or to join the Caboholics group, go to: www.facebook.com/groups/caboholics.