Juan Pablo Galavís turned 32 yesterday, the same day he signed a contract with ABC in Los Angeles to be the next galán on The Bachelor. After the dramatic final episode of The Bachelorette, the television network aired a one-hour special and during the last five minutes, Chris Harrison announced that former Miami Soccer Club player would become the first Latino Bachelor. Yes, JuanPa is the new Bachelor!!! And we have the exclusive scoop on the new Latino cutie that will be trying to find love in the next Bachelor.
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Born in Ithaca, NY, of Venezuelan parents, Juan Pablo grew up in Barquisimeto (235 miles west of Caracas, Venezuela), where he started playing soccer at age 4. In 1998, when he was 16 years old, he won a scholarship to play college soccer at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York. At the age of 20, he finished school with a B.A. in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing.
After playing several seasons in the Primera División de Venezuela with Caracas FC, Deportivo Italia and Monagas Sport Club, Juan Pablo joined Miami SC in 2008.
Since then, he has lived in Miami and is the single dad of Camila, his 4-year-old daughter with Venezuelan actress Carla Rodríguez.
Now Juan Pablo will try to find love in the next season of The Bachelor. He wants to settle down, marry, give Camila two siblings and emulate his parents who this year celebrated 37 years of marriage.
Juan Pablo is the second of three siblings. He has a huge extended family where Sundays are about chupe de gallina and parrilladas. In The Bachelor, he will try to find a "a guerrera" (a warrior) to complete him. "My ideal mate has to be adventurous like me, but at the same time a simple, family woman who will love Camila," he told us.
Something weighed heavily in his decision to accept the job as the next Bachelor. It was his "chiquiturri", as he calls his daughter whose name was tattooed a year ago on his left wrist. On both @JuanPaGalavis Twitter and Instagram, Camila's pictures are a constant.
"Of course I'll miss her. But mi chiquiturri knows that we'll do FaceTime and Skype, as we always do when I'm traveling," Juan Pablo told Mamás Latinas.
After signing the contract at ABC headquarters in L.A., JuanPa was live on the special edition of the show. The Bachelor Nation was waiting for five weeks since bachelorette Desiree Harstock dumped him. At The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose, Chris Harrison announced that Juan Pablo is the first Latino bachelor.
By choosing Juan Pablo, ABC is also casting the first minority bachelor in 18 seasons. Hispanics are the largest minority in the United States: more than 52 million according to the 2011 census. We represent about 17 percent of the population. We are also the fastest growing minority (3.1 percent annually) and our vote was decisive for President Obama to win the last election.
Besides the strategic issue Latinos and minorities in the U.S., it's undeniable that Juan Pablos's popularity snowballed after he appeared at The Bachelorette: Men Tell All and became a phenomenon in social networks. After that, they were selling T-shits to show support to Juan Pablo and to tell ABC they wanted him as the next bachelor.
As usual, he is all smiles as he signs autographs and hands out kisses every time someone recognizes him. "Don't get me wrong, we Venezuelans salute and say goodbye with a kiss," said Juan Pablo who seems comfortable with his sudden fame.
Although he was in tears when Desiree dumped him and seemed slightly nervous during some of this season's episodes, Juan Pablo is used to lights and cameras.
After retiring as a soccer player, he decided he wanted to help people to make their dreams come true through sport and music. He began promoting artists in the Miami area and helped them to enter the U.S. market, including the Venezuelan duo Chino y Nacho and Puerto Rican Obie Bermudez.
Now the ball is inJuan Pablo's court and we at MamásLatinas wish him good luck and that all his dreams come true.
Imagen vía Instagram.