SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas — The statue of Jesus Christ is a jewel of South Padre Island, but not many people know the story behind it.
El Cristo de los Pescadores means Christ of the Fishermen.
“It turns out to be pretty much a landmark because the shrimp boats have used this when they go out to sea they stop and they pray to try and get a blessing from the statue and move on straight into the ocean,” said District Architect of Brownsville ISD, Manuel Hinojosa who is one of the builders of the statue.
According to Hinojosa the statue of the Christ of the Fisherman was built in the late ’90s in memory of Gustavo De la Lastra and Jose Edwardo De La Lastra.
“The story is that one was below deck and when the other brother noticed he had not come back up he went down to check,” explained Hinojosa. “They both were overcome by some of the chemicals from the product that was on the deck.”
Hinojosa adds that their passing triggered a lawsuit as part of the legal settlement their mother, Amada de la Lastra requested for a statue of Jesus Christ.
The architect worked closely with Amada to bring her vision to light, which stands ten feet tall at Isla Blanca Park.
“I like art, I’ve done sculptures in the past and so I proposed some ideas and then we ended up in Italy where the statue was put together,” said Hinojosa. “We got a cast and she agreed to it, she positioned the arms and she approved of the final product.”
Hinojosa said they designed the base of the statue to represent the marble bays at the jetties.