Born in Portland, Oregon and raised in the Alaskan wilderness, Jay Johnson-Castro, Sr.is a United States Navy veteran who is tri-lingual in English, Spanish, and Albanian. He served as an officer and/or director on numerous local, state, national, and international organizations, boards and committees, including: Tourism Advisory Committee, Officer of the Governor, Texas Historical Foundation, Texas Hotel & Lodging Association, Los Caminos del Rio, and Val Verde County Historical Commission, to name a few.
Residing on the border in Del Rio, Texas, Jay has been recognized for historic restoration and promoting heritage tourism all along the Texas-Mexico border. Since 2005, he has submitting the Rio Grande as an endangered river, filed suit against the Federal Government to protect endangered species in the Rio Grande region, and has championed the ecology and environment of the Rio Grande Corridor.
Jay has most recently become recognized internationally as a human rights activist for his hundreds of miles of protest walks against the border wall and the “for profit” prison camps of thousands of immigrant refugees, in particular the T. Don Hutto prison camp where hundreds of children are imprisoned for profit. He is the founding member of Border Ambassadors, a US-Mexico border network.
The father of four grown children and the grandfather of seven, Jay is also a sculptor, writer, photographer, pubic speaker and gourmet cook. In addition, he is an independent columnist for Inside the Checkpoints.