Saying Goodbye to the Coronado Sandman, Alberto Avila

Alberto Avila, the Coronado Sandman
Alberto Avila, the Coronado Sandman

Known as the Coronado Sandman, Alberto Avila was a well known and beloved fixture in Coronado for many years prior to moving back to El Paso, Texas. According to his family, Avila lost his long-fought battle against liver cancer this week.

When out in public creating his art, Avila was always dressed in a white shirt and tie, with black pants, and topped off with his trademark cap. In his hands, a broom was wielded as a large paintbrush and sand was his medium. His sand art brought joy to tourists and locals alike as they would come across his elaborate designs or words spread across the sidewalk or in the street. A common spot to find his art was the boardwalk behind The Del and the cul de sac at the end of Avenida del Sol.

Community members have expressed condolences to his family via social media and are helping his family through a GoFundMe page.

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Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is thrilled to call Coronado home and raise her two children here. In her free time enjoys hitting the gym, reading, and walking her dog around the “island.”Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: