Ave Maria

Growing and Celebrating Under One Roof

Erica Fish, Ave Maria Development


As Ave Maria continues to grow, so do the generations that make the town a place to call home.  


Ave Maria residents pose for group family photo

Pictured Left to Right: Andy, Racquel, Andrea, Max & Franes Arcaya

Racquel Cervera-Arcaya immigrated from Mexico to Miami. Even though she adjusted to the busyness of the city, she felt there was something missing from her life. Traveling the back-and-forth work commute of Alligator Alley, Cervera-Arcaya and her husband noticed billboards highlighting a bright lifestyle and tempting home prices and the headline, “A Big Kind of Small Town.” She thought to herself, “What does that even mean?” The pair say it was destiny. “After visiting just once, we fell in love with the area. Its affordability and in-between coasts location was a no-brainer,” said Cervera-Arcaya. The median listing home price in Naples is $740K, according to Zillow, while in Ave Maria new homes start in the high $200s to $800s. After touring several of the model homes by Ave Maria’s four builders, they soon purchased their dream home.  


When their relatives visited during Ave Maria’s festivals and events, they understood why Racquel and her family moved to the Big Kind of Small Town and they soon followed. Now residing several houses and streets away are in-laws, grandparents, nieces, and nephews — all part of the “Arcaya Clan” who have weekly gatherings and regular home and block parties. They also collaborate with their community lifestyle director and help plan neighborhood-wide clubhouse events.  


Having longed for a calm place to settle where family bonds could thrive, Ave Maria’s small-town ambiance gave the family an ability to reconnect with their cultural roots, foster a stronger sense of community and rebalance their city lives, which were once so hectic.  


“Having family who live so close happened because of the safety and opportunities in this town,” said Cervera-Arcaya. “We support each other, we care for each other, and we continue to grow as this place grows with us.”  




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