Sunday, August 26, 2007

Striped Marlin, New Businesses, and Helping our Local Community

I have been back now 2 weeks in Loreto and starting to feel healthier and getting back into the Baja lifestyle and rhythm again. My team is great and looks after me, trying to keep me balanced. It is a tough job, but they work very hard at it. My part is to keep them guessing and full of surprises as to what we will do next. I wish I knew but part of the fun and challenge is the unknown and staying flexible to take advantage of the right opportunities.

Birthdays are always very important at Nellie`s and we like to celebrate as often as we can. Our barman Sergio has started a tradition of serving “cucarachas” which is a shot glass of tequila, Kailua, topped with brandy and lit of fire. You drink it through a straw before the fire goes out and it definitely makes you feel young again! Happy Birthday to Andres and Juanpablo! Let us know when it is your birthday, and the “cucarachas” is on me.

Juanpablo is a mild manner quiet non-drinking accountant. But after a “cucarachas” followed by a beer chaser, the staff thought he was up for anything. They wished him a happy birthday by putting his face in the cake. I think this is a little payback for him always challenging their expenses! In good spirit and showing that he had the last laugh, he ran around and kissed all the girls that were part of the scheme and shared the icing on his face. Pretty kinky stuff … you had to be there.

It is hard to believe that Jeanny and I started together with a shell of a building and no real plans in October 2006. Andres was my second employee and for a while it was just the 3 of us figuring out how to make my ideas happen. I told them then that when we opened we would have 7 employees and within one year, we would be at 14. We are now at 14 employees and it is not one year yet. They now admit that they thought I was crazy but simply said “Si”. Jeanny toasts us all with a “submarino” which is tequila in a shot glass upside down with a cold beer. When you sip it, a little tequila gets released at a time. Interesting how many ways you can consume tequila!

The Catch of the Week was a striped marlin over 100 lbs that was brought in by Justin Page of FN183. Justin and his son Taylor went out on REEL TROUBLE and wanted to catch a “Big One”. Be careful what you wish for! The waters were rough when we got out to where the big fish run and we were so thankful that we were not on a ponga where you really take a beating going the distance.


It is a beautiful sight to watch the big fish jumping out of the water and trying to get away. I got to drive the boat while Chino watched to see when we needed to run with the fish or straighten the line. I am learning so much about these waters and I think this will be one of my most fun businesses! It took over 40 minutes to bring in the marlin and was a real team effort. It is the biggest fish that Justin has ever caught and released.

After all the work of catching the big one, the thought of catching Dorado was a little anti-climatic. We headed back to the smooth waters and beaches of Coronado and had a refreshing dip in the 80 degree water. The boys went snorkeling and came back to the boat for a cold beer and lunch. Justin said “Life doesn’t get any better than this!” He is so right!

The big business news in Loreto is that C.C.C. Superstore is coming to town. They have purchased a large parcel of land on the highway in downtown Loreto and will be building their new store, along with another Bancomer Bank Branch Office. Banking in Loreto is at the top of the list of frustrations. The endless hours waiting to do simple transactions and lack of English communication and customer service is unfathomable for most of us accustomed to Private Banking in the USA and Canada. BajaBOSS has been working with the Bancomer Bank Manager for the last 6 months to stress the importance of improving this system. We are very pleased to announce that all BajaBOSS clients will now receive Preferred Client Status for their business dealings. This means private personal service with an English speaking bank representative. We are working closely with the Bank Manager and his staff to make sure our clients get the BEST service that they are accustomed to.

C.C.C. is a Superstore with produce, bakery, meat, and dairy counters that rival all the grocery stores that we are used to. They also sell many items for home and it will be a big boast for Loreto. Originally many of the small businesses tried to keep them out of Loreto, but change happens. C.C.C. will be great for Loreto as a tax base, providing product and service, thereby competition. It seems the local Mexicans are more excited about C.C.C. coming than the foreigners are, as we enjoy shopping in the little local shops and outdoor market on Saturday.

Dorado Loreto Properties is offering a large 27 acre parcel on the highway directly across from C.C.C. It is good flat land, with title, and great for a large developer who wants to take advantage of location for a mixed use residential – commercial development. We have been told that C.C.C. will open late this year and you can see by the pipes and trucks of materials they are not wasting any time. Now is the time to secure land and get in on the ground floor just as the Mexicans are.

Yolanda is happy to be back to work making tapas and being part of the BajaBOSS family. She is a terrific cook and we want to start having a dinner one night every week for Loreto Bay Homeowners to gather when they get into town and meet. Not sure what day yet, but as soon as more people let me know they are arriving, we will start.

We wish to thank my friends for contributing to Yolanda`s trip to Guatemala to bring back some of her family. We raised $2000.00 USD which paid for Yolanda and her son Bryon to take a bus to Los Cabos, fly to Mexico City, then to Guatemala and return with Alex. Yolanda left Guatemala 15 years ago for a better life, and it was very emotional for her to go back. She is shown here with her aunt and her niece Wendy. Wendy has 2 children, 7 and 4 years old, and Yolanda is working on their paperwork to have them join her in Loreto as soon as possible.

They had many obstacles with Immigration in both Guatemala and Mexico and managed to finalize papers for 15 year old Alex to come back with them to Loreto. Alex is the tall boy shown here with his family still in Guatemala. He is doing well in school and integrating well in Loreto. He appreciates being here very much and I am sure will make Yolanda proud.

Birthdays are special everywhere and here they are celebrating Yolanda`s great nephew’s 4th birthday. He is the son of her niece Wendy and perhaps one day will come for a better life and opportunities of Loreto.

This is Alex’s house in Guatemala, where 3 people live. It is a wake up call for us to see the vast differences in creature comforts and lifestyles. We have so much yet from this I can see why some of the locals wonder why we complain when we have so much wealth. We have vast land and rooms for only 2 people, and seldom invite more to stay and eat.

The Mexicans and Guatemalans love their families and time together is a daily event. Here the whole extended family has a meal in modest surroundings, but everyone is welcome and happy to have food to share. The two brothers at this table are the only men, and having large families is a way of life.

Yolanda has 9 people living in her home right now. This is all family, which comprises of 6 adults, 2 teenagers, and 1 eight month old baby granddaughter. Her home has 2 rooms for sleeping, plus one bathroom. She has an outdoor kitchen and dinning room with a palapa roof and dirt floors. She is an extremely hard worker and is always smiling. Please help me, help her. Although I participate in many charities, both with time and money, I normally do not ask my friends to get involved, but somehow Yolanda has touched my heart with her spirit and drive, and I must do whatever I can.

It will cost her $5000 USD to enclose her kitchen, eating area and add one more bedroom. This will provide cinderblock walls with some windows, cement floor and ceiling to keep out the rain and wind. She and her family have saved 25,000 pesos and I have agreed to raise the additional $2500 USD to help her. I know many people promised to contribute but it was difficult to get the cash to me, so if you are still interested in donating a little or a lot, please let me know and we will find a way to get the money to buy supplies. There are many people like Yolanda out there, but we must start helping one at a time. Thank you to all for reading my blog and being part of our community.

Have a great week!

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