Sunday, June 22, 2008

Life in Loreto, Community Spirt, then and now…

In a few months, it will have been five years since I first came to Loreto. It was a regular vacation trip to a sun destination for a few days and I had no expectation that it would be anything more than some fun days of sun, drinking and a lot of laughs. Perhaps it was my subconscious that was seeking something more meaningful, perhaps I wanted to explore and take on a new challenge, and perhaps I was just simply ready for a change. In any event, I went with my gut feeling, listened to my inner child, and took a leap of faith and bought into the vision that Loreto Bay was offering.

A promise of community, of truly genuinely nice people, who did not intend to change the world, only to make a difference to where and how they live. The developer was in the business to sell homes, but their hook was to “tread lightly, live fully”. This was targeted at the environment, the local town, and our new community.

I found the simple pleasures of taking time to talk to people on the street very fulfilling. It would be rude not to take time to acknowledge friends, and everyone was a friend. The waiters, the new neighbors and the local business people. Life is good and I looked forward to coming to a place where I am not judged by the car I drive or where I live, rather on whether I am a “nice” person.

Everyone was always welcome and naysayers were shamed into silence. The early days of Loreto Bay were insane as we desperately tried to keep up with our own success. No one imagined that the team assembled by David Butterfield and Jim Grogan would become such a force of commitment and determination to gain worldwide attention and sell hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate in just a couple of years.

I had the honor of working with some of the most dedictated people anywhere. Everyone was was passionate about their area and believed in the future of Loreto Bay. This ranged not only from the traditional sales, design, and marketing departments, but down to Dr. Ken and “dirt guy” Jim Hallack. Team Loreto Bay was a family, and everyone gave 110% for the good of the company. It was a very special time that few people are ever lucky enough to experience. It can not be planned or orchestrated; it is like love … and just happens when we are ready for it.

There were so many young people that were part of the explosion that have gone onto other jobs in different places, and I know they will be forever changed because of their experiences that they do not talk about, as no one would ever believe the long hours and commitment for little personal gain. We will always share a bond and they can always find me for advice or guidance, but most importantly friendship.

Visionary Buyers sensed this and bought into all of it, hoping for the opportunity to be part of something great. The local Loretanos watched with careful optimism and hoped that the dream would finally become a reality for them as well.

I wanted to be in a place where I felt people cared, time stood still and people mattered. I follow my heart and try to live my life doing what is right. I speak the truth as I know it, and am passionate about my beliefs. My choices are black and white, but the people in it are grey because we are human and subject to responsibility, conscience and personal ethics. Asi es la vida. It is life.

I am friends with many homeowners, who have undergone far more than they bargained for, yet they are still here, believing and loving this place. I am now part of the local community, which has taken time and hard work to be accepted. I appreciate all of these people very much as their random acts of kindness in this Wild Wild West environment is all we have when this is our home.

I am on a path in the fields of Baja basking in the sunshine. There are abundant opportunities and choices, each with their own level of risk and enticement. As I encounter these forks in the road, I make my assessment, determine the consequences and chose whether I go left or right. Win or lose, it does not matter. The only thing important is that I continue moving forward. This pertains to business, financial, social interactions as well as everyday decisions. What could be simpler?

Many of the original Loreto Bay team have now gone and it is a different place. This is inevitable, and I am optimistic and look forward to Replay taking an active management role. It is not their responsibility to create community. It is their business to sell and deliver houses, making money should be their objective.

For us pioneers, we must remember that we wanted a simpler life with time to make a difference to who we were and the differences we could make, not just that our houses were perfectly complete and fully furnished. Doesn’t seem like a lot to ask, does it?

The purpose of me writing this at all is to give a gentle reminder to those that bought into the vision. Creating a community takes work. Life happens when we are too busy doing something else. In Loreto, there is nothing else … it is just Life.

I look forward to seeing my friends and neighbors again soon. This is our place, let’s enjoy it for all that it is and keep the dream of a better place alive.

I think I am too idealistic, perhaps somewhat naïve, but I do believe in karma and I sleep well at night. Next time you see someone on the street, stop and find out how they are, and really listen. Perhaps offer to share a cool drink or meal. It may make a huge difference to them, and in Loreto, you really don’t have anything more important to do anyways! Asi es la vida. It is life.

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