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Danny Ortiz has been the one friend to stick by my side since the beginning of High School. From the innocence of Freshman Journalism class to our attempt at community college, we each knew that we were destined to do something different but weren’t sure what exactly it is.
I learned about Danny’s passion for journalism (specifically related to sports and music) through our experiences with The Allen High School Newspaper as we became best friends, never understanding the full effect of his heart condition or the situation he had been in with his father’s passing. He is a true warrior and example to anyone who has dealt with life-threatening health conditions, the unexpected death of a parent, or both.
Listen to our conversation and learn about his story, our friendship, and much more!
I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I submitted my taxes yesterday, the early morning birds chirping as the sun peaks through the clouds, or the fact that in under two weeks I will be in beautiful Placencia village…but this morning I woke up with enraptured with joy.
It is Tuesday April 16, 2019 and I am in the process of preparing for my next trip down south. It will be my 4th trip of over a month in the last 3 years and the anticipation that has been growing around this departure seems to be greater than any of the past trips..But why? There’s only one answer: The time is here.
The last few years have been filled with excuses, snail-like productivity, and “what if’s” that have stunted the growth of this organization. The great thing is that now I have zero excuses left: I have money saved, my equipment is ready, and I’ve connected with a group of incredible people throughout Belize…now I must create! The roadblocks are gone. There’s nothing else to say, it’s time to show people what I have been brewing in my mind.
Over the last few weeks I have been crippled by a sensation that I can best describe as Resistance, (an idea popularized by Steven Pressfield’s War of Art) a feeling in my gut that says “Hey dude you’re about to leave, you should relax a bit before you go” and while tax time may have been a reason for this, my forms are filed and that excuse is out the door with the rest of my excuses. There’s something about facing your full potential that is a bit overwhelming.
Today feels like the start of the next phase. The 10th Episode of The Grassfed Podcast will be released today after months of anticipation, my best friend Danny Ortiz came on the show to discuss his life of up’s and down’s with his health and family. There are many more shows to come in the next few months, much of the month of May will be spent recording in Belize.
I must go now, the flow of thought that I woke up with is now telling me to get my ass to work.
With under 30 days left until my next Belizean adventure, I’m ramping back up on the blog. This was my connection to the world during the first 2 months in Belize when I got my internship at Maya Mountain Lodge and I am happy to be back in the game. My writing habits have slowed to nearly nonexistent over the last two years, occasional blogs online and a handful of scattered notes in half a dozen notebooks summarizes my time back in Dallas for the spring and summer of 2017 to save for The Belizean Dream as well as my 12 months in Belize. Although these times were poorly documented, the benefit of the time that I was able to disconnect was critical for the self-growth I was able to accomplish (and an established Belizean company while I was at it).
It’s currently April 2nd, 2019 and my flight leaves in 27 days. In that time I will continue to work at my day job to save more money, order the necessary items for my trip, produce content in anticipation of the events of the next month, and do my damn taxes (procrastinator, I know!) The process of bouncing back and forth between Dallas and Belize is something that I’m still working with in my mind, What’s the right balance? Do I want to live there full time? Not yet. Do I want to be able to go there whenever I want? Definitely. But for now I am establishing the financial means to have that freedom.
In the last 6 months I have started The Grassfed Group, a marketing and consulting company that works with small businesses and artists to connect with their audiences on a digital platform. This is one of the ways I will be able to generate income on the road, working online is something I have toyed with in the past for small projects and I’m confident that I can incorporate it into my routine without much hassle.
After this trip I will be acquiring a van to travel around the U.S. in between my trips down south, I have created a network of people around the country that I will go visit and work with on a handful of projects I am brewing up. The flexibility that comes with dropping rent, utilities, and other unnecessary bills brings great benefits.
The major event of this trip will be the first large shipment of Moringa will be coming back with me. I have brought back smaller amounts in the past but there has been a bit of a demand so I’ll be bringing our first product to market. It’s a great experience to learn the proper way to import things in coordination with BAHA (Belize Agricultural Health Authority), USDA, and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol since most people completely disregard these checkpoints by lying on their passport forms. Not only am I too paranoid to lie on something like that, I’ve learned enough in the last few years to understand the importance of food safety and how big of an impact foreign species can have if not properly cared for. I will be posting an article on the procedures for importing large amounts of plant matter for those who would like to import products of their own.
There’s so much to do in the next 27 days and as much as I want to relax before a month of business in Belize, I have taxes to do and classes to take among a handful of other things. Back to that balance thing..I’ll find it some day.
Pro-Organic Belize hosts monthly presentations at Maya Mountain Lodge, the purpose is to gain insight on various aspects of organic agriculture, food, and horticulture by bringing in experts in the respective field.
On January 8th, 2019 Mr. Santiago Juan discussed the future of Pro-Organic and how the future of clean food in Belize is dependent on a handful of variables including local crops, a consistent marketplace, and increased community involvement.
Watch the talk below:
Just up the hill from The San Ignacio Police Department…
Lies one of San Ignacio’s most elegant hotels with a special tour:
The Hotel’s most popular attraction is an ecologically conscious mission that encompasses conservation, entertainment, education, and large lizards.
Started in 1996, the project is driven to conserve the iguana population by not only rehabilitating but empowering incubation, hatching, rearing, and providing space to grow until they are ready to be released to the wild.
There are two types of iguanas, green iguanas are vegetarians and black iguanas (not in this project) will eat anything from plants, birds, snakes, dead animals, and anything else they can get their hands on.
In Belize, iguanas are consumed like chicken for both the meat and their eggs but unfortunately, the timing of these harvests take out both the mother and the maturing eggs since Iguanas can only lay eggs from February to June and that is iguana season.
Not all iguanas are ready to be released back into the wild, a few of our new friends will never be leaving the sanctuary due to their injuries but are definitely living much more functional lives than previously offered.
Don’t be afraid, they’ll pose for a picture!