Projects

If  you have taken the time to get here, thank you!  So here is what I’m up to in detail – I have identified three opportunities that don’t exist here yet, and believe I can have fun, make good pesos while living in Paradise, and still take care of my family. I’ve got three projects going which I will describe, and then the challenges that I am happily and gratefully taking on.

Cuatro Vientos Hostel – Country Inn 

Just at the entrance of Mineral de Pozos, a small former Mexican mining town – we have found lovely cabins under cool, shady pepper trees (pirules), that we are converting into a country inn.

Pozos was once a mining town – silver, gold, lead, mercury, and it all went away a hundred years ago leaving ghost towns in every direction. Over 700 former mansions, churches, houses, bodegas, stables are now stone skeletons. There is a bike trail you could ride motorcycles, four wheelers, regular bikes – or you could hike to view these outlying ghost towns. Downtown – if you can call it that, you could walk the whole town in a half hour – there are some classic spaghetti Western type bars around here, and a couple nice restaurants and spas. We also have, at this House of Blues style joint, the best pizza in the state! There are not many rooms in this town, that usually fills up on weekends. Pozos is in the middle of a triangle of larger towns about an hour away each, so for the most part the rooms in town are expensive, as Mexicans that travel tend to have money.

I’m calling it Cuatro Vientos – the  Four Winds – after a mine by that name here; and for the implication of coolness and freshness in a sunny, high sierra town. I am going to have three units – soon four, depending how this fund campaign goes 🙂 – that will sleep a family up to 6, or two couples for half the price of anything else in town. Each unit will have two separate rooms for privacy and a hot water shower. We will have stuff like a coffee maker and other amenities – the Four Winds ain’t gonna be the Four Points! It is quite rustic – perfect for backpackers, bikers, weekend warriors and budget conscious visitors.

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Challenges and Strategy

I’ve listed us on AirBnB – where I have excellent ratings – and Booking.com. HomeAway sucks out loud so I don’t use them. I will do targeted ads (sponsored posts) on Facebook where I can hit the three towns of that ‘triangle’ around us – maybe 6,000 eyeballs (12,000 I guess, anyway) for a dollar a day. Hundreds of people go to the local venues and I have a good relationship with all of them – they have told me they will pass out flyers. will be glad to say “Why drive home drunk? Mikko has this great cheap place to crash.” We are literally the first thing on the highway you see before entering town – the cobblestones start about a hundred meters down from us, a simple ‘Tourist Information” sign would flag down potential clients. With less than $5000, I would perfect the cleanliness and comfort of the the three rooms and totally mack out the fourth. That money would be recovered in three months, easy.

 

Vino Por Vino

My wine tour company has already seen its first tours, as a matter of fact I just booked one while typing this! It’s all so magical. Poke around this very site to see what we offer. People hear about the vineyards but like residents of the French Quarter or the West Village, venturing out of Centro is like a major undertaking – I pick ’em up, take ’em out to the lovely vineyards, they taste wine, eat lunch and I get ’em home in time for their afternoon nap. The vineyard owners really like me, and the tour is really a special experience. It’s also a gas to give Mexican history and culture tours to Mexicans who marvel at this blue-eyed gringo knowing so much haha.

Challenges and Strategy

I’ve put together 2000 attractive flyers and will personally meet with concierges all over San Miguel. Trip Advisor should be confirming me soon, I will approach my friends and satisfied guests from thirty years of tour guiding to write up reviews for me – and as there are no wine tours (yet) I should look good on Google. There is no real financial challenge here, except to you know, pay bills (see below) I just have to get the word out.

Shakespeare Festival

There is nothing like that here yet. I have beautiful outdoor venues available and I want to start a Shakespeare Under the Stars type of thing – offering yet another diversion in San Miguel and a Spanish group in Pozos. This would be fun and eventually could run itself providing a cultural asset for the area, and residual income for me 🙂

Challenges and Strategy

Costumes, lights, stipends, etc – you know, theatre stuff. Things are not expensive here and for under $1000 I could get up a workable production that would recover that money pretty quickly. If we did every Thursday evening in the Summer and Fall, in this glorious weather, not bumping up against weekend activities people would come out.

Personal Challenges

The hard fact is that I am in inexpensive Mexico with some outstanding American debt. And my childrens’ mom has been outstandingly supportive by taking them on while I get this stuff off the ground – but I still pitch in on some of their expenses. Once this stuff all gets going, I will be in inexpensive Mexico, making almost American money. I will be able to continue to be an involved dad, and believe or don’t, my retirement is nigh. There is no question that these ideas will succeed and flourish, it’s just that here, money is time – the more money I can accrue, the faster these things grow into self-sufficiency.

Gratitude

I have learned the more I am grateful for, the more I receive; and I am grateful for everything – even the tough stuff. I’m asking for support because money can be a form of love. If you are not in a position to donate or invest, love can also be showing this to our friends that might help, or writing a great review for me, a supporting text, or even a prayer. Thank you for being my friend and all you give me.