This year has been nothing if not unexpected. Earlier this month I was meticulously cleaning up the photo albums on my phone for about three or four hours. To be honest, doing so was not something I had planned to do – especially not over the end of year holidays, but once I got started I couldn’t stop. Soon enough the word purge entered my mind and I decided that is precisely what I was doing.Read more
It’s getting no, and not taking it for an answer.
It’s being told that you can’t, and figuring out how to do it anyway.
It’s being willing to work.
It’s being willing to sacrifice.
No matter how many times you tuck them away in the back of your closet, underneath all the newer pairs of shoes you’ve accumulated over the years, there’s just something that nudges at you to pull them out and put them on every once in a while.Read more
A lot of times the things that make us who we are have been there all along.
We tend to spend so much time trying to discover ourselves, or trying to define who we are. But often it is the case that when you achieve that pivotal moment where you understand who you truly are, you realize that deep inside you knew it all along.
We are constantly in search of ourselves, and we seldomly ask ourselves this question: Do I really need to look that far?Read more
It’s a brand new day for Anjelica in our home these days. Her little boy who once used to revel at any opportunity to cuddle next to her and talk about his day – and seemingly his every thought – is now almost a young man. Or as he would have us believe, a man (albeit a very young one at that). These days I’m his confidant in our family unit.Read more
As you might be aware, we’ve been holding workshop sessions for the last few months. Anjelica and I decided it was time to put our “money where our mouths had been” and try to do something to help others in our community to get more proactive online. We decided to start our Blogging Workshop Series where we are basically trying to teach people how to start and grow their own successful blogs. It’s been an eye opening experience to say the least, and to be quite honest, it’s also proving to be a huge learning opportunity for the two of us. Not only because we are evaluating and kind of figuring things out for our own online brands all over again – we never did anything like this when we started out. But also because this is the first time we have held a teaching role for such an extended period of time. Let me tell you, I have a new found respect for educators at all levels.Read more
Unless you’ve been to Bentonville, it’s hard to put into perspective the experience of visiting Arkansas’s fastest-growing metro area. Located in the foothills of the Ozarks and bustling with business and entrepreneurship, this once sleepy little town with a population of no more than 30, today still feels like a modern-day version of the movie Pleasantville, with its white picket fences and pristine neighborhoods surrounding the heart of Bentonville’s community – its historical Downtown Square. In the 1880s the square served as a watering place for livestock. In 1901 Bentonville shipped one-half million bushels of apples from it bounty of apple trees, which according to the U.S. Census Bureau at that time accounted for the largest number of bearing apple trees of any county in the United States. Eventually the city of Bentonville expanded around its Downtown Square and today more than 45,000 call this community in Northwest Arkansas home.Read more
There’s history in Orange Beach. We could tell as soon as we drove into this surprisingly unexpected corner of the Gulf Coast. Its location is right at the point where Alabama and Florida connect. If you’re not careful you could end up crossing state lines without even noticing. We did and for a moment it felt like we were driving right back into Florida after having bid farewell to the Sunshine State just a few minutes earlier. If you have ever driven the entire length of the Sunshine State, you will appreciate why the thought of being back in Florida after having just exited the state would be more than a little nerve-wrecking. Luckily for us, we were in fact in Alabama.Read more
We were in Denver recently visiting my brother. Edgar and I were. It was the first time we had both been in that city since my brother moved there a couple of years ago. I’ll tell you more about that trip in another blog post, but one of the places I definitely wanted to check out while in Denver was the Museo de las Americas. Mainly because for years now the museum has been sending me email updates about its exhibitions and events. They always sounded so interesting, and since it’s usually Latin American art it’s right up my alley. We were surprised that the museum itself was pretty small, especially because we had heard the Latino art scene in Denver was pretty huge. However, what it lacked in size it more than made up for in its punch. The exhibition we got to explore, which was closing a day or two after our visit, was Pachucos y Sirenas.Read more
There’s something about driving a pickup truck that just makes you feel like a Texan. People look at you differently. It says something about you, and there’s a certain sense of pride that comes attached with the keys when they are in your hands. Don’t believe me? Try it and tell me I’m wrong. I have always been a sucker for big trucks with a lot of power so it was only natural that the brand new 2018 Chevrolet Silverado High Country would win my heart over as soon as it arrived at my driveway a few weeks ago. All of five minutes later ya yo estaba en ¡MI TROCA! Notice how I claimed it as mine immediately. Two seconds after that I was cruising down my neighborhood all pumped up about how nice the interior of the truck was as well. I mean, it came equipped with the works. You remember how you used to drive around in your very first car hoping to run into people you knew so they could see you in your new car? Well yeah, that was basically me the whole time the truck was here. It was very, very nice.Read more
So it’s official. We have kind of undergone a major facelift over at Juan of Words. I know it might have been a while since your last visit, which is why I thought I’d let you know. After years of using a very basic template to house all our content (for the past eight years), we felt it was time to give our home online a refresh. When we first started the website it was only a blog. Even though we have added much more to our plate since that first initial post, we just never got around to giving it much thought. Mucho menos the attention it needed to really do something a bit more contemporary. So our new home, you will notice, still includes all of the 800+ blog posts we have written over time, but it also now houses some of the newest things we are doing as well. For one thing, you can get a lot more up to date information and images from Anjelica and I on our new images section. You can also watch our latest videos from wherever we published them originally, right here in one single place.Read more
One of the things we’ve always known about each other is that family comes first. I mean we met at my sister’s going away party when she was leaving Houston for D.C., all of 15 years ago now. From that moment on we have spent a lot of our time together around our extended family. Who would have imagined that what started as an awkward conversation in the dining hall of a Mexican restaurant, fueled by liquid courage in the form of margaritas, would have us here today, that many years wiser and more experienced. We were in our twenties when we first met so you can imagine the changes each of us has made over the past 15 years. But let’s be real, we’re still the same crazy pair of metiches we have always been. If anything, now we are much more crafty about our shenanigans.Read more
I’m not sure how or why this new genre of music has caught my attention the way it has, but something about the rawness of it makes me want to listen more closely. To be honest, I didn’t even know this style of music existed until Cardi B. That probably tells you everything you want to know about my perspective in this discussion. But if you still want to continue reading anyway I sure do appreciate it very much. The other trap artist that’s on my playlist right now is Bad Bunny. Funny enough, both musicians are the “it” collaborators on so many different tracks – from JLO to Bruno Mars, Karol G, and so many others, in English and Spanish. You can hardly find a playlist or radio station on the air that’s not playing at least a small piece of something by either artist.Read more
It’s been my home for the past 18 years. Houston, for me, is the place where I feel most comfortable. It is the city that took in a family of immigrants and opened doors for us, far beyond our wildest imaginations. It is the city where I met my wife, started a family, and eventually a business. For all intents and purposes, I guess you could say, it is my compass in the universe. The place I naturally gravitate towards no matter how far away I venture. To understand Houston, however, takes serious dedication. The burgeoning metropolis nestled amid bustling highways, byways and tollways, as well as incorporated and unincorporated annexes from the Gulf Coast to the hill country, is home to some six million residents from all over the world. The city was recently recognized as the most diverse in the United States and is well on its way to surpass Chicago as the third-largest in the country by population.Read more
Austin is weird, and they are proud of it. Our neighbor to the north is home to the massive annual event that is SXSW, and each year, it is the place to be for anyone who is even remotely interested in technology and the wonderous possibilities of the future. I was there this year as an #HOUSxSw Ambassador on behalf of Station Houston and Houston Exponential representing Houston’s strong community of creators and innovators. If you’ve never been to Austin and are not familiar with the phrase “Keep Austin Weird,” the month of March during SXSW might be the perfect time to get familiar with this quirky part of Texas, which also happens to be the state capital. There is never a shortage of things to do in Austin, but during the massive annual event known as South by Southwest (SXSW) you can multiply your options by a couple dozen points of interest.Read more
We don’t want to tell people about our family problems, the drinking, the mental illness, the trauma, the sense of sadness, and the feeling of loneliness we carry around with us all the time. Because as soon as the camera is pointed in our direction we’re smiling and posing ourselves to make sure the digital version of our lives is enviable and worth piquing the curiosity of others. We want to put our best foot forward always, even if the world around us is shattering to pieces. We’ve been trained to air our dirty laundry at home. To not give people a reason to second guess us as human beings, to not challenge the status quo because it could make the difference between getting that next opportunity in our careers or not. “Everything online is out there forever. You can’t take it back.” In doing so, however, we’re also denying ourselves the opportunity to be truly genuine with one another. More importantly, we’re failing to learn from each other and our respective mistakes.Read more
Los caminos de la vida no son como yo pensaba. Como los imaginaba. No son como yo creía. The journey of life is not how I thought it would be. It’s not how I imagined it. It’s not what I thought it would be. This song came on the radio at one point while we were driving along the southern rim of the Grand Canyon a few weeks ago before the end of 2017, and it put everything into perspective. The last time I really listened to the lyrics of Los Caminos de la Vida by La Tropa Vallenata I was headed to the cemetery in the funeral procession for my father. I remember thinking then, that life is too short to not do the things we want to do. I wanted to bring my father to the Grand Canyon. He left before I ever could. His passing was one of those things in life that hit me like a ton of bricks. I never imagined his time with us would be cut short, or so soon. And yet it was.Read more
We knew the road to financial independence would not be an easy one, and we expected to hit more than a few bumps on the road. What we didn’t expect was that our lack of knowledge on simple things like how to register our business for tax purposes could make such a huge difference at the end of the year. The self employment tax is no joke, let me tell you. But that’s the thing – we’ve realized – that nobody teaches you about this stuff in our community. At least not in our families or the education system we grew up in. I didn’t take an economics class until high school, and even then what we learned had little to do with everyday wealth-building techniques or practices, much less with building a long term financial legacy. Those are things we have had to learn on our own, not too often the easy way. I guess that’s why they call it the school of hard knocks, right?Read more