The sun, sand, surf and super low cost of living has made Puerto Vallarta the #1 vacation destination in the western hemisphere. Especially since Covid gave people the travel itch and forced us all to re-ground ourselves in the journey towards finding joy in the simple things.
And many have moved here. Forget the drama and political messiness of America and Canada. The world’s smartest ‘gringos’ are now living the Mexican Dream. Embracing their happiness in this paradise place.
As these priorities shift for those from The Great White North, so shifts the demographic of this great city. We’re mixing it up! Culture, People, Styles. And if you ask any Anglo, they’ll tell you the same thing. Their favorite part about living in Mexico: the people.
The Mexicans could easily hate us. We’ve come in droves. We’ve raised the property values. And some of us even pronounce the ‘L’s in Vallarta! (pause for a shiver)
We’re acting like conquistadors all over again. But they don’t. They don’t hate us. It’s not in their nature. The Mexican people are kind-hearted. Often carefree. And, admittedly, much more in tune with what’s truly important in life: Family, Tacos. Working Hard, & Tequila.
We know they’re right. That their perspective is more intuitively badass than those of us wandering around the planet with mucho stress and misery. They’ve discovered the secret that many of us are constantly searching for: How to live a long and happy life.
But there is a tragedy afoot. And it is glaringly obvious. The Mexican people, for all their wonderfulness do not share the same financial prosperity that we’ve become accustomed to in the developed world. The majority don’t make enough money to flourish. And many, not even enough to survive.
We all know it. We all see it. And it bothers us.
But where there is tragedy, there is opportunity. An opportunity for the Americans & Canadians here to demonstrate a compassion through our wealth. To empower the local people by putting more money in their hands. A little for us goes a long way for them.
Enter empowervallarta.com aka riQueZo
Empower Vallarta is designed to connect the financially blessed with the financially stressed in this city. It’s a gifting platform. Not lending. Not investing. Pure gifts.
It’s a website where Americans and Canadians can find a local hardworking Mexican entrepreneur, learn a little bit about their family, dreams and business and send them ‘micro-gifts’ direct to their PayPal, to empower them and their work.
Established in 2020 right before the pandemic, Empower Vallarta immediately became a high impact project for those suffering from the economic downturn associated with quarantine & city-wide closures. It started with one entrepreneur, Esmeralda, whose tamal business (tamales) was affected greatly by the closing of the beach.
Through Facebook, Esmeralda found support from many Americans and Canadians watching Vallarta from afar and wondering, ‘How can I help there?’. She immediately began to feel the love. Without the family of empowerers who sent her riQueZo gifts, her Covid story might have been a true crisis. Instead it became a beacon of hope.
Then came Fabi, a gym and restaurant owner here in PV. She started to feel the love. Then Jesus, Yaneli, Hector. And so on and so forth. Now, in 2023, the family is 18 entrepreneurs strong, with a ton of people standing in their corner, either as one-time gifters or full-on team members. The most common gift being $11.11 USD per month.
The mission is large. Empower Vallarta hopes to establish the paradigm for ending poverty. A massive problem that seems totally insurmountable, indeed. But we all know that the world has the wealth, technology and compassion to do it! It just takes innovation and enough good people who care. If there was one statement for how to most effectively eliminate this problem on a global scale, it is this: Financially empower hardworking entrepreneurs in the developing world.
The reason is because once these self-starters transcend the psychological burden of daily survival mode and start to flourish and prosper, they are very likely to go off and create an opportunity for another person. It doesn’t just happen overnight. You have to light the fuse to the bomb.
And there is our chance. Our window of opportunity opening right in front of our very eyes. In this city, WE CAN become the world’s greatest example of how one people group truly empowers another. We can show the goodness of humanity. Share The love.
Many people have their own individual ways of giving back in this community. Tipping more. Donating to the food bank. Random giving. But the real power comes in organizing our energies and exercising our compassion as a team. We love this city. It’s our home. Or at least our favorite getaway. And why not? It’s truly perfect. If there’s one thing we can fix, however, it’s the prosperity of the people here. And we can. We just have to believe we can. And for, lack of a better phrase, open up our wallets and open up our hearts.
Empower Vallarta looks a lot like a dating app. You visit, you swipe through profiles, you learn about a person and when you find someone that resonates with you, you click their ‘Empower’ button which directs you right to their PayPal. Go check it out! Make someone’s day. Meet a new friend. And help us build heaven on Earth right here in Puerto Vallarta. After all, we are already so close.