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For the Love of Mexico

White Chedda

Chapter 9

Nico & The Hot Springs

I woke up to roosters and decided to stay.


I found it too fascinating that with all the political

themes in what I had written before leaving to walk,

that there was to be a political gathering at the exact

home in which I was staying. The candidate who

was to visit was from the Green party and I do

have associations with that party in Vallarta.

was hoping that a man named Luis Munguia

would win in Vallarta because

I have friends very close to him.

My political goal in Vallarta is simple. What I want is for every visitor who lands at the airport to be handed a document that speaks to riQueZo. What it is and how people can participate. So you get an immigration

form and you get some information about how

you can empower the local community of

entrepreneurs in a powerful and

effective way during your stay.

The most ideal, would be a required gift. $11.11 USD

to enter Vallarta. But there are two drawbacks to

that to doing it that way. The first is that I want

people to want to participate in riQueZo.

Something voluntary. Not forced.

The second is, that our project has one very particular tenant that keeps it very healthy and effective.

Direct giving.


The entrepreneurs on our platform all have their own personal PayPal so they receive 100% of the gift you send them. Apart from the bullshit, highly escalated

fees that PayPal charges to send money from an American or Canadian to a Mexican.

Having their own PayPal is part of the onboarding process of being an entrepreneur in the riQueZo family.

Very few Mexicans use the app relative to the whole population of the country so I have often introduced

it to someone at same time. PayPal should pay me compensation for internationally

expanding their business.

To have a PayPal means that you have to have a bank account. I have spent many an hour in banks helping our entrepreneurs open an account. And sometimes, the first bank account they ever had in their whole lives. A very humbling assist that I never anticipated as one of

my responsibilities on this planet.

The direct giving is critical.

And its obvious why.


When someone gives charitably, they want to know

where their gift is going. And they certainly don’t want undisclosed skimming. Or even disclosed skimming.


The best type of charitable gift, coming from a place of compassion, is one where 100% of the gift is received by the intended recipient. That’s an important

component of our platform.

If the airport collected money,

it would make it susceptible to corruption.

And we don’t want that.

So I was going to attend the meeting. And the candidate would be from Mascota, which is Vallarta’s Little

neighbor 80 kilometers east. I figured only good

could come from meeting that crew.

Staying extra time in a home is not an excuse to kick it. Remain idle. I was ready to work and luckily my

dedication that morning was going to be for

something that was mutually prosperous.

Making that Gondo Agua.

Gera cut a ton of branches filled with the small purple berries and we worked together to pluck em and

pot em- They are so tiny that it takes quite a few

to make any sort of substantial quantity of juice.

Just de-branching them took an hour.

Then you wash.


Dunk your hands sin miedo and crush and squeeze

and liquify. Extremely Purple Hands means you're

doing it right. This would be like crushing grapes

for wine but a lot more innocent since nobody

is gonna get tipsy off your finished product.

Pass the concentrate through a strainer and fill what's filtered with good old fashioned drinking water.

Add sugar. Mix well. And tada! Agua Fresca de Gondo!

We made about 8 Liters and I was responsable for

the consumption of 3 of them.

Gerardo made us an amazing breakfast. A shrimp soup. So fresh and delicious. Many Mexicans do not peel

their shrimp. They eat it with the peel.

I asked Gerardo if I should eat the shell.

And I was ready to.

When in Rome.

He said I should peel.

Thank God.

It went from crunchy doubt to suave and savory

just with his one permission.

He peeled his shrimp too.


Fresh warm tortillas kept replenishing.

One left and a new one came.


Could have eaten til fat.

He spoiled me.

It was 10am and no one had arrived yet for the meeting. But that’s because in Mexico there really is no rush.

It is very common to set a time and find yourself commencing an hour late. Dont plan a meeting

or a date expecting promptness. Tardy is trendy.

I didn’t want to miss anything but this was my only window to check out the hot springs. Aguas termales. Nature’s jacuzzi. I always wanted to do that. Never had.


Gerardo gave me rancher directions. Cross the first creek, climb the hill. Find the burnt bamboo and descend the rocks to the pool between two rivers.


I brought Go and some shampoo packets.

First time bathing since Vallarta.


When I arrived at the divine pool, I was beaming. The water was wonderfully warm and trickled the rocks. Trickles are tickles for the soul.


I got naked.

This was the perfect addendum to my fear river story from the day before. Natural waters without much risk.

I am a big believer that God designed the

earth for our pleasure and enjoyment.

Why was this natural hot spring here?

So that just on rare occasion someone

could come across it and bathe in its glory.


God doesn’t care if that even happens once. She is abundant and thorough. Others had been there but

for me, in that momento, it was there for me


In trying to understand the higher power. Remember that its not about you but its all for you. And things can happen to the masses that at the same time have personal significance in your story.


God is not 3D or 4D.

She is infinite D.


With immeasurable and incomprehensible powers

in design and purpose in activity.

For instance, when it's raining. That affects your day.

And it means something to you. But it is also raining

over many others. One thing is happening but it's

significance can be truly personal.

It may cancel the parade

but the farmer needed it.

I have two favorite rains of significance.


The first is the rain during Game 7 of the Cubs world series in 2016. Google that. A beautiful intervention

when the stakes were high.

A momentum-shifter.

And the other is the rain that came when Muhammed Ali beat George Foreman in the rumble in the jungle.

A powerful moment when God showed her love

for Africa in the form of a storm.

Google that too.

I had to poop and I figured that was a triple plus. Empty out. Mark my territory for the jaguar and clean myself without single ply scratch paper. All in one go.


This is too much information,

but I was proud of that poop.

It was the first time I had identified my presence in a place with a defecation. The food my friends had been given me had made me a fart-a-potamus so I was

glad to let nature take its course.

I won’t talk about that component of the walk again.

But I know some are curious. Hopefully you are satisfied. Do you poop outside? They ask.

To which I respond. Does a bear…

The water in the hot spring was about 18 inches deep. Which was just enough.

A wading pool.


I tried my best to cherish it to the fullest. Like avoiding that feeling of anxiousness that you get when you know you only have 9 minutes left of your 60-minute massage.

I knew this would be temporary, so I needed to

soak it all in. Live in the present. Be present.


Man! It was fantastic!

Something so pure.

And raw and natural.


There was a huge Boulder leaning over my little pool. That was a great spot for an advantaged cat attack.

So I brought Go into the pool with me and he

floated along pretending he was driftwood.

I think he liked it too. It warped him for the better.

Underneath the boulder I saw something I wish I hadn’t.

A fucking massive spider the size of a woman’s hand.

Not a well fed German woman’s hand but like,

smaller than a man hand. You know?



I hope that thing doesn’t swim.


Luckily, that disastrous and beautiful chaos of

day-ruiner stayed right where it was.

And trust me, I was watching.

I couldn't tell if the smell was sulfur or my territory marking just feet away but likely it was both. No matter. Smell is the last sensory emphasis when

enjoying something so all-encompassingly pleasant.


I toothed open my little shampoo pack. Gave a scrub

in all the right places and came out strong.

Naked and empowered.

I put my clothes on and started to walk back.

As I was walking, a thought occurred to me. Or really

a mental organization of my reality.

Not quite an epiphany but more of a zen thought.

It was a beautiful morning in the mountains. I just took

a bath in a hot spring and I am walking back to my

home for a glass of cold Gondo Agua.

Nirvana was nearing itself to me.

I was so puppy joyful.

The only thing missing….


My babies.

I wished they were there with me.

That’s the only part that wasn’t just absolutely right.

And yet, they couldn’t be.

And that was ok.


I was in that momento of time because of the choices

I had made, the yeses I had said and the grace of

my creator. I was destined to be right where I was.

And, while I strongly hope they won’t even think that there

is forgiveness to be petitioned for,

if they do, forgive me. I am sorry.


Your dad was doing good.

And God was smiling on my adventure.

You have a good mama. I chose her with intention. Like strong intention. So I know she was caring for you well in my absence. Soon I will bring you to Gera’s house

and you can play with the chicks and

we'll take a nature dip.

I arrived back at the house and everything had changed. There were 16 people on Gerardo’s front porch.

When I entered the space, it was clear that they had

been awaiting my arrival. Gerardo is such a gossiper!

A bald, bold, white-bearded man with a belly was there and he took the lead. A gab-gifter who did well what I do every day. Spoke joy into existence. He welcomed me back with an excellent and hearty greeting

as if we were already friends.


My type of dude.

Moment one.

A people person.


I kind of assumed just based off that forwardness that he was the politician. The candidate for mayor of Mascota, which we call el presidente or la presidenta.


He uses questions to empower. And he flexed that talent on me to give me the floor to explain myself. The others looked and listened on. Some were part of his team. The Green team. And others were local ranchers who

had come to hear what he had to say.


I told the whole group my intentions with clarity and confidence. I am walking across Mexico to write a book about the kindness of the Mexican people so that my

own people can see just how wonderful a country

Mexico truly is. Gerardo smiled along like someone showing off their illustrious stamp collection.

Enjoying that others were enjoying.

And Gera's smile is infectious.


He intervened that I already knew the names of the people in ranches ahead. And he quizzed me in front of the group. I passed with an A+!

Maria and Miguel or Porfirio in Aguacate

and Jesus Ramos or Ramona in Mosco.

The candidate chimed in. He said, 'And when you get to Mascota, look for Nico Briseño'.

I took that as a gift. Ate it up like camaron soup.

Another name to add to the list. It wasn’t until about an hour later that I realized that he was Nico and had been referring to himself in the third person.


What impressed me most is that everyone else there never cracked. They played along. It was a

long-con and everyone was in on it.

Well done!

I really like Nico.


He was great at connecting with people.

One thing that I have realized on this walk is that if someone knows how to ask the right questions,

they can keep a dialogue alive and interesting.

I feel like I am a very good conversationalist but not everyone is. For me, silence just won’t do.

Unless the moment is right for the quiet.

Good questions are the bedrock of a robust

two-way communication.

Nico turned his focus away from me and addressed the crowd gathered around him. His team and other candidates for different positions completely

engaged and clothed in bright Green.

There are 4 things that Nico addressed

that caught my interest.




and Water.

It was clear he was big on helping people dream about ways that they could bring financial prosperity to their household by building their own enterprise.


He asked one elderly woman what she was good at.

She responded, making bread.

'And what is your name?' 



'Imagine!', he said, 'La Panaderia Carmen'

As he gestured out something like

a name in flashing lights

with his hands.

He encouraged her to think about what it might look like to make her breads. Put a brand on it and send her products off to cities like Vallarta or Mascota to sell.

These are my type of dialogues. I am always trying to inspire our riQueZo entrepreneurs to think about the avenues available to them to create more demand for what they make. One of the things I am most proud of, in regard to our platform, is that, during the onboarding,

I sit down with new members to make their online

profile and ask them their dream.


What would you do if you transcended just fighting day

to day for your survival (poverty) and arrived

at a moment of financial prosperity?

Sometimes they start to speak... and I say, 'bap bap bap'

Go home. Think about it. Sleep. Dream.

And tell me tomorrow.

We’ve done some pretty creative things over the years to help the entrepreneurs find ways to connect with new customers. Parties, Philanthropy and my personal favorite, dancing outside of a business like a fool,

dressed in a hula skirt to show people that

'yes there is a restaurant here and

I think its pretty excellent!'

Shoutout Kasava Taste

and riQueZo entrepreneur, Fabi.


Nico talked a lot about the condition of the road from the small ranches to Mascota. And when I say road, it’s because it is one road.

From Vallarta to Mascota.


The artery for all those who live in the area.

Things like bridges or flooding are important to the people because they use it so often.


And that road by the way is not paved.

I don’t see it being paved anytime soon.

It’s a rancher road.

Nico looked the people in the eye and asked,

'What do we call this road?'


And there was no answer.


That’s because it doesn’t have a name.


When he asked that, I took it as a God joke.

I broke my attentive and respectful silence to chime in.


'I have a name for it!

El Camino de Buenas Ondas.

And I dreamed a Little dream about what it feel like

if he won and they actually named the road that.

What an honor that would be.

It is definitely a good name.

The path of good vibes.

Nico spoke about healthcare and again, using questions and hypotheticals he was able to calrify how, under his administration, there would be an emphasis on making healthcare accessible in those backwood stretches.

So that if someone had a medical emergency,

they were close enough to someone who could

help them, and with the resources to do so.

Not a long and bumpy ride to Mascota,

rather a short jaunt to medical care.

The last thing he highlighted, was water.

I don’t remember how much influence I truly had in directing this dialogue, but I did become a greater contributor to the dialogue around this theme, as it had been on my mind.


It was so dry. And the people there are eagerly awaiting the rainy season which usually starts in June

and carries through October.

I had just recently watched the movie The Big Short with Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrell and Brad Pitt.


It’s about the investors who bet against the housing market and profited when it did collapse in 2008. Something that really caught my attention is that one of the main investors, Michael Berry, who made his clients so much money from the collapse now has just one focus in his investment portfolio...



As the planetary temperaturas rise, climates shift and the population grows, I can see why that is his focus. Investing in anything that has to do with water preservation, desalination, treatment or collection is likely to be profitable as demand for water increases.


I mentioned this to the whole group. That building reservoirs in the area to capture the rain water for

year-round utilization was not just a good idea

but a necessary one.


A good reserve of water on each property would be the best way to ensure that the cattle are hydrated, the corn grows and the family has what they need for their showers, toilets and sinks at all times.

I got excited imagining all the ways that Nico and I could collaborate if he won. After the meeting I recited some poetry for the green team and showed off riQueZo.


Nobody that looks at riQueZo thinks it is flawed

or bad or useless. Everyone celebrates its

ingenuity, necessity and excellence.


An idea designed to inspire compassion-based balance of wealth on the planet by putting more money in the hands of those who will use it to create wealth for themselves and in turn create employment

opportunities for others.

Nico liked it!


And I started to wonder if he might win

because the whole thing seemed so destined to be.

We snapped some photos and said our goodbyes and I wasted no time preparing to walk. It was going to be a short walk but in the mid-day sun to a

place called, Aguacate.


Boy was it hard to leave Gera. That man had become

such a good friend in such a short time.

His kindness was an inspiration. And his humility was admirable. To think I even doubted him for a second makes me feel a bit ashamed.


But I suppose it was all fitting

for the truthful telling of our tale.


It reminds us to assume the good in people. Let the bullshit be a surprise, not an expectation.

Guard yourself. But not too much.


Let's expect excellence from one another.

Optimistically. And Que Sera, Sera.

And smile. And keep smiling.

That is your greatest asset when meeting a new person.

Or really for anything. There's no need to fake it.

Let the contact with another human be your joy.

Afterall, you don’t know at what point the chapter will change and that person won’t be quite as relevant in your present life, as much as a pleasant

memory from the past.

Right out of Zapotan, an epic climb. I could see the house once on one level, then again higher on another, then getting pretty small as I reached the top.


When I knew the last turn would take me away from that wonderfulness and put it completely behind, I turned back towards the house and shouted something that Gera taught me for getting a Cow's attention:


It was a long way down, but there from down below, in that wonderful river valley, I could faintly hear Gera

respond with a big bellow of his own.

I couldn’t make out what he said but I like to

imagine it was, 'Come back soon!'

Because I totally will.

Next time with Yesy and Soch Mgoch so

they can meet their Tio...

and take a bath with their Dad.


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