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May 15, 2023

EXPERIENCE 115 | Valeria Ortiz - Vortiz Insurance - Serving the Underserved & Building Community

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Valeria Ortiz, founder of Vortiz Insurance, offers education and insurance packages for the Medicare market, with its headquarters in Greeley, Colorado. I met Valeria at a local event and struck up a conversation which eventually led to Valeria joining LoCo Think Tank and sharing her story.

Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Valeria worked in marketing for a similar agency before moving to Colorado. After facing challenges as a single mother with limited English skills, she found stability working at a call center. Valeria started Vortiz Insurance as a side income, which quickly grew into a successful one-person business. The addition of her first employee allowed her to scale the operation even further.

Valeria's focus on community, education, and heart-driven service, particularly for Spanish-speaking communities, has built her an exceptional network and reputation. I anticipate great things for Valeria Ortiz and her business in the future.

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Val Ortiz is the founder of Vort Ortiz Insurance, providing education and insurance packages for the Medicare marketplace. Vort Ortiz is headquartered in Greeley, but expanding with agents around the front range of Colorado. I met Valeria in Greeley last fall at a 40 under 40 event, and started a conversation with her that soon resulted in her becoming a Loco think tank member and agreeing to share her story as a guest on the Loco experience. Valeria's journey starts in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she worked in marketing for a similar agency and continues to Colorado with her then husband too. Soon after she found herself a single mother with limited English skills and few job prospects, and eventually finding stable work in a call center. ESE insurance was started as a supplemental income source, but quickly grew and became a solid one person business. It was the addition of her first employee, however, that allowed Valeria to scale the enterprise. A continuing focus on community education and heart driven service, especially to the Spanish speaking communities, has allowed her to build a network and a reputation that is second to none, and I'm excited for big things to come. So please enjoy as I did my conversation with Valeria Ortiz. Welcome back to the Local Experience Podcast. So today I'm happy to be joined by Val Valia Ortiz. Uh, and she's the agency owner at Tese Insurance Group. And so Valeria and I met at a 40, under 40 where she was, uh, awarded a, a top young person around. Yes. And, uh, I really enjoyed her story and invited her on right away. Well, thank you so much. Thanks for the opportunity. Um, this is amazing. Um, I think it's the first time I do a podcast. Yeah. So I feel special. Well, I suspect it will not be the last. So, um, I guess why don't we just start with, why don't you tell us what, what you do down there at Verese? Of course. Yeah. Well, Vertes Insurance, we are, um, an agency for Medicare health and life insurance. Okay. Brokers, um, basically we, we mostly, um, specialize in Medicare, so we work a lot with seniors and, um, I gotta say I'm one of the very, um, few ones that do, do this in Spanish too. So, um, we serve over almost 800 seniors, um, in the Greeley, Northern Colorado area. And now I currently have a team of other five agents Wow. Under me, so. Okay. Very exciting. Um, it just happened, um, a couple of years ago. Um, I've been doing Medicare since like 2013, but the agency part of it, it just started and it's been like a snowfall. Oh, so it was you Yeah. Kind of on your own for a long time. Oh. And you started adding agents and now it's like everybody wants to be a part of Ortiz Insurance. Oh, I know. Yeah. So that's exactly how it happened. Um, I was just me for a long time and then I said, well, why don't I just build a team because there's so much need in Yeah. Doing Medicare insurance, um, especially in Spanish or people that, you know, speak Spanish and I was, I need, I need help. So yeah, let's just build a team and I honestly, I just post a Facebook thing saying, if you wanna do this, let me know. And boom, five people like, and are those people being successful? They're fighting clients and Oh, yes. Yes. Helping them. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. We had a, I was a banker, uh, for a long time. Mm-hmm. And my first sales training was, uh, selling is helping Uhhuh. And I sensed that within you from the first moment we talked really. Oh, for sure. Yes. Yes, exactly. I mean, of course, um, I'm, my agents are not my employees. They work independently, but I coach them and, and mentor them. Um, so some of them are more like part-time. Sure. They don't wanna do it full-time. But I gotta say I have a great team, um, loving it. They're learning a lot and very quickly and yeah. And I have a couple of, um, good agents are very active and doing a lot of things with the community, so That's great. And all around Colorado, so it's not only in Northern Colorado. Oh, right. Yeah. I have Cool. Have a couple here. And then I have one in Boulder and another one in Colorado Springs, so. Oh, that's amazing. It's kind like a all around there. Will you continue to be kind of a. Maybe have a specialty in serving that underserved market of Spanish speakers. Yes. Are all your agents Spanish speakers as well? Yes. Yes. Um, um, out of the five, four are bilingual. Um, so that's my main focus. Yeah. Um, if you wanna work with me, I mean, I don't mind if you don't speak Spanish, but I'll, uh, my focus is to find bilingual, um, agents or people that wanna do Medicare insurance. Um, they speak Spanish, so, um, You know, in addition to telling the business journey. Yeah. And I, I do wanna do a little bit more in learning that, but I would love to like, learn more about Medicare. Yeah. You know, cuz I think that you're, you're probably a, an expert at it by now, is it? Mm-hmm. To my memory. Um, is it right when you turn 65, you're qualified and it's kind of like, so most of your new clients are like, 63 or 64, and they're starting to look at their options and stuff. Exactly. Exactly. I mean, Medicare, it's like a maze of options and where do you go and what do you do? Um, but yes, it, uh, um, starts right when you turn 65 or before 65 is if you have a disability through soc Social Security. Mm-hmm. Um, so we have some young, um, younger clients or on disability and they have Medicare, but most of our clients are 65 or over. Mm-hmm. Um, and basically what we do is, and it's interesting because we teach the clients how to manage Medicare. Mm-hmm. And also how to, um, how to. Op, you know, to understand their options and what are, what to do, and when you're penalized, when you're not, if you keep working, what happens? You know, a lot of those things. Um, just because a lot of, um, our seniors, um, nowadays, they don't wanna retire right at 65, right? So they, they wanna continue working and doing, um, um, and, and, you know, continue with their employer plans sometimes. So we basically serve them as a guide through the mace. That's how I like to call it. Um, we guide you depending on your needs, and then we. Because we are brokers, we represent mostly every company. So we can guide you no matter what option. So are there a lot of different prices and options for, for those different things? Oh yes. Those different plans? Oh yes. I thought, I know there's like Medicare, part B, part D, whatever. Yeah. Part A, B, C, D, all that. Um, yes, there's a lot of options and within every option there's a lump companies. So if you go, for example, if you go with Medicare supplements, there's like 40 companies that you can pick out. Mm-hmm. And then, and they kind of fill in the gaps of the MA plan. Mm-hmm. And if you go with Medicare Advantage, there's every company have life. Four or five, 10 plans. So it's a lot of options. Interesting. It seems like it should almost be more standardized and it, I know. Do different companies rate different people differently from a health standpoint and stuff? No. Does that, that doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. Your health. Okay. When you're on Medicare, the only thing that matters is that you pay your taxes and you work in the United States for at least 10 years. And I see. And that's all you need. And once you are become, or you become eligible for Medicare, then you need to pick a plan. Now, if you don't pick a plan, that's when penalties come and you know, and then you get penalized. Oh. So that's why we are very into, so you really have to make sure you do it, period. Yeah. We, we, that's why we, like, like you said, we like, we love to educate the community and say, okay, this is what you need to do. Let us know if we can help you with that. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Um, We don't really, we just educate. That's the whole, the whole, so is that how you gain a lot of your, um, customers is like having workshops and seminars and going down to the senior center mm-hmm. Or whatever. Mm-hmm. And, yep. Yeah. I mean, we just open a local store and I think I'm the very first one that has like a store for Medicare plans. Yeah. Um, it, it was an idea because so many of my clients meet with me in person and I was in a different office just sub renting a little space. Yeah. And all these things, you know, all my clients coming in, stopping by with questions or issues or, and I'm like, we need a place that everybody can just stop by. And that's what we did just a month ago. We opened. Oh. Oh, congratulations. It's, yeah. Thank you. It's, it's very exciting. Um, because now you're, we're gonna have that place where they can just stop by and get answers to their questions. Um, but yeah, to your, to your question, if they don't do it on time, And they get penalized. Mm. Mm-hmm. And probably get the worst plan chosen for them. Right. Or at least one that isn't necessarily a good fit for their family or whatever. Exactly. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Interesting. Mm-hmm. So, um, I don't know how, uh, tell me about like your compensation model, like from a business mm-hmm. Standpoint. I, I'm imagining that probably you get a little override on your agents', that's commissions or whatever, and then it's just a commission thing based on is there different sizes of plans and stuff too? Well, that's the fun thing. Um, and that's what makes our job easier. We get paid the same no matter what company or plan. That's nice. The client picks. So that's why we're really into this. We what's best for you. That's fit, right? Because we could pay the same, doesn't matter what you pick. Uh, maybe some plants have a little bit less commission, but it's not a big deal that, you know, makes a difference. Um, so. Uh, yeah, you make commissions, um, based on, and also the commission changes based on when do you enroll the client. If the client is for the fir very first time enrolling with you mm-hmm. You get the higher commission. Mm-hmm. But if that client already had a Medicare plan and you're just switching it to something different mm-hmm. Then your commission is lower. Sure. Um, but that still helps. But what we really work towards in this type of business is to build your book of business because you do get a monthly renewal that was per active clients. Gotcha. Gotcha. So we really, so the big commission is upfront, but if you keep someone for 20 years Right. You might get. Two-thirds of the money over time. Exactly. And then every month you get a commission based on your active clients. So that's what we work, what we aim to kind of keep our clients happy and active and you know, us. And then if they've got a claim that they're struggling with or something, you're also there to help them navigate that and you know who to talk to Exactly. At such and such company or whatever. Mm-hmm. Interesting. Yeah, exactly. And I mean, additional to that, we also help you look out to see if you qualify for any assistance through the state. There's a lot of Medicaid or programs that you can get discounts or, um, assistance with the Medicare costs. Mm-hmm. So we help with that. We also help every year making sure you have the right um, um, plan because your health can change. Maybe now you don't need anything, and then next year you need something different. So we do that follow up with you and Yeah, like a review. Mm-hmm. Almost like a financial planner would be with their investments. Exactly. Here's how your Medicare plan is working for you right now. Exactly. Mm. Interesting. Yep. Um, so do you have any help? Uh uh, it seems like. Administratively, there's a lot going on. And you've got this walk in office. Most of your agents probably, or some of 'em work there with you too? No, not really. It's just, it's just you, me, just me and my agency. Because like I said, my agents are not my employees. Right. So they don't wanna be so they do what they want to. They do what they want. Of course my office is open for them if they need anything, but, um, they, they have their own places too. Yeah, yeah. Um, but I do have my assistant de Anita. She's amazing. Um, love her. I mean, I'm like, thank God. Um, I found you. She's been, how long has that been? She's been working with me for one year and a couple of months. Okay. So, yeah, it was hard for me to, uh, I guess let go. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and, and find someone to help. I guess I describe adding that first employee as like, to be able to afford that person. Mm-hmm. Like you're, there's always never quite enough cash flow and, uh, so you gotta pedal the bicycle. Faster than you physically can sustain for a while. And then like jump off and build another seat for somebody else to pedal with you. Exactly, yes. And start being trusting enough to give them things to do that are important. Yes. And it's been a learning cl curve. I mean, uh, because I did this for so long by myself, I gotta say I spoil my clients a little bit. Mm-hmm. Um, and now they're just adjusting to listening to somebody else. Yeah. Um, and she's been amazing, very patient. We very understand like, okay, I know you wanna talk to Valia, but she's not available right now and I'm here to help bitch. Not like that, but, but I'm like, um, yeah. I mean, my clients are, some of them are a little bit harder than others, you know, trying to No, I don't wanna talk to you. You know? Right. Yeah. No, but, and she's been, I mean, fully trained. She knows a lot about. You know, most of our clients when they call us, it's because they need something through customer service, right? And even if they call me or they talk to me, I have to call customer service. I, I don't have a way. And then you spend time on the phone with both kind of thing and stuff. So that's, I'm trying to have her do all that. Um, but some clients are there. No. Yeah, that's fair. But it's a learning, yeah, yeah. Learning experience for sure. Um, I would love to know how, uh, you got into the business. Mm-hmm. Like what was, and we'll jump in the real time machine as well. Yeah. But like, what got you interested in this industry or? Yeah. Well, I'm from Puerto Rico. Mm-hmm. So I did it in Puerto Rico for one year. My mom does Medicare insurance in Puerto Rico. And when I, I, I'm a teen mom too, so I had my son when I was 15 and when my mom helping me and trying to kind of help me, you know, keep moving and, and not get stuck in life because you were a teen mom kind of thing. So she said, well, you need a, a job that you have flexibility and that you have good income, but you don't need to be, you know, nine to five a nine to five in a place because you have a, a baby and you're gonna have, you know, her responsibilities. And she's been doing insurance for like, 30 plus years. So she's like, you should do insurance. And she started, uh, doing Medicare maybe like 10 years ago. Um, and she said, My, the company that I'm working for is hiring Marketing for marketing. So it wasn't really a salesperson, it was more like just to promote the plans and they, she said, you should try and see how you feel about it. So that's how I got into, that was the first spark, the first part where I was just, you know, marketing, promoting outreach. That was what I was doing. And then they. So my potential of the company was like, we need to get your license. Mm-hmm. You, you should, you'll be a good agent. And I'm like, okay. And I got licensed and of course, um, and you're like 17 years old at this point? No, no, no. It was like, no, it was a little bit later. Okay. Yeah, it was later. I was like, maybe twen no. 19. So much different. Yeah. Um, I feel like the, the journey isn't gonna be done justice unless we jump in the time machine to like mm-hmm. Third grade Oh, wow. Or something. And, and coming from Puerto Rico to America mm-hmm. And all of those things. Mm-hmm. Like, there's so many, uh, turns that, oh my gosh. Even in our short coffee. Uh, so let's jump in. Yeah. Uh, were you from the city in Puerto Rico? Uh, San Juan, yes. Yes. Well, next to San Juan Carolina is where I'm from. Okay. So basically the airport's actually in Carolina, but Oh, is that right? They say Welcome to San Juan, but actually Carolina. So there'll be liars with that sign. Yeah. Yeah. I've been to Puerto Rico just once on a cruise actually. So I don't know where the airport is, I guess. Okay. But yeah, it's basically the metro area. Yes. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And that's, uh, a pretty big city, right? Mm-hmm. Is it a million people or something like that in Puerto Rico, right? A few million, yeah, A couple. I think 2.53 million. And then the whole island is maybe five or something. Yeah. Mm-hmm. So it's like half the people live in the city and half scattered around. Yeah. Well, I don't know about really about that. Everything has changed so, so much. Um, but I know the whole island is like less than 5 million, so is that right? Yeah, like four maybe. So Wow. Everybody else is in Florida. Yeah. Fair, right? Some someone to New York years ago, they don't do that anymore. No, not anymore. So, uh, tell me about your childhood. Uh, do you have. Siblings, brothers, sisters. Your mom was in the insurance industry, I know that. Yes. Yeah, so I grew up with a single mom, um, two brothers younger than me. I'm the older sister. Sister, okay. So I was like, mama bear two with them. Um, and yeah, I mean I lived my whole life and I lived in San Juan my first 12 years and then we moved to Carolina Uhhuh, um, when I was in almost high school. So, um, was your mom a single mom the whole time? Yes. Mm-hmm. Yes. Yeah, she was just raising our us um, and, and something I'm very happy and I think that's, Why I'm the way I am is that she was always there for us. And that type of job, having, you know, doing insurance, being, being independent, yeah. It helped with just being able to afford all, all the things we wanted and also support and be there and be present, so, mm-hmm. Still come to school activities and different things like that, everywhere. Mm-hmm. And tell me about, like, what kind of a student were you? Uh, oh my gosh. Very naughty one. That's, that's surprising to me Somehow I wasn't a straight A student at all. Well, how much attention did you pay? Barely. Like, I was like, let me just pass the class I gotta be on. But I was very active in the school even though I wasn't really good like, Doing stuff on time or you know, completing my homework or whatever. Um, I was very active, like doing clubs. I used to dance, so I've been a dancer my whole life and, and I was always like looking for opportunities to do a dance club, teaching other kids how to dance. Yeah. Um, participating, like doing like, um, talent shows and, you know, all those things. Yeah. Yeah. So I was very active in the school and well, and I've been to activities, but downtown San Juan and the clubs and things like that. Oh. Like the ladies there especially can dance. Oh yes. We can dance. I can't do that. We can dance for sure. Yeah. So that was your, your like passionate about Oh yes. That kind of cultural elements more so than the academic elements. Oh yeah. Yep. But I did pass, it was a big school. Was it public school? Public school, yeah. Yeah. Um, yeah, big school. Um, but I was, I mean I had my son when I was in 10th grade. Yeah. So it was. That's part of my life, I don't even remember a lot because I was so busy with going to school and then having a baby and then going to work and then school and then, you know, it was, it passed like flash. It was like all that whole teenage years was just like, wow. It was, it was, uh, tough time. But my mom was there with me. And what your, the, your son's father was not there No. From, right, right from the start. No, no, no. Wasn't there, um, so is that common in Puerto Rico or just you and your mom, like set a trend or, I know. No, it's very common. Unfortunately. It is very common. Um, I don't know. It's. I don't know. It, it's a lot of single moms in Puerto Rico. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Were you surprised, were you hurt and shocked at that time that he didn't wanna be a part of? Um, that or were you I think he did wanna be a part of, I didn't, you didn't want him to be a part of it. Mm-hmm. Yes. And that's maybe the reason why there's so many single moms in Puerto Rico just aren't that many girls, guys we're very strong. Like our character is very strong and if you don't match with what we need or what we want, you can go, you know, we're not scared of being alone. Yeah, that's fair. So that's basically, um, I could appreciate that. Yeah, maybe that's why we're, because we're very, we're not afraid of telling you you need to leave. Yeah. Yeah. So that's, uh, yeah. I can appreciate that very much. Um, so life goes on. Mm-hmm. You, did you just stay in the insurance industry then for quite a while, or, I don't remember what the timeline of your transition to No, what, what I started was after I graduated from high school, I, my first job was, or my actual real job to, to call it that way, um, was in a call center, so selling over the phone. Oh, okay. Um, I started selling DirecTV, um, over the phone and, um, to Puerto Rican customers or to, okay. Puerto Rico. Yeah, all in Spanish. Um, And then I became very good at that and they moved me to do quality control and sales trainings for the staff. Oh, wow, nice. So I did that for like five years before I moved into the insurance part. Oh, wow. Okay. Mm-hmm. I see. Yeah. And then I did insurance, but then I was, I got married during that time and then, um, I did the insurance for like two years and then I moved to Colorado. So I see, I see. So it was in the transition from one industry to the other, but it, it is always been like sales, um, or selling. And you were, at this time, you were still predominantly Spanish speaking? Yeah. Well, yeah. I didn't learn English. No. You didn't take any English lessons as a teenager or as a kid in elementary school or nothing? Well, In Puerto Rico, we have, like here you have Spanish, right? Yeah. In school, um, in Puerto Rico we have English as part of the curriculum. So from kindergarten all the way to high school, you know, like senior year. Yeah. You have to take English class every year. Every single year. Oh wow. So that's why a lot of us, we do understand a lot and we can read it and write it. But not when it comes to speak, it's a little bit harder cause we don't really speak English. Right. And there just aren't that many people to practice on. No, not at all. I mean, there's a lot of like private schools that you do, you can get full bilingual, you know, like everything in English if you want, but my case what's all in Spanish? Yeah. Mm-hmm. Fair enough. Mm-hmm. Um, and so you meet this boy mm-hmm. And get married. Yes. And, uh, and it was, was it his work that sent you, brought you to Colorado? Yes. Is that right? Yes. So after I was very, you know, happy with my new job, Medicare insurance, I got promoted for sales, I got license. Um, I had a good salary in Puerto Rico. Yeah. Um, they, um, he say, um, I have to move. He, it, it, it, it was a time of his life that he needed a, a better job. So his brother used to live here, um, in Colorado, in Boulder area. Mm-hmm. And he moved first and kind of find a job and all that stuff in Loveland. So that's why. Oh, okay. I end up here. Yeah. In Greeley, I guess. Oh. What kind of work did he come for? He used, he used to do, um, customer service as well, but he, so he started doing a job, like customer service. So it was really like just kind of seeking the more opportunity of mm-hmm. Like were you in the better salary on board with that? Were you apprehensive? I honestly, I was so young, right? I mean, I was like 21. Um, so I was like, and I was about to have my second, my second son. Mm-hmm. So it was like, I gotta go and, and I mean, I think in the back of my, I always. Thought about moving to United, to the States. You know, I was always in my mind, I wanna move. Um, never thought it was gonna be Colorado. Never. Yeah. I didn't even know where Colorado was. Right. Yeah. We don't, Colorado, we don't have very many Puerto Ricans. Where is that? Like you said, Alaska. I didn't, I didn't even know. Um, so when I moved, it was a huge transition, but I wasn't scared. I, I was just, let's do it. I, I've been always an adventurer, so I think it was fun. Like, okay, an amazing new place, snow and Mountains, you know? Okay, let's do it. Well, and you know, it's not the same obviously, but the, you know, Hispanic culture and it's kind of the southwest and, you know, I guess Colorado was part of Mexico virtually at one point in time, right? Uhhuh. Right. So there's, uh, yeah, there's a lot of influence. Uhhuh, uh, although Puerto Rico. Is more Spanish. Spanish like, so, so you probably have a different kind of Spanish than Mexican Spanish too, right? Oh, yes, yes. And that's a funny story because I have a lot of Mexican clients, of course. Sure. Most of my clients are Mexican. Um, and, and my mom, um, when she, when I, I'm home in Puerto Rico and I have to answer a phone call, she's like, what are you speaking like a Mexican? Right. And it's because honestly, it's the way that they can understand me. Right? Right. And Puerto Rico, we roll our Rs, uh, we change the R for an L a lot of times we, we use word. It's in a different way. So if I speak the way I speak to my mom, they're not gonna understand anything I'm saying. Yeah. So I have to switch it. Honestly, that's my survival mode. Like I have to switch it so they understand what I'm trying to say. Yeah, for sure. And it has bring me a lot of clients. I mean, there's a lot of clients that would say, oh my gosh, I love how well you speak Spanish. You know? And I'm like, okay. In your mind you're like, well, I'm kind of talking this mutt Spanish from Mexico. I'm just copying your accent, but that's okay. Um, Alma in my office is bilingual and mm-hmm. Last time she went to Mexico, uh, They, they would ask, you know, uh, Spanish, okay. Mm-hmm. And she's like, yeah, yeah. Mm-hmm. And so they start talking Spanish and she's barely keep it up and whatever is, so they like switched to English on her Uhhuh and they're like, it, it can be very different. She was a little embarrassed. She was like, I must be not speaking, using my Spanish enough. You know? Yeah. Yeah. So requires a lot of practice, for sure. Well, and do you switch, like if you're home for a few days, do you like get to your Oh yeah. If you hear me talking to my mom, my brothers just automatically, automatically goes, yeah. Goes back to my standard. Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. So, um, so you pack up the truck. Uh, so he came. First. Mm-hmm. What was your husband's name? Luis. Luis. Mm-hmm. So Luis came first. Mm-hmm. And like found a place to live and got the job settled up and whatever. And you're like, I'm five months now, you know? Yeah. Yeah. So, so I guess that makes your, your second child then, uh, a US citizen. Cause we're born here. Yeah. Well we are in Puerto Rico. Doesn't matter. Oh, duh. So sorry. Yeah. No, he was born in Puerto Rico actually. And we moved after that. Right after. Yeah. So, but I gotta say the culture is very different. So he's more American than my younger. Right. He hasn't, than my oldest experience to Puerto Rico at all. I mean, he lost Puerto Rico. He, he says I'm Puerto Rican. Um, But the way of, you know, seeing him grow now he's nine. I'm like, dude, you are not like, you can't even, you don't talk back to me. You don't need space. You know, I'm Puerto Rican, I'm your mom. You, you do what I say. I don't care. But he is more like, I mean, he is grown with Americans and, you know, the, the, his friends from school and yeah. So he's just learning that way of parenting, I guess. And I'm like, not in this household, in this walls. No, this is Puerto Rico. This is a little, yeah, we spank you right here. So, um, tell me what you thought when you got here. Like, you obviously got a fresh baby. Were you able to be like a stay-at-home mom for a while or you have to go back to work? Yeah, I hated it, but yes. Um, so I, I moved, um, with a almost one year old son. Um, to Greeley. So it was a huge change, um, from straight from the island Paradise to Greeley, Colorado. Right, right. Um, so it took a lot of adjustment for me. Uh, I was wearing a coat even with 70 degrees and I was like super cold all the time. Um, and also, um, you know, staying home. But I've been, again, I've been always. Like very adventure. I love to meet people and, and you know, go places. So, um, I just started doing every single touristic thing you could do in Colorado, so that helped, you know, kind of fall in love with the area. Yeah. And with the state, it's pretty amazing. Like you can go someplace new every weekend Oh yes. For the rest of your life. Yes, of course. I mean, we weren't very good financially, so it was kind of like, but I found this, I remember I found this website that it was like free in Colorado or something like that, and that's where I was going every week. They had like different places that you could go for free. Right. And that's how we went to a bunch of, like museums and events and festivals and, you know, concerts. Yeah. And gas was affordable back then. Uhhuh when was this by the way? 2014. Okay. Yeah. Mm-hmm. And, uh, how long before you got the itch to get back into the work world or, well, yeah, I, how was that? I stay home like not even six months. I think. Um, when I saw the cost of child. Care. Right. Oh my gosh. I was like, it's better. It. Cheaper to just fly back to Puerto Rico and drop them off just about dang it. But, um, um, so, but again, I was bored home all day and I needed to learn English, so I was like, I need to get out. And, and also I needed to support the family too. So, um, I found a job, my first very first job was clean offices. Mm-hmm. Um, so I started cleaning offices and then I kind of off hours. So your husband could be home from work? Exactly. Okay. I'll see you in four hours, six hours. Yeah. So it was during the night, but I only last there like three months or so because I was like, I'm all surrounded with Spanish speaking, you know, employees or other Yeah. Um, so I was like, I'm never gonna learn, get around English. Yeah. I'm never gonna learn English. Um, and then because of my experience working for call centers, I found a job and a call center, um, in Greeley and, um, It was, uh, they needed Spanish speakers, they needed English speakers. They needed, they needed Spanish Okay. Speakers. And when I did the in interview, I don't even know how I, I don't even know how they understood me, but they are, you're hire. Okay. It was, oh my gosh. It was a, a hard time in my life because, Think about it. I didn't, I we only had one car. And the training for the position, even though the position was gonna be in the night, the training was during the day, of course. And it was a whole month of a training. Oh. And I had to do public transportation from my house to the daycare to, because I, I paid for daycare for one month. I remember it was like $1,200 for that whole month. And then what's the sign of your first paycheck? Yep. And then I did, I had to drive or take the bus to the daycare and then another bus to the training every single day in the morning to make it on time. Mm. And then you got like 12 hour days to get in. Oh, my eight hours of training. Yes. And then look at this, after I finished the whole month of training, they said to me, and the training was in English, but I, and I mean, I was, I could understand everything. I passed, everything was good, but I wasn't really speaking. Right. Yeah. Um, because a lot of the training, the testing is in written English. It's isn't exactly. So it was easier for me. Oh yeah. Um, And then they said right that same day. Okay, thank you. You're, you're all trained, you're good to go. But we gotta say, we don't have the Spanish queue anymore. So the line for Spanish speaking, um, agents, we don't need it anymore. If you wanna continue in this position, you can, but you have to go sign up on the English team. English team. Oh my gosh. I was, no, I'm not gonna do this. I'm guessing you weren't quite as capable with your English at the time. Not at all. I mean, no. And oh my gosh, I remember that trainer. She's very important part of my life because she was the one that really pushed me. Um, she was like, you got this, you did the training, you're good. You're gonna be fine. Just listen to everybody and you'll be fine. I'm like, I can't understand them really. I know I was more about, but you could understand a little better than you, you could speak, but speak. And then, um, and I remember I was like already paid for the daycare. Like I'm already like, I already did the whole month of transportation, of doing all the sacrifice to be here and have a job. And I was like, okay, let's just try and God bless those first couple of clients because Right. No, and it was technical support. So imagine trying to help someone fixing their wifi or, you know, technical support with their internet and not even being able to speak the right way. Oh my gosh. It was So were you like, outside of the training, were you technically savvy and stuff so you at least had a good understanding of the topic and stuff like that? Yes. Cause you're a millennial basically, right? Or Yeah. Yeah. So it wasn't hard that, that. The technical part, it was easy for me. Right. And also because I work in the call center in quality control, I knew a lot how like, you know, phone edits and how to speak and all that. It was just translating everything and trying to communicate the right way. Yeah. Translate it to Spanish from English, quickly figure out then, then thinking Spanish and, and then translate it to English and then talk soon enough Exactly. To have them not get too bored. Exactly. So I mean, some clients weren't very happy, but I guess I, I guess I, I learned a lot by listening, so it was just more cuing everybody. I was just gonna ask that cuz there's people around you in cubicles and stuff, so I was just cupping whatever they were saying. I was just trying to repeat that and, you know, And just put him on my own way. And it was hard the first, I guess, couple of months, it was just like, okay, um, I don't know what I'm doing. No, I don't know if I'm saying it right and, you know, um, but I had next to me, this guy, he was Mexican, so he could really kind of help me if I couldn't understand something. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. He was kind of helping me translating sometimes, and then of course everybody in the, it was so nice. And I, that's something I gotta say, if you wanna learn a language, put yourself in a situation that nobody else. Speaks your language. Yeah. Like total immersion. Yeah. Because your brain is gonna switch automatically. It's a like survival thing. You have to speak. You have to speak, you know, you, you're gonna have to go. Um, so that helped me. And then, and I know, I mean, I know Puerto Ricans, we are so afraid sometimes to speak because we're like, oh, I never speak English. But we understand everything. But we're like, oh. And it's more of that fear and not really, like, you don't know it, it's just being scared. But with your helpful, you know, you're servant hearted kind of wiring and there's somebody that needs help. So it's like, well, it's my job to help them. Yes. Yes. So it was good. And, and I gotta say, I was blessed with all the people around me helping me and, you know, supporting me. Nobody really, maybe they did it, but I never noticed, um, criticized me or, you know. Yeah. Or made fun of me because of my. Accent or nothing like that. Is that part of the cholera culture, you think? That kind of general helpfulness nature? I guess so. Yeah. I guess so. Is it more so than, than Puerto Rico? I, I don't, I don't know about port, like Yeah. At least like Costa Rica when I've been over there and stuff, they're like very, uh, cous and things, especially for ladies, you know? Yeah. A door never has to get opened by herself a lot of times. Mm-hmm. I don't know. Is Puerto Rico that way too? Yes. We're very, um, I gotta say when I, it, it's very into like image. Like how do you look, how do you speak, how do you do things Like yeah. We can be very hard, hard on ourselves. Kinda judgey, judgey each other or yourselves. Yes. Yes, for sure. Mm-hmm. Colorado's a little more easygoing, like, oh, for sure. Yes. Yeah, it's, well, even just going to Denver, it's funny, like uhhuh the business, like I'm pretty dressed up for a business person in northern Colorado, but in Denver. Where's your tie on that? Or you know, some of the cities out east and stuff like that. Yes. Yeah. I mean, in Puerto Rico, don't, don't you there to go on Fifth Flos anywhere but the beach fair, nowhere else. Oh, you know, or PJ's to Walmart. No, you're gonna be in YouTube and Facebook like, no, don't never do that. Early in my banking career, I got scolded for having a short sleeved shirt on, like, oh, get those hairy appendages out of this office. And I was like, What's hot today, man. But that's changed quite a bit. Yeah. And baking was one of the last ones come along. So yeah. I gotta say, oh, I've been blessed. I mean, good people, good experiences, um, even with me not knowing what to say, but yeah. So I'm guessing by three or six months in mm-hmm. You're feeling a lot more comfortable in the role probably getting promoted or becoming a trainer. Not, not that, that, but, um, very comfortable. Made a lot of friends. Um, and then I, I started doing the Medicare business because I already had a license. Oh. So I was like, okay, it's time to, I'm already used to the community. Yeah. I know where I'm going and now I feel comfortable speaking. Yeah. And, and, you know, and, and taking training. Well, the call center is the, you know, that you're only gonna get up to so high and then come around there. Mm-hmm. So I. Started doing or transfer my license from Puerto Rico to Colorado and, and then started building the business here. Um, while you kept the other job or did you just, okay. Yes, so I did. Full-time. So I did the mornings with my baby. You know, I found this very good friend. She's still my friend, but, um, she was like a grandma to my son. Oh. And, and she helped me with him for a couple of hours and every other day in the week. And I used that time. That's when you would use that to to, yeah, to outreach, do events and start training. Wow. All that stuff. And then during the night, during the call center. So I did that like for one year and a half, um, you know, both bus building the business and working in the nights. Yeah. Yeah. For call center. Mm-hmm. How was that? A lot. Yeah. But it was fun. I mean, did your kids accept that love to work much departure from mom and stuff? Yes. Cause they got. The Puerto Rican attitude too, and they're like, eh, yeah, I gotta do it. Um, so it was fun. I mean, because it was my own business. I gotta say. I did have the flexibility of being a sports and, you know, taking them places and doing things. Yeah. It wasn't really like another job, you know, full-time job. Um, so I had to do a step by step, but because I'm coming from Puerto Rico where we do Medicare insurance over there, so different than in Colorado. Mm-hmm. We're more like aggressive and more like we sell, we love to sell. We have this, you know, it's almost like a street carnival kind of thing. I know. So I apply a bunch of those strategies in Colorado, um, when I started. So what they said, I remember my manager, he said, you should be good like in three, four years you should be, you know, have good book of business. And I did it in one year. Yeah. Because not only I had all those strategies and experience from Puerto Rico with, with very hard customers and, you know, very, um, strong will client saying no. And you know, and then I came here and applied all that. And also being the only person doing it in Spanish, oh my gosh. It was peaches and cream. It was like, this is so easy. You were like almost immediately making twice as much as a call center. Yes. Once you built that book. Mm-hmm. Yep. So I did that for a year and then I said bye-bye to the call center and yeah. And move it to, um, To start the business with my, my renewals were at the time only, like less than a thousand dollars a month. Oh, the, from the Medicare business? Yeah. Yeah. So you gotta keep finding new customers. Oh yeah, because my first year I only made like 24, maybe 30 clients in a whole year. Mm-hmm. Um, because of the, I, most of the time what I did were events and trying to Well, plus you had three hours twice a week versus Exactly. So it wasn't very long. And so I got the big check in the first of the year and then the renewals of the active clients and then it was it, and I was like, I gotta do it because if I continue on the, on the part-time job in the nights, it's not gonna help me grow the business. Yeah. So I. Took the, comes a time where you've gotta jump out of the airplane Yeah. And trust the parachute this work and, and I think it's my whole life. If I have motivation that I need to do it or will die, I will do it. You know, it may, it keeps me on top of things. Yeah. Yeah. My, uh, my friend Mike, when I was in my entrepreneurial journey one time mm-hmm. Said, and it's all right, bear, I, I know you're broke and kind of depressed right now, but I didn't really get super motivated until I was super desperate either. Yep. Yeah, exactly. You need that like survival mode and you'll do it. Yeah. It's easy to make phone calls when, uh, the fridge is getting empty. Mm-hmm. You know? Mm-hmm. Or whatever. Mm-hmm. Yep. And you need a car payment to do and bills to pay. Yeah. Yeah. Find clients mean cost of living. Uh, even from that time that you first got here, Uhhuh, it was going up and up and, you know, was, has continued to still. Yes. Yes. Mm-hmm. So, um, On the business front, I guess it was kind of business as usual for mm-hmm. A while. Just you slowly growing as a solopreneur. Yep. Um, until such points that you hired your, your first assistant here. Yes. So I did the, uh, all by myself for, um, four years. Yeah. Probably, yeah. Around that. And then I was like, okay, I need someone to answer my phone because it's ringing all the time. Um, and that's how she started. Yeah. Um, and now she's. Part of the, you know, very important part of the business. Does she work at all for your agency, your contractors? No. Um, a little bit more like support, like if they have a question or something, or where to find this or that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. She helps them. Um, so, but really, you're still kind of the big horse as far as making you know, the most customers and Yeah. And finding opportunities for them and giving them sales opportunities or events. Right. Or if you, you got somebody in Colorado Springs, you're like, yeah. Referring to, Hey, let's plan. Mm-hmm. A few events, here's some connections, or at least go call the senior center, see if you can do a thing down there. Yeah. Or, yeah. I don't know if, do they have, I guess I'm imagining that most mm-hmm. Towns have, uh, like here in Fort Collins, we have the Oz Lawn Center. Mm-hmm. Are you familiar with that? And, um, it's like a rec center kind of thing, Uhhuh, but it's, it's at least in part kind of a Hispanic league, cultural uhhuh center of sorts, you know, or tries to be in it's city sponsored and Okay. I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't similar kinds of things. Yeah. There is a couple in gr well there's one in Greeley actually. Yeah. And there's one I think in every city they have won. But I gotta say honestly, most of the Hispanic Latinos that go to those places, they also speak English. Oh, right. Yeah. So, um, we have seen, we are doing a lot of investigation. We've seen the most of the Spanish speaking only, you know, seniors, they are either living with, with family mm-hmm. Or maybe, um, you know, they just don't go, they go maybe the, a grocery store that is like Mexican, Mexican or Latino, um, grocery store. Yeah. They don't really participate in, in senior centers or nothing like that. Yeah. That's something that, uh, you know, Alma being on the team here mm-hmm. I've kind of grown an awareness even for the. Uh, Spanish speaking business. Uhhuh owners. Yeah. Like they don't, we don't even know what networking is, right. Honestly. Yeah, they don't. When I really engaged, you know, when I moved here, they said, oh, you wanna go networking? I'm like, what is that? And what do you eat it with? Right, right. Oh my gosh. I was like, networking. I don't even know. I didn't even know what that was. Yeah. Honestly. Um, I don't think it's part of, it's, we don't even have anything like that in Puerto Rico. There's no networking groups, you know, as far as you've ever seen any No. BNIs or things like that, whatever. No, not at all. And it's same. We have tried, I've been a couple of different networking groups and yes. I mean, now it's a little bit more popular, I guess, but, and, but I, we've seen that a lot of, like Spanish speaking, business owners don't even participate. Yeah. No. Uhhuh they don't know about it or they don't want to. I think it's just a matter of education. Like what is it about how much do I have to pay? You know, like some of them just, it's uh, something that we don't know. Yeah. I was just thinking to myself, cuz we were talking, Alma and I were talking about the same thing. She came to a tabletop networking. I don't know if you've ever been to one of those. Oh, never. But I heard her. But yeah, she was like, you know, I'm, I'm the only brown-skinned person here. Mm-hmm. Again, you know, and like there should be more uhhuh, you know, the, the, whether it's the taco trailer or whatever, you know, Uhhuh, there's a lot of Spanish business people that people Oh yes. Auto shops and things like that. And very successful one. Oh yeah. And, but I don't know, we just do our thing and Yeah. Well we're trying to figure out ways that we can open that door. I was just thinking to myself, we should have almost should do some Spanish language Facebook posts and things like that even. And just to say yes. Hey, you know, we'd love to invite Spanish business people in and mm-hmm. Because most of them at least have a passable English, even if they're not comfortable. Right. Yeah. And I guess it's more about you need to find that leader that brings them in. Yeah. Um, because that's how the way we are. Yeah. We, if you trust you and you invite me, I'll go. Yeah. But you just by seeing something on Facebook or email, uh, I'm not even gonna read it. Yeah. So, yeah, it is a challenge, but yes, I'm on it anyway. Or at least attentive to it, but too. Me too. It's important. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and you're, I mean, you've been doing some of the networking things mm-hmm. And stuff, and I think that, um, how did you hit the attention of the 40 under 40 crew? Uh, did one of the team or don't know? Don't know. Um, I mean, most of my best, my, my thank God, because I've been doing so many networking and a lot of education and I train a lot. Like, I, I don't even know, I don't even care if your team doesn't, is not seniors. But if you wanna learn about Medicare, I'll, I'll do a training, you know? Yeah. It's because I think the more people that knows about it, the better we can serve the community. Sure. So I do a lot of training and I do a lot of events. I do a lot of education, and because of that, I become very popular in my community with other businesses. Yeah. You know? Yeah. Thank God I, um, if you, a lot of people, if you ask 'em about Medicare, they're gonna refer you to me, like Yeah, yeah. I have a lot of partners referring to me all the time. So most of our clients are referral based. Yeah. 95% are 90, um, referrals. Um, so because of that, I get nominated by things like, you know, you know anyone that's doing a great job and, and they nominate me. And I'm like, oh, okay. I mean, I didn't even know about it honestly. I was like, never heard of that thing before. Never heard of it. I got an email saying, you've been nominated and this is what you need to do, and sent us this and that. And I'm like, oh, cool. Okay. Why not? Yeah, Uhhuh. And that same day, a friend of mine test, um, sent me a Facebook messenger. Hey, you did you, congratulations you got nominated. I'm like, what? I didn't even know. That's cool. And she's like, yeah, you're there. I'm like, oh, okay. So she explained to me how it works, what it was, all the things. And, and I'm like, okay, well thank you. So, yeah, it's been like that. Are you, um, like a connector type too? Do you like, cuz you getting to know all these different business people mm-hmm. From different. Areas. Do you like make a lot of introductions and things like that as well? Yes, yes. Yes. I thought you might. I do all the, all the time. And, and also for my clients, I mean, we, part of our mission is not only help you with your Medicare, but we wanna help you with your retirement and entirely. Mm-hmm. So if you need something by o we have relationships with a bunch of other, um, organizations and companies Yeah. Yeah. To refer them if they need something, uh, you know, out of our scope. Yeah. Um, of the health insurance. So right now, but you also do life insurance as well. Mm-hmm. Is that right? Yes. And do you do all sorts of life insurance? You can do term, you can do whole life, can do whatever. I can do 'em all. I honestly am not an expert on that. So what I mostly do is final expense. So it's more for like retired people. Mm-hmm. They need something for final expense. Um, if they got need more complicated kind of situation, then yeah. But if there's someone like me younger, they need something very fancy and cash value and all these things, I do have a partner that I refer to. Gotcha. Because I'm, that's not my expertise, so I'm. Just do the basic whole life. That's what you get when you die. That's it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Easy stuff. Fair enough. Fair enough. Um, mm-hmm. And oh, I had a question on the tip of my tongue, and then I just lost it. It slipped out. Oh. Um, I guess tell me about the, the Greeley business community. I've gone over there networking a little bit, and I've got, uh, maybe Loco's got six or seven mm-hmm. Eight, 10 maybe members from Greeley, but mm-hmm. I don't really know to navigate it. Is it a pretty welcoming community, uh, for new business people in general? Is it, you know, sometimes it's kind of an old money agrarian town. Sometimes they look suspiciously at newcomers. Um, I don't know. Uh, let me think. I guess the best way to like the Chamber of Commerce is where you see mostly. Yeah. Is that one of your main engagements? Yeah. Um, the, the businesses, um, I think we're not as friendly as for Collins, maybe. Yeah. I gotta say we always, I mean, we're welcoming, but it's like every time I go it's the same people. I don't see a lot of new Yeah. People. Um, but I am, I'm so busy. I gotta say I'm not always ev and Sure. You know, all the time. So it could be, it could be different, but yeah, mostly the same businesses are, you know, participating in everything. Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Is it. Alright. Are at, at the, in the Greeley Chamber and things like that. Mm-hmm. Are you one of the few like native Spanish speakers that really participates actively or are there quite a few? There is a couple. You know, we're not, not the minority. Right. But yeah, there is a couple of other Spanish speaking, um, very, I I mean, I know a few that are very into like, politics and, and yeah. You know, very into the, they are part of the board for the memberships and all that stuff. Um, but I just don't participate a lot because I'm so busy. Yeah. I think that's what happens when you have a business and you're the only one doing it in Spanish, like Right. And I think that's mostly of our, like Latino business owners, Mo prob probably they're the only ones working with the Latino community. Mm-hmm. So we stay so busy with our clients that it's sometimes hard to, okay, now, uh, let me get another hour or two. Underserved in some ways. Oh yes. Probably even like two underserved dentists or. Chiropractors Yes. Or whatever. Yeah. Every, every type of business. Yeah. I think, um, it's underserved. Yeah. Well, for your Spanish speakers out there, uh, go get your chiropractor's license or whatever and start something. I know. Start a business. We need you. Yeah. No. Then there's so many. Somebody said today that, uh, approximately half of the businesses in the, in the US are owned by somebody over 60. Wow. Right. Wow. And so, um, we're going to need to create a whole bunch more mm-hmm. Business operators or, you know, private equity might buy up all these little businesses or something, I guess. But Yeah, they're better in the hands of a few people, you know. Oh, for sure. Smallers. So store saving. Yeah. Right. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, what else would you have people know about the business part of your, of your journey? Um, any, any future aspirations? Uh, do you wanna expand your scope of services, expand your team? That's basically my, uh, my main goal. Um, We, my, my vision, right? My, my goal is to open different little stores like the one I have in downtown Greeley. Yeah. Um, eventually just open one and, you know, like one in, maybe in, in the Loveland area for Collins, and then another one more like Boulder, Lafayette Lama, you know? Mm-hmm. Like have different places because we've seen such a need of in-person services for Medicare. Right. Um, and Medicare honestly is something you can do online. You can do a calling one 800 number and enroll. You don't need to do it in person, but it's so confusing that when you can Well, the price the same probably anyway. It's the same. Yeah. Doesn't cost anything extra to have us help you. Um, but we've seen so many people getting bombarded with a bunch of marketing stuff when they're about to turn 65. Mm-hmm. And it's so confusing and so many people enroll on the wrong plan and they don't know it. And then, you know, it's, um, I think that's my main, I feel such a, when I did it in Puerto Rico, I loved it, but it wasn't, I wasn't really needed. You weren't changing the world. No. Somebody else was gonna sell those people, that policy. There's me another 300 doing this. Right. Um, but when I came here, I've become such a passion for me because I'm like, oh my gosh, this people doesn't know anything about it. They're missing it. Yeah. They're missing a lot. And then seeing the Hispanic, Latino clients working their lives here, you know, working every, yeah. They qualify every single, you know, since they move here, they've been working, um, very hard. A lot of them. And they, they never apply because they think it's something that's is gonna be wrong or, you know, and then they get penalized and, and it's so sad. I'm, I'm like, no, we need to change this. So that's my why, or the reason why I wanna create more like me in different places. Yeah. So would you potentially like. Rent a location or buy a little location or whatever. Mm-hmm. And then like almost have like desk rent that would cover it. Exactly, exactly. With your subcontractors kind of thing. Yeah. Something like that. Or eventually just hiring agents that work for me. Mm-hmm. Instead of being independent. Yeah. Just hiring people to work and for my own book. Um, yeah. Yeah. And serve more clients. So, so more like internal agents with me. Mm-hmm. And then you could just kind of ultimately be a, you know, trainer. The trainer, rainmaker. Mm-hmm. Cheerleader. Yep. And then let them do the hard work. What would you do? Like if you all of a sudden only had a 20 hour a week obligatory role, like how would you spend that extra time? Ah, I dancing or traveling? Love to travel. Yeah. Um, but. Yeah. I guess, you know, being in activities and meeting people like always, and participating and cultural stuff, I love. Do you imagine, uh, giving back to the community in some way, maybe serving on a nonprofit board or mm-hmm. You know, trying to Yep. Change the way things are. Yep. Probably being more active in the Chamber of commerce and things like that, and Sure. And the community engagement and helping out, I mean, right now I'm part of the advisory board for Area Agency on Aging, so I, oh, I help them with that. View as a Latino, right? Sure. Aging in the state, um, and giving my, my, my, or being a voice for the Latino community. Yeah. I'm the only, well, and plus you're an aggregator of voices because you've got mm-hmm. Hundreds and hundreds of clients. 60, 70 something clients. Yeah. So I, and I love to do that, but there is so much need, a lot of need. Like, I, I'm not enough at all. So it's like, my gosh, we need a lot more voices here. Well, I would challenge you to, uh, you know, don't be shy, like mm-hmm. Look for those, even though employees are scarier than contractors, kind of ultimately to deliver the service and product that you really wanna make sure you have that quality and stuff. That's what it's gonna take. Yes. And. You're gonna have a lot of impact that way. Yes. Like your, the, the, your, your powers through a lot of other people's hands and voices and mm-hmm. Support. It'll be, it's a cool thing. That's a good idea. I'm excited about it, for sure. Yeah. So, um, do you wanna take a quick octo before we go to the closing segments? Yeah, let's do that. Okay. Mm-hmm. Alright. And we're back. So, um, as you know, cuz you've listened to a few episodes or a few mm-hmm. Of several. Do you have any favorites that you've. That you've listened to of the local experience? I haven't listened to. Oh, you haven't listened? Oh, you just read it. Need to start. Yeah. This is all new for me. Yeah. Noir. I think you're gonna be about number 111 Oh wow. Of these that I've done over the, the last couple years. Awesome. Yeah. So anyway, but I've been to part of like, Local, what, three months now, I suppose. Yeah. Yeah. So it's been a, but it's been a lot. I love it. Useful. Oh yes. Good, good. Yeah, I, I think let the record show that I invited you on the podcast before Uhhuh selling you very hard on the local membership even. I just thought your story was amazing, so, oh, thank you. Yeah, I know. So, as you know, um, faith, family, politics mm-hmm. Is our kind of our closing segments. Mm-hmm. And so, uh, we've talked a little bit about your family along the way, but do you want to start there or you would rather start somewhere else? I mean, yeah. I mean, um, after all that story of my moving and all that, um, fortunately have to go through a divorce, so it was a hard time for me because it was right before Covid. Oh, is that right? So, of course I wasn't expecting it was already in process or whatever. Yeah. And so, um, January I got divorced and then boom, March covid. Well, um, so I wasn't expecting that. Um, it was a really, really, Hard turn in my life. Yeah, yeah. Especially with the kids and adjusting to everything. Plus now no school and yeah. Oh my gosh. Um, so it's been a couple of rough years, um, after that. Um, but financially, emotionally, all of the above. Mostly emotionally, I gotta say financially, thank God we were okay. My business was running as. Normal. Yeah. It was growing and it was growing. Even with the pandemic, we did everything virtually and we manage it. Um, so it was good, but emotionally it was yeah, a really hard, hard part of my life because, well, and, and the kids, you know why divorces cost so much? Oh, yes. Mm-hmm. Do you know why? Why? Because it's worth it. That's an old joke, but Yes. You know, as somebody said, um, a while back, you know mm-hmm. No good marriages ended divorce. That's true. Unfortunately, that's true. So I've got a lot of grace. Is there? Mm-hmm. Uh, Luis was your Yes. Was your husband and mm-hmm. Is he still around? Is he part of the kids' life? Yes. Yes. He's still around, of course. Um, I gotta say, it's hard when you think you know someone and then you go through a divorce and everything changes. Like it's a totally different person. And, and that was really hard on me because I thought I was gonna be, even though. Divorced, but we can, I was still gonna count with the friends, support co-parents, with the kids, whatever, and all that. And it's been such a hard, um, struggle. Um, and, and I understand maybe, you know, some trust issues and, and, and I guess his way of maybe coping with things, I don't know. Um, but it's been hard because I, I'm. Pain completely like by myself with the kids and Wow. And even though he does take care of, um, our younger son, um, you know, and we did this one week on, one week off. Um, honestly, when we did all that, I was doing in a good faith of we're gonna work together, it's fine. Let's just do the paperwork for the divorce and, and let's just run with it, but we're gonna work together as a team. And then after the divorce happened, it was like none of that. Mm. So now, um, my son, it was, it's been hard for him. The one week on, one week off, it's been very hard. Um, the, I mean, we're finally in a better place, but the first couple of years, and I know Covid had to do with it and a bunch of Sure, um, changes, but it was really hard for him to move from one home to another, you know? How old is he now? You're younger? He's nine. Nine? Mm-hmm. So you're older is a teenager right now? He's 15. 15, yes. So, yes. So, um, I always do a, uh, one word description of the kids. Uh, so if you can imagine, oh, God. Uh, can you give your two sons names also as well as, uh, yes. Um, one word description. Justin Adventure, like his mama. Oh my gosh. I'm gonna pay them all with, and, um, Isaiahs, um, Isai? Yes, Isai ez. That's how you would say it in Spanish. Spanish, um, it's, uh, one word for him. Leader. I mean, he is, that's impressive. Super. Like, and he's the 15 year old? No, he's, no, he's the nine year old. The nine year old. Wow. Okay. Super. Like he knows what, he knows how to use his words and he really knows how to, you know, I see him running my business. Really? That's awesome. Justin is more like, Fun. And I mean, I guess it's part of the, he's a teenager, right. But, um Right, right. But he said, I get scolded for being a little too whimsical sometimes. It's like, this is serious business. You can't be cracking jokes and stuff all the time. You know, it's like, well, yeah. And life is for, you know, engaging in mm-hmm. And finding humor in Yes, for sure. But I mean, I'd love, I'm blessed with my boys, even though being such a young mom and having to do all this and now being, you know, all by myself. Um, my boys are my world and, and they are so like, good. I mean, yes, they do one thing or another. I mean, they're still kids or teenagers. They're gonna sometimes do we dumb? Well, they're and they're boys. Exactly. That means they will do dumb things. Yeah. Um, but I gotta said, they're very good boys. They are very respectful, very, um, very. They're very, um, when they speak with people that you can see how they are very secure and they are very comfortable. Yeah. Self-assured, kind of. Yep. Very comfortable. And they meet with my clients. They come into my office, they come, come with me to events. Oh, that's so cool. So I make them part of it a lot. And sometimes they're like, mom, can we stop? We don't wanna do this. I did not wanna go to the chamber. I don't wanna be in this meeting. But Well, they getting about that age now you've got a home and stuff, so. Oh, yes. You know, I'm so excited. Mm-hmm. Ah, congratulations. Um, do they get a chance to see their grandparents? Some, and Yes. Are your folks still around and Yeah. I do take them to do Puerto Rico every year. So we go visit during the summer. Yeah. Usually we spend like a whole month in Puerto Rico. Oh, nice. Um, with my mom, sometimes if I have to leave, they stay with my mom and Okay. Then she brings them or pick them up, whatever it is. Now they're older enough to travel by themselves, but in the past, so that's my main thing. I always, that's like no negotiable. We need to go see the family. Yeah, yeah. And, you know, be with your culture and your people. So I really enjoyed, uh, we were there for almost maybe only three or four days. Mm-hmm. But we went up into the mountains, which is what mm-hmm. Most a lot of the people do, you know, and go have barbecues and dances and stuff like that. And it was really, So much different than the culture of the city. Oh yeah. Uh, and just all the sounds and stuff like that. And then you go to the country and it's like more like villages that you imagine, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, for sure. I mean, the city is like, every city. Everybody's busy, everybody's working, everybody's, you know, mad because there's a lot of traffic. Right, right. But I gotta say, I mean, I love my culture. Um, we're so happy we celebrate everything. I dunno if you saw the baseball games were happening. Um, it ended, ended yesterday actually, but, um, Puerto Rico was part of the semi-finals. Oh. And, and we lost to, to Mexico. Um, but we were celebrating. It doesn't matter, right. We're celebrating even though we lost. Um, so it's, that's the part of we, uh, the way we are. We love to celebrate. We make a party for everything. Doesn't I Love it. Doesn't matter. I love it. Um, what, uh, like what do you imagine for, you know, in. 10 short years. Uh. Mm-hmm. One of the benefits of being a teen mom is then when you're not even 40, you're gonna be like, I know I'm not gonna have a, we're gonna have, I'm gonna be an empt nest. Right. Right. At 35. Um, I don't know. I honestly see myself retiring, honestly. Yeah. Um, I, I don't, I love what I do. I love to wars. I don't think I'm gonna be just, you know, without working. But I know that if I go, if I keep going the way we're going, I'll be fully able to just say, you run the business. Let me know if anything, you know, and Yeah. Yeah. And just go travel and, and I mean, hopefully have another relationship that I can enjoy retirement. You're a single lady now? Yes. Yeah. On the market, yes. Okay. For you. Lucky you guys out there. Better if you're bilingual, but not necessary, but yeah. Um, so I don't know. Let's just see. But I see for sure myself just enjoying what, what I didn't enjoy when I was a teen. Right, right. Well, it sounds like you still found places to shake your booty and stuff like that. Oh, I love it. Yes. Fair. Yes. That's, that's my therapist. That's your therapy instead, instead of going to a therapist, I go dance. Yeah. And I'm fine. Next day. Our last, uh, so before the Brazilian exchange didn't, we had a young boy from our 17 year old young man from Italy, Uhhuh, and that was his thing, was clubs and dancing and Yeah. Toward the end of his stay with us, we went to Mexico and I took him down to the clubs in Cancun to Oh. And uh, wow. I was like, he's like, you just gotta not think, just let your body move. You know? I'm like, oh, feel it. Feel it. I'm too old to, to that people will make flooded me. Oh yeah. Anyway, I gotta say, um, I did find, I found a, a group of dancing community here in Fort Collins. Oh, actually, cool. Where we meet every week for like dance, um, salsa and so I was gonna say like Salsa, Latin and stuff. Dance lessons and then we do social dancing. Um, and it's once a week, um, for a couple of hours. And that was, that's been a very important part of my life. Hmm. And it has helped me a lot with managing all the emotional stuff that I was going through and the divorce and Yeah. And all the situations that I've been going through. Um, Because it's my, like, where I can really relax Yeah. And not think about anything else. Yeah. But dancing so well and just, you know, after many years of marriage mm-hmm. And having children and stuff and then mm-hmm. You know, like losing so much social contact Oh, yes. Uh, all, all of a sudden. Right. At that same time. Yes. So I have to think that, that like, feels wonderful if, you know, have somebody's arms touching mine as we dance. I know, right? I know. Yes, for sure. For sure. And it's very respectful community. Um, even though you're dancing and all that, everybody's super respectful. A lot of married couples go and everybody dances where everybody, so it's not really So where's that at? You wanna plug a plug in it? Is it, uh, you have to register to attend or no? No, no. It's at Scrums. Oh, really? Yeah. Yeah. I think it's cider. Yeah. Yeah. That, um, every Thursday. Okay. Thursday nights at Scrums. Yeah. Latin. They do Latin dance lessons. Do they do lessons for rookies too? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. And it is, um, when Jill hears this, she's gonna pro drag me down there, beginner. It doesn't matter. You can learn, um, no, no matter your level. Fair enough. I love it. I love it. Yep. It's very fun. Yeah. Um, anything in the family department that we should talk more about? In the family? Yeah. I mean, buying a house. Yeah, that's great news. Great news. Um, finally, I mean, brand new house or, uh, no, what, uh, not is that new, what do you call it? Resale or whatever. Yeah. Yeah. But it's amazing. Um, I honestly been trying to buy a house for so long. I did it when I was married. We couldn't, and then now as a single, you know, just me buying a house and being a 10 99, you know, type of income, you know how that goes, where they do average of your income and then you don't qualify for enough. So it's been always that interest rates go up. Exactly. It's always been that fight of. Finally, do I have more income? No, now houses are more expensive and you know, but this year I was like, it's time I gotta do it. And I finally find the right people, the right team, and I'm under contract, so. Well, here's a just bump, boom. I know. Um, uh, so I'm super excited. I took the voice actually yesterday too. Go see the house. Oh yeah. Because this house, I wasn't really expecting them to accept my offer. Um, it was, it's a beautiful home. Um, so it's nicer than you thought you were gonna be able to get. Kind of, yeah. And, and, and the boys loved it. They were like, picking rooms already fighting. Who's gonna be here or there, you know? Um, and then I'll have enough space to have family come over and stay with me if they want to from Puerto Rico. So, yeah. That's great. I know my mom's gonna be the first one Yeah. To kind of move in with me for a couple of months. She, yeah. Or, or is she still have a career going? No, she's, I mean she does insurance, but like me independently. Yeah. So she's not really an employee or nothing. She can travel as Sure. More as she wants. Well, and you can, uh, do, uh, mother-daughter road trips, so the future. Yeah, I know. She's gonna be the first one. So I suppose, uh, is there, like, because you're Puerto Rico, which is kind of part of the us there is really no. Immigration or any obligation for that or anything like that? No, nothing at all. Um, I gotta say that was a very learning curve for me because working with the Mexican or, you know, Hispanic community, um, I wasn't really, I didn't know anything about, you were familiar with green cards and visas? Nothing like that? Citizenship process? No, because we moved, I mean, in Puerto Rico it's like moving from Texas to Colorado, you know, you don't need to do anything. You change your license and that's it. Um Right. Update your insurance license, update, update your stuff. That's it. Um, so that was a learning curve for me, learning how to help my clients. And are you a citizen? Like when, you know, I didn't even know what to ask. Right, right. So, yeah. Well, they don't have to be a citizen. Right. As long as they've been working here and paying no taxes for 10 years, then you're good need, you just need to be a resident for at least five years. Okay, I see. Yeah. Um, and then of course worked for more than 10, but yeah. Yeah. Not nothing else, but yeah. Yeah. But I mean, no, I mean, from Puerto Rico, it's. You move here and just start all over. The good thing is the systems don't communicate. So if you have tickets in your license, uh, unpaid Child support, child support, United States not gonna know. So yeah, when I moved here, I was about, I didn't have any tickets, but I was about to renew my license and my driver license in Puerto Rico, and I moved here and they gave me a whole new one for four years without having to, there you go, renew it. So I'm like, okay, thank you. I was, there was a story from our first coffee that Uhhuh, uh, you shared, like, because there was so. F you didn't know any Puerto Ricans, so you built like some kind of a Facebook group or something like that? Oh yes. Did you not sort Puerto Ricans from all across the state? Oh my gosh, yes. Um, so because I was so lonely here and I'm like, I need my people, um, I did, let me just do a Facebook post. I started with a Facebook post, um, saying, who's Puerto Rican in Colorado? You know, and, um, um, a bunch of people at it, you know, kind of liked it and comment on it. And then we created a WhatsApp chat, and then we were like 50 people there and I started, Hey, let's just do a road trip together. Let's do this. Let's plan something till we can all be together and our kids can, you know, play with other Puerto Rican kids and yeah. And help them with that part of the, of their lives. And I remember we went to Mont Romar. Imagine. Oh cool. Imagine. Over 60 Puerto Ricans all wearing blue shirts and a Puerto Rican flag. I love it. I love it. Going to go see the Mount Rushmore, like the area there? Yeah, we bring every one of our exchange students. Oh, to Mount Rushmore cuz it's like halfway home when I go home to see my family. Okay, good. So, Well, people there wasn't very happy with us really, because we're loud and we're whatever. Screw them as a little f, you know? Yeah. You guys are a little spicy for South Dakota. Oh, we are. And then we all got together in front of them on Rushmore with a flag. Take a picture. Oh my gosh. It was amazing. And then we booked a hotel. The whole hotel was ours. Right. The restaurants like never had path. We did a karaoke. Oh my God. Was the karaoke bar Never saw what hit em. No. It was old Spanish songs. Yeah, mega athon. Like there was probably never so much salsa dancing at a karaoke. No, never. Never. They were looking at us as we were aliens. Like, what is this? You let them in here. I know. Go to your country. And then because of that, all those pictures and videos, a lot of more people were like, I wanna be part of that. Oh my gosh. So I created a Facebook group or page. Puerto Ricans in Colorado. Um, it was called it, or it's called Ric in Colorado, which is like hanging out with Puerto Ricans in Colorado. Oh. And so even a guy like me can just hang out with Puerto Ricans if I want to. You can follow up. Yeah. We would do events and you can show up. Yeah, I'm gonna go up to Estes Park or something like that. Sometimes can, so it was more about let's bring everybody to places that they don't know, you know, or just, just get together in a brewery and just have fun. And I remember it was a blast. I mean, a lot of places were giving me free drinks and everything because I'm bringing, you're like an influencer. Before that was really a thing. I know it was an influencer. And then we were like, I remember being at the, uh, different like breweries saying, Hey, can we play some music? Um, because we have this group coming in and they're like, what type of music? Latin music and Oh yeah, that's okay. No worries. Oh my gosh. It was like everybody dancing, like it wasn't just music, you know, it was a party. And then we bring this instruments with us and we are doing all like the cultural songs we have. It was amazing, but people loved it. Um, no complaints at all. And then, I mean, it grew so much. We, we hit like more than 3000 likes on the page, and. And our events were like al always at least a hundred, 200 people. Wow. At every event. And it was a, I didn't charge any. It was just, yeah, let's just get together. That, that was all. But then Covid hit and I, I was going through my divorce and kind of stopped doing it. Um, and now it's still happening. A friend of mine is kind of like running it a little bit. Yeah. Um, but not so much. Events. It's more like posting and share your videos here or something. Whatever. Yeah. That's what we can do. And you can go check out this place. Yeah. Oh, by the way, there's a really cool adventure park up the top of the hill from Glenwood Springs. Oh yeah. I think I've, I've never been, but I think I saw it's, yeah, they've got like Glenwood Adventure or something. Yeah, something like that. Yeah. Yeah. It would be a great place to, uh, bring 200 Puerto Ricans sometimes. I dunno about that. I'm not sure they could handle it, but we went to the ViewHouse to watch the games, um, like last week. Oh my gosh. We were so loud. I was a little bit embarrassed honestly. I was like, oh my gosh, people please, Lord, Lord. And you're not even the loudest one and I'm not. That's awesome. Um, yeah. So, uh, that's awesome. Thanks for sharing. I was, I was looking forward to sharing that story of learning more, um, So family that we just talked about. So politics and faith are our other two mandatory segments. Yeah. You don't have to say anything you don't want. I dunno. I heard you talking about like how a lot of the bilingual people are, like politically mm-hmm. Oriented in, in Greeley or in some fashion. Mm-hmm. I don't know a lot about politics honestly. Just period. I ignore that in, uh, yeah. Generally in, um, American politics, the mm-hmm. Like the Cubans are all pretty conservative because mm-hmm. They're like anti-communists because they're like, Hey, this sucks, you know? That's what we left for a reason. Yeah. Uh, I would assume Puerto Rico seems more likely to be the other way where they really like government programs and opportunities to kind of Yeah, because they're kind of reliant upon US federal funding for a, a lot of their situation. So they're pretty exactly. Accustomed to, yeah. That is that good. You think that's healthy for Puerto Ricos to be so reliant upon the US or. Um, I guess it's like, uh, both good and bad. One of those kind of things, good and bad, um, because of. I guess it's been so long that we've been under the umbrella of, you know, being part of the United States. Yes, we have a lot of good things and good, um, benefits, right? We're citizens, we can move, we can, sure. We don't have any, um, restrictions or anything like that, but it also, the island is suffering so much because of the competition, right? I mean, being part of the United States means now we need to leave or let all these American companies come into our. Island and, and then our local businesses can survive. I mean, the local, we've got Walmart coming in can serve, compete with Walmart, right. And then also Home Depot. Like there's, right, like we have all these American companies and it's, it's so, and maybe it's part of our fault as Puerto Rican go, you know, the government maybe not being more strict about how many stores are you gonna let come in? Um, we have more Walmarts and Walgreens per um, mile than in the United States. Wow. It's like everywhere. So it's been overstory. Yeah. Which each, every Walgreens that you see means there's like eight small stores that are no longer in business. Exactly. Yeah. So it's been very hard for the community and for the local businesses. Yeah. Um, and a lot of us have to leave because again, there's no, no good jobs. No good jobs, no good opportunities. Well, I was just thinking to myself that because of the, the US connection and stuff, like mm-hmm. Yes. Pay isn't as high as up here and stuff like that, but it's actually higher than a lot of the other islands in the Caribbean and stuff. Yes. Right. So you can't really compete with them very good either cuz your costs are so high for tourist dollars and stuff. It's a little more expensive. Yeah. Maybe than going to St. Martin. Yeah, I maybe I'm not right about that, but No, I mean it is, um, but because we have the, everything has to be shipped through United States, our food and all our supplies are more expensive. Oh, right. Yeah. So even if we. So the cost of living is higher. It's higher. Yeah. And except for the few things that we have something done in Puerto Rico, like the sugar or Right. Milk or whatever. We have to pay for the shipping of it. It's a stupid, I don't know why. It's like, I mean Oh, interesting. Yes, it's, we are kind of stuck in a love hate relationship, I guess. Fair. Fair. Yeah. If they were like calling a vote today, hey, should Puerto Rico be a full and proper state? Mm-hmm. Or gain independence? Mm-hmm. Which would you lean toward? I, I don't know, probably. Or just keep it like it is. The status quo is okay. No, I guess I would say independently. Yeah. Yeah. Um, because there's so much we can do with the island and, and I know, I mean, I'm grateful for all the things we, the United States, you know, does and help us, but it's so much they're taking from the island that I know. But I know if we think about our whole community is so much, so many people are so used to be part of the United States and that they're gonna go the other way. So we're always been in that limbo where it's like, yeah, yeah. You know, half people wants to be a state, half of the people wants to be, um, a country independent. Yeah. And then. The government does whatever they want. Right. So that's why. Yeah. So here's another political mm-hmm. Uh, area for you that you might not want to venture into, but Uhhuh. Um, I, when I characterized the Covid response in, in Northern Colorado, I'm like, well, Windsor was really weird cuz you didn't know if a store was like, masks only or Don't wear your mask in here. Oh. Fort Collins was pretty strict and stern. Mm-hmm. And Greeley Covid really didn't exist too much. No. We're, yeah, I went to a rotary club meeting in, in Greeley when we were still six months away from being back in person in Fort Collins. Mm-hmm. And it was, it was really weird, you know. Yeah. We were all spaced six feet apart and stuff, but, uh, but like, who did it better? Greeley or Fort Collins? Greeley. So you're a Liberty person as well? Yeah. Um, it didn't really seem like their outcomes were much different. No, no, honestly, I think it's some regulations were too far. Like, okay, I understand we need a mask, but is it really doing a different, is it really gonna change things? I touched my, my head, my face more with a mask than without it. Oh yeah. Jill got like acne for the first time than she was 20. I know. So, I mean, well, and those bugs are really small. Yeah. So, um, yeah, I guess I was lucky and, and really we didn't really, yeah. I mean, some people still right, are a little bit strict about it, but. Overall. I mean, overall, yes, there was, it was pretty flexible stuff, but it was less whatever is more comfortable for you. Yeah, that fair enough? Yeah. I mean, I think it's, it was okay to do it the first six months with everything was really dangerous. Nobody really knew what was up and No. Yeah, no. A lot of information and all that. I, I think that was important to do the first, you know, part of it. But then how did your clients, uh, respond? React, I mean, they're a little older, but they're also, you know, Spanish speaking generally. They probably, I suspect they maybe have some level of mistrust for what mm-hmm. Our government wants them to do, and so, types of times for sure. I mean, I gotta say we did a lot of outreach to our clients because it was a lot of isolation for the seniors. Yeah. Um, and that was our main concern. Um, you know, spikes on mental health and yeah. And yeah, just depression, and depression, separation, whatever, because of being isolated from family or friends. Um, we did, um, a lot of drive-through, um, through my office. It was more like a, I remember, I, I outreached them. We have toilet paper, we have, um, food, like let us know whatever you need. Um, and a lot of them enrolled with me over the phone, but some of them were, Just driving through the office and signing everything in the car and leaving. And then we had to do, um, I did a Christmas driving through, like drive through Oh, event, and they all got presents and little How cool was that dress? Leches. You were so like inventive. Oh, I know. So I was like, need to connect with my clients and need to make sure they're okay. Um, so we did that and they loved it and I mean, always picking up the phone and a lot of them just wanted to talk and Yeah. You know, that's what we did. But, um, and checking on them. And I gotta say also, the Medicare companies did a great job by reaching out, sending them whatever they need, sending them masks, sending nurses to their homes, you know. Oh. So it was, that's cool. It was. A good support from the companies. Yeah. So they got the service that they were hoping for from those plans. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Whatever. Mm-hmm. Yep. Cool. Um, that's enough. Uh, grilling you on politics. Uh, thank you. Faith, we haven't talked about Faith. I, mm-hmm. I, I assume maybe, I don't know. Tell me, have you, is there a big church element in Puerto Rico? Generally it Oh yes. Catholics mostly. Mostly, yeah. Christians. Roman Catholics. Yeah, some Christians too. Evangelical, whatever. Yeah. Evangelical, um, arching were like half, half, um, evangelical and Ca Catholics. Um, I am, um, evangelical, so I mean, going to church, it's been hard honestly to find the right church for me here in Colorado. Mm-hmm. Because it's very different, um, in, yeah. Can you describe a, a Puerto Rican evangelical church? Yeah. Well, we're more louder I guess. No, that's everywhere. Louder. Um, the services are longer. Um, The pastors are like very like family, you know? Um, and almost like I imagine like a, like a, what people imagine as like a black church. Exactly. Worship, but Latino version get loud, you know, tenian, none, you know, whatever. Exactly. Just like that. Um, and I was very active, um, in my church in Puerto Rico. And since I, when we, when we moved here, that was one of the things that we never found like a church. Um, now I'm starting to. I had to move into an English, um, an, you know, service in English because of my kids. They, I don't, I was taking them with to a Spanish, um, church here. I mean, it's not the same vibe as a, as Mexican. Yeah. So the pastor is Mexican, which is, it was great. I loved it, but it was different, you know, the, I guess we don't connect the same way. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And then, They don't speak a lot. I mean, they do understand Spanish and speak a lot, but it's different from them. They don't prefer it necessarily. They don't, I mean, imagine, I mean, some church is kind of boring for kids sometimes, right? Imagine in Spanish, you know, they're like, ah, I don't wanna be here, mom. Um, so I had to switch into an English once for them at least to understand what's happening and Elise gets something out of it. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so I actually recently found a very good church. One of my clients invite me and then we love it. It's on the only thing, it's only one hour. So you go, oh wow. Everything in one hour and you're done. And I'm like, I need more. Um, but my kids love it because it's just one hour. Right. Right. Oh, they might have some small groups or something else. Yeah. You engage with Yeah. That's probably what I'm, what I'm gonna do is probably go to the Spanish and then the English is right after, and then bring the kids or something. So, yeah. Does Puerto Rico have all like the different flavors of evangelical kind of where you've got Yes. Baptists and Methodists and Lutherans and whatever? Yeah, yeah, yeah. All of them. Um, and same like here, we all like have our opinions about one of each other. Yeah. Yeah. Um, but yeah, I mean, we are very religious. Like it doesn't matter. Was face was kind of assumed in your family mm-hmm. With your mom and things? Yes. My grandma, my, my uncles very heritage active and in the, in the church. So it's part of my, yeah. So is it maybe more, uh, prominent like in, in America? It's. You know, probably half of people don't ever go to church. Really? Yeah. No. In Puerto Rico you don't go to church and what's wrong with you? Right. I thought I wondered about that. You need to go to church, you know, so it's very important in our culture. Um, most of us, um, sure not everybody, but um, especially in my family, and we are very spiritual too, so it's like, if things are not going right in your life, you're always gonna have someone, if you're in Puerto Rico, either a neighbor, a aunt or friend, saying, we need to pray, we need to, you know, this is a Okay. Drop everything. Yeah. Florida is good or tough time coming. Really? Yeah. So it's like, that's cool. Let's pray for you. Hey, I have this, um, um, how do you call it? Like the oil, the, um, I don't know. Like an anointing kind of thing. Yeah. Yeah. We have this for you. Put it in your house, put it in your car, put it in your backpack, you know? Okay. We're very spiritual like that. So my mom is, you know, like sending me, hey, you know, when I was going through my kids' stage of like the divorce and everything, she's like, we're praying for you and let's get all together and FaceTime and let's pray. You know, it's like that's how we are. Interesting. Yeah. Yeah. I like it. So it's a very important part. And, and also, uh, I guess finding a partner, that's something important for me too, because it's, um, You'd want them to already be of faith. Yeah. I mean, is in my house, if we're in trouble, we go on our knees and we pray about it. You know, so that's part, it's very important for me. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Mm-hmm. I like it. Yeah. Um, anything else in the faith department that deserves attention? No. I mean, still looking, trying to connect really, and, you know, yeah. Really connect with the church. Um, and, and I just don't wanna get, I'm so, like, I love to serve that I'm, every time I go to a church, I know even a month and the pastor is asking me to do something and I'm like, God, I know, I know you want me to, but it is, I'm so busy. So, um, but I'm trying to really connect and really engage with church before moving into another world with the, uh, business trajectory you're on. It, it won't be too long before you can carve out a little more time to, to do this. The service things that you would love to do? I hope so, yeah. Mm-hmm. The Loco experience mm-hmm. Is the crazy experience of your lifetime that you're willing to share One of, I'm suspecting there's more than one with you. Oh yeah. Yeah. Oh my gosh. A lot. Um, I was thinking, remember when we talked about the call center, right? Imagine me working in this call center, and this was a very funny story, um, with a bunch of Americans, white people, I guess, right? Um, and, and me learning English, right? I don't really know a lot, and I think part of the. The harder part of learning a new language. It's not just translating and understanding, it's more the hERG of it. Like how do you call things? How do you communicate which choice is the word that you pick or whatever. Yeah. Because even in Colorado they, you call a pup and it's a soda. And so, you know, like those type of ways and like, what do you mean, you know? So imagine me from Puerto Rico not knowing English, not knowing anything. And then this group of, um, we were in, in this during this day, uh, no phone calls. It was a very slow day. And they say, let's just play a game. And, and they say, lady, you wanna play with us? And I say, okay, fine. They started playing Cards Against Humanity. Oh gosh. Well that's a good learning experience. I didn't even know what I was doing. I remember having this, this, um, guy next to me, his name is Ian. Oh my gosh, Ian, if you hear this, you're my saver. But I'm asking him all this weird stuff. I'm like, Ian, what does this mean? And he's trying, right. I'm trying to explain all these raunchy, he's trying to explain to me all this weird stuff. I'm like, what are you guys doing? No, wait a second. I'm gonna need you to draw me a picture of that. I know. I was like, so, I was so lost. I'm like, what are you guys talking about? And of course I'm throwing cards without even knowing what I'm doing. I'm like, yeah, I think this goes with this close with, I dunno. Well there's so much slang and there's so much like Exactly. So I don't even know what it mean anything. Okay. I'm like, alright. I mean, it's such a weird game. Like we actually, I played Cards Against Humanity for the second time with my mother. Oh my God. Uh, who was like 67 in the room at the time with me and all my siblings and their kids. Oh my gosh, no. So we have similar stories. I remember Cards Against Humanity, remember? They're like, don't Google that. Don't go, don't watch the video if you do. And I'm like, no. I'm like, but what is it? Like what am I do? Like what do you mean with this? And Poor Ian, he was always like trying to explain it to me in a, in a proper way. Right, right. And how old, because at this time you're like a. 24 year old or something like that. Oh, it's, yeah, like 23 and he's like 34 something. Right. He's just blushing and stumbling. So he was like, this is when you do this. I'm like, oh my God. So that was, I still remember that day. I love it. Like, I'm never gonna play this game. What? You can probably do a lot better now. I don't even know. Most of the English you've picked up isn't gonna be that translatable. No, I don't think so. I'll still have doubts. Like, what? Oh my gosh. I didn't even know that was a thing. Well, I hope you enjoyed this conversation half as much as I did. Yes. And uh, I look forward to the next time we can spend together and oh, I guess before we let you go though, um, If people wanna look you up, do you wanna share like a phone number, website, that kind of thing? Yeah, I mean, of course if you wanna learn more about the business or maybe you need Medicare, you can call, um, our office. It's 9 7 0 3 4 7 0 3 9 4. That's the office number. And if you wanna find me on social media, you can also find us at v Ortiz Insurance. So it's v for Valeria Ortiz Insurance, that's our, um, name in social media and we have Instagram, Facebook, um, awesome. And that's it. Yeah. Very good. And you might see a TikTok account, but it That's my son doing all the videos there. Okay. That's not us. The older son or the younger? The younger. He's doing the, I. I, it's a funny story. Once I, uh, I got a bunch of notifications you're getting like likes and, and TikTok and people is following you on TikTok. And I'm like, I don't even do videos for TikTok. And I opened my account, well, he opened an account in my phone with my email for the business. So VTIs Insurance, and then it's a bunch of videos of him just doing dancing, dancing, dancing and them, and four nights teenager stuff? No, he's nine. Oh, the nine year old. Sorry. It's the o the younger one. Yeah. So he's doing a bunch of videos and I say, Hey, why don't you do videos for me explaining the things about Medicare and all that. And, and he did a couple of those. But then he started doing again the, the funny ones. So it's an educational TikTok channel mixed with some mixed with some nine year olds, call of Duty and whatever. Fortnite. Yeah. Awesome. So we cover every, every age. Doesn't matter. I had a, I had an Instagram post go viral Uhhuh, uh, last fall and it got like 380,000 likes. Oh, wow. And I'm like, well, I hope they all like. Food, pictures and whatever, you know, so Uhhuh. Anyway, I digress. There you go. This was great. Thank you. Thanks for being here. Thank you very much.