Updated: Feb 14
It all started a long time ago when I was a kid and felt inspired by my parents' activism to provide support to the Tarahumara Native Mexican Indians. They used to be part of an organization that would gather clothes for these people living in the mountains of the state of Chihuahua Mexico where my mom and Jo's dad are from.
Eventually, I grew up and I find that all throughout my life I would be interested in participating in activities that involved helping others. This wasn't a full-time endeavour but an exploration of the options available to me. These avenues led me to going on missions with the Catholic Church, wanting to become a La Salle school brother, going to a technical high school in the science field to pursue a career as a Neuro-surgeon. None of these mentioned experiences stuck, not because I didn't like them, there were just some life factors surrounding my life experience that kept me searching. As I've mentioned before, music, sports, the love for cooking and helping others were the few constants in my life. Nowadays I can look back and realize that the signs were there all along. When I was a teen, I have an uncle who offered to pay for me to go to Culinary school in France. I turned down the offer, twice. What really helped me get to a place of peace and knowing I am in my path happened when Cueva Bar began and it was reinforced with the help of the practice of Yoga, and I don't mean the exercise part alone, but the meditation, and actually diving into the philosophy. Even though I still don't have all the answers I feel strongly aligned with my dharma. I am a husband, a father and an entrepreneur who loves cooking, music and helping others.
On Monday, I had the grand opportunity to use two of the energies that fill my soul with inspiration by preparing a seven-course meal for 50 people (only 47 showed up) to contribute to Big Table's goal of helping others by creating a community around a table (sounds familiar?) in order to raise awareness that there are many people in the food industry who struggle. Big Table's part of their mission states "help us catch people before they fall off the ledge". So, when becoming familiar with Big Table's mission I was hooked and realized this is a proactive initiative. While we've been partnering with Kitchens For Good to collaborate in the mission of providing a second chance to those in need I continue to believe proactiveness is more efficient than reactiveness. An example of a similar mission is Omar Parsons, a local activist who focuses on attacking the issues of homelessness from the root before some of these humans in our communities fall too hard. Guess who showed up at dinner on Monday? Omar Parsons! Call it whatever you want, I just know that I keep seeing the signs and then they're confirmed by what happens later in the same day or within a day of these connections. I mean, is like comparing giving the proper maintenance to a car so it runs smoothly to how we must take care not just of our bodies, brain included, but also of our ethereal minds and souls by engaging in those things that make us feel good from inside.
Below you can enjoy some of the shots taken during the dinner. At one point we got too busy so we'll have to wait for the pictures from Milt a volunteer who was recording the whole night through the lens of his nice camera.
Overall, Monday was filled with hard work, comradery and good times brought by my wife Jo who helped me do prep work from the early morning hours and my dear friends Melinda, Duane, Obed and Randy who showed up at different times of the day ready to volunteer and help me in the mission of plating 350 (planned) dishes.