Last year I was at a personal low, at 31 years old, I had just gotten out of a 3 year roller coaster relationship with an American woman. I don’t know why but in the back of my mind I had this thing for latin women, having studied a lot of Spanish and still attending weekly Spanish conversation groups, and being single again, I had this desire to meet a latina. So I was perusing through a newspaper, you know one of those free weekly papers with things-to-do, personal ads, restaurant ads, and the rest. Well on the back was an ad "15 latinas for every guy". This grabbed my attention and I called the number and requested literature. I asked a few questions but in the back of my mind I was a little skeptical, my first thought was that this is probably some kind of deal where they send you to a red light district and the women get a cut of your membership fee.
So, several days later I received a brochure in the mail. I was definitely impressed with the women, but still I wasn’t convinced. Not too long after I found another ad for another agency, I sent for their brochure also. Theirs was not as well organized, the woman were from several countries unlike Latin Lifemate (LLM) which are all Colombians. Nonetheless, the other Seville provided individual names and addresses for a minimal fee, this way you could correspond with the girls you were most interested in . So I figured I would try writing to three girls, which by coincidence were all Colombian.
Several months later I received a phone call from one of the girls I wrote to. We continued for a few months of phone calls and letters, and I was at the point where I was going to go to Colombia to visit her. But to this point I had only seen the photo of her from the brochure, so I had asked her to send me a more recent photo in her next letter. So here I was thinking I may have found a great lady, when finally I got a more recent photo. What a disappointment! This was a lady who put a black and white yearbook photo from high school in the brochure, and not 12 years later barely looked the same. Needless to say I was pretty shocked and I even asked my friends for confirmation of my bewilderment and they agreed that I shouldn’t go to Colombia for her.
So here I was all set to go to Colombia but no one in particular to see. But for some reason I still felt a need to go to Colombia, as though someone was there for me. So I returned to thinking about LLM. I called and requested another brochure, I checked out their web site, and it was there that I was able to read another member’s adventure story. So at this point I was getting a little more interested, I decided that I would check the Better Business Bureau to see if there were any complaints against LLM and surprisingly they had been registered as a business for some seven years and not a single complaint had been filed with them. At this point I felt pretty good that this was a legit operation and that if nothing else I was going to have a vacation in Colombia practicing my Spanish with who knows who.
So within two weeks I had joined LLM and booked my flights. My trip was planned to last about 11 days and coincide with the LLM group tour during Memorial Day weekend.
So I arrived about a day before the rest of the tour which was about 20 guys. It was a Wednesday night and I was greeted at the airport by two very kind ladies, Angie and Beatriz, both of whom are female members at the agency who also work part time there. I found it interesting that they wanted to practice their English with me and I wanted to practice my Spanish with them. It made for an interesting bilingual conversation. Anyway, I got to LLM’s hotel in Bogota that Wednesday night, but the deal was that because I made my reservation at the last minute and there was a LLM group tour coming the next day, the only option was for me to share a room with someone there, or I could get a private room 3 blocks away at a smaller hotel, which was somehow affiliated with the hotel. This worked fine and I really preferred the private room.
After settling in, the next day (Thursday) I went to the agency which is on the same block as the hotel. I was the only one there, I guess it was a little early but I was also anxious to start meeting some ladies (in Spanish the agency refers to the ladies as ninas, which means little girls, I thought this was cute). So I started going through the books and making selections on my sheet. Then I would give my sheet to Maria or Vicky, and they would start calling the girls to set up appointments. My first day I had 4 appointments. All of these ladies were incredible.
Then that night the tour got in, and there was a party at the hotel. At the party there were probably 20 guys and 50 girls. A good majority of them (the girls that is) I found attractive. I was like a kid in a candy store. But I have to admit I had one distinct advantage over most of the other guys. I am fluent in Spanish. Although a lot of the ladies know some English, the conversation was easier in Spanish, and I found that to be the case most of the time. (So you guys would be wise to brush-up on your Spanish a little bit goes a long way). For me it made the process a lot easier to cut through the chase and find the lady I was destined to find. Not to say that there was anything wrong with any of these ladies but I kind of knew after 20-30 minutes of small-talk where things were going. I think this filtering process was easier for the several of us guys that knew some Spanish. The filtering process can be done with pocket dictionaries and translator assistance, but it just takes a little longer so if you’re one of these guys don’t get frustrated & just be patient, the ladies are very interested in knowing you even if it takes a little longer due to the language barrier.
So the party ended and I must of talked to 5 or 6 ladies that night. I went to bed feeling this was too good to be true and that there existed a great probability that I was going to get a hit real soon. Up to this point all of the ladies were great people and beautiful, but I had been with beautiful girls in my past and I was looking more for the right person, a lady that I would have a certain chemistry with.
So, the next day was pretty much a repeat of the day before, I met about four ladies at the agency via appointments. Then at the party I met several more ladies. This party had 50 different ladies than the night before. But still I didn’t find that chemistry I was looking for.
The third day. I went to the agency but being a Saturday it was very busy, a lot of ladies would walk in and inquire about joining. Upstairs there were English classes being conducted also mostly women. And with the 20 guys there, it was a mini party. I made a lot of good friends who I have stayed in touch with since my trip. But the remaining girls on my list were not reachable and therefore I had no appointments for the day. I began to get depressed, thinking that maybe there was something wrong with me, like why couldn’t I be happy with any of the ladies I had previously met. So I began to think about which ones I would call back, but with all the other guys there it felt like the longer you waited the less likely the good ones would be available, like the saying goes ’snooze you lose’. I was starting to think that I would have to make plans to go to Cali on Monday.
Then, that afternoon, it happened! In walks a young lady. She definitely caught my eye. She came in with her older sister and 8 year old niece. Of course I don’t know that at the time and I was hesitant because I couldn’t be certain if the child was hers or not. (Two nights before I met a great woman with a child, and I concluded that the child issue was a major complication from a visa standpoint and it requires legal authorization from the father / family. Being 31 years old I just assumed not go for the ladies with kids, it was part of my filtering process.) So back to the agency, I had trouble assessing the situation and was staying idle for the time being. When after a little bit Vicky (one of the receptionists at the agency) must of noticed my interest in this new member, who was there for photos and registration. So Vicky took it upon herself to introduce us.
Well the rest is history.
We went to one of the other room where it was quieter, and there was chemistry from the start. Our conversation was 100% in Spanish, because she only knew a few words of English. When we met it was like 4 o’clock in the afternoon, we went to dinner, we talked for hours which seemed like minutes. Then I took her home, had a great goodnight kiss at 3 o’clock in the morning and called it a night. It was definitely a night to remember.
The next day we met and went on the group picnic to a farm south of Bogota. Even though we were with a group it didn’t matter we were in our own little world. Needless to say my story could take up another 5 pages but I spent the rest of the week with Ruby, met her parents, great people, and they really liked me. Ruby was able to take the week off from work so she showed me around Bogota and the rest. On my second to last day I asked her to marry me. She was ecstatic. And without hesitation she said YES. It’s funny how she knew she wanted to marry me on the second day, I was trying to take it a little slower. Although coming home to make my announcement gave quite a few people minor heart attacks. I knew a lot of responses would be negative. But surprisingly, a lot of people were supportive of my engagement including my mom and dad. Most peoples’ concerns are about the same, ’how do you know she’s not part of the cartel? Or How do you know she’s not just looking to get here to bring her family here.’ Well my answer is simple.
If these girls were looking for an American guy to connect with in the cartel, they would be doing it in the U.S. not Bogota. The people in the cartel generally own property and could get a tourist visa easily enough. Besides, in my case it was easy to see that no one in her family was driving expensive cars nor living luxuriously. As for the easy green card, read the immigration laws, they are very complicated and the first thing she gets when becoming my wife is a Temporary Resident Alien Card. This is a conditional card that permits her to live here, and work here, she can’t leave the country for two years and Immigration is very strict about this with few exceptions. After two years of temporary resident status she will obtain a permanent card and be free to travel outside of the U.S. Then after several more years, I think it’s five, she can become a naturalized U.S.Citizen. I’m not sure when she could sponsor her relatives to move here, but I know it’s at least two years. So my answer is, I doubt very much this is the motive of these women. The fact is most of these ladies have education beyond high school, have good jobs, and are close to their families. They are not socially or economically oppressed, but because of the machisto behavior and attitude of many men, these women lack love. And THAT is what they’re looking for, a good, honest, respectful, guy in which to love. We (Americans) are very lucky because for some reason the Colombian women believe American men are of this make-up. And believe me these are some of the most passionate, sensuous, romantic, sharing,& (can’t find enough words) & women I’ve ever met. They want to make their man happy and not in a subservient kind of way, but in a manner that every guy could hope for.
Anyway back to my story. My last day we spent shopping for an engagement ring. Ruby is such a doll, she knew that I wasn’t rich, so she went real easy on my wallet. Since emeralds and gold are relatively cheap in Colombia, (forget about diamonds they’re expensive everywhere), she picked a beautiful emerald ring for US$350.
Anyway, leaving her at the airport the next day was a sad experience. We fax everyday, and I call her once a week, which makes for a killer phone bill.
I talked to a lawyer in Bogota who informed me of what papers I need to get a civil marriage. We planned a date for the month ahead. July 3rd to be exact. So, I filled out the papers the lawyer faxed me, obtained my birth certificate, etc, sent my papers to be stamped by the Colombian consulate, then to the lawyer. Everything was in order within a couple weeks.
Although I would wake up in the mornings thinking I must be out of my mind, when I talk to Ruby by phone I quickly remember why I can’t let her go, the connection we made in such a short time. I know I will never find another woman like her, and that my decision to marry her was the right decision.
The big day came, I got married civilly and immediately went to the U.S.Embassy to file for my new wife. They said it will take 2-3 months but other guys I’ve talked to said it’s more like 5-6 weeks before she can get her Conditional Resident Alien Card, i.e. Visa into the U.S.
We then jumped a plane to Aruba for a week long honeymoon. What a great time we had, what a great lady I have found. Unfortunately, now it’s just a waiting game, before she can get up here.
So all you single guys tired of the materialism with American women and I can’t recommend this service enough. Just get on a plane and get to Colombia. You may not find her on the first trip, you may not find her in Bogota, but just do it! IT WILL be worth it. And most importantly keep an open mind, the culture, food, attitude, customs, are different but not so far off, as to not be a nice change of scenery. Anyway, Good luck to the smart guys that join Latin Lifemates.