Fernando was born in Puebla, Mexico and spent his younger years in Mexico City before his family moved to Texas in the early 1980′s. His studies took him to Phoenix, Arizona where he enrolled in Scottsdale Culinary Institute Cordon Bleu and then furthered his interest in the culinary arts in Paris, France. To combine his love of health and fitness, Fernando spent eight months in Los Angeles and obtained an Associate’s Degree as a Fitness and Personal Training Consultant. On completion of this certificate he relocated to Mazatlan, Mexico where he opened his own successful gym.
After 2 years in Mazatlan he headed to the beach town of Puerto Vallarta and opened a restaurant in the nearby town of Bucerias. Once again combining his passions of food, health and fitness he also operated a successful personal training consultancy, with clients who still call for advice and personalized fitness plans to the present day. Now, Casa Flores B&B presents him with another opportunity to indulge his interest in the service industry. Fernando will be delighted to consult with guests eager to change their diet or to enjoy a lifestyle change introducing fitness into their daily routine.
Steve was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and raised in the small island town of Enniskillen, 90 miles away. After studying English and Art in college he decided to take a year out to travel. That “year” that began in 1992 has now stretched to the present day and has included 12 years on cruise ships where he was in charge of the retail sales for Starboard Cruise Industries, who operated the retail stores on board many of the prominent cruise lines. On his travels he discovered and fell in love with the beach town of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and moved there and worked in the thriving Real Estate market for 3 years.
While visiting Guadalajara for the New Years celebrations Steve decided to take a day trip to Ajijic and immediately fell in love with the tranquility and ambiance of the town and the friendliness of it’s people. On returning with Fernando to look for a property, they found Casa Flores and knew that they had found the perfect haven for a Bed and Breakfast from where they could offer comfort and beautiful surroundings with a personal touch.
The Lakeside School for Special Needs Children, formerly known as the Lakeside School for the Deaf, presently serves over 100 children with hearing and visual impairments, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, quadriplegia, paraplegia, and autism. The organization, located in Jocotepec and serving the Lake Chapala area, is an all-volunteer, non-profit charitable organization. In 2013, Fernando was the first Mexican citizen to be elected President of the Board of Directors of The Lakeside School.
With many fundraising events year-round, there are many opportunities to add your unique talents to any of numerous fun projects. Volunteers are also needed to share their knowledge in crafts, library management skills, etc. Volunteers and donations area always welcome. Please visit the Lakeside School for Special Needs Children Website to learn more.
Our first visit to Villa Infantil was truly a bittersweet experience. It is heart-wrenching to see children deprived of real family life, but sweet to see how loved and well-cared for they are by the nuns and volunteers. To see so many people giving freely to children in need has been one of the most humbling and beautiful experiences of our lives. Villa Infantil houses approximately 25 children between the ages of 2 and 9. Twenty children were adopted in 2012, and we hope for at least that same number this year.
The orphanage is totally dependent on donations to allow it to function. We spend time with the children as often as possible, as well as collect cash to help with utility bills and health and dental care costs. Please take a look at the Villa Infantil Website for more information. When you see the love and care that these children receive, you will know why we are dedicated to helping this amazing organization continue their valuable work.