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Having lived in three of Mexico’s largest cities (Monterrey, Mexico City and Puebla), Roberto Ortiz de Montellano found himself in search of a location where he would be able to practice law, find a community of gay people and be openly gay at work.
“Vallarta is the gayest place in Mexico,” he said with a laugh, “in all regards.”
But no situation is ever perfect and, for Roberto, this has created for him a reason for optimism. He moved here about five years ago and started his law practice from scratch. He has benefited from the amenities the city now offers, ones that he had come to appreciate while living in the Mexican big cities. What he found the city lacked is an active network of qualified Mexican likeminded professionals.
“I’m a Mexican attorney,” he said. “And an openly gay attorney. I studied law in one of Mexico’s most prestigious universities and I’ve been practicing law for over 20 years. My focus is mostly on real estate law and business law. So I provide legal counsel on real estate transactions and also business and incorporation transactions. Now I’m focusing on foreign clientele here in Vallarta, people who are buying property here or who have certain issues with their property here, I provide legal counsel. When they want to start a business or have a business deal, I take care of the legal work.”
He has been successful, without doubt, but as far as building a romantic long-term relationship in a town continually filled with visitors who stay anywhere from a week to a few months, he only sees a bright future.
“Yes, it’s difficult because it’s a touristic town,” he said, “and there are people coming and going but there are also people who come here several times. They stay even longer each time. One of the reasons that I moved here is I noticed there is a lot of foreign people who are now Mexican residents. They live here fulltime.”
The growth of the city will bring more residents from across Mexico and it includes Americans and Canadians. “I’m here at a prime, important time for the city because, as a professional who saw opportunity five years ago, I can see that there are more coming every day who see the same thing. Doctors, dentists. Industries are growing here. The growth of the city has brought me here and it’s bringing them, too.”
Seems that for this openly gay Mexican attorney, living and working now in Puerto Vallarta represents being in the right place at the right time. “You have to be where things happen”, Roberto says enthusiastically, “and moving here five years ago has been one of the best decisions of my life”.