Instagram is a place where people from all over the world share themselves with other people from around the world. Friends and strangers alike login from their phones and share like interests with each other using the platform of photographic imagery and catchy captions. Instagram has become one of the social media meccas in recent years. On April 10th 2015 a symbol made its first appearance on this social media powerhouse.
The background of this symbol featured a South Beach hotel front. The sky in the background was painted hues of pink, red, and orange. In the foreground, a flag waved gallantly. The flag simply read “Bearded Villains.” Around the symbol, are words that only gave validity to what proceeded. “OFFICIAL BEARDED VILLAINS CHAPTER” screamed the top of the image. With “Miami USA” humbly making appearance beneath.
May 14th 2015. 16 men met up with each other somewhere in Miami. They rolled up in dress shirts and ties. Carrying a flag that danced majestically on that windy day. They shook hands like men often do, talking trash and poking fun as means of cutting tension. They moved as a group; 16 bearded men, a photographer, a flag, and a motorcycle. Outside the group, people stared. Both intrigued and terrified of the horde of well dressed yet scary looking guys. On this day, the world of Instagram, would learn that these 16 guys will be known from here on out… as bv305.
June 4th,2015. What it meant to be a bearded villain changed for ever. As the guys at bv305 began growing as an organization, the group decided they wanted to be more than a social club. They decided they wanted to help their community. They started this by partnering up with the “Make A Wish” foundation, and sponsoring a young child named Mathew. On this day, they announced that Matthew was going to see Mickey. Thanking supporters for all their help. We all know what happened with Matthew after that. (if you don’t, check out our media section, and watch the first news article). The bearded villains in Miami took the stereotype of the heavily bearded tattoo man, and changed that image to a symbol of hope and togetherness. But, they didn’t stop there.
April 1st,2018. Captain Daniel Perez stood on a table in the middle of a park in Miami. Around him, literally surrounding, were over 40 men, and their families. All wearing black shirts, pink and blue in color splashed in the middle, with the famous iconic Miami villains skull in the middle. Perez thanked everyone for coming out. He told a story of how it all came to be. Reminiscing with the og’s, and inspiring the hopefuls. He chanted stories of success and a promise for a better future. Eventually he extended his hopes for the next 100 years or more of a legacy all them have help build. The mob cheered and roared sounds of approval, and trust, and belief in their captain.
Three years ago, the bearded villains Miami chapter was a group of guys with a dream. They did what they could to make a difference, but were fine with just hang out and cracking jokes. Today, to be a bearded villain Miami member means you have to do more than take selfies. From dreamers to doers, the past three years has shown everyone that with belief, and the right leadership and team, you can build an empire and most importantly a family.
Big things are in the making with bv305. They celebrate their 3 year anniversary in order to pay respect for how far they’ve come and all the aspire to be. But, as much as it is a celebration, it’s also a reminder of the importance of the brotherhood and what they do for their community. So, as the hustle never quits, neither does Miami. Here’s to another 100 years.
Written by Victor Fonseca.
On March 22, 2018, BV305 embarked on another journey that would forever etch a memory to last a lifetime. After many restlessness nights, due to anticipation of the upcoming venture, 12 members of Miami’s Bearded Villains, along with some of their prettier female counterparts, finally arose to the delight of their upcoming departure. They met at Fort Lauderdale airport, where two BV members from Puerto Rico joined their company. Bags in hand, they boarded their plane, and approximately 2 and a half hours later, arrived at the location that was to host the fuckery of the weekend’s events; none other than New Orleans, Louisiana!
The weekend of the Dirty South Meet (DSV3), started with a bang! Hungry and excited, they were met by some of their local brothers who were quick to show what southern hospitality is all about. After a few recommendations, they made their way to their first culinary establishment, where they engorged themselves in some of New Orleans’ signature flavors. Then they retreated back to the hotel to prepare for the nights events. To their pleasure, some of the NOLA brothers had decided to host the Miami brothers, as well as some others within BV, to one of their homes for a crawfish boil. New Orleans is known for many things, the biggest being Mardi Gras. The party to top all parties, where the infamous Bourbon Street is jam packed with college students from all over the world, drunk off their asses, exchanging beads for boobs…..well, a chance to get a flash anyway. Others would say it’s more important to mention the culture, the architecture, the voodoo mythology, and of course the crawfish. No argument as to their importance, but boobs get views. Yes, that is a pun.
The boil was a very important highlight to the next few days as it set the tone completely. BV305 was accepted as family immediately, not only by the known brothers, but the brothers they hadn’t met yet, and the families present for the comaradery . The most incredible part was not in being brought in by them, but in the manner in which the relationships developed. The respect, and praise at the way they move, and coordinate, in their knowledge of the way they put their community first, and the accomplishments within the charity they perform. It was a true blessing for them to have been met with such positivity at their accomplishments. Even greater though, was in their opportunity to inspire the younger ones present. The two boys the group came to call the Taco Twins, biological brothers to NOLA brother Jerry aka JIMMMMMYYYYY!; who graciously prepared the exquisite food that evening.
A special bond was made between Miami and those boys. The amount of love and respect shown by these young men was very touching. As BV305 has always made an effort to connect with the coming generation, being accepted into their home was a very touching gesture they will not soon forget. Needless to say, the weekend was off to an amazing start thanks to these boys, and their awesome Taco Mom.
As the crawfish boil came to a close late into the evening, the next morning arrived quickly to continue at another sprint. The day was spent with several Bearded Villains, including those native to Louisiana, in the heart of New Orleans. Immediately into arriving, they made their way into Jackson Square, a location known for the surrounding architecture, riveting entertainment, and the awe-inspiring St. Louis Cathedral in the Center. They were fortunate enough to stumble onto what seemed like a parade. Only later did they realize it was a ceremony to honor the late Tom Benson, owner of both the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans. An overwhelming sight for them, as it’s a culture they’re not accustomed to, and the numbers of mourners gathered around heads bowed, in praise of a great mans legacy.
They took in the sights after the ceremonies conclusion, food and drink was consumed, and treats were had. After the afternoons events, the Meet and Greet at a local bar/eatery began. They were met by several dozen other Beards from all over the country, to drink and enjoy each other’s company. As is the case in all Bearded Villain meets, many of the brothers know each other, or know of each other, but many met other Villains for the first time. An amazing part about this organization, is the way they recognize each other as family. “One brotherhood, one ship” is something they take seriously, so when they meet, it’s as if meeting a long lost brother.
After the meet and greet, they rendezvoused at Bourbon Street where the party continued. This was a takeover! Street after street they walked, and at every corner another group of brothers joined the company, until a sea of beards was made. Many times they were stopped by other tourists for a photo op, and even a few joined the party. Overall, it was another unforgettable night, filled with pleasant party vibes throughout. The night ended with intoxicated chatter, and an expensive Uber ride back to the hotel.
As Saturday rolled around, and the day ran its course, the night that brought them together finally arrived, the DSV3 Meet. The event was held at a pretty intense venue called Shamrock; a huge bar on a second story of a shop, that was very appropriately sized for the numbers expected. There were two adequately sized bars at separate sides of the establishment, a DJ pumping out tunes, a huge dance floor, arcade games, pool tables, outside patio that served as the smoking area, and a large stage where they held their Beard Competition, hosted by Miami’s own John Banks (@bearded_superman), and Louisiana’s Co-Captain, Morgan (@morgan_tra).
Before proceeding with the night’s festivities, NOLA Captain Skip (@minister_villain) came to the stage and took the mic. He reminded everyone there why these meets are held, what they represent to him, and those truly immersed in the club. He touched on the importance of family, and the difference it makes to have someone care for you. Louisiana had recently lost one of their veteran members, and were all very emotional to have so many brothers present and show their respect to the fallen brother. It was a touching and inspiring moment, as all present took a moment to bow their heads in silence to honor their brother Mike.
The event went off without a hitch, as a plethora of BV members were present to participate. Over 100 men showed off their glorious beards to those watching, and the 4 guest judges present. The variety of length, thickness, and styles were pretty cool and unique. After what seemed like a lifetime, the judges made their decision, and named the winners of the contest. They were given custom medals, and goodie bags appropriate to their placement in the comp, and were congratulated thoroughly.
All in all, DSV3 became another fond memory for BV305, as it touched all their hearts individually. The bonds created, or strengthened are undeniable. The memories they created, the pictures they snapped, and incredible time spent together, will live on with them for years to come. It’s interesting to see it all in person, to bear witness to the diversity in these individuals, and know that they come together despite their differences, and in pursuit of the bonds through their brotherhood. This is what the Bearded Villains truly represent.
ST PATRICK'S DAY
Leprechauns, parades, the color green and a bunch of Irish car bombs do more than just describe a good time. It describes the holiday Saint Patrick’s day. A day (March 17th) used to celebrate the patron Saint Patrick. A holiday celebrated since the 17th century. But who is Saint Patrick, and why on this day do we celebrate his accomplishments.
Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. What is known about Saint Patrick comes from the "Declaration" (which was allegedly written by Patrick himself). It is believed that he was born in the fourth century, into a wealthy family. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest.
According to the. "Declaration", at the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland. It is said that he spent six years there working as a shepherd. It was during this time where he "found God". The Declaration said that God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest. Patrick later returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. The Declaration says that he spent many years evangelizing in the northern half of Ireland and converted "thousands" to Christianity. Tradition holds that he died on 17 March and was buried at Downpatrick. Over the following centuries, many legends grew up around Patrick and he became Ireland's foremost saint.
Saint Patrick’s feast day, as a kind of national day, was already being celebrated by the Irish in Europe during the ninth and tenth centuries. In later times, he (Saint Patrick) became more and more widely seen as the patron of Ireland. Saint Patrick’s feast day was finally placed on the universal liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church in the early 1600s. Saint Patrick’s Day thus became a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland. It is also a feast day in the Church of Ireland.
In 1903, St Patrick’s Day became an official public holiday in Ireland. This was thanks to the Bank Holiday Act 1903, an act of the United Kingdom Parliament introduced by Irish Member of Parliament James O’Mara. The first St Patrick's Festival was held on 17 March 1996. In 1997, it became a three-day event, and by 2000 it was a four-day event. By 2006, the festival was five days long; more than 675,000 people attended the 2009 parade. Overall 2009's five-day festival saw almost 1 million visitors, who took part in festivities that included concerts, outdoor theatre performances, and fireworks.
St Patrick’s Day, while not a legal holiday in the United States, is nonetheless widely recognized and observed throughout the country as a celebration of Irish and Irish-American culture. Celebrations include prominent displays of the color green, religious observances, numerous parades, and copious consumption of alcohol. The holiday has been celebrated in North America since the late 18th century.
All around the world on March 17th people are dressing up in green (or being pinched for not doing so) and celebrating the man that brought Christianity to an otherwise pagan nation. Long lines of people wearing green top hats walking in the street followed by parade floats and Irish style entertainment fill downtown areas around the country. So, from everyone here at bv305; let us all be safe and celebrate the Irish within us all.
Written by : Vic Fonseca
Edited: Javi Vasallo
HONOR THE FALLEN
Death is ever present, it is undeniable and in the end it is inevitable. Recently, the Bearded Villains brotherhood experienced such loss in different chapters. Mike from the Louisiana chapter as well as Dominik from the polish chapter. Although their causes of death are different it’s the legacy they leave behind that will last forever.
When someone close to us dies, we typically experience every emotion we can feel, anger, sadness, emptiness, joy in past memories, deep questioning, and everything in between. We often harbor on the time we won’t get to share anymore, the memories we won’t get to make, all the moments we could’ve had but didn’t for whatever reason and now will never get the opportunity.
The thing about losing a loved one is, there is no wrong in the way you feel, so often we force ourselves into a disconnect with our emotions out of obligation. To appear strong, this is not strength, true strength is showing the emotion you feel at the times you feel it. The benefit of the Bearded Villains brotherhood is the massive support system all around the world to help you on your journey of mourning and coping.
When we lose someone close and we have begun our journey of connecting our feelings we get a tremendous opportunity. An opportunity to honor the fallen by exuding the love we have/had for them outwardly, to extend what we feel unto others. You see, the person is not lost, they are only gone physically and what we do in the now to prolong their legacy is how they live on.
Honor the fallen, speak about them often, allow your words and love to make them ever present. Death is permanent for our bodies but the soul is carried through our love and our words and is strengthened through both. Remember them, through our actions, allow them to become the best part of ourselves. The Bearded Villains Miami Chapter leaves you with this challenge, to share your love of the lost as often as their memories come to you, speak on what they meant to you, and share with all the part of them that still holds fast within you.
Written by: John Banks
To be good is to practice a preferred social conduct which is considered to be beneficial to society as a whole. Think about what that is for a moment. It is a very broad word, that may even be translated different to the individual. However, it is a word that’s understood by all, and one that is practiced regularly. To do good is something that comforts and warms the soul. You feel a sense of fulfillment at doing good; a sense of accomplishment when you do something beneficial for yourself; something that is good. To be good is easy, and something within us all. So why is there bad in the world? Why do people act in a way that is so contradictory to their nature as human?
February 14, 2018 was a sad day in South Florida, and for BV305. News was plastered on every social media platform, every local television, and radio station, spreading word of another sad event that took place. An event that subsequently ended the lives of 17 individuals, varying from ages 14 to 49; that included students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland. A 19-year-old boy, decided to walk into this school, and let bullets fly, with a single malicious purpose. But why?
Something that is shared in the Bearded Villains brotherhood, is their desire to do good, to teach other that there is hope, that regardless of what may be going on in your life, there is always a brighter day ahead. There is always an opportunity, for you to decide on good, and find a way to dissolve the darkness in ones life. The Miami chapter has worked relentlessly to raise awareness in its community, in charitable deeds, but most importantly, to show what these deeds do for a person emotionally.
It can be speculated, that most persons who are involved in such wrongdoings have a motive backed by some emotional turmoil; possibly due to the actions of another. When it is so simple to show compassion, and do good, why would one ever feel the need to push someone to such an extreme breaking point? BV305 is looking to continue to raise awareness, and push others to do better for their community, and the younger generation. The group has worked relentlessly to show the bigger picture, which is not to move laws into action, and give the country more restriction, but to teach others the benefit of a good deed. To save a life is not simply to remove someone physically from a harmful situation, but to show them compassion in a time where they feel that one does not exist. To save a soul by a kind act, is perhaps more impactful than further government-based action.
The Bearded Villains Miami chapter would like to extend their deepest condolences to the friends and family who suffered in this tragedy. They hope that the message stems forth to touch the lives of those who need it, and hope their footsteps are followed throughout. So, be kind, be generous, be compassionate, and you will see the world changed.
Written by: Javi Vasallo
The journey to find balance between ones mind, body, and soul can be a treacherous one, filled with distractions to keep someone from their path of reaching their desired goals. As the world seems to fall deeper into chaos the BV305 have taken action and spearheaded a movement that can be achieved no matter your position in life. Wellness and the pursuit of growing as an individual, is something often talked about by many of us; yet when it comes time to take action, we fall into the traps or distractions that lead us to stray from those goals. As human beings, everyone has succumbed to this but, internally everyone wants to change for the better. With 2018 bringing in fresh faces, fresh ideas, and renewed passion for life, the Bearded Villains Miami chapter decided to make a change and they would start by looking internally.
As brothers, the Miami chapter often pushes each other to be better and to do better, so they began finding ways to step it up. Challenging each other to lifting challenges, weight loss challenges, even inter club foot races. As the challenges went around, more brothers got involved and the group grew closer through merits of strength and hard work in the gym. Through this, the #bv305wellness project began.
The unification of body and mind has become a priority for the Miami chapter as it creates focus within the group to accomplish all tasks in front of them. It is widely known that fitness often coincides with good mental health. The wellness movement is in place to show people that many brothers in the Miami chapter are working hard in the gym, that there are brothers looking to take their life back from the pitfalls of being sedentary and overweight. Studies show that obesity can lead to depression or varied mental health disorders. With all the trials and tribulations life throws at people on a daily basis the idea of pursuing wellness together as a group was something that the men of BV305 are adamant about.
While the act of charity is paramount amongst the Bearded Villains Miami chapter, wellness has etched itself on the tablet of priorities moving forward to show everyone out there; brothers and sisters alike that they are not alone. That the blood, sweat, and tears shed in the weight room, on the court, in the yoga studio, or wherever you pursue your wellness, that you have support from the BV305 brotherhood. One day at a time, one rep at a time, the time for self improvement is always right now. The Miami chapter wants you to get out there, get active, get the body you always wanted, run the marathon you said you couldn’t, hike the path you’ve been putting off because the weather hasn’t been perfect but more importantly get the mindset of making your physical and mental wellness a priority. It’s time to change one day, to day one.
Written by: John Banks
Edited By: Javi Vasallo
Running, jumping, playing and laughing; just another day with the kids. As parents, we make every moment for them count. Not only for their entertainment and our personal memories, but to instill ideas, and teach lessons. We may not be educators, in the sense of scholastic teachings, but everything we do and say to a child is something they mimic. They learn from us; how to speak, not simply words, but the manner in which they communicate and interact. The way they choose their goals, regardless of how minuscule it is in their little worlds. As individuals, we each have our way of being, how we approach situations and socialize; how we treat others, and what we deem important. However, the essence of how we do it, we pick up as children, from what we saw growing up. This is what makes our actions within their line of sight so important.
No child is born with malicious intent, or a desire for good, they simply are, and they learn from what is around them. They act and treat others as they see those in their lives treat and act towards others. So, it is important to show them; not just the benefits of hard work, but also a sense of worth and appreciation when good deeds are performed.
Naturally, we live our lives to satisfy ourselves, to feel accomplished, to find answers, to explore, or live happy. Some live for a greater purpose, to believe in what we they decide to and give their lives to it. The one thing all people can agree on, is the importance of the next generation; the next group of people whose lives will somehow mold the world from where we left it and add progress to it. Through technology, scientific advancements, perhaps medical changes, but why not also through charity.
BV305 has been dedicated to the betterment of Miami since the chapter came together in 2015. We relish in the time we spend pouring ourselves into the projects we undertake, in the responses from those effected and the emotional onslaught we feel at having touched the lives we have. Greater though, are the lessons we teach the kids who work with us, or benefit from what we do. It teaches them to love and do; for more than themselves. It teaches them the importance of working hard and
gives them an opportunity to grow a humanitarian side to themselves.
The only certainty to life, is its end; but what of those we leave behind? It Is our responsibility to instill and inspire, to let the creative mind flourish, and be an asset to the community, and world we are a part of. The goal for any parent is to leave a legacy, someone to carry on their name and make it bigger and better known. Our legacy is that of our children, and those we touch daily. We constantly speak of our contributions to inspire others to follow suit, and hope that in turn, the younger lives take in the message as well. Our futures are in their hands after all....
Written By: Javi Vasallo
HISTORY OF VALENTINES
It’s February, and love is in the air. Promises of chocolates, flowers, and sweet gestures linger in the air. Valentine’s day, has been a day for couples to spoil each other in the name of Saint Valentine. They woo each other with gifts and love. But who is Saint Valentine? And why, on this day, do we decide to celebrate in his name? The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine (or Valentinus), all of whom were martyred.
One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II had deduced that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families. So he outlawed marriage for young men in the military. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they may have been beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl (possibly his jailor’s daughter) who visited him during his confinement. Prior to his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed, “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still used today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is muddled, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly a romantic figure. By the middle ages, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.
It was believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance. Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400.
Today, February 14th is celebrated as a national day of love. Whether you’ve been with someone for a week, a month, a year, or a decade; Valentine’s Day is celebrated with presents and grand gestures of love. Happy Valentine’s day, or day of love; with love from Bv305.
Written By: Victor Fonseca
MLK Beautification 2018
The neighborhood of Brownsville in Miami is home to a lot of culture bolstering all types of ethnicities that come together to create their small community. Brownsville has its share of ups and downs as a neighborhood, once a thriving community for black professionals only to ultimately be ravaged by poverty and economic decline. Within the community, there is still hope for a brighter future and it has invested itself in, ensuring that the youth of tomorrow is not denied the education they deserve.
Brownsville Middle School, the segway from happy go lucky child, to moody pre teen, where molding kids in attendance is most important, as they transition into young teens. Each year Brownsville Middle has the local and surrounding communities come together to donate their time and man power to give the school a facelift. For the past three years, the BV305 has answered the call.
Year number three of service to the beautification program started as most events; with the beards from Miami arriving first, even before the staff, anxious and ready to put their passion for putting a change to work. The first year the Miami chapter attended they brought roughly 12 members, the second year slightly more, and this year the number swelling to an incredible 25 man roster. As the work began, the BV305 broke up into three teams to maximize their effectiveness in making this a great and special day for all attending Brownsville Middles beautification and clean up, whether it be those volunteering, the staff, or the students of tomorrow. The Miami chapter has always been an "action over words" type of chapter, and in doing so, have grown into leaders not only amongst the Bearded Villains brotherhood but in the community as a whole. More and more people step up to support the chapter through service at their side or donations, and the future cannot be foreseen but it can be molded for the better with the good deeds we do now. So the Bearded Villains Miami Chapter will continue to participate in this amazing project for years to come ensuring that our heroes of tomorrow will continue to be inspired by the Villains of today.
Written by: John Banks @Bearded_superman
Edited by: Javier Vasallo IG: @pride55
December is the most sought-after month of the year, the one we all look most forward to. It represents cold weather and snow, the arrival of Old Saint Nick, gifts galore, plentiful food and the closing of another year. The count down to the New Year quite possibly the most awaited 10 seconds of the year and likely, the longest 10 seconds for most, as it is the time where the past years most memorable moments are reflected upon. As a society, we have been conditioned to believe in its significance, as a chance to start a new. The reality is, the 60 seconds between 11:59PM and 12:00AM, doesn’t affect anything, cosmically speaking, however it has become very significant to the individual. The time they choose to reflect on what they have accomplished, to contemplate how they will excelfurther than they did the prior year.
In lieu of the New Year, we've decided to change the way this blog will be written, as we, along with the rest of the world, have memories of 2017, and feel it best to share with a more personal perspective.
This year marks the 3rd "calendar year, since our chapter first waved the BV flag as an official chapter of the brotherhood. Like anything else, it was a journey filled with twists and turns, but through the determination of our leadership, and our motivated brothers, we have molded ourselves to become a true power within our bearded community, as well as our city. We've touched many lives, fulfilled dreams, and ultimately built a legacy that is unrivaled. The fondest memory is our biggest event to date, which of course, is the 2017 Bearded Villains World Meet. This is the time that solidified everything we thought this brotherhood was. It showed us the strength in our chapter, and pushed our determination to the breaking point. The success was unlike anything we had dreamed for it, and the relief afterwards was unimaginable for us all.
We are often questioned why we decide to contribute to the causes we have in the past, in other words, "why this one?'. This should be a perfect example.
The world is full of disasters and tragedy, often times something terrible happens, and people will speak on what should have been done, or what could have been done, in hindsight. This year alone, many of our brother chapters were impacted by the hurricane swarm of 2017, including Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico chapters. The Florida Keys, a home away from home for many in our brotherhood, was devastated by Hurricane Irma. Our Captain often makes it a point to take care of home first, and this was exactly the type of situation we take by the balls. It was imperative that we go there to offer aid to the people of the Keys, so they could feel some type of relief after the tragedy they had suffered. Fortunately, we managed to put together a truck full of supplies that was made possible by our friends, family and supporters who felt connected to what we were trying to accomplish. Brothers and friends of the brotherhood aligned themselves with the Boys and Girls club to make a difference, and that was exactly what they did. This wasn’t just a "here’s a donation and a few pics for Instagram" type of situation,this was man power, this was blood, sweat, and tears. This was our attempt at being the beacon of hope that the people of the Keys never saw coming. The progression of emotions from the people who we directly impacted from an uneasy “who the hell are these guys” to teary eyed thank yous, complete with handshakes and heart felt hugs. We often do charity as many of our brothers do, and like them, we choose to do something that makes us unique in the way we choose them, and that's in the emotional connection we often have with the cause we choose to be involved with.
Its beyond heartwarming to feel the gratitude of others. Not because of the praise that follows, but in the sincerity in a person tone, or expression. To see the weight, almost tangibly lifted off their shoulder, makes us feel like super heroes. We are just as grateful to them, as they are to us, in providing that solace to our own hearts. Which is why we continue to do what we do, especially now, during christmas time.
We understand, being a child on Christmas is a great thing. The holiday is filled with promises of presents, candy, and joyfulwonderment, and what quite possibly be the best part of all, a two-week vacation from school. At a young age, this is the time where our wildest dreams to come true. Where, asking for things isn’t unacceptable, on the contrary, it’s requested. A time where all the dishes you washed, all the trash you took out, all the times you’ve cleaned your room, pays off. It’s Christmas, and all bets are off.
But…......what if you’re not one of those kids? A little over six percent of kids are in foster care. Twenty one percent living in what are considered poor homes. Four in ten kids are living on a back and forth see-saw, flirting with the poverty line. For these kids, Christmas is different. Christmas still shares the same wonder. The same excitement. But the expectations are different. For these kids, there’s not much allure of presents, no grand assumption that Santa would bring them anything. Christmas, although special… is just another day.
One of our proudest annual events is that of Amigos for Kids, whogave us an opportunity to change that for some children. This is the third year we’ve worked side by side with them, and this event never ceases to pull on the heart strings and warm the soul. Not just because of their mission, and how positively they impact these less fortunate kids, but also by the alarming amount of people that are also helping out. It might just seem like toys to some people. It might seem like just another toy drive. But those kids receiving these gifts… it’s more. It’s a promise that tomorrow might be better. That, maybe they aren’t alone, and that someone does have their back. It’s hope. That’s what Christmas and charity is all about right?
We have made it our goal to impact our city as often, and in as many ways as possible. We are constantly on the lookout for a life to change, one to save, or simply the next face to make smile. As 2017 comes to a close, we look forward to what 2018 will bring, and more importantly, what we will bring to others, in our continuingjourney to the betterment of our society.
Written by: Javier Vasallo IG: @pride55
John Banks IG: @bearded_superman
Victor Fonseca IG: @flying.graysons
Edited By: Javier Vasallo
Christmas. The very word brings images of men in red suits, festive decorations, and presents to mind. Christmas alone brings warmth, joy and cheer to millions of people throughout the world. But, as revered as the holiday is, how many people know of its origin. Aside from the birth of Jesus, how much do we really know about Christmas, and it’s story?
Long before the arrival of Jesus, Europeans had celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. People rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them. Finally they could look forward to longer days and a warmer sun. Late December was a perfect time for celebration in most areas of Europe. During that time of year, most cattle were slaughtered to lower feasting feeding costs throughout the winter. For most farmers, it was the only time of year when they had a supply of fresh meat. Not only that, but most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking.
The first recorded date of Christmas was celebrated on December 25th, was in 336 AD, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that, the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th of December. However, there are many different traditions and theories as to why Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. A very early Christian tradition said that, the day when Mary was told she would have a very special baby, Jesus, was on March 25th - and it's still celebrated today on the 25th of March. Nine months after the 25th of March is the 25th of December! March 25th was also the day some early Christians thought the world had been made, and also the day that Jesus died, when he was an adult.
The date of March 25th was chosen because people had calculated that it was the day on which Jesus died as an adult and they thought that Jesus was born and also died on the same day of the year. There's a strong and practical reason why Jesus might not have been born in the winter, but in the spring or the autumn! It can get very cold in the winter and it's unlikely that the shepherds would have been keeping sheep out on the hills.
While some people also think that December 25th might have been chosen because the Winter Solstice and the ancient pagan Roman midwinter festivals, called 'Saturnalia' and 'Dies Natalis Solis Invicti' took place in December around this date - so it was a time when people already celebrated things. The Winter Solstice is the day where there is the shortest time between the sun rising and the sun setting. It happens on December 21st or 22nd. To pagans this meant that the winter was over and spring was coming and they had a festival to celebrate it and worshipped the sun for winning over the darkness of winter.
Aside from the birth of Jesus, Christmas has been known to spark up other folk stories. Other tales of a fat rose colored cheek man dressed in all white. A man known as “Santa Claus”. St. Nicholas was a Bishop who lived in the fourth century in a place called Myra in Asia Minor (now called Turkey). He was a very rich man because his parents died when he was young and left him a lot of money. He was also a very kind man and had a reputation for helping the poor and giving secret gifts to people who needed it. One of the most famous, and most original stories of how Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus goes as follows: There was a poor man who had three daughters. The man was so poor that he did not have enough money for a dowry, so his daughters couldn't get married. One night, Nicholas secretly dropped a bag of gold down the chimney and into the house (This meant that the oldest daughter was then able to be married.). The bag fell into a stocking that had been hung by the fire to dry! This was repeated later with the second daughter. Finally, determined to discover the person who had given him the money, the father secretly hid by the fire every evening until he caught Nicholas dropping in a bag of gold. Nicholas begged the man to not tell anyone what he had done, because he did not want to bring attention to himself. But soon the news got out and when anyone received a secret gift, it was thought that maybe it was from Nicholas. Stories spread and eventually evolved to the ones we know now. The one where he sees you when you’re sleeping. And knows when you’re awake. The one where he knows if you’ve been bad or good. So it’s best to be good, for goodness sake.
Christmas is a celebration that has lived on for centuries. It encompasses all of what is meant to be good in the world. Happiness, joy, cheer, charity. It’s been a symbol of hope and of love. A day where we stop thinking about ourselves, and think about the people we care about. A time where we can fill a child’s eyes with happiness and wonder. A day where we as people can truly take in and experience the magic that this wonder filled holiday has to offer. From everyone at the 305. Merry Christmas. And a happy new year.
Written by: Vick Fonseca IG: Flying.graysons
Edited by: Javier Vasallo IG: @Pride55
AMIGOS FOR KIDS
Amigos for Kids was created in 1991 with a simple purpose, to raise awareness of child abuse prevention and to help children and families in need. Amigos has created several avenues to reach these initiatives such as, the José Martí park after school program, which focuses on helping inner city children with scholastic assistance to which they have 100 children enrolled. Amigos strengthens families and communities by providing education to families on the philosophy of nurturing, to strengthen the bond between parent and child. Amigos has a plethora of programs that all have an array of benefits for families in the community.
One program in particular that stood out to the BV305 was the Amigos for Kids holiday toy drive. Christmas always makes most people want to give, wether it be gift giving or charitable donations. The ideology of the “Christmas spirit” changes people’s perspective, and encourages them to do what is taught to us as children, and that’s the simple act of sharing or giving. The holiday season brings people together, making them more aware, more courteous, and more joyful overall. When you think of Christmas, most people think of seeing the joy on a loved one’s face when you give them the perfect gift. The Amigos toy drive would give families, who otherwise would not be have the blessing to give, an opportunity to fulfill their Christmas
Unknown to the community, there are a staggering number of families who will go without Christmas all across the country this year, but in Miami, a good portion of those families will have a reason to celebrate through the combined efforts of Amigos for Kids and the Bearded Villains Miami chapter. Roughly three years ago, BV305 would attend their first event with Amigos for Kids with just a few members at that time, and would find themselves serving a purpose far greater than they imagined.
Early morning on Saturday, December 16th, the brothers from BV305 gathered in the parking lot waiting to be let into the building, so they can get to work. The sense of eagerness and excitement was thrumming throughout, and apparent in everyone’s faces. The Miami chapter bolsters over 40 members currently, and more than half of them attending, ready to change Christmas for every family they could. On one side of the room, volunteers and staff, and on the other, stood the brotherhood. When given the nod to get started, the villains jumped into action moving together and assisting like a fine tuned machine, accomplishing the task at hand of loading two trucks with toys way ahead of schedule. The day was filled with memories, laughter, some sweat and maybe even a tear or two. One thing is for sure, the Amigos for Kids and the Bearded Villains Miami Chapter will be making sure that families in their community do not miss out on the joys of Christmas.
Written by: John Banks IG: @bearded_superman
Edited By: Javier Vasallo IG: @Pride55
Cold wind. Salt water splashing against your face. The temperature is dropping. And for several people around you, disease and the rough seas are beginning to get the best of them. It’s a 66 day long trip. A 1,584 hour long journey from Plymouth, England to the new world. The world of promise, of wonder. The
world where any man or woman can practice any religion, or own their own land. But oh, were those 66 days hard. Around you sails get filled with the winds of the life you’ve left behind, in hopes for something more.
That’s the perspective of one of the (widely known as) Pilgrims. The group of settlers that left England on the Mayflower to make anchor in the shores of what is now cape cod. (far more north than their expected target of the Hudson River). The winter came hard for those settlers. With most of the crew opting to stay on board the ship instead of exploring and settling the new world before them. Throughout that winter, out of the 103 passengers; half passed on by either disease, exposure or scurvy (yes, scurvy is a real thing).
When the spring New England sun rose for the first time that year, the remaining settlers made their way to shore. Upon arriving, a neighboring member of the Abenaki tribe greeted the settlers. That same native American introduced the settlers to Squanto. Squanto was a member of the Pawtucket tribe. He was kidnapped by an English sea captain. Sold off to slavery. Escaped his slavers. And had found safe return to his home land.
Squanto taught the now weak from malnutrition pilgrims the ways of the land. How grow crops, extract sap from trees, and catch catfish. As well as how to avoid poisonous plants. Among all these things he helped the pilgrims form an alliance with the local Wampanoag tribe.
After the pilgrims first successful harvest, governor William Bradford organized a meal that lasted three days and included the native tribe.
It wasn’t until 1863 where Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday (at the behest of writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”). Set to be celebrated on the last Thursday of November. It was celebrated on the day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. So it has been ever since.
Thanksgiving was and is a time to gather around with the people you love. Give thanks to the things you have. Spend time as a group. And appreciate each other. So from our family to yours. Happy Thanksgiving from BV305.en two groups that plan on serving their community for a very long time.
Written by: Victor Fonseca
Edited by: Javier Vasallo
Boys and Girls Award
When it comes to community and charity, you would probably get the same answer from every BV chapter if you ask why they do it. “We don’t do what we do for recognition or rewards, we do it because we care about our community, we do it to inspire others to do the same.” The Bearded Villains as a whole, has grown tremendously in their charitable efforts. Teaching their communities about getting involved and giving forth.
On November 1st The Bearded Villains Miami Chapter were invited to a dinner and award ceremony put on by the Boys and Girls Club, for their work in the keys a few months before. (See blog entry Big Pine Key) The room was filled with lots of important people who have spent more than a lifetime aiding the children of south Florida. There was a genuine interest by all who were in attendance as to “who those bearded guys were”.
Countless awards for service were given out that night. Many people had earned acknowledgement from their staff and management. It wasn’t long before the BV305 was introduced, to receive their award for “distinguished service”. As they were called up to the front of the room, each brother looking around in a combination of surprise and pride, headed up to the front of the room to the applause of the crowd.
As the night carried on with dinner, drinks, speeches, and laughs, those in attendance seemed to gravitate to the BV305 side of the room to exchange praise and thanks. All had a genuine interest in meeting the guys, and learn a little more about what they represent. On this night, something happened that was bigger than any award possible, a bond was created between two groups that plan on serving their community for a very long time.
Written by: John Banks
Edited by: Javier Vasallo
When someone is showing their might, we often times think of feats of strength. In the Body Building world it may be lifting heavy, for powerlifting it may be in attaining a large total weight, CrossFit may be crushing a WOD, and in Strongman it could be winning a local competition. To Matt Kunkle, it represents something else. It is empowering yourself to achieve goals despite whatever your obstacle.
On November 4th, the “Miami Might” event was put on to showcase all these different lifting styles, for all walks of life and with one intention in mind. To bring a community of lifters together and give back to the city. As we all know, when it comes to their community, BV305 are first in line to make an impact.
The day was filled with electricity in the air that could not be denied. As you walked through Elite U, one could tell there was genuine excitement in the room. To be a part of something bigger than the best lift, or the highest total. Competitors were there to make an impact in the community they had become familiar with from other Miami Might events and local gyms. Miami Might showcased many different athletes that day, but there was a focus on two special groups, the Adaptive Athletes and the Special Needs lifters.
The showcase of strength and the ability to overcome adversity was absolutely breathtaking. The special athletes were probably the biggest draw amongst all of those present. Each lift performed by each athlete made the crowd roar louder and louder, surging further with each rep. During the transition of lifts, you could find people outside spectating the Battle Axe gyms incredible athletes putting on a show for the crowd, as they demonstrated different lifts and techniques for Strongman.
This day had everything, fun, family, friends, PRs and fails with everyone enjoying every moment. The highlight of the day, was the moment shared when Matt presented the award for best lifter from last years event, to the parents of Joey Vega, which from this point forward would be named after him, due to his unfortunate and untimely passing earlier this year. Joey had competed last year in Miami Might and instantly impacted Matt’s life forever. After a brief story about their interaction, a moment filled with laughs and some tears, it was clear why Matt made the choice to name this award after Joey.
The Bearded Villains Miami chapter didn’t just sponsor and donate to the event though, thats just to simple to fulfill their passion for the cause, they also threw some brothers to the wolves, by having entered both Jamo and Chiko into the competition. For these two brothers, charity and properly representing the club go hand in hand. Jamo took first in his weight class, while Chikos last minute availability, allowed him to enter, and was able to produce a very respectable total, with over 1100 pounds and setting two personal records. As the Bearded Villains of Miami grow their reputation for serving their community, they also look forward to growing their partnership with Matt Kunkle and the Miami Might movement.
Written By: John Banks
Edited By: Javi Vasallo
All Hallows’ Eve
It’s PM. A ghost, a vampire, and a zombie cheerleader approach your front porch. They’re hungry, and are coming specifically for you. Your front door pounds, outside you hear the howling of the crowd that gathers beyond. You approach the door, your hand reaches for the cool steel of the door knob. You turn it gently. The door swings open. “TRICK OR TREAT!”. They scream excitedly. It’s October 31st. It’s Halloween. Kids favorite holiday. But before it became the biggest day for costume and candy stores, Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve stood for something other than cavities and costumes with too little fabric.
Samhain was a festival, (celebrated by the Celtics in what is now Ireland) where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. It marked the end of summer and of harvesting. It also signified the end of the year, and with the new year, the beginning of the dark, cold, frigid winter. A time of year that was often associated with death. The Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the line between the realm of the living and the realm of the dead became blurred. So, on the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain . A day was believed that the ghosts of the dead could return to earth.
By the 9th century the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. Gradually, it blended with the older Celtic rites and traditions. By 1000 A.D., the church would make November 1st “All Souls’ Day”, (to honor the dead). All Souls Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. The All Saints Day celebration was also called all – hallows. The night before, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion began, was called All-Hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.
Around the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing the Irish Potato Famine, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Before this, Halloween wasn’t popular in early America because of the rigid Protestant belief systems that were around.
In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers. Borrowing from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition. A tradition where children dress up in costume and travel from house to house, asking for candy or sometimes money, with the phrase , "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" implies a "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. Although the threat hast lost meaning over the years, the iconic phrase remains the same and widely recognized throughout the country.
Today, Halloween is celebrated as a day of joy. A day where you can dress up as anything you want with little to no judgement. Where the lights of reality dim, and creatures of all stories are welcome. Parties and festivals are organized to provide a creepy and scary element to remind everyone of the celebration that once based its origin around death and the end of year. So, as you bob for apples, scare your friends, and request treats and candies from strangers, remember the history of All Hallows’ Eve, and let’s all have a great time, be safe, and may the next year bring us prosperity and happiness.
Will Lift for Boobies
Cancer. An ugly word that just about everyone knows. One that strikes fear into the hearts of even the strongest and most fearless. Cancer, by definition is "the disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body". The unfortunate truth about it is, that it is at times unavoidable, worse is that as of yet, there is no definitive cure. There have been many breakthroughs throughout the years however, and treatments that have been proven effective in lessoning, or even eliminating tumors completely do exist, but with a disclaimer attached which reads, "possibility of relapse". There are hundreds of types of cancer recorded that can form on organs, muscles, or tissues, and as mentioned prior, can sprout from nothing. There have been many breakthroughs in medicine with respect to cancer, and one of the most acknowledged, has been breast cancer. A type of cancer that has become one of the most well-known due to the numbers that have been affected by thisailment. Statistics show that 1 out of every 8 women in the U.S, a staggering 12% will develop some form of cancer within her lifetime, and an estimated 2,470 are expected for men.
In the last decade, many awareness campaigns have been had for the sake of cancer research, in hopes to find more effective treatments, or possibly a cure. Diagnosis aside, the death toll has been dropped however the numbers still rain in unabashed. Recently, BV305 had the privilege of being invited to a local Miami event, to raise awareness, as well as funds for the fight against this ruthless disease. On Saturday, October 7th the bearded boys joined a few friends at Flex Appeal Gym for the event the "Will Lift For Boobies" event. It seems obvious enough as to why it was named so, but let'selaborate. Two awesome ladies, and fitness advocates got together with an idea, and decided to combine a favored pastime, with a great cause. Tina and Katie Hosang (Mother and Daughter), Tina being a personal trainer, and Katie a fitness enthusiast, decided to exercisetheir motivational influence (pun intended), by bringing together other lifters, weight mongers and gym rats to one place for the sake of greatness.
In charity, one of the most important things to have is support, and what better way, than to have incentive provided by local businesses willing to give to the cause, as well as receive some recognition for their own goods and services. The ladies were grateful to welcome these thoughtful sponsors, and we'd like to give them credit for their donations. A special thanks to Intense Supplements, Hialeah Firefighter Benevolent, Gourmet to Go, TakeIt2DaGym, Mr. 25/8, Mr. Threads, Manuaktive, and lastly to Flex Appeal Gym, for providing the space to hold the event.
The event was promoted as a lifting event, hence "Will Lift ForBoobies", where the participants paid an entry fee, that allowed them to Dead Lift as much as they were able, for a chance at a prize. This being the main event, many came specifically for this, and found a few other interests along the way. Portions of the vendors proceeds were offered to the cause, so purchasing their goods was beneficial to all parties involved, raffles tickets were sold to offer more opportunities on a cool prize, baked goods to sate the sweet tooth, and what all fitness people need, headbands, towels and t-shirts.
Needless to say, the event was a success. Many faces came to participate in the lift, or to simply show support and donate some bucks. A total of $2,500.00 dollars was raised, and will be donated to Baptist Health Care, in hopes.
We are happy to say that we were able to attend and contribute to such an extraordinary cause. We all, not just BV305 but the whole of our population, surely know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. Whether they survived, or not, it is something we don’t soon forget. We would like to take this chance to commend Tina and Katie for their hard work, and the incredible effort they made in such a short amount of time. We hope these sacrificesyou’ve made are paid back to you in great health and success.
Big Pine Key
Following the devastation to the Florida Keys due to Hurricane Irma, BV305 looked beyond themselves, and instead looked towards those in need. Having gone to the Keys to help in cleaning and rebuilding portions of the home of a family in need, they decided they couldn’t stop there. On their long drive to this home, they were struck with grief at the sight of the many who were affected by the storm. From toppled trees, to flooded homes, and leaky roofs, and in extreme cases, collapsed homes whose stilts and foundation gave in to the flurry of wave after wave, the amount of need was unlike anything they’ve witnessed before. The number of families left without resources was shocking, and something needed to be done. As they usually do, they took matters into their own hands.
Their campaign for the Keys began right after the storm struck, predicting the necessity of their neighbors. However, they redoubled their efforts after seeing the destruction and devastation first hand. The Bearded Villains of Miami worked hard to spread word and find help where it was offered. The donations and willingness was there in troves. People from all over the country, and even some overseas reached out to provide help monetarily, as well as sending certain good that would be most helpful. They arrived in Big Pine Key early Saturday, September 30th, and with the help of the Boys and Girls Club, as well as a team from Progressive, drove in with two trucks loaded to the ceiling with everything one could need in such a crisis.
They set up a tent off of Overseas Highway, the one road that goes directly down to Key West from Florida City, and began separating and organizing all they brought, to make available to the public. They had everything one could need, from clothing, to diapers, wipes, and feminine hygiene products, canned foods, to batteries, toiletries and an abundant of other products who many found difficult to acquire. One had simply to ask, and they were given what was needed. The elation on the faces of those poor souls being all the payment necessary. Best of all, the effort didn’t stop with that.
Others came to the aid of these humble Floridians in addition to those already present. An organization of Military Veterans called Vets to the Keys, joined forces with BV305. Bringing donations of their own, as well as abled bodies, and a plan to help those who needed more than just supplies. As mentioned before, the physical damage to the towns was devastating, and although many locals banded together to help one another, their time became scarce as life began to normalize and businesses resumed their operations, limiting their ability to continue helping their neighbor’s effectively. Those who were assisted were beyond words at the help. To think that so many selfless individuals would drive 2 to 3 hours to help strangers was overwhelming to them. But nonetheless, the help was accepted gleefully, and a great effort was made. More than 15 families were assisted that day, from something as simple as moving debris, to as laboring as chopping and removing trees, the brothers worked together to provide hope to these people.
In the coming months, there is hope to see the Florida Keys returned to its glory. The bearded brothers continue to push their efforts in that hope. Charity may start at home, but one cannot lose sight of their neighbors.
Written by: Javi Vasallo
What is a brotherhood? What does it mean to be a part of a truly united group of men, whose simple association proves to be that of a family? If you were to ask any brother in the Bearded Villains, no matter the chapter, and ask them what they love most about being a villain, the over whelming answer would be "the brotherhood". When Bearded Villains started on Instagram, its creator, Von Knox never would've dreamed it would grow to what it is today, a worldwide brotherhood on which you can be anywhere in the world and know, you can find a local chapter and have a group of brothers you can count on.
Bearded Villains has grown to become more than a shout-out page, more than sick shots of bad ass bros doing bad ass stuff. It has elevated itself into something far more profound, a symbol of hope. Every chapter of BV standing up for causes true to their hearts. From autism, to cancer awareness, to giving back to veterans, and everything in between. Bearded Villains has become the vigilantes of philanthropy, often finding themselves in positions where giving back to the community on their own, risked trouble with local law enforcement.
Recently, due to 3 major hurricanes, the focus of the brotherhood and their charity work has been refocused inwardly as chapters in Texas, Florida, and now Puerto Rico have been ravaged by the 3 different monstrous storms. With Texas being first to face the devastation of these natural disasters @grapesoda_mike, Captain of Coast Texas chapter had this to say about the outpouring of support from the brotherhood
"The Coast Texas area was recently devastated by Hurricane Harvey removing thousands from their homes and businesses. In the Houston area, they referred to it as a 1000 year flood and several small towns decimated. The spotlight was on us and the world reached out. Amongst the Bearded Villains alone, the outreach of supplies and donations was beyond what I could imagine. Due to this, several families have been able to receive support in getting back on their feet and more to come".
As Texas was getting back on its feet, Florida was struck by Irma and again the brotherhood reacted immediately. Coastal Texas, being one of the first to reach out to the Miami chapter and support as well as the Swampside Villains.
Jimbo Captain of the Swampside Villains had this to say about their experience within the brotherhood
"So as the storm put a lot of people here in Florida out of power, we knew we had to do something, so we started trying to raise money to help the central Florida area. Two days into our fundraising, I got a text from Mike the captain of Bearded Villains Coastal Texas said he was going to send us a significant financial donation to help in are relief efforts. As soon as I read this text I was in shock. I have never met this guy personally, we've only spoken a couple times online. We often say Bearded Villains is a brotherhood, and in the truth, we are family and we are here to help each other. With the outpouring of support we were able to extend aid to our brothers in the Jacksonville chapter"
Again tragedy struck as Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, leaving it with no power, water, or supplies. The brotherhood again found its purpose to be steadfast as the different chapters are now working diligently to help with the relief efforts for the brothers and people of Puerto Rico. Some of the first to react were the chapters dealing with their own devastation, like the Florida and Texas chapters. You see, when it comes to a family bond, putting them before your own needs comes naturally, and that is the definition of Brothers helping brothers.
Written by: John Banks
With sustained winds of over 185 miles per hour, hurricane Irma came to the united states with one simple purpose… destruction. Irma started its path of horror on August 30, 2017. She was formed from a tropical wave that moved off the west African coast and quickly became a Category 2 hurricane within a mere 24 hours. With no intention of slowing down, it quickly gathered strength, and became category 3 hurricane shortly after. On September 5th, Irma resumed intensifying, becoming a category 5 storm, putting fear into many hearts. On September 6, Irma reached its peak intensity of 185 mph.
First up on this devastating track, was the Leeward Islands, then traversing towards the island of Barbuda, leaving further declaration, where over 90 percent of its buildings suffered some type of damage, and 3 confirmed fatalities. Irma was unrelenting in her trek, and left the island almost completely uninhabitable. The storm continued on, eventually reaching Puerto Rico and Cuba, and bringing its death count up to 13 people, and leaving thousands without power, not to mention flooding.
After ripping through the islands, Irma set its sights on the eastern coast of the United States. Touching down on the continental United States, the Florida Keys being its first target. Still between a category 4 and 5, the sustained winds came on with a vengeance. Large amounts of flooding almost completely submerged cars under water. Storm surges off the coast sent waves crashing into homes that leapt up over the homes themselves.
After leveling the Keys, Irma strolled onto more of mainland Florida. Causing the states largest hurricane evacuation. It tore fences right out of their foundations, stripped trees and their roots out of the soil they called home, and left over 80 percent of Florida without power. With its death toll up to 50 casualties and over 50 billion dollars in damages. Irma then slowed down dramatically and moved towards Georgia as a tropical storm. Continuing to flood and leave people without power and hope.
After the storm passed, many were left homeless, or powerless. Relief efforts pour in from all around to help clean up and rebuild. Several organizations came down to Florida, offering their resources to get people certain items they need to pick their lives up from beneath fallen trees and torn off siding.
On Saturday September 16th, BV305 went to key west to help with relief efforts. What they arrived to was more than any of them were expecting. Entire lives washed away by the very ocean they pay to live by. Families coming back from evacuation only to find they had nothing to come back to.
In times like this, all people must come together for such common goals. BV305 has set up several donation programs where people can send items needed by those who were affected by this monster they called Irma. Using the power of social media, they put the word out for everyone who can help, to help. We all live in different places, and everyone was affected differently. But if everyone does a small part, with enough time, everything can be restored to its former glory. Just like Irma started slowly and became incredibly powerful, BV305 hopes the efforts put forth can work the same way.
On December of 2016, the Bearded Villains Miami chapter got together for another monthly meeting. This was a special meeting for them, as they were of course celebrating Christmas, and the close of another year. What they didn’t know though, was they would get news that would excite, and frighten them. This of course, would be the announcement that they would be hosting the 2017 Bearded Villains World Meet. This of course, was to them an appointment of honor, so they obviously relished in this aforementioned excitement. But why fear, why anxiety? Simply put, they knew it would be a year to make a mark, and the bar they were to set, would have to be higher than could be expected. This task was taken without hesitation though, and the boys leapt into action, and taking the lead along-
side the Captain, was Miami member, Jorge Anton (aka: @thebeardedphoenix). This World Meet would not have been possible were it not for Jorge's efforts. From the beginning he was hard at work determining necessary items required, funding needed for the event, creating proposals for potential sponsors, setting up meetings, attending said meetings, appointing responsibility as best fit the individual's strengths, and every other bit of meticulously detailed requirements. Literal blood sweat and tears were spilled in this process, and most of all by him.
In addition to all the effort put forth by the members of BV305, the 2017 World Meet would not have been possible, were it not for the sponsors who so admirably accepted the proposals made, understanding not only the value of such an event was not solely the potential in marketing their individual products, but for the necessity to make it grand, due to the beneficiaries of the event and the great cause funded. Many contributions were made by these people, and it is important to recognize those parties. Although this was a Bearded Villains Meet, emphasis being placed so obviously on the "Beard", there was a plethora of diversity in what was available. Just as the Villains themselves are diverse, it was necessary to offer it in goods offered as well, making the Meet a complete success.
Many of the bearded brothers were able to attend this year, making it a pleasure for any who participated. Not just the Villains themselves, but the supporters, and general public who all played a role in making it an unforgettable experience. The Bearded Villains Miami chapter extend their gratitude to all those that made the effort to show their support, and are humbled by the affection received. Was truly a night to remember!
World Meet '17
In August of 2015, The Bearded Villains got together as a family in the first ever, Bearded Villains World Meet, hosted in Las Vegas Nevada. This was repeated again in August of 2016, also in Las Vegas. After the second Meet was held, they brilliantly decided to change the location every year, and 2017 was to be held in beautiful Miami Florida. So as the new tradition served, on August 12th 2017, BV305 became host to approximately 250 Bearded Villains from all across the world, not to mention the many others who accompanied them, and the supporters who came along for the ride. The Main event was held on a Saturday (August 12th), but we had to start the celebration early. Friday night, the Meet and Greet at The Garden, in Wynwood was the night that started it all.
There were two things clearly evident on Friday night, one was the unrelenting Florida heat that is just as much a part of the experience, and two was the undeniable, and unspoken excitement in the air for this grandiose collection of bearded excellence. Brothers from all over coming together to exchange handshakes, hugs, the infamous BV305 salutes and fond memories. As the event was hitting mid swing, the worry the Miami boys had, came true......rain! It's no secret Miami has what we locals have come to call "Bi-polar" weather, and on most occasions rain would ultimately end any gathering set outside. Yet this was another experience and memory the Villains took with them. How is this? Cue, the thunder dome!
A hollow rounded structure that sat empty, still just a shell of aluminum and glass being built to house future events, but at that moment, served to host all who gathered for the meet and greet wishing to avoid the downpour. Like the Villain Brotherhood itself, the party could not be denied, and as the rain subsided the party flawlessly transitioned back to the artificial grass of the Garden. Cheers and laughs were plentiful and not a person in the entire area was shaken out of continuing making memories that would last a lifetime.
Off to the main event! It was easy to tell when the World Meet began, as brothers from every chapter came together again, dawning cuts (sleeveless vests) boasting numerous chapter and achievement patches. People filled the doorways and filed into the vendor/sponsor room, unable to resist the opportunity at grabbing all the merch they could get. Each table working feverishly to make sure that their patrons found themselves completely satisfied with their desired keepsakes.
From stylish and delightful eye candy at the swimsuit table, to the Pulpo Beard oils and must have combs, Mr 25/8 lacing people with some dope gear, to the brothers at the BV305 table laboring like well-oiled machines, this room was a constant bustle, assuring no one left without some Miami swag. As the day drew on and the Beard and Mustache competition drew near, a singular voice could be heard over the intercom, perfectly directing traffic and energizing a heat zombified crowd. MDLP, your gracious MC/host provided perspective as well as genuine excitement as each contestant stepped on stage to strut their stuff.
The real highlight of the night was when BV305 presented a check to Behavior Links. The sum of $5,000.00 was raised by the contributions of all the brothers and sisters who were present, and was joyously and a bit emotionally (by both parties) handed to this very generous non-profit. With this help, they will be able to visit several locations and will change the lives of a multitude of people in need.
All in all, the 2017 Miami World Meet was a success. Many will walk away from this experience with a plethora of memories, and surely many pictures will be posted in the coming months to highlight the thrill of the weekend. We've asked many brothers, to share their fondest:
Justin BV502 Capo said: "It was an incredible experience! One that I won't soon forget. Being able to meet, talk and spend time with brothers from all over the world at a KICK ASS event! And all for a truly awesome cause!"
Jimbo, Swamp Side Capo said: "The BV World Meet was a one of a a kind experience of true brotherhood, friendship, loyalty and respect. Even though it was called a World Meet, it felt more like a family reunion."
Ed "Lali" PR Capo said: "It was a magnificent experience! BV305 treated us like VIPs. There are no words to explain how happy and proud the Puerto Rico chapter is of you brothers."
Morgan Louisiana Capo: “The world meet was a great weekend spent with fellow brothers. I love big meet ups like this, the experience you get from being around each is something you will never forget. Then to tie in a great cause like behavior links? What more can you ask.”
Mauro Argentina Capo: "In truth, I have no words for you guys for the appreciation at the acceptance and affection offered. Everything was beautifully organized, was overall a 10, was worth the misery of travel for me. Everyone conducted themselves professionally. This was an absolute party, and we are extremely satisfied at this experience. Thank you for all your support, 1 million times over."
Jorge “Pulpo”: “Not only have you guys set expectations, but completely raised the bar for how a chapter is supposed to run and operate a huge event like this. Your precision and attention to detail is impeccable and cannot be compared. From the moment we landed, my wife and I were showered with love.”
The boys at BV305 had a lot to say about the 2017 World Meet as well. The commonality being in the opportunity of meeting so many brothers, and feeling the love that comes from this worldwide family. Having shared in the company of this extended family, the devotion that resonates in these brothers for their cause, and most importantly the money that was raised for such an amazing organization. Overall, they will always remember the moment when everyone came together for the World Meet picture, as all present flags were brought forth, and in unison the chant of "305! 305!" began, and was heard throughout the streets of Miami. This was a truly humbling experience for the Bearded Villains Miami Chapter.
Daniel "d0n_big0te" Perez, Captain of BV305, shared these words on IG, accompanying a video of this precise moment.
"It was at this moment. These 10 seconds, that really pulled on some heart strings for me. To hear villains from all over the world chanting 305!! 305!! Was a moment I will never forget in my life. WE worked so hard for this meet, I forgot to take in what was going on, but for those 10 seconds, I bowed my head and thanked god, because I was reminded of the respect BV305 has all around the world, and I am forever grateful that; that is the case. My city, my brothers, my heart. TILL THE DAY I DO!!!"
Map your Meet
So, you've made it, you've finally arrived at Miami, and the weekend is about to begin, but where do you start? Here are some ideas to map out your meet. Friday, we start our journey positively, by giving back to the veterans who fought for our great nation. We will be at Carrfour Supportive Housing-Harding Village between 10AM and 2PM, where we will be donating food clothing and hygiene products, as well as providing our veterans with free haircuts. Later that evening, the Meet in Greet will be held at Wynwood Garden located in the center of Wynwood (home of art Basel and many other hot spots). Wynwood Garden is a great outdoor bar that will be sure to satisfy your need for food and drink and proper bonding time with our brothers.
From there we'd encourage you to explore the area! Wynwood is the perfect spot to capture the dope shots you've envied, captured by the Miami boys.
Saturday is the main event!
Doors open at 3 PM. Make sure you get yourself some raffle tickets, as we will be announcing winners every hour. Take some time to get situated and check out the sponsor tables! Meet the Ritz Boys from the Beardstrong podcast, head over to the main table and get fitted for the bad ass ring you've been wanting from rotten bones. The BV305 squad will be waiting there also with those shirts you’ve been waiting to adorn. Also, new and only currently to be found at the Meet, check out our hot BV305 pendants.
Our brothers from Chico's Marked 4 Life will be tattooing as well, so maybe it's time you get that BV tatt you've anxiously been wanting. Check out some local artists at work, as they create their art live via graffiti. Make your way over to the tables, and check out some apparel from Parks and Wreck, and Beardsace, but first stop at the bar and quench your thirst with some craft beer from our very own Miami Brewery. They’ll assure you'll get a taste of Miami in every sip of their Big Rod, or Miami Vice beer.
By this time, you’re sure to have worked up an appetite so head over to our food trucks and get your fill of some sought after Cuban food from Tony’s Kitchen, or some unique culinary creations at Mr. PB&J. After every good meal, we know that usually follows…THE DREADED IDUS. No need to worry though, we got just what you need. You’ve heard this a lot from BV305’s IG stories, time for you to learn what all the hype is about. Cafe’ La Llave will be there, just go up and ask for a colada, and wake the hell up!
The Beard and Mustache competition starts promptly at 5 PM, so if you're competing, head back over to the sponsor booths, and load up on some of Maestros balms to shape your face sweater. You can’t forget your oils though, slide back over to the main table, as we’ll have Azbane products there as well, with their great scented oils. You’re in Miami right? Make sure you get yourself some Miami Nights oil from Pulpo, and take a little bit of Miami back with you every time you apply.
There are certainties when one comes to Miami, and they are sunshine, beaches and bikinis! During the Beard and Mustache intermission, make sure you check out our gorgeous local women, as they compete in a bikini contest. After the comp, time to check out some more merch. Sadly, our journey ends on Sunday, but in true Miami fashion, why not go out with a bang! Meet us at the illustrious Miami Beach on Sunday morning, for some fun in the sun. This is not an actual event, so make sure you bring any goodies you care to indulge in. But otherwise, let’s make our goodbye one to remember, in true Bearded Villains style. See you then!!
Maestro’s is defined as "a great or distinguished figure in any sphere", and classic, well we all know classic don't we? But what is its true definition "judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its time". Well as men, isn't that what we are always looking for as we forge our path in life? To be a recognizable individual or as a maestro of our time? Don't we all want our life to be recognized as a classic? Our journey to be classic? As you take your journey into your beard life, whether you are the beard grower, or just a pagonphile who can't resist, it is simple to see why the name Maestro’s Classic has been a chosen brand. Maestro’s fully embraces the beard culture, and movement or as we call it, the “lifestyle”.
We all know there is no better confidence booster than that of a great haircut and trim, the satisfaction of a partial new look makes one feel brand new, and sets a tone for the next few days, so it makes complete sense that Maestro’s Classic would make themselves a known to the barbering communities throughout, for those who have embraced the beard as a lifestyle and require from their barbers, aka beard sculptors (artists). Furthering into the artistry that is proper beard sculpting, it is believed that this is why Maestro’s has chosen a logo that embodies a mythological look. Even to this day, there is no one who doesn't think of Leonardo Da Vinci or Michelangelo and their legendary classic sculpted masterpieces, and these being a sentiment that every barber wishes to capture in the look they help you attain.
Maestro’s product sets the bar, and sets it high. But we implore you to go beyond the product, and follow them on (community, purpose) level, as you dive down you will see that there is much more to them than just looking great. It's about community, it's about building a community, growing a community and supporting it. This is the primary reason it made sense to align ideals with one another. Yes, shockingly the beards are secondary but you see, if you ask any bearded villain what we are about the answer would echo the same "we are a brotherhood, we are a family". Maestro’s popularity has given them a chance to make it into retail stores nationwide, which for most would be the end goal but, with Maestro’s it is a "we have more, let's do more” attitude, therefore they take part in a multitude of charity and community events wherever possible.
Most notably their "haircuts for the homeless" program which showcases barbers, heading out to the community and giving free haircuts. Nothing is more gratifying than taking a man who is at his lowest and giving him a confidence boost by offering something we take for granted, a haircut and even more important conversation and support. The partnership between a barber and a great beard emulates the bearded villains Miami and Maestro’s unification. As Maestro’s continues to mold and sculpt their very path in the beard community and all communities, it is an honor to share in their journey and be another set of hands sculpting in a singular masterpiece.
When you think Greek Mythology, what images appear in your head? Do you imagine a snake headed woman turning men to stone, and the young hero that ended her life? Or are you steered in the direction of Minotaur’s? Perhaps a labyrinth, secret lovers, and a plot to save a city. Or it could be you think of Icarus and his wings of wax.
Maybe you’re different, and maybe it makes you think of the Odyssey. Odysseus and his conquests. Could be that all you know about Greek Mythology is what you learned while watching Percy Jackson, and all those words make you think is satyrs and lightening thieves.
But, what you don’t think about… is beards.
Yet, in almost every aspect of Greek Mythology, beards are always present. In ancient Greece, the beard was the turning of a boy to a man. Length represented age, graying represented experience. It was a badge, a sign of virility. Warriors and Gods alike are seen in glorious stances, doing heroic feats with their beards hanging as a symbol of manhood and prosperity. Shaving only to mourn, or forcing to shave as a sign of disrespect and cowardice.
Fast forward. Miami. Early 2000’s. Marcello “Cool” Valenzano and Andre “Dre” Lyons started producing music. Working with the likes of Lil’ Wayne, Drake, Meek Mills, Pit Bull, and many others well known artists, “Cool & Dre” built an empire in the musical industry. Their musical savvy, and skillful producing has left them with sales of over 30 million records worldwide.
In 2013, Cool and Dre (along with their partner Ted) launched their newest project. The clothing line “Beardsace Cartel”. Beardsace Cartel is a luxury brand that represents the beard culture through clothing and accessories. Designed and inspired for the beard, by the beard, and represents the love and expression of the beard; whether you have one, love one, envy one, trying to grow one or just fascinated by one. It started as an idea, the demand and popularity grew in such a short period, that it had to be expanded into a full line of clothing and accessories. Beardsace Cartel is the standard fashion for the bearded culture that appeals to men, women and children.
A member of the Bearded Villains Miami chapter, Ted Kay works closely with Cool and Dre as their manager, and lead man for their clothing line. Since he joined the Miami chapter, Ted has been able to share his experiences with his peers. Naturally, having built their empire in Miami, Cool and Dre were eager to jump on board as sponsors for the 2017 Bearded Villains World Meet. Working closely with BV305, Beardsace Cartel steps up as the next industry to help make the world meet a success. One step closer on helping Behavior Links expand their international program.
Strength, will, determination, ferocity, pain, focus....just a few of the words one would choose to describe the requirements of being a proper Strongman. The building blocks one must embrace to know the pleasures of such a title. But what is Strongman? The Strongman competitions go back to a time where a man's strength measured his worth, and contests were held to demonstrate exactly who was the mightiest. These competitions have existed since the time of our ancestors, but only in the 1970s, were they broadcasted as an athletic competition, and is now a contest anyone can pursue, should they find the mental and physical fortitude required to do so.
The Beardstrong Podcast was created by two bearded, fitness advocates who felt their passion for strength and competition should be shared. Realizing the biggest challenge for any aspiring strongman competitor, or any person simply wanting to live a healthier lifestyle, is their lack of knowledge and motivation. These two share their reservoir of knowledge and realism, in the most quirky, and energetic way. Providing not simply the information you seek but the entertainment that lessens the agony of
fitness and exercise.
On their weekly podcasts, John and JT will speak to you about their personal ventures, preferred workout regiments, eating habits, and provide their recommendations for what gains to strive for. As if their knowledge alone were not enough, they frequently bring on guests from different health and fitness clubs, to discuss their own successes, not simply in their own fitness, but that of the they have influenced, and assisted in reaching their goals. One important thing they topic of discussion, is the ability to open one's mind to the knowledge of others.
But it's not always hard work for the bearded chatter boxes. A most appealing part of the Beardstrong Podcast, is not just in its obvious purpose, but in the realism of their individual characters. Though focus is key, a positive state of mind is required, and a sense of humor goes a long way to help in the positivity. Beardstrong not only teaches you the know-how to compete in strongman, but will have you
running to the bathroom whilst you do get there. With their witty banter, brotherly razzing, and nerdy antics, these are the two who you want to motivate you into attaining the achievements you long for.
If you are looking for a unique look into the fitness community, a way into strength building, and competitiveness, or just wanting a laugh from a more brutish perspective, find the Beardstrong Podcast on youtube, iTunes and several other platforms online, to get you on your way to great strength and awesome beards!
As socialites, one of the biggest things we look forward to is embellishing in the experiences we’ve had in our lifetime. To share in the cultural, and ethnical differences we may have had a chance to live for a brief time. In such a huge world, to meet someone so different, and learn of their lifestyle, to see how they live and immerse ourselves in their day to day is an experience a lot strive for. This is the case for many, though for others it is an opportunity to relax and escape their realities. To live free of stress of managing life. Regardless of the reason, one thing everyone looks for is great accommodations.
In the last few decades, travel has become extremely easy, with its affordability and accessibility. Over the years we have all seen several sites which cater to ones needs, whether it be booking flights, hotels, vehicles, excursions etc. The commonality within these products is their simplicity. The ease of selecting a date and destination, which then leads you to several affordable options for the above mentioned. Some even go as far as suggesting events, dining and shopping locations, which provide further convenience. But there is another commonality to these sites, and that is competition.
With all the available OTA (online Travel Agencies) site out today, time is easily spent in researching. They all guaranty the best prices, yet we keep looking for the best and as a result, frustration sets, and your excitement at travelling suddenly turns into frustration that ultimately leads to your deciding on affordability, over the enjoyable experience you want. This is where STAYinde differs.
STAYinde is a company that began at the end of 2015, as a site dedicated to giving the traveler an informed and fulfilling search experience in helping them choose where they stay. In this technologically advanced world we live in, what better then to use a tool that billions across the world are already familiar with, Instagram. This allows the user to experience more in their searches with media. Nowadays, pictures are used easily, but video is still something not fully incorporated into websites, as it requires intense amounts of coding, which adds to overall expense.
So imagine going into STAYinde.com, selecting a date and destination that instantly generates a list of options, and easily accessing videos of hotel rooms, dining halls, banquet rooms, pools, property scenery and a plethora of other selling points for any given hotel. Let us say you want to see more, another click of your screen will take you directly to the hotels Instagram page for you to browse further. This is the experience they offer you, and the one experience that will keep your excitement alive. We don’t want stress going into what will be an awesome experience, so why not STAYinde instead.
"Rotten Bones" to the average person, it can make them think lots things. Maybe it would make them think of their favorite zombie movie, maybe their favorite pirate, or maybe even death in general (to those darker souls). To the creators, skulls represent something most people don't see. A canvas, an opportunity to create art that has become a necessary accessory. "Rotten Bones" to a villain is a representation of "bad assery," communicated in a single piece of jewelry that the bearded villains personify. Power, style, and individuality.
When you look at any piece designed by rotten bones it's easy to see why the Bearded Villains Miami have aligned themselves with this company. Established in 2016 in Indonesia, every piece is bolstering with detail that almost seems impossible to incorporate in anything as "small" as a ring or pendant and yet, it is done magnificently. Each piece is 100% hand crafted which creates a culture that is clear, focusing on quality, over quantity.
As you find yourself looking through their products you will discover that each ring is not only perfectly designed to be worn by itself, but can be paired with others, without fear that they would overshadow one another aesthetically, but provide the perfect compliment. Ordering is as simple as a few clicks, and sizing is communicated easily. Everyone is looking for something in their lives to set them apart from the endless sea of clones out there, right? Why not adorn a lifeless skull with its own unique energy, to set you apart.
It goes without saying why a partnership with Rotten Bones was a priority for BV305, as they embody all of the things that their brotherhood represents. Just take a look at any of the BV305 brothers, there are two things you will always see them in when they leave the house, their chapter shirt and of course, their Rotten Bones accessories. You may think that you have your style set in stone but nobody is complete without Rotten bones.
Chico's Marked 4 Life
For as long as man has existed, we have known art in the natural world we occupy. The inspiration for creation is all around us, from the tallest peaks of a mountain range tickling the heavens, the awe striking grandeur of our vast oceans, the scientific phenomenon that is life, treading all upon this Earth in its variation, the gentle breeze that bares no physical form, but so easily moves around us, and tenderly caresses. Art can be a direct word spoken to manifest an idea, and inspire creativeness in a written word, or a painting. Beauty is seen in art for the purpose it holds, and the stories it tells.
Chico’s Marked 4 Life is a name associated with art. A place where ones envisioning can be created and brought to life, to be dawned as an one sees fit, in a matter suited to their individuality. Miami, being a culturally diverse city, has become accepting of such displays of individuality over the last few decades, and Chico’s has become a hot spot for those seeking to bring theirs forward.
In older cultures, tattoos told stories of a person's life, a representation of ones journeys, or important milestones in a their lives. As we evolved, so did this art-form, and we have been able to create reimagining's on our skin perfectly, detailed and immaculate copies, manifestations of something more significant, in ways that could never have been imagined. Though the stories are not told in the traditional sense, still one can be seen. Thanks to Chico and his team of elite artists, telling our stories on skin became much easier to acquire.
Chico Cortez, proud owner of Chico's Marked 4 Life (M4L), began tattooing in 1997 in people's homes as well as his own. A native of New York state, he found his passion in this particular form of art. He came to Miami in 2000, still a struggling artist and single father, trying to provide for his child. He found success early on, and was able to open his first tattoo shop in 2003. In this time, he became a teacher and retired his machines, finding his passion for teaching to be greater, and seeing the potential of his students to outweigh his own gifts.
Through the years, he found continuous success and was fortunate enough to take on more apprentices, and open several more shops throughout the city. As is the difficulty of any business, some shops were not as successful as foreseen, and shops were retired. Currently, he has 3 active shops which are The Kingdom, The VIP Room, and of course the original Chico's M4L, which one can find dozens of very talented, and eager artists.
In the past years, Chico has become a known name in the community. Not only because of the masterful artwork performed at his shops, but in the contributions he personally makes in his community. He is beloved by his friends and family, and is welcoming to strangers and their needs. Chico is an individual that believes in his city, and makes himself available to its needs as much as is in his power. BV305, along with Chico's M4L have come together to make an impact!
The octopus. It has always been a symbol of complexity, diversity, and mystery. They've been revered for their innate abilities as both hunter, and master of camouflage.
Man. A testament of perseverance, will power, and adaptation. The pinnacle of evolution, and apex predator. Man is known for his ability to divide and conquer.
If, in your imagination, you were to put these two iconic beings together...You'd probably get some type of ink spitting mutant. "INK BOY" right? He'd stand guard on the coasts of Miami, with eight arms. All used for kicking the crap out of crime.
Instead of a cephalopod super hero; let this bad ass idea of a crime fighter represent an 11 year army veteran. One with the same ability to camouflage, hunt, adapt, and be mysterious all at the same time.
Jorge "PULPO" Montes became a bearded villain prospect March 4th 2015. Following over a decade in the United States Army, Pulpo was accustomed to a life with "battle buddies". A brother, or brothers you trust with your life, and whose life is trusted upon you. So when the alluring calls of a similar brotherhood (BUT WITH BEARDS!!) came scrolling upon his fingertips, he was more than enticed.
"BV brought a sense of brotherhood back in to my life. It’s been definitely worth it".
All the greatest inventions, are done because of a need. On December 12, 2014 the need was beard growth in Texas. With the sun beaming down with blistering heat, dry as the bone. With such a need comes maintenance. Ways of keeping your face moisturized. Ways to keep your beard from itching. (Most men shave within the first 30 days because said itch) Grooming, trimming, conditioning, oiling.
Named after the Spanish word for octopus, Pulpo has captivated and mesmerized its users with its unique scents, funky designs, and functionality. Offering a variety of musky, fruity, and refreshing scents, it stands above other competitors.
"I had tried out a few different brands oils. I liked some more than others. My wife and I had thought, I could probably save money by making my own oils. It wasn't until eight months later, after perfecting the formula and scents, that I found my product to be marketable. "With unparalleled customer service, and constant accessibility, Pulpo oils is top dog in the BV Community.
In 2015, Montes heard about all the buzz coming from the boys down in the 305. It didn't take long before he made contact with Miami.
"I believe BV305 is the standard bearer for every chapter in the Bearded Villains brotherhood. Since their involvement with Matthew, they have raised the bar and continue to do so."
By becoming a platinum sponsor, Montes became an intricate part of the grand plan in assisting Behavior links expand their international programs.
All of the best inventions are created based on a need.
But all of the world's biggest revelations, have also been based on a need. A need for change.
Pulpo oils aids in the change. Get yours now. And aid the change.
Imagine, just for a moment, not being able to communicate. Not like cell phones, texting, or social media. The inability to speak to those you love. To listen your favorite band. Or pretend, for only a little while, that all the beauty and colors of the world were stripped from you.
All of these traits, traits of someone with special needs, affect 19 percent of of people in the United States. That's 1 in 5 people. Seventy five percent of adults with special needs are unemployed. Not by choice. But by design. Households containing at least one family member with a special needs disability are also marked by the highest poverty rate; 32 percent. With such statistics, finding the right help for someone with special needs is expensive.
Special needs is a term used in clinical diagnostic and functional development to describe individuals who require assistance for disabilities that may be medical, mental, physical or psychological. These individuals may need caring for and/or help with everyday tasks. While others are completely independent.
Behavior Links (BL) was founded in January of 2009 by Liliana Dietsch- Vazquez out of the necessity in the special-needs world, especially internationally (outside of the US). Unfortunately, affordable resources and quality services are hard to come by.
"There continues to be very antiquated notions that need to be dissolved and replaced with an emphasis on their abilities and not only on their disability. Behavior Links started with a passion to provide opportunities for those who need some extra help to learn and develop."
BL works exclusively with individuals with special needs both locally and internationally (children and adults). Their services are open to any individual with a documented diagnosis, such as Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, Learning Disability, and so forth.
BV305 captain (Daniel Perez) met Vanessa Dorado (lead therapist at BL) when they were 11. When the Miami chapter started, on that faithful April of 2015, Vanessa told him about BL. Being that they were long time friends, Perez didn't want to just do a normal charity. He wanted something grand. Something that can really make an impact on this cause. So when bv305 decided to take on the world meet, BL was the obvious choice. Daniel hurried to the opportunity to help such a fantastic cause.
By making BL the focus charity of the BEARD VILLAINS WORLD MEET (Aug 11-13 2017), BV305 will be providing much needed support, funding and awareness needed to grow their international programs. Funds will allow them to continue traveling to Guatemala to work with various schools, organizations and orphanages of children and adults with disabilities and families of children with disabilities. It would also allow them to expand their international program to new countries. (currently has hopes of expanding their international support program to Haiti and Jamaica)
In specific, funds allow them to provide direct training, educational workshops, deliver therapeutic materials, provide direct consultations and continual support to families and professionals. It will simply be another piece in the puzzle to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities in other countries.
BV305 is always honored in helping the special needs community. With special needs hitting home with every villain, assisting an organization like this is a blessing. Bv305 looks forward to this union, and the lives this event will touch, both directly and indirectly. As well as the opportunity to continue this union, and assist BL with their endeavors going forward.
We got there at 7am. The sun crept its way up the sky. Becoming slightly brighter and hotter by the minute. "Sign in, and get your assignment and t-shirt," our captain's voice echoed down a street filled with cars. Registration took all but five minutes.
Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava stood on top of a stage, declaring today (April 29th 2017) National rebuilding day. The crowd roared with excitement, and anticipation for the build. "Today, we help make district 8, a little more great."
Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade (hereafter mentioned as RTMD) brings volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of homeowners in need. RTMD preserves home-ownership and revitalizes communities by providing critical home repairs to low-income, elderly, veterans and disabled homeowners at no cost.
More and more families must choose between vital necessities such as food and medicine, or a roof that does not leak. Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade works to ensure the homeowners we serve do not have to make these difficult choices.
The bearded villains Miami (hereafter mentioned as bv305) got the assignment to help Ms. Miller. A kind elderly woman who needed some landscaping, and house painting done. We arrive three trucks deep. Bearded men came out of back seats and truck beds, with matching shirts and hands ready for working.
An otherwise eight hour project was completed in under two hours. "On to the next house gentlemen," captain Daniel Perez rallied. The next four hours was dedicated to helping two more families fix two more houses. Everything from putting shingles on the roof, to leveling trees with chainsaws.
Joy filled the eyes and smiles of the people whose life has been blessed with such an opportunity. For two years, the rebuilding together initiative has helped out over forty different causes. Helping over 50 families. Truly staying behind their vision statement, "A safe and healthy home for every person".
BV305 is humbled by the opportunity given to us by the city of Miami Dade and District 8. We look forward to other events with this organization, and help Miami live a little safer, and a little healthier. One house at a time.
Miami Beach. Close your eyes and think of those two words. Those 10 letters in succession probably bring up images of bathing suits, white sand beaches, and clear blue waters. Muscle beach, and a nightlife worthy of the stars. Somewhere off in the distance, some tourist is singing songs about lying on the beach to the break of dawn. "Welcome to Miami".
But before Miami was the travel destination for all who love warm weather, it was feral. Swamp marshes, wild animals, and native Tequesta tribes. (Of whom named Miami "Mayami" meaning big water) Shells were carved into tools as native’s hunted bears, deer and wild fowl. European settlement didn't arrive until 1513 in the form of Spanish Explorer Ponce De Leon. And it wasn't until 1822 that Florida was purchased by America for 5 million dollars.
In the 1940's, Miami became a huge training ground for all branches of the armed forces. With the end of the war came the veterans who had grown fond of "sand in their shoes," setting up households in Miami as permanent residences. By the 1950s, the population of Miami had grown to 172,000. 1959, the city became an international haven for refugees. During the 1960s, Miami served as a center of international activities involving the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The city became a Latin American capital and continued on this trend through the 1980s. Miami was flooded with businessmen who brought billions of dollars into Miami, which were quickly funneled through front organizations into the local economy. Luxury car dealerships, five-star hotels, condominium developments, nightclubs, major commercial developments began very hastily.
In the latter half of the 2000–2010 decade, Miami has seen an extensive boom of high rise architecture, dubbed a "Miami Manhattanization" wave. This has included the construction of many of the tallest buildings in Miami, with nearly 20 of the city’s tallest 25 buildings finished after 2005, 2007 and 2008. This boom has transformed the look of downtown Miami, which is now considered to have one of the largest skylines in the United States, ranked behind New York City and Chicago.
So, Miami Beach. Close your eyes. Now what do you see?
August 2017, Miami Beach will be host of the bearded villains world meet. Another piece of history, for an already historical town.
2017 WORLD MEET
When you hear the name "Bearded Villain", what pops in your head? At first it may sound like someone you would want to steer clear of. But in all actuality we are a brotherhood of elite bearded men from around the world dedicated to the beard, charity, family, respect, and loyalty. On August 11th 2017 great men from around the globe will merge on the great city of Miami, Florida to celebrate our unique brotherhood.
Established in 2014 by President Von Knox, Bearded Villains has now grown into a worldwide organization. With chapters around the globe, these fine men not only positively impact their communities through their work, but display a comrade for each other few have ever seen.
In 2016 Las Vegas, Nevada played host to the 2nd annual BV World Meet. Hundreds of Bearded Villains from around the globe converged on the city. The event was a huge success and brought together bearded men from various backgrounds to unite in the name of brotherhood. Events included a beard competition as well as a "pin-up" contest. This year’s event looks too far exceed the previous year in attendance as well as community involvement.
Touted as "Beard Bash Miami", this years Bearded Villains World Meet will look to showcase the beautiful city of Miami and the very best it has to offer. Some of the confirmed events include a beard and mustache competition, bikini contest, barber battle, and pool party just to name a few.
Many more details are yet to be disclosed. But you can stay up to date on all things World Meet by following Bearded Villains Miami on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Event sponsorship inquiries can be directed to email@example.com.
We look forward to seeing you in our great city!
Azbane is a name known across the world by many. You have probably seen their products in hotels across the world if you're a frequent traveler, or work in the Hotel industry. This Moroccan company has been a leading manufacturer of a variety of shampoos, soaps, creams and oils available to the consumer as well, through online shop services We are especially fond of their Men's grooming products, particularly catering to beard care in form of oils, balms, beard and face moisturizers, shampoos and conditioners. Azbane is the largest user of Argan oil in Morocco, which is used in its purest form in their formulations of these impressive products. They are known for their worldwide exports, the US being a major market for them.
Argania, a genus of Argania Spinosa or Argan, can only be found in the southwestern region of Morocco. The tree bares fruit with a single, hard nut wherein 1-3 seeds/kernels are found, and argan oil is extracted. For locals, this oil is used for culinary purposes mostly, but is now heavily used in many cosmetic applications, such as these highly recommended Azbane products.
Our Bearded Villains organization is fortunate enough to have Said Azbane, whose family founded the company in 1970, to call a brother. Some of you who have met Said (aka: @happysbeards), will know he is a one of a kind brother who has made a point to travel the globe in a quest to reach out to the chapters of our organization offering his respect and knowledge to those brothers willing to give time to him. Said was made an honorary member of our Miami chapter late in 2016, and we could not be happier to have him represent us.
Late in 2016 the Bearded Villains Miami Chapter (BV305) was chosen to host the 3rd annual Bearded Villains World meet. A huge event designed with the purpose of uniting our Bearded Brothers to one city, where we can strengthen our bonds, and continue our everlasting venture to change how the world views the bearded man. When we discovered our city was chosen to host this year’s World Meet, Said contacted us immediately and offered his help.
He agreed to be our official, and largest sponsor, and contribute largely to our efforts in making this year one to remember. We happily accepted his contributions, and look forward to the time to come. With the help of Azbane, and the many ideas we have in store, Miami will be the place to be.
MLK day beautification 2017
On January 14th of this year, the Bearded Villians Miami (hereafter mentioned as BV305) participated in the beautification of Brownsville Middle School in Miami. The beautification consisted of; cleaning any type of graffiti, gardening, painting, picking up trash, as well as much more.
The beautification was organized by the law offices of Hamilton, Miller, and Birthisel. (hereafter mentioned as HM&B) BV305 first assisted in the beautification of Brownsville Middle School on Martin Luther King Jr's day weekend 2016. Erika Marrero, a paralegal, and very close supporter and affiliate of BV305 helped us become a part of such a fantastic cause.
This coalition between HM&B and BV305, made huge strides towards assisting Brownsville Middle. Apart from the two MLK day beautification, BV305 also assisted in a school supply drive.
Called the "Red Carpet Affair", BV305 along side HM&B gathered school supplies in accordance to requests from Brownsville Middle. As well as attending the first day of school to welcome the kids back for another amazing school year.
BV305 is humbled with the opportunity to assist HM&B with this cause, and looks forward to working with them on many more ventures to come.
What can we say about 2016? It has been a year of growth and mind blowing accomplishments. In the last 12 months, we have reached milestones we never thought possible. But through our sacrifice, determination and the amazing response from the Bearded Villains organization, as well as
many loyal supporters, we have risen to new heights.
In twelve seemingly short months, We brought food to the hungry, brought hope to the homeless. (Even if only by showing compassion with the simple gesture of cutting their hair, and providing simple grooming kits). In addition, to various walks to assist in raising awareness for several diseases. We acquired donations of school supplies (which we later, personally distributed) for less fortunate children. A positive start to what we hope will be a positive school year for them. Also in 2016, we set a goal with Make A Wish Foundation. $5,000.00 was raised in just three short months to grant a yong boy's wish.
Miami channel 7 news noted our efforts. On April 14th 2016, they (channel 7 news) aired an interview describing our efforts in aiding this boy and his family. This impacted our efforts tremendously, and added to the support extended by so many.
This year; 2017 will be no different. We have many new ventures we are looking forward to. Not just in our community, but within our own Bearded Villains organization. The growth we are seeing is unreal, and we urge you to follow our progress, and feel free to reach out if you would like to be a part of anything we do. Support is never rejected, and is always appreciated!