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Excerpts from the April 2006 issue of GQ magazine
The Mail Order Bride
"He wanted a post-card-perfect wife: someone gorgeous, of course, who was caring and happy to serve her man and not as spoiled as the American women he knew. So, he looked to South America and outsourced the search. Soon, he had more women that he could deal with."
"He surfed through an array of poorly designed and possibly fraudulent ones until he found a firm called International Introductions (latin-wife.com), which virtually guarantees to connect any solvent, unrepulsive man with a pretty girl in the coastal Colombian city of Barranquilla. For $1,375, the company will put you in a nice hotel, provide you with a translator, and guide you through interviews designed to overcome the barriers of culture and language."
"Steven´s desire to get married has compelled these seven Colombian women and roughly thirty-five more he´ll meet in the next two days to consider taking him as a husband."
"Steven looked happy wasted at the Hotel. He´d been hustled from one interview to the next since the moment we´d landed in Colombia. And now, as he swirled wine around in his glass, he seemed kind of delirious, glazed over with lust and possibilities. He kept rubbing his shaved head with the flat of his hand. “Oh man,” he said, grinning. “I´m buzzing. What a trip!"
(As of 2011, Steven is happily married and has two children from the Colombian woman he met during this story using our Romance Tour.)
Excerpts from a Valentine Day newspaper article in Houston, Texas
Love in the 21st Century
"Four years divorced, with the custody of his two daughters, he was tired of being single. He tried everything without success: bars, blind dates, dating services. A marriage agency seemed like a very good option. He found one on the Internet that offered to get him into contact with women who were interested in meeting American men for marriage from Barranquilla, Colombia. His friends thought he was crazy and his family ´thought he was retarded.´"
"The LeBlanc´s could now be the couple for an ad for one of these marriage agencies. He was looking for a woman with family values and he found one, who was 14 years younger than him, who didn´t speak his language who he married and now lives with in the Unites States."
"With the marriage agency latin-wife.com, the one LeBlanc hired, the man travels to Barranquilla, where he has an introduction with 10 women and a translator."
" ´In a couple of days you can meet 40 or 50 women,´ explains Jamie Morrow, founder of the marriage agency. After the introductions, the marriage agency gives him feedback on the women he liked. For several days, he has dates with each one of the women, looking for the one he thinks he could share his life with."
"In Colombia, the marriage agency looks for women that they think will be good candidates. ´70% of the men are interested in the more beautiful women who make up 30% of the women´, says the postmodern cupid."
"Most of his clients are men among 35 and 45 years old, business owners or professionals attracted to the Latin beauty. The women, who do not pay for the service, are mostly young, but you can even find older women up to 50."
"With the engagement ring and a fiancé visa that took eight months to arrive, Joels arrived in Houston. A month after she was married and a year later, she got pregnant. The ones that said he was crazy are now jealous of his marriage, says LeBlanc."