We had the good fortune of connecting with Francisco Ortega and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Francisco, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
My name is Francisco Ortega and I am 30 years young. I am from Houston, Texas. Born and raised. My parents came here a little over 35 years ago from Mexico City, where they lived a big portion of their life. Being raised in a Mexican household where both parents would work and would provide for 5 children there wasn’t much leisure time for my parents. They’re form of entertainment on the weekends was watching novelas or mainly watching soccer games on TV. My dad is an avid soccer fan and his favorite team is Las Chivas de Guadalajara. I can’t count all the times I sat there and enjoyed watching all these soccer games with him. At a younger age I wasn’t too into soccer as I am today. I got more into it when I was in middle school. And once high school came around my passion for it grew immensely. Through hard work and dedication I was able to play for the Pasadena High School Varsity soccer team. The same school where I graduated in 2009. Unfortunately, due to a knee injury I wasn’t able to further pursue my soccer career. Regardless my interest and passion in soccer remained in tact. I took a long break from soccer after high school. And started things back up in 2014 after watching the 2014 FIFA World Cup. I figured well if I can’t play, then I’m sure I can get a team together and coach them. Soo I turned my once passion for playing into my now passion for coaching and watching my team win! (And lose sometimes) After a lot of trial and error, I finally had my team solid and ready to play. We played in the Magnolia soccer league (2nd Division) in Downtown Houston for a little over 3 years. (2014-2017) We managed to get to semi finals one season, and made playoffs every season. I took a long hiatus from soccer, for some well needed traveling. But that’s another story. Fast forwarding to February 2020, I once again, brought back the team with some new added reinforcements. We are now playing in the Volt League in Katy, Texas. We are steadily climbing back up that chart after starting off a little rocky at the start of the season. I anticipate making playoffs this spring season. And even taking that first place.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When you hear about repelling you probably think. Cool, rock climbing! Well that’s not the case for me. I am part of the industry where we repel, aid climb, ascend, all through means of rope access. You’re probably thinking well what’s rope access? And what’s that industry? Rope access has been around since the early 1980s. That’s ofcourse way past my time. By employing Rope Access where scaffolds, cranes are typically used in an industrial setting a petrochemical plant for example, is able to improve safety, quality and efficiency. I also perform Non-Destructive Examinations. This is a fancy word for performing ultrasonics, x-rays on pipes and welds amongst other inspection testing methods. This industry is who I, and many others, have to thank for our financial success. Everyone who knows our industry knows you make a good living doing what we do. But most importantly we are able to keep these local plants safe. Inspection accounts for major prevention in these plants piping and equipment damaging. I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons and met some really cool people on this industry. I have been able to almost perfect my craft throughout the years as well. I am good at what I do. And you know what they say “when you’re good at something, never do it for free.” I plan on going back to school to pursue a career in coaching. I think it’s of utmost importance to work in something that you’re passionate about. Something that you’re emotionally connected with. That way it’s less of a job and more of something you enjoy doing on a daily. Ideally, I would like to coach, as the head coach, at Pasadena High School.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a friend and I had the ample amount of time to go to Europe. I would say, “let’s book the flights and worry about the rest later!” Touching back on the traveling I had mentioned in a previous question I can honestly say that my trip to Europe in 2018 was something that will be a life long memory and a spectacular experience. I would probably say to my friend let’s start the trip off in London, even though it’s always overcast and rainy there. But there’s something about the night life in London that you must experience at least once in your lifetime. Secondly we would take a ferry ride over to France. Where we would make our way over to the city of love which is Paris. Paris’s landmarks are by far some of the most interesting I have ever been to. You have ofcourse the Eiffel Tower, Arch of Triumph, and the infamous catacombs. Word of advice: bundle up if you’re going up the Eiffel Tower in the winter time. Paris’s food is exquisite, especially their pastries. The collection of art they have at the Louvre Museum is mind blowing. Saying Goodbye to France, I would make our way over to Interlaken, Switzerland where the cheese is to die for. Swiss cheese and Swiss hospitality is by far unmeasurable from anywhere around the world. Also don’t forget to take an hour hike up and down the Swiss alps. The scenery and wilderness is amazing. Next we would make our way over to Venice, Italy. Where Gondola rides are a must. As well as a broom for cleaning the streets is. Venice island is a very unique and complex maze where you could literally get lost quickly if you lose track of where you were coming from. Good luck trying to find your way out with a smart phone. There’s a good amount of high fashion stores and items to buy there. Italian people dress really nice. Moving on over to Munich, Germany where the beer and the food is rich and plenty. To this day, I have not had a better beer than the one I had at Hofbräuhaus München. People there are really tall and fit. We would have to end the trip in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Amsterdam is a mixture of chill day activities to hardcore party night life. You can bike the city during the day and hit the red light district at night for a unique never before seen experience. They have these coffee shops that are really smoke shops where you can go, smoke and unwind. They’re all over the place. Amsterdam is always on the go. The city never sleeps.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents would have to be the reason of why I am the way I am. I thank them for my good upbringing, my character, my respect towards others, even my good work ethic. I’ve always said that the way a person is raised at a young age is detrimental to who they will become later on in life. I carry the wisdom and knowledge that my parents bestowed upon me at a young age. Most importantly they taught me about God. In the words of James Prince Sr, “I was taught that you must believe in something bigger than yourself, in order to obtain something bigger than yourself. For me, that belief is in God.” I believe this statement to be true, to the fullest extent. My whole demeanor now is about God. Through constant prayer and hard work I have been able to achieve the things that I have been able to achieve. (I believe that faith won’t work, if you don’t work.) For example, Finishing my career, working in my career field, being able to help others through spreading God’s scriptures. Because of God I am able to see life in a different light. I see everything as an opportunity to do right by instead of wallowing away in ones’ everyday troubles and hardships. I also want to thank my friend Jose Anibal Talamantes for never giving up on me. He has been my mentor in this long spiritual journey of mine. Anibal is also the reason we brought back the soccer team and entered this Volt League. Soo kudos to him. I wanted to take this opportunity to recognize my 8 month old son, Anthony Gael Ortega, which I love dearly. Bonding with him and being present in his life has given me a whole different outlook on life. I have someone to live for and someone that’s counting on me every day now. You’d think that being a father would be enjoying all the good times only but it’s not always just about that. It’s the constantly worrying about them and wondering how they’re doing while you’re at work. It’s true what they say. You’re never really ready for being a parent and things never tend to happen how you plan them. But one thing I can say is that it’s well worth it.
Paris Saint-Germain F.C.