To put it mildly, Orta has come a long way since he was a teenager trying to stay out of harm’s way in Colombia. Now, he’s coming full circle and giving back. First, he opened a philanthropic-minded bar in Colombia that offered industry training and profits to local organizations in need. After that fell through, he formed a foundation through Bar Lab that partners with organizations in Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Colombia to work with kids.
“The hospitality industry really is a way out of poverty,” he says. “Once these kids have the skill set, they have options. But nobody is going out and teaching this, so my plan is to partner with other bartenders and chefs, have them teach kids about cooking and bartending, and do events throughout the year to raise awareness across the food and beverage industry. We’re calling it the All Day Foundation. I’m very excited about it!”
It’s yet another example of this migratory pollinator enhancing every ecosystem he comes in contact with, whether it’s imparting sweet nectars and bracing libations on land and at sea, helping improve businesses through consultation, or, down the road, opening doors for untold numbers of children who surely remind him of his former self: Ready and willing to work their way out of poverty, just in need of someone to light the way.