Well, here goes nothing! I figured a good resource would be the experienced members at ZooChat! My husband(a native Mexican) and I invested in some land on the Yucatan Peninsula, which is in the Riviera Maya Mexico area, not too far south from Cancun, to build a small zoological and rehabilitation center(for native species). The competing animal parks (Bel Air and CrocoCun) differ in what we hope to offer tourists and locals alike, so we feel we have a bit of a shot. The laws regarding licensing and permits are much more lenient in Mexico; the land, labor, and supplies are less expensive than in the US; and there are year-round visitors that I feel would enjoy our facility. The facility I am aiming towards is an interactive and educational establishment, where guests can get up-close and personal with many of our resident animals. We have about $500,000 USD in personal finances to get the place started, which we feel, with a loan and plenty of financial advising, is just enough to get the ball rolling. I would like to get started with a free-flight walk-through aviary and offer visitors the opportunity to feed birds at select times(Conures, Turacos, perhaps even a few Toco and Keel-Billed Toucans) along with peacocks and native deer walking about. Being that I have extensive experience(both as an owner of and professional time working with) the larger hookbills, the addition of a bird show would very much interest me as well. I would also love to build exhibits for Coatimundis, Tapirs, Patagonian Cavies, Kinkajous, African Crested Porcupines, and a few different species of primates such as Spider Monkeys(native to Mexico), Tamarins, Capuchins, Lemurs, and Macaques. We would like to have the addition of a reptile building as well, featuring various reptiles and amphibians. As far as ungulates are concerned, I'd like to start with the more commonly kept species such as Zebras, Antelopes, Gazelles, Camels, and Onyx. I feel, since I'd love to make this a more interactive zoo, it would be important to incorporate your typical "petting zoo" animals such as unique sheep species, llamas, deer, exotic cattle species, et cetera. As the business grows(hopefully!), I'd like to bring on additions like small carnivores such as Ocelots, African Servals, Fishing Cats, Fossas, and Cougars. Ultimately, I'd love to have Jaguars(since it is a native species) and Tigers, providing the business is thriving. Obviously, we couldn't simply just bring in so many species at once, so it would be an ongoing process. But, I'm getting way ahead of myself here! A little bit about my husband and I— My husband has lifetime experience growing up on a family farm with cattle, pigs, and horses. He started working professionally with show horses in 2001 for top leading riders and trainers in three different countries. We met at a horse show as co-workers for an Olympic rider and trainer back in 2008. I, myself, grew up with a wide variety of domestic and exotic pets alike, until I began working in the professional horse industry. In 2010, we settled down in Virginia, US and I took the position as a zookeeper and educational outreach manager at a nearby animal park. Aside from my zookeeper duties, I organized and supervised outreach programs ranging from school presentations, special events at the animal park, corporate functions, and local fairs and carnivals. Though my experience there was only just over four years, I gained a wealth of knowledge of the zoological industry, as the private owners took me under their wing, so to speak. For years, my husband and I had ambitious dreams of owning a zoological center of our own. Being that my husband is very crafty in construction and my extensive(but always learning!) knowledge in exotic animal husbandry, we decided to make this dream a reality. While we don't intend to begin building the park immediately, we do hope to start the process in the next 3-5 years. We have the land and we are continuously saving toward our ultimate goal. I am hoping for any and all advice you ZooChat members could offer me! Both encouragement and criticism is welcomed! I'd love any information you all can offer, from business advice, money management, enclosure designs, import/export companies or individuals, to any general knowledge and/or experience you can offer! I appreciate you taking the time to read this and I look forward to reading your responses. Thank you in advance!