Our Story The Warden Family
Mitch Warden was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. At the age of 13, he solely joined Dauphin Way United Methodist Church. A friend in the neighborhood invited Mitch to the church's youth group one Sunday and it soon became a weekly routine to attend. The youth group leaders at Dauphin Way United Methodist Church set up annual foreign mission trips as well as local projects for the members. Mitch always participated in the local projects but could not afford to travel abroad. In 1993, a youth group director (Keith Sandow), gave Mitch the opportunity to sell fruit at the church's annual fruit sale and pay for a foreign mission trip. Mitch sold fruit for three weeks to all the church members and almost saved up enough money to pay for the entire trip. The church sponsored Mitch for the remaining balance. This trip was very special for Mitch because it was his first time leaving the country. In 1994, at age 15, Mitch Warden went to Venezuela on a mission trip that would change his life.
During the 12 days spent in Venezuela, Mitch got to know some of the locals. Although he did not speak Spanish at the time, he managed to exchange names and addresses before his departure. Throughout his years at Murphy High School, Mitch would write letters to the people he met in Venezuela every month. They formed a strong bond and Mitch was destined to return to Venezuela for a visit. In 1999, Mitch created a solo mission trip to Venezuela for 3 weeks to visit everyone and to also take supplies to needy Venezuelan families. Dauphin Way United Methodist Church paid for all of the supplies to be flown to Venezuela (they're awesome).
During the 3 weeks in Venezuela, Mitch attended a family reunion in Rubio with one of the friends he met back in 1994. At that reunion, Mitch was introduced to Yosmar Del Valle Pestana. Yosmar was born in Caracas and moved to Rubio at a young age. Her mother's family was from Rubio and that's why the family decided to move back. It was love at first sight for the "Gringo"! Although Mitch's Spanish had improved, he could not hold a full conversation with Yosmar. Yosmar did not speak English at the time either. Mitch and Yosmar had the opportunity to hang out several times before Mitch's departure in 1999. When Mitch returned to the United States, all he did was work and think about Yosmar. Mitch would send letters (US Mail & Email) to Yosmar and they formed a strong bond. Mitch worked and saved up money for nearly two years to return to Venezuela. By this time, Mitch and Yosmar knew that they wanted to get married and be together forever. Mitch reached out to the US Embassy in Caracas and after a year of frustrating paperwork (including $), they approved Yosmar's VISA for the United States.
Mitch received notification that Yosmar's VISA was approved and booked a flight immediately to Venezuela. The flight was scheduled to depart from Miami Florida on September 11, 2001 at 9:30am. Mitch was sitting on the plane when the Captain asked all of the passengers to return to the airport lobby. Mitch didn't arrive to Venezuela until 3 weeks later because of all the chaos during that time (terrorist attacks). The US Embassy rescheduled their appointment for Yosmar's VISA. In late November 2001, Yosmar received her US VISA from the US Embassy in Caracas Venezuela. Mitch and Yosmar had to go through countless interviews and jump over many hurdles to make this happen. Especially since all US Embassy's were on RED ALERT! The VISA that Yosmar received is called a Fiancé Visa which only allowed her 90 days to get married once she entered the United States. Needless to say, they put together a wedding very rapidly (thanks to family and friends).
Mitch and Yosmar were married at Dauphin Way United Methodist Church on January 5, 2002. During the wedding, Mitch expressed a great thought. "Dauphin Way took me to Venezuela in 1994 and now I'm bringing someone back from Venezuela to Dauphin Way". If it were not for great people supporting Mitch in his early childhood, he would have never made that first trip to Venezuela. Life would have taken a completely different direction. On December 18, 2002 Mitchell Blake Warden was born. For both Mitch and Yosmar, "Blake" is the WORLD! At 3 months old, The Warden Family relocated to Venezuela. In 2003, they bought 3 acres and built a house in the Andes Mountains. Blake's first official language is Spanish but Mitch always spoke to him in English while the family resided in Venezuela. After the home was built in Venezuela, The Warden Family relocated to Orlando Florida for 10 years. They invested everything ($) into the Venezuelan "Dream Home" and came back to the US to work and to give Blake a better education. Blake, as a kid, had the opportunity to visit all the Theme Parks weekly on an annual pass. The song, "It's a Small World" never gets old for us because it brings back great memories of Blake's youth.
While living in Venezuela and Orlando (FL), Mitch finished his Bachelor's Degree in Health Administration, (MBA) Master's Degree in Business Administration, and then completed The University of Notre Dame's Executive Business Certification Program.
After years of going through the immigration process, Yosmar Del Valle Warden became a proud United States citizen in July 2009. The Citizenship Ceremony was held at Disney World's Magic Kingdom which was a special one-time occasion. She then enrolled in a Community College and worked for American Airlines in Orlando Florida.
In 2013, The Warden Family wanted to continue traveling. They completed an Ireland/Northern Ireland trip in March and then did a United States / Canada / Quebec road trip in October/November (34 days). Both trips were ranked at the very top of The Warden Family's "Best Places List". In November 2013, The Warden Family relocated back to Venezuela to visit Yosmar's family and traveled throughout South America during that time. Mitch homeschooled Blake for the 2013-2014 school year.
After traveling the world for a year and living in Venezuela, The Warden's moved to Houston Texas for a new career opportunity in August 2014. While in Texas, they explored over 200,000 square miles of the state and ventured to New Mexico a couple of times. Mitch did extremely well with the company and was promoted quickly. After only two years, another opportunity was presented in the New England area. Mitch and the family packed up and moved to the great state of New Hampshire in the Spring of 2016. They purchased a home in Northern New Hampshire near the Quebec/Canadian border and are currently exploring New England while residing in the area.
Since 2006, The Warden Family has been traveling the globe looking for new adventure every step of the way. Traveling is absolutely amazing! Going to a new city, state, or country gives a person a new perspective on what the world is like outside of their everyday lifestyle. Learning about new cultures is a great educational experience for everyone. Speaking a new language, trying different foods, and getting to know new people is exciting. Please explore The Warden Family website and join us as we continue to share our traveling experiences of the world. The Warden Family also has a YouTube Channel that gives weekly updates on our current location (Subscribe). Enjoy the site and don't forget to TRAVEL!
Welcome To The Warden Family