Island Life, Carlos Garcia, Ocean Sothebys

YouTube show puts lights on Keys

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Islandlife: The first episode of "Live Island Life" highlighted a beautiful home in Key Largo. The show hosts properties throughout the Keys, from Key Largo all the way to Key West. AIDA VELEZ/Contributed

By Tiffany Duong

“It’s really difficult to find good information about living in the Florida Keys,” said Carlos Garcia. “I couldn’t find out anything before I moved here, so I made it my mission to provide insider information about the Keys and our lifestyle to people all over the world.” 

Garcia has been visiting the Keys with his then-girlfriend-now-wife since he was in college, over 18 years ago. They fell in love with the community and finally moved to Key Largo in 2018 with their kids. 

“I grew up in Brazil and have traveled all over the world, but I have never lived in a place like the Keys where I am constantly in awe. This place is so incredible — the natural beauty, the quiet on most days of the year, and the slow pace of life where my kids can grow up much like I did in Brazil,” said Garcia. “And, the sunsets are the prettiest on the entire planet.”

Garcia decided to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a Realtor once he arrived in the Keys. Then, things got interesting. “After I got my real estate license, it became about marketing. But I did not want to simply knock on doors, get listings and sell houses without providing my clients more value. That search for value creation grew out of my own frustrations as a new resident of the Keys,” said Garcia. “I couldn’t find detailed information about living in the keys — the schools, the secret spots — so I created my Instagram (@IntheFloridaKeys) and media channels (www.carlosginthefloridakeys.com) to find out and share that information with not just my clients, but everyone — viewers, visitors and newcomers — and document the best of daily life in the Keys.”  

Garcia’s media channels, created three months ago, provide him with platforms on which to connect to thousands virtually and everyone locally. Followers watch and comment as he visits local restaurants, lists homes for sale, attends community events with his family and highlights secret local spots, all to capture and document the rich and unique experience of living here in the Keys.  

Garcia often sports his signature “G-shirt” and is known to many as “Carlos G. in the Florida Keys,” from his Instagram handle. Most of his followers are from South Florida, but some tune in from farther away — New York, Texas, California, Dubai and Brazil. The common link is that everyone is interested in the Florida Keys, either as a current resident, visitor, future resident, or a lover of island life. 

Carlos Garcia and Paola Velez

Garcia has teamed up with Paola Velez, a local model from South Miami, to co-host “Live Island Life,” a real estate show debuting on Garcia’s YouTube channel on May 24. Every two weeks, Garcia and Velez will give viewers an intimate tour of little-known, very exclusive properties for sale in the Keys. Their motivation behind the show is similar to that for Garcia’s Instagram channel: to connect people in a real way to the Keys.

 “I don’t want to spoil the show, but we bring in an awesome local chef to prepare a vegan meal for us in one of the homes. On another episode, we do a dive right off the private island. And in another, we take paddleboards provided by a local shop and paddle out into the sunset,” said Garcia. “The whole point of the show is to keep our viewers entertained, support the local businesses that make things happen in the Keys, show folks all the wonderful things they can do in the Florida Keys, and of course showcase these incredible homes.” Velez said,  

The pair are hosting 12 separate homes, from Key Largo all the way to Key West, on the 12 episodes of this inaugural first season. The homes are all currently listed by Ocean Sotheby’s and include waterfront estates, private islands, and historic places not always accessible to the public. The second season is in the works and expanding into more local and international partnerships

“Each home has its own story and its own uniqueness, but all of them are amazing!” said Velez. “Honestly though, I would be very happy with even a shed on the beach if that guaranteed I could be in the Keys for the rest of my life! This place is amazing, and I am so excited to show everyone why!”

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