Josh Martinez, at MTV’s The Challenge.

Josh Martinez, at MTV’s The Challenge.

Homestead resident Josh Martinez spent time watching Big Brother with his family.

To be able to join the Big Brother 19 cast, have his family watch him, and then go on to win the $500,000 prize was a dream come true.

“After winning I thought I was going to come back to my normal life, go back to working my e-commerce business, and just have a regular life, and that was not the case,” Martinez said. “Big Brother changed the course of my life completely from a financial standpoint, but also by opening so many doors.”

Martinez, who moved to Homestead from Miramar about nine years ago, continued appearing on reality shows after his debut in 2017 as he recently completed his third season of MTV’s The Challenge, where contestants compete against one another in various extreme challenges to avoid elimination and win cash prizes.

“I’ve been able to travel to different countries, make really good money from three seasons back-to-back and just the exposure of being on the show,” Martinez said. “It’s crazy. I truly didn’t think it would turn into kind of a career for me, but I’m grateful that it did. I’m 26, I’m still young and healthy, and I see myself being around for a pretty long time. I really enjoy it.

It is hard, a lot comes with being on TV and people constantly judging you and having opinions about you, but the good out-weighs the bad.”

Martinez’s recent appearance on The Challenge: Total Madness took place in Prague as he lasted until Episode 14, placing seventh among the 14 male competitors.

“It was one of the best seasons, but the hardest season to film because it was in Prague and in the middle of winter,” Martinez said. “It was the coldest temperatures that I’ve ever been in. It was gray out, it would hail sometimes, rain, it was really depressing weather. Coming from South Florida where it is always sunny and the worst weather we deal with is rain and humidity. It was so cold and definitely hard to adapt to it and being locked in a bunker, I think it made it seem so much easier, but we were all struggling really bad.

“Just imagine being completely confined to those quarters living in a bunker with no windows, no sunlight. After a while it gets a little depressing honestly. From my experience at Big Brother I was also locked in a house, but at least we had a yard where we had some fresh air. Living in a bunker we had a little box in the backyard and that was our only escape. It was really difficult to get used to, but I think what made it easier was my castmates—it was a really group of people and we all helped each other whenever we were down and struggling.

“It was unfortunate you guys don’t see that because we had a lot of moments where people were Homestead resident Josh Martinez spent time watching Big Brother with his family.

To be able to join the Big Brother 19 cast, have his family watch him, and then go on to win the $500,000 prize was a dream come true.

“After winning I thought I was going to come back to my normal life, go back to working my e-commerce business, and just have a regular life, and that was not the case,” Martinez said. “Big Brother changed the course of my life completely from a financial standpoint, but also by opening so many doors.”

Martinez, who moved to Homestead from Miramar about nine years ago, continued appearing on reality shows after his debut in 2017 as he recently completed his third season of MTV’s The Challenge, where contestants compete against one another in various extreme challenges to avoid elimination and win cash prizes.

“I’ve been able to travel to different countries, make really good money from three seasons back-to-back and just the exposure of being on the show,” Martinez said. “It’s crazy. I truly didn’t think it would turn into kind of a career for me, but I’m grateful that it did. I’m 26, I’m still young and healthy, and I see myself being around for a pretty long time. I really enjoy it. It is hard, a lot comes with being on TV and people constantly judging you and having opinions about you, but the good out-weighs the bad.”

Martinez’s recent appearance on The Challenge: Total Madness took place in Prague as he lasted until Episode 14, placing seventh among the 14 male competitors.

“It was one of the best seasons, but the hardest season to film because it was in Prague and in the middle of winter,” Martinez said. “It was the coldest temperatures that I’ve ever been in. It was gray out, it would hail sometimes, rain, it was really depressing weather. Coming from South Florida where it is always sunny and the worst weather we deal with is rain and humidity. It was so cold and definitely hard to adapt to it and being locked in a bunker, I think it made it seem so much easier, but we were all struggling really bad.

“Just imagine being completely confined to those quarters living in a bunker with no windows, no sunlight. After a while it gets a little depressing honestly. From my experience at Big Brother I was also locked in a house, but at least we had a yard where we had some fresh air. Living in a bunker we had a little box in the backyard and that was our only escape. It was really difficult to get used to, but I think what made it easier was my castmates—it was a really group of people and we all helped each other whenever we were down and struggling.

“It was unfortunate you guys don’t see that because we had a lot of moments where people were going through it mentally and we helped each other, but that doesn’t make for good TV.”

One of Martinez’s biggest motivators is helping his parents, who moved to the United States from Cuba when his father was 18 years old and his mother was 12.

“My family is my biggest motivation,” said Martinez, who has an older brother and older sister. “My purpose now is to serve and give back to my family. I think it stems from being a first-generation American. They left Cuba for a better life. They had to leave because they were in poverty. They didn’t have the money for food and struggled. Hearing those stories and when they first got here I saw some of the financial struggles we went through as a family. It wasn’t that they didn’t provide—my parents did everything and anything that they had to do to have food on the table, nice clothes, and were well taken care of where we didn’t realize we were struggling. As you grow up you realize what they did with the hours they worked and my dad building his own business.

“My parents came from Cuba, built the American dream, build their business, and hustled their (butts) off to give us a good life. I feel like now it’s my time to give back and show them how much appreciate when they did for me. I feel like I’m in debt and I just want to repay them. They don’t expect anything from me, but my family is my drive and my purpose. Everything I do is to give back and help them.”

Martinez has enjoyed living in Homestead for almost a decade after attending Everglades High School and St. Thomas University.

“I love it down here,” Martinez said. “It’s far from the beach, from all of the busyness and all of the partying, and I have some of my best friends down here. My parents think it’s too far, but it’s honestly one of my favorite places in Florida—close to the Keys, I’ve got my gym so yeah I like my life out here.”

When he returns to the area after filming, he stays busy training six days a week, taking trips to the Keys, and visiting local establishments.

“I love Homestead,” Martinez said. “I love my gym family. I go to Empire Fitness. It’s a privately-owned gym and the people there have literally become my family. They’re so supportive. They help me train, get my mind and body right before I leave to film. It’s a really good gym. I also like little restaurants like Portofino, it’s definitely my favorite Italian food and I eat there all of the time and I go to Black Point Marina all the time with my friends for drinks and my family to eat.”

Martinez is unable to discuss details of his next adventure, but is looking forward to it.

“I can’t say what I will be filming, but I will be leaving to film a new project soon and I am really excited about this one,” Martinez said

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