Two videos with local ties make top 50 for dream job in Cancun

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2 Triangle contestant become finalists in nationwide contest (WTVD)

It sounds like a dream: $10,000 a month while living in Cancun for half a year!

Six-thousand applications poured in online for the Cancun Experience Officer job. Now the pool of applicants is down to 50, and two of them have ties to the Triangle.

We introduced you to the Barber family of Durham when they submitted their application. Now you'll find them at #45 on the page under "Vote Team Bz" where the Cancun Tourism Board's CEO search is underway and votes are tallied.

The Barbers stopped by the Raleigh Eyewitness News Center on Wednesday for a freewheeling Facebook Live. In fact, the self described global nomads rolled video on us while we conducted our interview.

Their contest entry, made possible after submitting this video is the latest step along an unusual path chosen by the family.

"We decided to show our kids the world," said Rich Barber. "We sold all of our stuff and went to Costa Rica. We stayed there four months, close to five, and that's when we saw the Steve Daniels post in reference to the CEO for Cancun."

After this round of voting, the top 10 entrants will fly to Cancun for a week of interviews, then learn who won the big prize.

"It was a big risk, and a little bit scary. To leave that security was a tough thing and the day of, I cried," said Khadijah Barber of her decision to leave a position she had at Duke for five years, then travel the world with the family. "It really is a leap of faith, to step out from what's comfortable for you and do something that's completely and totally out of the norm, that you've never done before."

That meant some adjustments for the three Barber children, who traded traditional education "learning from everything around me," oldest daughter Khalilyah told ABC11.

"I'm super excited to continue learning through leaving and adventuring, and seeing other people's ways of life," said middle daughter Khaiyah.

Son Tre' is the youngest sibling. He and the rest of the family smiled at our cameras as they said in unison, "Go to! Yes!"

The other finalist with a local connection is Riley Reid, a graduate of UNC's School of Journalism who happens to live in another part of Mexico. His entry showcases some of the sights and sounds there. But because cellphone service in his area is spotty, he emailed this statement when we asked how it feels to make the top 50:

"As a creator, knowing that your craft stood out among thousands of people from all over the world is incredibly humbling. Additionally, the support and encouragement I've received from friends, family and even complete strangers has been unreal. I'm beyond stoked and grateful for this opportunity that has provided."

Click here to see both videos and vote.
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