Willy Mendoza, DDS / CHOICE Bolivia Director
Willy Mendoza is from La Paz and has been the Director of CHOICE Bolivia since 1999. Has been working with CHOICE Humanitarian since he was a young man and under the mentorship of James B. Mayfield, Ph.D., and Tim Evans DDS. Willy is a professional dentist by trade and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Village Development and has a Master's Degree in Water Projects from NUR University. He is currently studying to become a lawyer at the Public University El Alto. He works with his team in Bolivia on water systems, the environment, health, education, and cultural appreciation of the Altiplano region of Bolivia. Willy works tirelessly to support self-sufficiency within the Aymara communities. He promotes the self-development of the Bolivian people by incorporating CHOICE’s Model of Leadership Development, community building from the ground up.
He was born in La Paz. His father was a leader of 64 villages in the province of Ingavi, Department of La Paz. His father was also a teacher in the communities and Willy learned early in life to respect, honor, and appreciate the leadership and culture of an Altiplano community.
He followed the cultural beliefs and led his life within the strictures of indigenous Aymara Culture. Willy is engaged with the people in Bolivia and deeply respects the traditional way of the Aymara nation. Today Willy has inherited the great leadership and authority qualities (Mallcu) of his father. Willy has done extensive work as a professional translator between Spanish and Aymara and continues to volunteer his time facilitating communication between the speakers of both languages in his community. He is married to Maxima Mendoza and he has three daughters.
Working for CHOICE Bolivia is very fulfilling to him. Prior to working at CHOICE, he worked as an evaluator in the Altiplano. Once when visiting a family's home, no one answered the door, but he heard a sound behind the home. There he found a man and a child. The man told him that his wife had cancer and the only thing they could do was wait for her to die. Willy gave the woman some water and food. She did not have on many clothes and the cold in the Altiplano can be intense. Willy then understood the reality of being poor and felt a lot of pain. Over time he learned that poverty is a lack of opportunity - a phrase he still uses in his work.
Julio Mancilla Castro / Agronomist / Education & Videography Specialist
Julio Mancilla Castro is from Ingavi, La Paz. He studied metallurgy and smelting at Pedro Domingo Murrilo. He is an auto technician with studies in the CEMA (educational center for the elderly). He also studied agriculture at UMSA (San Andres University) and has experience in gardening and in solar tents. He is responsible for the implementation of the greenhouses and agriculture training of the DESCOM (Desarrollo Comunitario). He works with children and parents in the greenhouses and the eco-friendly classrooms in coordination with our French volunteers. He also helps with the CHOICE Bolivia Center and is also responsible for taking photos and videos of all projects. Julio is a widower and has a daughter.
German Justo Laura Alanoca / Water & Sanitation Technician
German Justo Laura Alanoca was born in Puerto Perez, La Paz. He is and has four children. German, had worked with CHOICE Bolivia more than 25 years. He has experience in manufacturing and handling of hand pumps, solar tents, water systems, and ecological classrooms. German did not have the opportunity to study, he only went to primary school, but he is a man with a lot of experience and knowledge earned from 25 years of fieldwork. He is charismatic and speaks both Spanish the native language (Aymara) which makes him an invaluable trainer when working with community leaders or the general public.
Maxima Mendoza / Director of Administration / Accounting Manager / Expeditions Coordinator
Maxima was born La Paz and is married to Willy Mendoza. Maxi is a dentist and also holds a masters degree in public health, elaboration of rural projects, and higher education, from San Andres University. She is responsible for the administration of the CHOICE Bolivia Center and also for the team’s finances and expeditions. Maxi has worked for CHOICE Bolivia for 20 years. She also works with HAART (Handicrafts of the Ampara Andina Artisans Associations of Aymara women) who make fabrics, scarves, gloves, ceramics, and others by hand. Maxima and Willy have three daughters.
Jimena Ramos Suarez / Rural Development Facilitator (RDF)
Jimena Ramos Suarez joined the CHOICE team in 2015. Jimena was born in La Paz, Bolivia and has a background in Health, and in Social and Community Development. She is currently one of CHOICE Bolivia’s Rural Development Facilitators and works directly with community leaders strengthening their capacities in her area of expertise. Jimena studied Nursing at the School for Nursing Training Center in La Paz and has worked as a Social Facilitator for another NGO in Bolivia. She also has expertise in the construction of Community Water systems and Ecological dry latrine technology. Jimena’s efforts are essential in CHOICE’s work in strengthening institutional development, data collection, and ensuring the success of CHOICE programs in Bolivia. She is married and has 4 children.
Felix Primitivo Vargas / Senior Technician & Vehicle Maintenance Specialist
Felix was born in Puerto Perez, La Paz. He studied automotive mechanics at the Simon Bolívar Institute. He also studied in middle-level turnery at the INFOCAL institute. He has experience in the manufacturing and management of hand pumps, solar tents, construction of ecological classrooms, and drinking water systems. He has worked for CHOICE Bolivia for more than 25 years. Felix is married and has four children. He is a man who has achieved his knowledge through much experience working in
Edwin Chinahuanca / Agriculture Specialist / Volunteer
I am Edwin Moisés Chinahuanca Siñani, and I am from the Pan de Azúcar, province Ingavi, La Paz. He graduated from the Higher School of Teacher Training "Andrés de Santa Cruz y Calahumana,” at San Andres University with a degree in agronomy. He also has a degree in community economic development from the University of Frasier Canada and works for the Bolivian teachers in alternative schools.
Gladys Mendoza / Administrative Assistant / Surveys & Trainings Specialist
Gladys has a degree in computer science, is a member of the Academy of Sciences of Bolivia, and OWSD (Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World). She likes educational research and has taken courses in Strategic Planning in the USA (Smithsonian Science Education Center), specialized courses in Chile and UNAM (Autonomous University of Mexico) obtaining a postgraduate degree in science. She teaches at Domingo Savio University and Pedagogical University. She also works with the National Statistics Institute of Bolivia with information management and training and field operations. At CHOICE Bolivia, she works manages the community surveys, the DESCOM FI (Community Development and Institutional Strengthening) trainings, and the statistics projects. She likes the idea of helping communities to get out of poverty with self-sustainable projects. She also loves to work on projects that focus on children so that she can help them recognize their potential.