Message from Our Director, Juan Luis Alducin

I am an agronomist born in Mexico City (DF) and have lived in many different parts of my country.  My grandparents were indigenous peasants in the state of Puebla and always lived off their land crops and the livestock that they cared for; it was never enough!  I lived with them for some time, and I came to know how hard it is to be poor and not have any other opportunities.

 

From there was born my passion.  I chose my career to do something that can help improve the lives of people like my grandparents who were marginalized and living in extreme poverty with only the bare minimum to survive and always with the risk of a crop failure, or the risk of a sick animal that dies only to be faced with the real possibility of losing everything.

I have had experiences in my life of working with private companies and also with state governments doing projects that simply help the rich to get richer.  Witnessing corruption and cronyism and people getting ahead in life simply because of who they know, to me was very disheartening. 

CHOICE changed my life because now I CAN help and now I CAN give back!  The people that live in CHOICE communities need the CHOICE model of leadership development; they need our contacts and knowledge to mobilize the community and find local resources, to make connections for them, to teach them leadership capacity!  I know that when I get involved in a project, it will be to improve their quality of life. CHOICE gives hope and opportunity for these people to progress in their own communities. They don’t have to leave their home and go elsewhere to find opportunity.

I feel very happy…. When a woman cooking on the floor with open fire who is sick and perhaps dying with a lung disease having had to cook and breath in a smoke filled environment… and that now with the help of a CHOICE program, she can improve her life dramatically with a clean smoke-free stove…my eyes fill with tears!  I think to myself that his person could be my grandmother, and that if I have a chance to improve even one life to live longer and have smoke-free lungs, then I am happy!