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.