Young philathropist climbs Kilimanjaro for Casita Linda

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

Alex Renaud, a 13-year-old student who lives in London, the son of a Mexican mother and Canadian father, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, not only for the challenge but also to support charity. He went to and found Casita Linda, a nonprofit organization that builds houses for families who live in extreme poverty. Renaud collected and donated more than 630,000 pesos for this worthy cause.

On August 8, Renaud visited San Miguel de Allende and Ejido de Tirado, where, thanks to his generosity, Casita Linda built five houses. Lety González, director of family selection, commented that each house cost US$5,000 and has two bedrooms, one kitchen and a porch.

At a reception, Renaud commented that the minimum age for climbing Kilimanjaro is 16, but his trainer told him that if he worked hard and passed the test he could do it. “I trained very hard for three months in sub-zero temperatures and passed the test,” he said.

Renaud said that he chose to aid Casita Linda because Mexico is a country that needs lots of help and even a small amount of assistance will be noticed. He advises other young people to find their passion, work hard to be the best, get help from experts, and then help others. “When we are the best, the money will come along,” he said.

Scott Grize, president of Casita Linda, welcomed Renaud and commented that each year many people attempt to reach the top of Kilimanjaro but only 40 percent make it. Getting to the top can take from five to nine days, and several have lost their lives in the attempt.

Renaud was the youngest member of his group, and he climbed 5,895 meters to raise 630,000 pesos, around 20 pesos per step.

Renaud also has participated in TEDx international, and his talk, “What makes us successful,” can be viewed at

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