Rotary Names Ezequiel Mojica Citizen of the Year
By Robin Loving Rowland
Why do we do what we do? Ezequiel Mojica, Rotary’s Farley Wheelwright Citizen of the Year for 2014, can answer that question for himself. As founder and executive director of Apoyo a Gente Emprendedora, AC, Mojica wants to help Mexican entrepreneurs create a better future because he has been part of the cycle of ignorance and poverty among the Mexican people.
Rotary Citizen of the Year Ceremony
Tue, Feb 24, 12:30pm
Salida a Querétaro 1
Extra info: 152 3709
Born 40 years ago in the rural community of Santas Marías, Mojica saw 90 percent of the men migrate to the United States for work. His father walked to the US illegally 40 times, and he and his eight siblings followed suit, working in home construction; cleaning offices, hospitals, and universities; and even flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s. Seeing that this was not enriching any of the illegal migrants, Mojica vowed to return to San Miguel to help others. By employing his family’s values of service to others, sharing, humility, and respect, he founded Apoyo to make it as easy as possible to help enterprising people break out of poverty through education, training and management support.
That was 12 years ago, and today Mojica counts thousands, including 300 small businesses, 700 teens, and 270 children, as his alumni. He and his board have given interest-free loans, mentors, and management support to the businesses; computer training, English, and access to jobs in the industrial corridor to the teens; and financial literacy and critical thinking skills to children aged six to eight years old.
All by being a role model and a link for others who dream of success with the Mexican and expat communities. To what does Mojica owe his success? “Mentors, many mentors, too many to list,” says Mojica. And, he continues, collaboration. He has collaborated with CASA, Community Church, Feed the Hungry, Mujeres en Cambio, Rotary, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
And what does this man who is the only member of his family to complete high school now aspire to do? Personally, he wants to attend university. Professionally, he wants to buy land, erect a training center, and expand the help he is giving to his fellow rural entrepreneurs.
Mojica is the first Mexican man to receive this award. “Great and deserving choice for the Citizen of the Year Award for 2014,” said distinguished Rotarian John Doherty.
“Ezequiel is the most selfless, humble and kind person I have ever met. He has accomplished so much over the years to help those who just need a chance to succeed. Ezequiel is my dear friend and my hero,” said Apoyo Board President Jim Grant.
Rotary is comprised of neighbors, community leaders, and global citizens who unite for the common good. For more information, contact Apoyo at apoyomexico.org, and Rotary Club of San Miguel de Allende, Midday President Tony Ronci at firstname.lastname@example.org.