One late evening at my previous job, I received a call from the U.S. State Department saying they’d like our organization (the Latin Business Association) to share our insights into the U.S. Hispanic business market at the U.N. in New York City. Yes, I too thought it was a prank call. It wasn’t! And so I lost sleep for weeks thinking about what I’d say to Secretary Collin Powell who’d be attending the event.
I still think of those 15 minutes of fame at the U.N. as a highlight in my life. But it was only a few years later that I found myself hiking the Inca Trails, minutes from getting my first glimpse of Machu Picchu – perhaps lack of oxygen or lack of sleep – but I had a profound and nagging question in my head: when I’m gone, what will I be remembered for?
That question led me to think of ways my business could make a difference and in the process help me leave my mark on the world. During that trip I experienced the joy of connecting with amazing people, their humility, beautiful landscapes, but also the pain of poverty in a third-world country. I saw children under 10 years of age selling gum while babysitting their siblings. I left with the promise to return.
At this year’s LATISM Conference in Houston, I’m part of the panel “Latinovation: Latino Techpreneurs That Are Creating a Better World” where we’ll answer questions like:
A) What’s the difference between a social enterprise and a nonprofit?
B) How to identify your social passion?
C) Can your venture make real money and do good in a big way?
D) Where to start and what strategies are working?
After the Conference, on November 8th to be exact, also through LATISM, I’m headed back to South America as part of a team that will be establishing a cyber room, a mobile clinic and a summer camp as well as providing capacity-building training in Patacancha, a small village near Cuzco, Peru. Our goal is to provide the village with a new and more sustainable way of living, while allowing the local culture to be shared with the world.
Looking forward to exchanging ideas, connecting with all of you, and making the world a better place for everyone.