Jaime Mendoza was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. His father served as Ecuador’s General Consul for 14 years which afforded Jaime the opportunity to attend college in the United States. He then served in the United States military.
At age 27, Jaime returned to Ecuador and made his home in Vilcabamba. There, he worked in the only hotel that existed in Vilcabamba at the time. He later purchased that hotel, built and managed others, and nurtured the fledgling Tourist Industry in the Vilcabamba Valley. Today, nearly 70% of Vilcabamba’s inhabitants are employed by the Tourist Industry that Jaime created.
In 1991, Jaime met Craig Keeland on the tarmac at the Loja airport. Craig was traveling to Vilcabamba in a chartered plane and Jaime was looking for a ride back to his home. Craig offered Jaime a ride and the two struck up a life-long friendship. Craig asked Jaime to partnered with him in creating the Andes Children’s Foundation. In 1991, the Andes Children’s Foundation was launched with the mission of providing educational support to the schools in Vilcabamba, Ecuador.
As Co-Founder and Director of the ACF, Jaime personally ensured that the schools received their needed support. Every year, Jaime would request a list of educational needs from the school administrators. He would deliver that list to the Foundation and in turn, would personally deliver the donations to the schools in Vilcabamba. Because of Jaime Mendoza’s unwavering dedication to the ACF and the Children of Vilcabamba, the schools have enjoyed 2 decades of support for their educational needs.
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