To know a little about Malo, you just have to look at the way he signs off his emails: "It is impossible to live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will NEVER be able to pay you back" (John Wooden).
Malo exemplifies the heart and soul of ISV, especially the project leaders, as he lives and breathes the spirit of giving. Even outside of ISV seasons, Malo volunteers with other organisations such as A Roof For My Country.
A native “tico” (Costa Rican), Malo started with ISV in 2004. Since then he’s led 48 (yes FORTY EIGHT) groups in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador. He’s also helped out on a couple of adventure tours. For a short while Malo worked as a Project Coordinator in ISV’s Costa Rican office, but he missed being out in the field and working with our volunteer groups so much he decided to return to project leading.
These days, aside from being a project leader (this year he’s serving in Ecuador – our project managers usually fight over where he will lead!), Malo helps train our project leaders. Malo leads through experience and very much by his passion and inspiration – this continues to inspire me also and I have a great deal of pride in the quality of staff that ISV employs to lead our volunteers.
When I asked him why he’s still with ISV after all these years, he said it’s because he can be directly involved with local communities and travel, and to feel useful for humankind and nature as well.
He also told me “thanks to ISV I found a great balance in my two careers: anthropology and tourism, plus getting to know four different countries and to meet a lot of people with a similar philosophy of work regardless of the economic benefits”.
Malo loves people and people love him. His passion for the projects, the volunteers and our program is clearly evident. If you’ve worked with Malo or had him as your leader, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If he’s going to be your project leader this year – lucky you!
As a side note, I’ve never met anyone who learns names faster – I saw him learn the names of around 40 people in less than 2 hours. He's also an awesome dancer!
Malo, on behalf of ISV, thanks for your service to ISV and have a great season.