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Staff Spotlight: Mariale Rodriguez

Mariale was born to build bridges, both literal and metaphorical. She not only is extremely talented at what she does professionally, but her magnetic personality draws people to her. Mariale recently relocated from Panama, where she managed B2P’s program there, to Cochabamba, Bolivia. She now works as Bridges to Prosperity’s Industry Coordinator, which means she gets to do two things she loves: build footbridges, and make friends in the process.

woman standing on suspended bridge with dog

 

Growing up in Venezuela, Mariale dreamed of pursuing a career in architecture. She loved playing with Legos (and still does) and fixing things around the house with her dad. She consistently found herself thinking about how to create different structures or solutions to problems. When attending university for architecture was ruled out due to proximity to her home, she sought out civil engineering and immediately fell in love.

Mariale was a designer in Valencia, Venezuela for three years before starting to volunteer with Techo, building houses in isolated communities. For Mariale, that’s when something sparked – “Every time I came back from a build, I was so happy. I would appreciate my life, family, the world so much more – I was on fire about life.”

That feeling, the “fire-in-your-soul” kind of feeling, is what drove her to seek out a career in international development. After a bit of research, she found B2P and knew it was her dream job – she would be able to use her degree in civil engineering and pair it with her love of working with people, all in pursuit of a mission that she felt passionate about. Today, after three years of working with B2P, Mariale feels that same fire that brought her to the organization.

“It is the best feeling when people start using the bridge functionally for what they truly need it for. It is so satisfying and gives meaning to what we do. Sometimes the work can become stressful, when we worry about getting materials or teams to site, but when you see people crossing, it reminds you of why you’re here in the first place.”