Maria Rocio Bonilla (Rocio)

Where Rocio is from

Guatemala City, Guatemala



What was your dream when you were a kid? What was the reason?

When I was a kid I wanted to be a doctor. I am not sure why, perhaps I felt I could always take care of the people I loved if I worked in the medical field.


What was your dream when you were 18 years old? What was the reason?

When I was 18 years old, I wanted to be a journalist. I looked up to a famous CNN news reporter from Guatemala, and I aspired to be like him. I wanted to report on economic and political issues and my dream was to be based in Washington D.C. I always thought that if it didn’t work out I could work as an editor for a magazine instead. I absolutely loved writing and used to write short stories in my spare time.


What made you start thinking about social entrepreneurship/social enterprises? When was that?

My mom recommended I majored in economics or politics and then studied a masters in communications. I thought she had a valid point and changed my bachelor’s in my second year of university. In my fourth year of school I took a course in economic development. The first chapter of the textbook we were reading spoke about the different socio-economic classes and the gap between them in sub-developed countries — it used Guatemala as an example. I was so passionate by what we were learning and excited that I was reading about my own country and others with similar problems in school (I studied in Canada and for most of time there I only learned about North American economic models). One day in class it just clicked me — I was passionate about economic development and wanted to continue exploring the field. A couple years later I heard the term social enterprise for the first time, and my eyes grew wide. THAT was what I wanted to be — a social entrepreneur.


How much do you think social entrepreneurs play an important role in the world?

I think social entrepreneurs are disrupting the traditional way the world has run. Social impact and profitability don’t have to be two separate entities, instead they both work better and accomplish their goals when collaborating with one another. Social entrepreneurs are making social work cool and trendy, inspiring people to pursue careers in organizations that will primarily have a positive social impact in the world.


What would you say to future social entrepreneurs / those who are interested in social entrepreneurs?

It’s not easy but in the end it’s worth it — small pain for a long term-gain. During your journey as a social entrepreneur the best part will be the people you meet along the way — other fellow social entrepreneurs, the people you aim to serve and empower and even the corporate partners who will invest in making your dream a reality.


What is your favorite quote? Who said that quote?

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion . – 2 Corinthians 9:11

Who Rocio is

Rocio is the type of person that can see things with both a macro and micro perspective. She often provided her thoughts in classes and they were from her wide view point. It is not actually easier to see something objectively, but she is able to do that. It was very valuable for a team to have a person like her. Not only that, she can pick others’ opinions up and enhance them or argue them from her strong point of view.

Rocio is a great information provider. I sometimes think that she has so many various pieces of information it’s as if she were a database. She provides valuable tips, event info and contacts if she thinks it is necessary for us to hear from her, but at the same time, she gives you what you want to know when you either ask her directly or you post something. You will be surprised how quick her reactions are. She has an antenna and is always ready to catch information.

Rocio is very sweet, kind and willing to help others no matter what it is. When I asked her to help me  improve my English, especially pronunciation, she promised that she would help me do that, writing down what I said for the presentations and correcting mistakes that I made. I have so many things to thank her for. Helping others is her thing and she is very trustworthy.



Awesome Episode

When I visited an office in our school to talk to the staff I discovered that no one was there. So I waited. And while waiting Rocio came by. I think that she did not see me outside of the office because I was behind the corner, and when she noticed that no one was in the office, she sighed loudly, “Dahhhh!”. It was so funny seeing it so I was secretly laughing. Then, she noticed that I was there witnessing it and her face turning red, blushing. That was a rare and charming moment, seeing her like that.



The Power of MSE

What Rocio is holding is a symbol called “go-en(ご縁)”, which means ‘fate’, ’destiny’ and ’special tie.’

I believe that it is meant to be that we met in San Francisco! I studied Social Entrepreneurship with Rocio for a year, saying “We will make the world a better place.” I would love to spend the rest of my life with MSEs (Master of Social Entrepreneurship; my classmates) until the very day I die. They have already completely changed my life.

At the same time, however, I also think that we should not be together all the time, because that is not the reason why we learned Social Entrepreneurship. That is not how we will deliver the impact we want to give to society and to the world.

I think MSEs are like dandelions. We were seeded at the first day at Hult and we bloomed on our graduation day. Our mission is that we spread all over the world like dandelions and seed the future, the next generation, from each place where each of us has landed.

本当にありがとう(Honto ni Arigato-); Thank you very very much for everything!! The world needs you! Let’s make the world a better place together!!


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