This is the fascinating journey of a 7 years old boy who loved playing Atari and Nintendo video games and today at age 43, he is the Nintendo’s Latin America Regional IT Manager at JVLat.
I hope this story will inspire, encourage and motivate young women and men, and even older folks to use their God-given gifts (whatever you do naturally, with ease, no effort or very little effort).
Focus points before we go into Juan’s Story
- God’s plan for you is for you to prosper, have hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
- God equipped you to be successful. God blessed every human being with gifts (Romans 12:6-8).
- You have free-will. It’s your decision to use or not use your God-given gifts.
- If you decide not to use your God-given gifts and do something else, it will require extra effort, commitment, dedication, discipline and time. But the good news is that God will help you.
- Very important, commit whatever you do to God and He will help you succeed (Proverbs 15:3).
Let’s get right into Juan’s amazing journey…
This is the story of a boy-teenager-young man who decided to use his God-Given Gifts (talent that came natural to him), honed his skills and developed his gift to its fullest. The rest is history!
Juan said to me that he knows that his career would not be what it is, if it wasn’t for God. He gives all praise, honor and glory to God for what He has done for him and for his family. Awesome!
A 7 years old boy playing Atari and Nintendo video games
When Juan III was 7 years old he loved playing Atari video games, i.e., NBA, Pitfall, Enduro. Then later he moved on to Nintendo (his new favorite) games, i.e., Super Mario, Contra, Zelda. Playing video games sparked his interest and curiosity in technology and computers. Unbeknownst to him, this was the beginning of his Engineering career.
Just doing what came natural: Technology and Computer Wiz
From a young age Juansito was naturally skilled in using technology and the computer. It was so easy for him. He was a wiz! We were all amazed with his high level of proficiency and extensive knowledge. He was hungry to learn new concepts and fearless to try and experiment new ideas.
He disassembled computers and reassembled them as cool, calm and collected as he could be. He figured out how to save all of his favorite games on a single floppy disk (yeah floppy disk not CD… lol) so not to have them all over the place. Then he started playing around with the coding. Before the internet, he played the games over the phone (double lol).
Honing his skills and Developing his God-Given Gifts
In 1996 the internet was making its way into Panamá. While Juan was studying Mechanical Engineering at the Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, he volunteered as a researcher, which gave him ample access to computers and to the internet. The internet was new and not too many people knew about it or had access to it. He took advantage of the access he had and became an internet super user.
When he was 19 years old, Juan and his dad, Juan Jr., visited Charter Communications, from Houston, TX, that had just opened a location in Panamá. As soon as Juan saw the computers, he was eager to get on one of them and asked if he could. He started to skillfully surf the internet and performed advanced computer operations. The General Manager was so impressed with his exceptional skills in using technology and the computer that he offered him a job on the spot and he accepted. While attending college, he worked as a part-time Tech Support and helped implement the first local connection of Internet providers in Panamá.
His career launched like a rocket!
Juan’s dad was a Mechanical Engineer and had encouraged him to follow in his footsteps. Juan did start his studies in that field but it was hard and it took a lot of effort. After he completed a year of studies, he knew that this was not what he wanted to do. So, he decided to talk with his Dad to let him know how he felt. He told his dad that his passion was computer engineering. His dad was a little disappointed but understood and supported his son’s decision.
When Juan was 20 years old, he switched to Information Systems Engineering at the Universidad Latina de Panamá. His career launched like a rocket! He worked for BellSouth and was an integral part of the team that set-up their Internet Service in Panamá. BellSouth was later bought by Telefónica (one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world) where he worked in engineering and in marketing. Then he was promoted to Technical Operations Manager.
In 2008 Juan was one of the Engineers selected by Telefónica to be a part of the Telepresence Team in Spain, which is a platform that paved the way for many videoconferencing technologies such as Webex, ZOOM, MS Teams, and others. He was there for about a year.
Nintendo’s Latin America IT Manager & Much More
In 2012 Juan joined JVLat, Nintendo’s distributor for Latin America, where he still works. He is the IT Manager for the Latin America region, from México all the way to Argentina, 16 countries. Juan shared that what he likes about his job is that, “It is constantly changing. Technology is moving forward and there are always new challenges.”
Juan holds a Systems Engineering degree from the Universidad Latina de Panamá (2002) and a Master of Engineering with specialization in Engineering Management from the University of Louisville, Panamá Campus. He also completed a few post graduate studies, and is currently working on a Digital Marketing Master degree.
When Juan and I were talking, he said that he didn’t realize the extent of his travel until now. He has travelled to 16 countries and 47 cities, i.e., United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, just to name a few. Most job related and others family trips.
Juan’s advice and favorite quote
“My advice is: 1) Focus on where you want to be and pursue your goal. 2) Don’t settle. 3) Don’t disconnect from the people and things you love. That will remind you why you are doing what you do.”
“My favorite quote is: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” By Roman philosopher Seneca. I like it because, the way I see it, you have to be prepared for what the Lord will bring your way, and then it will work out. We have to do our part well.”
And there’s more…
Juan has always been a photo-aficionado. But for the last eight years he has taken it to the next level. He has been creating photo diaries of his trips and posting them on social media.
Juan lives in Panamá City, Panamá with his wife Marisa, his childhood love and best friend, and their two beautiful children, Anais Marie & Juan Diego. Juan and Marisa have been happily married 16 years. Marisa holds a degree in Industrial Engineering with a Master in Multi-Modal Logistics. She is currently a Logistics Delivery Operations Manager at Pfizer.
They are members of the Iglesia Episcopal San Cristóbal and he is a member of the Men’s Fellowship Group.
Juan III is the son of Juan Jr. (retired Mechanical Engineer) and Andrea (my sister, retired Math teacher). He has two older sisters, Giselle (Lawyer) and Malaika (Psychiatrist MD).
Say & Believe this powerful message: “Greater is Jesus in Me!”
From Deb’s to yours…
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