We are deeply saddened to share the news that one of our Skoll Scholars, Juan Jose Ochoa, passed away recently following a prolonged illness.
A dear classmate, friend, husband, father and inspiring social entrepreneur, Juanjo was among our first Skoll Scholars, completing his Oxford MBA in 2006. He dedicated his career to building a leading microfinance company and improving access to energy, water and communications across rural Argentina and Latin America.
Juanjo was a much-loved and respected part of the global Skoll Scholar community. His energy, passion and generosity left a lasting impression on all those who knew him. Juanjo is best remembered below through the words of some of his fellow Scholar cohort and classmates.
Our love and prayers are with Juan’s family. He will be greatly missed
The Skoll Centre Team
It is hard to capture in a few lines what a special person Juan Jose was. One of the strongest memories I have from when we first met in 2005, is the kindness of his smile, something I will forever treasure. Throughout our year at Oxford Saïd, I saw in Juanjo a rare combination of compassion and pragmatism; a deep sense of empathy and the eloquence to communicate and act upon it. My thoughts are with Maria and their children. Te queremos mucho, Juanjo. (Susana Frazao Pinheiro)
Juanjo shall never be just another fading memory of a social pioneer in a fast-changing world. Alas, this is too simple a description for such a Master of compassion the likes of JuanJo. He taught us to strive to transcend the limits of singular perspective and to trust in the grace of deep human connection. His light is constant, is pure and is forever illuminating brightly inside each of us. Our steps are his steps. Hasta pronto hermano. (Keely Stevenson)
Juanjo’s passion, and at the heart of his work over the past years, was to bring light to the very rural communities in Argentina. He also shared his light of purity of spirit, intention and actions with each of us for which we are ever grateful. (Richard Webb)
Juanjo and I had many things in common, therefore, we became close friends and fellow mentors. He was a very generous human being with qualities that are hard to find: committed to his family, devoted towards improving people’s lives, an optimist and believer in human nature and a deeply spiritual soul whose words and amazing capacity to listen would brighten us all who were so lucky to have crossed paths with him. While his life was short; his legacy was profound and will keep pushing many of us forward to continue fighting for the causes he so willingly championed. Maria and the kids will surely safeguard such inspiring legacy as Juanjo built it with them. Un abrazo fuerte y hasta siempre, amigo! (Henry Gonzalez)
A smile and heart so big that everyone who had the pleasure to meet Juanjo instantly connected with him. A dedication and love so deep that it effortlessly extended from his family to his friends to the communities he worked with. His unwavering trust and belief in all made everything seem possible. Juanjo is and will forever remain a beacon of inspiration. (Shanoo Saran)
In 2005 we had the pleasure to meet an intelligent, humble and extraordinarily well-rounded human being: Juan Jose Ochoa, Juanjo. Juanjo not only stood out from the rest of the class as one of our Skoll Scholars but also as a loving husband, good father and a true gentlemen. A man with a profound faith in god and in the people, who always looked for the bright side of everyone he met. Juanjo has been a light for all who met him. Now the challenge for us is to honor his name by living from his example. (Felipe Blanco)
We lost an amazing man. Juanjo was a wonderful soul who cared deeply for those around him. Truly heartbreaking. (Michael McFadden) There was no other like Juanjo. A determined social entrepreneur on a mission, a kind friend with a listening year, a sportsman with a kindred spirit, a loving father and husband! I will always remember him fondly. (Ruchika Singhal)