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Former shoe-shiners humble beginnings: TV channel exec to traveling with the Pope to Mexico

2016-02-11

Among all the reporters traveling with Pope Francis on his trip to Mexico, only one of them truly understands the meaning of a key theme that will be discussed: immigration.

His name is Noel Diaz. He was born in Tijuana, a city bordering the United States. He was able to settle there permanently, thanks to the immigration reform act of the 1980s, during the Ronald Reagan administration. Today, the country is on a campaign trail and the situation of immigration reform is still an issue, in a country that host more than 10 million illegal immigrants and counting. 

NOEL DIAZ
Founder of "El Sembrador”
"When I will have the opportunity to share a few words with the Pope one of the things I'm going to ask him, is to continue to seek immigration reform. I'll give him shoeshine box as a gift, as a symbol  of how I used to make money to buy clothes for my first communion as a child.”

Noel Diaz is the son of a single mother. While living in the United States, he grew-up poor and eventually succeeded in developing a successful career and founded 'El Sembrador' a Catholic television channel in Spanish, broadcasting in 17 countries and several radio stations in California.

NOEL DIAZ
Founder of "El Sembrador”
"Being away from my country, Mexico, I felt the need to look for something else and that's where faith comes in. I went to Bible study. And there began my work by sharing a simple message yet practical message about the Gospel. That was the beginning of something that I never imagined would grow so rapidly. That was the beginning of what is now know as 'El Sembrador' ministries."

Noel Diaz is what many would call the definition of the American dream. He was deported from the United States twice before becoming legal. With that said, he will be paying close attention to what the Pope will say in Ciudad Juarez, across the border.

He believes that the Pope's words can help find solutions for the millions of people, who like he once did, continue to try to get to the other side.


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