Noel Diaz's story began when he started cleaning shoes for a living; a beginning that is similar of so many illegal Hispanic immigrants who traveled to the United States in search for a better life.
He managed to financially stabilize his situation, and founded El Sembrador in 2002, the nation's first Catholic-Spanish language channel. What started as a small, local project is now present in 19 countries. On July 31, it turns 15 years old.
However, Noel Díaz does not forget his humble origins. During Pope Francis' 2016 trip to Mexico, his gesture moved the pontiff.
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“It was a genuine intention of my heart, because the action represented three things. First, it was a remembrance of my childhood, and how I manged to buy my suit by polishing shoes. Second, it is to understand that this is a service, and the Church is called to serve. Jesus himself washed the feet of the apostles. Third, there are many people who will never be news, who are in the streets selling things, humbly, honestly and struggling day by day to bring bread to the table.”
Pope Francis invited Diaz to his residence at Casa Santa Marta, and it was there that Noel was able to interview him in November 2016.
'Tenderness. We need tenderness. We need to make a revolution of tenderness.'
El Sembrador is directed to more than 15 percent of the United States' Latin American population. However, it has crossed borders and continents, as it is also in Europe.