Mario Rojas has been married to Nora Galindo for 48 years. Both are from Cochabamba in Bolivia and met in Los Angeles, California in 1969. They have two married children and four grandchildren.
Mario graduated in 1969 with an engineering degree from Manhattan College in New York. In 1973 he earned a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Southern California (USC) and in 2004 he earned another master’s degree in International Business (MBA) from Florida International University.
After college graduation, Mario worked for the next 28 years in the aerospace industry (3 years), in the oil industry in different parts of Latin America (10 years) and in the promotion of exports, investments and the improvement of industrial competitiveness (15 years).
His professional career suddenly changed in 1998 when his mother passed away. After a trip with his wife to the Holy Land, the Vatican, and Medjugorje, Mario came back again to his Catholic faith with active support by the Apostolate of the New Evangelization (ANE – Bolivia). As a first result, he helped Fr. Miguel Manzanera, S.J. to establish in 2000 a pro-life organization in Cochabamba, Bolivia which was later incorporated to ANE as the pro-life branch for the defense of life and family values. In this organization, Mario was Volunteer Executive Director until 2007. In that capacity, Mario started a very close relationship with Magaly Llaguno, Executive Director of the Hispanic Branch of Human Life International (VHI). ANE Pro-Life became an HLI affiliate in 2002.
In 2004, the Bolivian Legislative Congress passed Law 810 promoting Sexual and Reproductive Rights. The bill met with strong opposition from the Catholic Church and the laity. Adolfo Castañeda, Director of Educational Programs for VHI, came to Bolivia to inform the Bolivian population and legislators of the great threat that approval of such a law could mean for families. This generated a grass-roots reaction against the bill which forced President Carlos Mesa not to sign it into law.
Mario played an important role in informing the population about the harmful effects of this law. As a result, he was placed on an alleged black list of the UN.
During his tenure at ANE Pro-Life, Mario helped organize congresses and workshops in defense of life and family in Bolivia and other parts of Latin America. He also participated as a speaker at international and national events.
At the beginning of 2007, with the support of Magaly Llaguno, Mario received a job offer from the pro-life leader, Marie Smith, in Washington DC. His task was to start a Latin American Parliamentary Network to help establish pro-life fronts of Legislators for Life. As Regional Manager for Latin America of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues (PNCI), Mario helped open and consolidate the fronts of pro-life legislators in several countries in the region.
In June 2009, Mario formally joined Human Life International and traveled to Bolivia to establish a regional office for Latin America and started the REDESSVIDA project to reach out to priests and seminarians.
In May 2011, with the blessing of Father Shenan Boquet, the new President of Human Life International, Mario effectively assumed the position of Latin American Director.
As of October 2019, Mario has helped organize 18 congresses for priests and seminarians (REDESSVIDA) in Latin America. He has also travelled more than 660,000 miles by air and over 22,000 miles by car and visited over 60 countries of the region (some of them more than once). In addition, he managed to speak to more than one hundred and forty thousand persons, including high school and university students. He speaks to church groups as well, including close to 10,000 seminarians and 6,000 priests, and hundreds of contemplative and non-contemplative nuns. Mario has also participated in hundreds of radio, TV, and newspaper interviews, as part of HLI’s speaking group.