Volunteer Awarded for Advocacy.

Many people knew my father, Sergio Gavaldon, as a successful businessman from Tijuana. Many say Tijuana would have not been the same without him because he had an amazing, giving spirit. I don’t have enough room to write how much he gave to the community as well as to every person that came in contact with him. At the same time, his humbleness was one of his great qualities and never let anyone know about his generosity. He gave in silence. He felt that no one needed to know the many things he did. One of those was him helping install tennis courts at Unidad Deportiva in Tijuana so that every person who did not have the means to play, could have an opportunity to learn about the game.

My father lived a full life, on his own terms and with a devotion to his family. This does not minimize the pain I feel from losing him, but what I learned from him will forever remain with me. He always said, “Mental health is as important as physical health, always take care of yourself”. These are some important tips and my favorite sayings that I believe will make a difference in anyone’s life. I owe everything I have to him, and I am forever grateful and honored to have been blessed with the most amazing human being.


My dad was still lifting weights at 85, as well as walking on a treadmill and cycling. Even though his health was deteriorating because of his age, he walked regularly, lived until he was 90 years old, and never broke a bone. He was strong to his last breath. His advice to everyone was, “move every day”.

Eat Everything in Moderation 

“Poquito de todo” means a little bit of everything. He enjoyed his meals like nobody else, yet he maintained a healthy weight his entire life. He believed in eating whatever you wanted, but in smaller portions, except for fast food. He hated every fast food chain there is. As for sodas, he called them “poison”. It is important to remember that life is about enjoying, not depriving.

Positive Mindset 

One of his favorite sayings was, “a sumar y multiplicar, olvidar la resta y división”, which translates to add and multiply, forget about dividing and subtracting. Life needs to move forward. You should not hold grudges, but instead focus on growing. Life is about adding, so remove what takes away from your happiness.

Make Sure your Family is Happy

If those who surround you are not happy, you will never be truly content. I think we live in a society that is always “please me, take care of me first”. However, this unselfish spirit taught me that we become more at peace and happier when we give and focus on serving others. At the end of the day, that is what truly matters.

Give and Have Faith 

If we don’t contribute, we have nothing. It is better to be able to give than to take and every day we should thank God for all we have.

His spirit lives on in all of us if we follow the advice he bestowed upon me to make our lives, and those of the people around us, better.