SWAA Golden Opportunity! The airline industry is laced with factors beyond our control.  However, taking care of each other is one goal we all have complete control over, and in essence, is at the heart of what we strive to do as an airline.

We must take care of each other and those organizations whose mission and hard work directly impact our quality of life.  If someone needs help, reach out a hand; if someone needs direction, lead them in a positive manner; if you need help, ask for it!

It is my pleasure to showcase an organization that is close to my heart – Project Concern International (PCI).  I ask that you get to know PCI and reach out to them. They are saving lives and building healthy communities…and they are in our own backyard!

I hope to see you at their upcoming Hands Across Borders 2010 Gala, where we will be celebrating el pasado, presente y futuro!  Enjoy!


Project Concern International, or PCI, is a San Diego-based non-profit organization that has been preventing disease, improving community health and promoting sustainable development around the world for almost fifty years. PCI is a humanitarian organization addressing the most critical health issues in the developing world, bringing hope to children and families living in desperate poverty and touching the lives of more than 5.5 million people. PCI was founded by Dr. Jim Turpin who volunteered his medical services in the poorest neighborhoods of Tijuana in 1961. He then decided to take his work to the Walled City in Hong Kong and shortly after that to Vietnam.  He later returned to Mexico and with support from both sides of the border built the Hospital Infantil, which continues to operate today under the management of the Mexican Government.  PCI’s programs have spread across the globe: the organization currently operates in 16 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas.

George Guimaraes, PCI’s President and CEO tells GB Magazine, “We are proud of our decade-long partnership with Southwest Airlines and the support of Lidia Martinez has been instrumental in helping grow PCI’s flagship event, Hands Across Borders Gala, which supports and celebrates our local and worldwide work”.  Since joining PCI in 2003, George Guimaraes and his team have provided the strategic leadership behind growing HIV/AIDS, nutrition and humanitarian assistance programs.

PCI’s 20th Annual Hands Across Borders Gala, co-chaired by Lidia Martinez, Anne Otterson and Karen Hoehn will take place on November 6, 2010 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. This year’s gala will honor Dr. Jim Turpin as Humanitarian of the Year and also pay tribute to Alfonso Bustamante, Freddie and Bob Driver, Jenny and Sid Craig and Walter Zable as corporate founders and PCI supporters. In the 1960’s, Bustamante worked with the Driver Family to raise the funds necessary to build the hospital in Tijuana.  PCI still has active programs in eight of the poorest neighborhoods in Tijuana and operates a national TB prevention program in Mexico. PCI’s 26-member international Board includes former Tijuana Mayor and businessman Kurt Honold, who along with SEMPRA and several business associates, has sponsored a mobile health clinic that serves the colonias of Tijuana. In San Diego, PCI supports low-income women during pregnancy to ensure the health of the newborns as part of its “Healthy Start” program.   PCI’s work around the world focuses on preventing disease, ensuring maternal and child health, improving food security and livelihoods and providing humanitarian assistance.

For more information, contact Uli Imhoff Heine at PCI at (858) 279-9690 ext 323 or uheine@projectconcern.org.


Lidia S. Martinez
Manager, Community Affairs & Grassroots
Southwest Airlines

Lidia S. Martinez 2014