Dion Dean Rodriguez joined PathLight in 2012 as our Belize Program Director. Born in Belize City in 1974, Dion was raised by his mother and stepfather. As a police officer, his stepfather was assigned to work in many parts of the country. As a result, Dion spent most of his childhood living among Ketchi Maya, Mopan Maya, and Hispanics. Dion spent his summers working hard on the island of Caye Caulker, a popular tourist destination, waiting tables, lobster fishing, building lobster traps, and a variety of other work. He attended high school and college in Corozal Town, often walking or riding his bicycle long distances to get to school. After high school, Dion earned an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Corozal Junior College, an “A Level” Law Certificate, certificates in Customer Care, Team Building, and Professional Leadership Development.
After college, Dion moved to Belmopan, the country's capital, and joined the Belize Police Department, working in the Criminal Records Office. Wanting to further his education, Dion quit his job and moved to Philadelphia, PA. But he felt called by God to move back to his native country to serve others, and upon returning to Belize, he worked at the Belmopan City Council, soon being promoted to Assistant Lands Officer. He was at the City Council for six years before his post was declared redundant when a new government party was elected.
During this time Dion and his wife Andrea, founded Joshua Generation Youth Ministry, serving about 16 youth in high school and college who receive tutoring, mentorship, and discipleship. Dion and Andrea built a patio in their backyard to host events for the kids and their ministry also coordinates community service projects, local mission outreach and an annual Christmas celebration for underprivileged kids. In addition, they have aided in hurricane relief assistance, and volunteered at HelpAge Belize, an organization for the elderly. Dion and Andrea continue to lead the ministry which is now eight years old.
At the end of 2008, Dion began working as an Executive Assistant at the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust, where he worked to get the trust off the ground. The following year, Dion began working primarily with Plus TV and Belize Action. He also started a small business, Eagle Wings Property Management.
Dion spends his free time with his wife Andrea and their three children, Janae, Kaelen, and Zaira. He also collects different plant species, loves reading, and plays soccer.
At PathLight, Dion is is living out his passion for helping students to succeed and "become leaders of integrity to bring change to their communities by building a strong foundation through education and a relationship with God."
Not only does Dion have a passion for helping students, but he also has a strong conviction in Christ. He explains, “My faith in God has influenced every area of my life, including how I treat my wife and kids, how I relate to various situations, and how I view people and my country. God has been my beacon through my darkest seasons of life, I trust in His leading. I am the man I am today because of who God is to me.”