Who We Are


Board of Directors (U.S.)


Project Amigo was first registered as a U.S. public charity (501c3) in 1996 headquartered in Novato, California. Today’s Board of Directors has both functional and fiduciary oversight of the project, and individual members of the Board contribute time, talent, and resources to sustaining the organization.

Kirk Dretzka

Executive Director

Kirk was raised in Tecomán, Colima (70kms South of Cofradía de Suchitlán) where he went

through local public elementary and junior high school before returning to the USA for high school

and university in California. After 8 years working in the offshore oilfield diving industry he changed

to purchasing and supply chain working in the USA, China,Mexico and South America. After

retiring as Senior Manager for Purchasing and Distribution at Electrolux North America, he

returned to Colima and in 2017 joined the Project Amigo Staff.

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Heather M. Edwards

Development Director

Heather Edwards lived in Germany and Oklahoma before settling in Oregon where she graduated from Marist Catholic High School. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science in Economics with a focus on international development economics. She has worked in community and economic development and nonprofit development since 2005. She has been active in the Metropolitan Rotary Club of Eugene since 2009 and has served on their Board of Directors. She is Metro Rotary's chair of public relations and a member of their foundation board. In 2014 she was chosen as a member of District 5110's Group Study Exchange to Denmark, District 1480 as a nonprofit professional. In 2016 she went to Project Amigo for the first time. She fell in love with the program and has been actively involved since. She enjoys traveling, dancing, running and quality time with friends and family.   

Staff in Mexico


Since hiring its first full-time Mexican employee in 1998, Project Amigo has carefully and patiently added new faces to its very capable staff as it has grown. All but one are native Mexicans, and many are former Project Amigo scholars.      



California businessman Ted Rose first visited the state of Colima in 1984, coming down to climb a volcano. Instead, he took the wrong bus and found himself in the poverty-stricken village of Cofradia de Suchitlan. That "mistake," and a few other fortuitous events, led to his decision with his wife Susan Hill to trade their comfortable lives for one surrounded by poor children who would need a helping hand to break the bonds of poverty.