How Hugo Villegas Changed the Worst of Humanity

 

Hugo Villegas was a successful CEO in his home country of Bolivia when he experienced a harrowing ordeal. He was kidnapped by police, sold to terrorists, and endured six-and-a-half months of "the worst of humanity" in captivity deep in the Bolivian jungle. When he emerged, he found his priorities had changed. Rather than making people rich through his financial expertise, he wanted to enrich their minds as an instructor. He's since turned his passion for education into a career, and we're proud to have him as part of our faculty at CTU Denver.

News host

It is 7:45 right now and this morning we’ve got the story of a man who was calling the shots as the CEO of the Bolivian stock exchange. But he was kidnapped by police and then sold to a terrorist organization for $400. How he survived and the lessons learned are now inspiring students right here in Denver. Welcome Hugo Villegas. You were held what six and a half months, I believe…

Hugo Villegas – CTU Faculty

Yes.

News host

by these terrorists…

Hugo Villegas – CTU Faculty

Yes, that’s right.

News host

How did you eventually get free?

Hugo Villegas – CTU Faculty

Well, two of my captors that were closest to me – I taught them that there was a different life, that they could change their life. And that’s when they ran away, I realized that I was an effective teacher. So that’s when the transition started

News host

to become a teacher

Hugo Villegas – CTU Faculty

to become a teacher, yes. How I was released was my father was negotiating with the terrorists during that time and I was changing their lives from the inside.

News host

They wanted quite the ransom.

Hugo Villegas – CTU Faculty

Thirty million dollars. Yes. And I laughed at them. Because that kind of money – just, you can’t just take it in a briefcase. It’s rather heavy.

News host

You went through unimaginable things. Torture,

Hugo Villegas – CTU Faculty

Yes. Beatings.

News host

beatings, you name it.

Hugo Villegas – CTU Faculty

Humiliation.

News host

“The worst of humanity” is what you call it.

Hugo Villegas – CTU Faculty

Yes.

News host

But then you had this realization that you did want to become a teacher, and that has now become your passion.

Hugo Villegas – CTU Faculty

That’s right, yes. I was hoisted down into a mine, an abandoned mine. I don’t know how long I was there. But when I came out, I started hugging the terrorists because I wanted the human contact. They thought I was attacking them so I was beaten up. As I was beaten up, I was thanking God for human beings. Human beings are irreplaceable and they are unique.

News host

You came to the United States, you got your Ph.D. You’re now teaching at Colorado Technical University.

Hugo Villegas – CTU Faculty

Yes.

News host

I know your students are enthralled with your story. What do you tell them about what you learned?

Hugo Villegas – CTU Faculty

That yes they can achieve success. That that is the change that they want in their lives. And in business, you can only be a failure or a success. So we concentrate on being a success and how to get there.

News Host

It’s not always about the money, or increasing the bottom line.

Hugo Villegas – CTU Faculty

No, not quite. If you follow what you want to do, if you follow your passion – the money will follow.

News Host

Well, Hugo Villegas, thank you so much for coming in.

Hugo Villegas – CTU Faculty

Thank you.

News Host

It was a pleasure to meet you.

Hugo Villegas – CTU Faculty

It was a pleasure

News Host

I’m encouraging him to write a book because we want to know so much more about this. I know you don’t want to be a celebrity here, but I hope we’ve inspired you a little bit too, to think about that and thank you for inspiring us. 


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