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Jakarta Post

Toni el Suizo: Building bridges for the poor

  • Esmeralda Hendrix

    Contributor

Jakarta   /   Mon, August 15 2011   /  08:00 am

Toni Rüttimann, better known as Toni el Suizo, is the Don Quixote of the 21st century. His life is dedicated to building bridges.

Through his bridge building, he has devoted his life to the poor and acts in the name of humanity, a sometimes forgotten value in the modern world.
Toni El Suizo: JP/Esmeralda HendrixIn the past 24 years, he has built more than 550 pedestrian bridges, from Ecuador, Columbia, Mexico and Honduras to Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia. He has helped more than 1.5 million people through these projects.  

Toni, born and raised in Switzerland, went to Ecuador when he was 19 years old.

“When I was just 19 years old, I saw the earthquakes in Ecuador on television and I wanted to help the people who were affected by the earthquakes of 1987,” he said.

So he traveled in Ecuador for 6 months, where he first learned ...