Willie Lopez was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Like many other immigrants, he came to the “El Norte” (America) as a child with his parents hoping for a better way of life. Willie spent most of his childhood in hiding from “La Migra,” the immigration.

Throughout his formative years, he was constantly exposed to the harsh reality of farm labor work, gangs, drugs, and discrimination. With the help of family and strangers, he eventually escaped that life.


Bilingual/Bicultural (Spanish)

“Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who YOU are.”
He credits his success to his parents and various strangers. His father provided patience and humility. His mother gave him strength and confidence. Complete strangers showed him how words and simple actions can make a difference. When he once asked how he could return the favor, he was told to return it to someone else. He did! That same advice is the core of his message. The power of those simple words changed his life completely.

Having had extensive experience as a storyteller, Willie is able to capture his audience through colorful illustrations of his personal real life experiences. Willie is a master at transforming himself on stage from a compesino (farm worker), to a homeboy (gang member), to a child named “Zapotitos”, Lil Tadpole. Willie is bilingual/bicultural in Spanish. He has served as professor at California State University in Fresno, trainer for the State Office of AIDS, counselor for Fresno County Human Services System, technical assistant for California Department of Education, and director of “Teatro de Las Cucarachas” which toured the United States, Mexico and Central America.

Willie Lopez travels from California