David Mosquera – Aid For Aids International’s Star Volunteer, Our Face In The Community

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Often, while conducting educational workshops on HIV, David Mosquera will look out into his audience and see a bunch of blank faces.
“I used to think that these people weren’t listening or, if they were listening, that they really didn’t care about what I was saying,” explains the soft-spoken outreach coordinator who has been volunteering for the New York Immigrant AIDS Link (NYIAL) program since 2009. “But I was very wrong. Once the workshop was over, the same people would come up to me and ask all kinds of questions. They had been listening intently all along. They just didn’t want to show it in front of the rest of the audience.”
It is just one of many small lessons about human behavior that the 37 year-old Ecuadorian native has learned in his 2 years at NYIAL, working with Spanish-speaking immigrants in New York City who are living with HIV or AIDS. For example, he’s received a lifetime’s worth of education on empathic listening, and he could write a book about the value of compassion in breaking down clients’ resistance to help. 
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