The winner of the 2015 ARRL International Humanitarian Award – Antonio Gonzalez, EA5RM – has been active as a volunteer with the non-governmental organization Radioaficionados Sin Fronteras (RSF), Radio Amateurs Without Borders, that stresses the importance of radio in projects involving groups of geographically separated collaborators.
Gonzalez has made six visits to the Bolivian Amazon in support of Soliidaridad Médica España, an NGO that works to bring sanitation and medical assistance to places in need around the world. He’s also been instrumental in the building, testing, and maintenance of solar-powered HF Amateur Radio stations in remote locations in Bolivia on behalf of RSF since 2007, to facilitate communication into the remote locations he visits.
The ARRL Programs & Services Committee recommended Gonzalez for the award at the ARRL Board of Directors annual meeting in mid-January.
“What a surprise!” was Gonzalez’s reaction when learning he would be the recipient of the award. “I have not words to express myself.” Gonzalez said the only aim of his group’s volunteer efforts is to improve the lives of others.
Gonzalez was nominated by Paul Ewing, N6PSE, the president of the Intrepid-DX Group.
“I have known Antonio, EA5RM, since 2010. He is a devoted family man and public servant in Spain. He is a keen DXer, and he regularly organizes DXpeditions to remote and rare places. Antonio pays for all of this travel from Spain to Bolivia,” Ewing wrote. “Given his many missions in support of the large humanitarian project, I feel that Antonio Gonzalez, EA5RM, is worthy of this nomination for the 2015 ARRL Humanitarian Award.
Ewing is a co-leader of the VP8STI/VP8SGI DXpedition to South Sandwich and South Georgia, and Gonzalez has served as Chief Pilot Station for the DXpedition.