CHIMU with Bhutan's Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck
Meet Our Founder
Finally, he threw up his hands, and he realized that the people who knew best what other cultures needed were the people in the cultures themselves. The people who knew best were the people who lived every day with adversity, who knew exactly what challenges were preventing them from moving forward.
Chimu asking the Gamo People of Ethiopia... "What do you need" and "How can we help?"
Determined to provide marginalized people with the respect, dignity, and opportunity, Chimu started the Inti Raymi Fund in late 2011. Through IRF, he began funding what he likes to call “Passion Projects” out of his own pocket. Finally developing a formula of giving that works for Indigenous Peoples and other oppressed people, he created a different way of giving for others to use – matching funds to support transparent projects that struggling communities have identified, planned, and carry out on their own.
To date, IRF has funded projects in countries in every pocket of the planet, donating more than $2.6 million from the private fund to help communities and people progress in their own way. And we are not stopping now. We continue to travel the planet, searching for marginalized and oppressed people fighting to survive. We strive to bring them respect, dignity and a level playing field. We work to bring them hope and a way forward.
Today, Chimu wears a large solid-gold nose ring on a necklace around his neck. Robbers stole the ring centuries ago from the grave of a man who wanted to impress those in the afterlife with his importance. The heavy nose ring thumps against Chimu’s chest as he walks, a constant reminder that you cannot take it with you when you go.
In his youth, Chimu was the Texas state weightlifting champion for multiple years, Texas State Record Holder, and silver medalist nationally for youth division in Olympic Style Weightlifting.
He remains active today in the extremely challenging sport of high altitude mountaineering, with more than 20 mountains summited, including four of the seven highest summits in the world, two attempts at Everest, a North Pole skiing expedition and South Pole Expedition.