"Although I lived in Cuba and saw much poverty, I was in no way prepared for what I met in Nicaragua. It was much more extreme."
If the heart of business is to change, Dos Funny Frogs is helping to lead the way by adapting to a shift in priorities. An environmentally friendly janitorial company started by Alex Suarez '04 and his mother, Ivonne, Dos Funny Frogs promotes both green and social consciousness in the 21st century.
Located in Philadelphia and serving the Greater Philadelphia area, Suarez' business uses its own brand of green cleaning products called Sapos ("toads" in Spanish).
He both manufactures and markets his orange-based cleaners at the company's headquarters. Additionally, customers may recycle empty product bottles at the store, or refill them there. The ecologically minded biologist is putting his degree from Bucknell and experience in microbiology from Yale to practical and earth-saving use, as his mother and friends add energy to these endeavors.
The company's name, Dos Funny Frogs, refers to Suarez, his mother and their mutual concern for the environment. The mixture of Spanish and English in the company's title underscores the connected destinies of the Northern and Southern American hemispheres, both socially and ecologically. Frogs have suffered great devastation in the rainforests of the Americas and signal the decline of these ecosystems.
The company's title also expresses the business' sense of family. The core inspiration for a janitorial company came from Suarez's mother, who cleaned homes and businesses while her son attended college. According to Suarez, "My mother and I are 'dos funny frogs.'"
Work with the Bucknell Brigade also shaped his business and social awareness. Suarez had been a medical student in Cuba before coming to the United States. While a student, he traveled twice to Nicaragua with the Brigade, using his medical background to help build and improve the clinics.
"Although I lived in Cuba and saw much poverty," he says, "I was in no way prepared for what I met in Nicaragua. It was much more extreme." Today, his company donates a percentage of profits to the Brigade's continuing work in Nueva Vida.
Posted July 2010
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