Inspirational Tech

Zaneta Salde Encarnacion

Mon October 7, 2013 9:27pm

I always find it inspiring when a person takes their personal passion and turns it into a career. In Baltazar Perez’s case, his passion to bring robotics programming to elementary schools has had a ripple effect throughout the community.
Perez and his wife Claudia founded Smart Mind Robotics ( as a volunteer after-school program at Liberty Elementary because they saw a need for programming that would immerse students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM education) in a fun and interactive way.

What started out as a volunteer after-school program is now serving more than 500 elementary school students throughout Chula Vista! The success of the program is no doubt a result of their entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the community.  They believe and practice community involvement that brings people together around a common issue.

Baltazar and Claudia are active volunteers in the community on education issues. Baltazar serves on the School Site Council for Eastlake Middle and is president of the District Advisory Committee for Gifted And Talented Education for the Sweetwater Unified High School District. He also is immediate past chair of the Eastlake Business Association. Claudia has served on the Parent Teacher Student Organization through elementary school and now into middle school. And both are founding members of the Chula Vista Charitable Foundation. They are a living, breathing example of giving of your time, talent and treasure.

They love living in Eastlake and are ready and willing to find more ways to serve the community they love.

“Aside from the obvious, gorgeous year-round weather, the small-town feel of Eastlake and Chula Vista attracted us to the area. We thoroughly enjoy taking walks to many of our nearby parks, lakes and malls. We also love our community church and frequent the local restaurants and movie theaters. But best of all, the fact that at any of these places, we always see our neighbors and people we know from around town, just makes us feel at home.”

Baltazar and Claudia moved to Eastlake in 2001 from Chicago. They have two sons — Alejandro, an eighth-grader at Eastlake Middle School and Eduardo, a sixth-grader at Liberty Elementary.

Currently, their only pet is a blue and reddish beta named Peter, because SpiderFish didn’t quite sound right.

Zaneta Salde Encarnacion is director of the Chula Vista Charitable Foundation.