Co-Founder

Daniel-Varela-300x200Daniel was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. His father; a well-known official in the Mexican military and his mother, an enthusiastic yet strict elementary school teacher, provided a modest yet safe environment for his early development. Due to his father’s job, the entire family moved several times during his childhood. Mexico city, Veracruz, Cancun and Guadalajara were among the cities where he was raised next to his older brother and later on, younger sisters. They lived in a very family oriented, catholic-influenced household. Sharing, caring, and helping others were some of the principals his parents engraved in his character.

From a young age Daniel was attracted to sports, particularly soccer and martial arts. He was also interested in school, where he received scholarships to study at private schools. At age thirteen and months after his older brother’s heartbreaking death, he moved to San Diego, California with his entire family. He attended Torrey Pines High School and graduated in 2003. After having experienced an enormous cultural shock, he started adapting to the fast-passed, progress-seeking life-style that the United States of America offered him. He went on to College where he had some trouble finding the right career path that suited him. Always cheerful and friendly, Daniel discovered a true passion for sports; from the very popular Football to the less known archery Olympic competition, his was always very vocal about his love for sports. After working in the service industry for several years, in 2009 he decided to study Kinesiology, embracing his “gym bag over briefcase” lifestyle goal. It was during this year that he met his present day partner and future wife, Laurel Swanson.

Unfortunately in 2012 he had trouble with his legal status in America and was forced to exit the country. With his partner’s support, he stayed in the bordering city of Tijuana where he lives today. Soon, after his arrival to this new city, Laurel and Daniel decided to engage with the local community and start a program that would fight child obesity and poor elementary education. The First Goal, Inc. was registered as a legal non-profit corporation in 2015. In actuality, Daniel, coaches soccer and mentors over a hundred kids, sharing his passion for sports, life, and others’ needs. He is waiting on an approval to legally go back to America where he plans to get marry to the love of his life and develop and expand their non-profit to other countries, including the United States.