Friends share memories of Max Mendoza, ASU graduate died hiking in Brazil

Friends of an ASU graduate who fell to his death while in Brazil for the World Cup said the 25-year-old leaves quite the legacy behind.

“His life teaches us it’s not about how long you live, but it’s about how you live,” said his friend, Apollo Poetry.

“He had this roaring laughter,” said friend, Coral Garcia. “It was just contagious. It just filled the room with this fire.”

ASU graduate Max Mendoza was a leader; co-founding ASU’s annual charity “Undie Run”, as well as the leadership program “Project U”.

“All you needed was an hour with him and you weren’t the same,” said Garcia.

Mendoza was a dreamer and an explorer.

“It was his dream since I met him to go to Brazil,” said Daniel Sanderson.

And of course, Max made his dream a reality. But on Friday, his friends were stunned as the news broke that the 25-year-old had died during a hiking trip in Rio.

“To know that he wasn’t in this world anymore seemed like too much to take in at once,” said friend Nathan Coury.

Since Friday, more than $20 thousand has been raised to bring Max’s body back to Arizona.

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