If you have bought a Polar Bottle water bottle in the past year and a half, there’s a good chance your bottle was built by an award-winning musician.

Manuel Villegas, 23, started drumming when he was eight years old in his hometown of Lima, Peru. He won an exclusive music scholarship to a Lima university when he was only 11 years old. In High School, Manuel’s drumming earned him jazz musician awards. Today, his YouTube clips have more than 40,000 followers, which has led the site to post advertisements on his page, meaning he is paid advertising royalties for every click.

Manuel says that he likes “everything” about music. “If I have a problem, or feel sad, or anything is going on in my life, it makes me forget about everything,” he shared.

At Polar Bottle, we know Manuel as one of the awesome production workers building our Made in America water bottles. He has worked with us for a year and a half — originally as a temp and now as a full-time employee.

Manuel moved from Peru to Colorado with his parents and younger sister in 2006 after his father won a permanent residence lottery that granted the family residency in the United States. He graduated from Longmont High School in 2010 and worked in customer service at IBM before joining the Polar Bottle team. Similar to his love of music, Manuel says he misses “everything” about Peru. “I miss the beach, the fresh food. I just miss everything,” he said.

Manufacturing is deeply rooted in the Villegas family. Manuel’s grandfather founded the Macovi sock factory in Lima, which is still operated by his family and where his parents once worked. Today at Polar Bottle, he is a valuable member of our production team. On what he likes about working here, Manuel says — not surprisingly — “everything.”

Want to win this Peruvian flag bottle specially designed for Manuel? Check out our Facebook page on Friday, November 14th, 2014 to learn more!

Water Bottles For Running