Open/Close Menu Empowering children in Argentina to kick poverty's ass

El Desafío is lucky to have a number of outstanding women who have left their mark. These are women who choose to be in charge of their own lives and strive to be a positive participant in our society’s way to progress. Therefore, we’re not surprised to hear María call herself “a social construction woman” – brick by brick, she truly builds her own dreams, as well as the ones from the kids at El Desafío.

María is a force that keeps moving forward. She’s passionate and committed to her goals and her eagerness is infectious. It is that passion that drives her forward towards anything that she sets her mind to. In 2013, through a TV program, she found out about El Desafío and decided she wanted to work here. “I had been looking for a place like El Desafío. A place where I could make a difference”—she says with a smile. María set out to do it and her unstoppable attitude got here there. Her journey with us started at a volunteers’ meeting in February 2014. It is a journey loaded with drive, commitment and hard work.

Last August, María had the opportunity to collaborate in a program called Barrio al Mundo (From the Neighborhood to the World). Considering she has graduated with a degree in Political Science and she is also a Classical Dance teacher, she felt that BAM was perfect for her. “Barrio al Mundo is about telling stories. It’s about children being able to do that by discovering their own talents. And I felt like I could relate to that” reminisces María about her first collaboration at El Desafío.

Early 2015, we asked María to collaborate with us in Efecto Foco (Focus Effect). Later, in March, we offered her the position of Programs Coordinator, overseeing programs such as BAM, Efecto Foco, Mini Gigantes (Little Giants), Hay Equipito (The Tiny Team), Hockey Power, Entre Pitos y Flautas (The Music Program), and Ritmo de Vida (The Rhythm of Life).

She said yes to all, standing by her conviction that you have to commit for children to have more and better opportunities. “I enjoy building strong, solid bonds for us to be able to live in brotherhood, as a community. I believe that if everyone chips in one brick, we can build a much better world”.

“My goal, the one that I work so hard for every day, is to drop the levels of violence and aggression that we have when communicating. I truly believe that even the biggest problems in our country could be worked out by talking to each other and communicating leaving our interests aside. My hope for our country is that we can grow in terms of values, communication and community – to stop thinking as individuals and start seeing ourselves as a community. We’re all Argentinean – let’s think together. Even if we have different ideas, I do believe that we all agree on one point: deep down, we all want to be all right. We can build from communication, empathy, your experiences and mine”.

Every second of the day we feel inspired by María’s positive energy. Her drive and her passion for growth are contagious. She is one of those people that leave a mark and lead the way to positive change. She is a true giant.

“I know that it can be done. We just need to realize that we have the opportunity ahead of us” says María with a huge, hopeful smile.



“I have a peculiar idea of the future. I always try to live in the now and my dreams are basic and simple – I want to keep on sharing El Desafío’s story because I know it’s a big one. My dream is to keep on enjoying, day in and day out, the work that I am doing here”.

“Today, if you ask me about the future, I’d rather let it take me by surprise. I’d rather enjoy today what I have right now”.


On her first volunteers’ meeting, María had decided she did not want to go unnoticed. “I wore floral-printed leggings, which are now my lucky leggings and I took a seat on the front row” she assures.

However, Mario, one of the founders of El Desafío, was not drawn to her by her leggings or her front row sit. “María asked a really profound question about education and that was what got me thinking that she should be in our team”. In the end, it was her eagerness and curiosity that drove her to the place where she wants to be.

© 2016 El Desafío Foundation | Accept the Challenge.
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