Empowering Poor, Rural Girls in Paraguay

by Fundacion Paraguaya

Celsa Acosta is an emerging leader and role model for women worldwide. She was bestowed the honor of being nominated by the U.S. State Department to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) hosted by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in The United States. Celsa is recognized for the work she has done over the years to promote youth rights and in her current capacity as the director of the Mbaracayú Girls School. Celsa traveled to the U.S. in March and over the course of three weeks, she and other women leaders from around the globe participated in a professional exchange, including workshops and networking that will enable them to support and encourage each other in a variety of areas centered around women’s rights. In her position as the director of a school that caters to the most vulnerable girls in the country, Celsa is gratified knowing that she continues to build upon a strong base of leadership and transfer that knowledge and passion to the young women she serves at the Mbaracayú.

Celsa is a “mother” to so many young women at the school, along with being a mother to her own two birth children. With Mother’s Day approaching, please consider honoring mothers everywhere with a Global Giving’s Mother’s Day Tribute Card as a gift this year. Global Giving is hosting a campaign from now until March 13, 2012, in which $500 will be awarded to the top 10 projects with the most donors who make donations as gifts during the campaign. Please tell a friend! Together we can continue to turn these girls’ dreams into a reality. Thank you so much for your support. Best wishes to you and to all special moms for a Happy Mother’s Day!

To make a gift for the Mbaracayú Girls School please go to the following link:


To make a gift to provide a scholarship for the Mbaracayú Girls School graduates to go to university please go to the following link:


Mbaracayu Girls Hard at Work
Mbaracayu Girls Hard at Work

 This picture depicts the typical conditions of the roads in the region of the school. After a recent storm, the already delicate roads heading out to the school and the hotel were further damaged and became simply inaccessible. As in many rural parts of Paraguay, the roads are not well maintained by the government. Most citizens accept this as their lot in life, but not the young women at the Mbaracayu Girls School. The girls from the school were highly motivated and worked hard to improve the conditions of the road. Not only do these entrepreneurial young women demonstrate how much they care about their school, but they continue to amaze everyone with how much they give to the community at large.

Today is a Paraguayan holiday called “Heroes’ Day”, which memorializes those who have died for the country, especially in the Triple Alliance War in 1870, which pitted the combined forces of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay against Paraguay. After witnessing his army severely weakened, and moments before his death, Paraguay's leader, Marshal Francisco Solano Lopez proclaimed, "I die with my country!" This day honors heroes who have fought for freedom.

We continue to fight for freedom from the chains of poverty for our girls, by offering them an otherwise out-of-reach education, and leveling the playing field for the often overlooked, poor, rural girls of Paraguay. Thank you for being a HERO to these young women and for your continued support!

The Talented Micaela Mican
The Talented Micaela Mican

Micaela Macan is a spirited poet from a town about 5 hours away from the school. She writes poetry to process the world as she sees it and as an outlet for her feelings. She is from a single parent household, and her mother works long hours cleaning at a local company. She has an 11 year old brother, and suffered the tragic loss of a younger brother due to a venomous snake bite. Micaela is entering her junior year in the school. She remarks that the local school options from her town are limited, and she is grateful to pursue a high quality education. She hopes to go to university one day to study agronomy.

SHARE THE LOVE!  You can help Micaela and others like her complete their high school education and pursue their dreams of going on to university. Please consider making a donation to the Mbaracayú Educational Center as a gift this Valentine’s Day through GlobalGiving. Enjoy a sample of Micaela’s poetry below. Happy Valentine's Day!

TE AMO                                                                                    I LOVE YOU

Si te amo no es                                                                         If I love you it’s not

Porque te lo digo,                                                                       Because I tell you,

Es porque                                                                                 It is because

Me lo dicen.                                                                              They tell me.

Desde el primer instante                                                             From the first moment

En que te he visto                                                                      That I saw you

Me enamore de ti.                                                                      I fell in love with you

Para mi SOS                                                                             You ARE

La primavera porque                                                                   Spring because

Después que te encontré                                                            After meeting you

Mi vida floreció.                                                                         My life blossomed.

Te amo y por                                                                             I love you and

Siempre te amaré.                                                                     I will always love you.               

Alaide Micaela Macan                                                             Alaide Micaela Macan              

Micaela's Work in Progress
Silvani and her sister Venancia
Silvani and her sister Venancia

During her time at Mbaracayú, recent graduate Silvani Gimenez’s love for orchids prompted her to develop, oversee, and care for the school’s beautiful display of orchid species found in the Mbaracayú forest. She led an expedition of classmates into the forest and discovered 5 new species of orchids to add to the 26 already documented ones. Her work will be published in the 2012 guide to orchids native to the Mbaracayú forest. Silvani and the other students involved in the study and care of the forest's orchids work closely with Fundación Bertoni in the area of research and conservation.

Silvani comes from a family of eight siblings. Her oldest 4 brothers never had an opportunity to study, while one of her younger sisters, Venancia Gimenez, is a student at Mbaracayu’s Girls School, following in Silvani’s footsteps. Silvani hopes to begin her university studies in February, 2012.

Orchids preserved in the school
Orchids preserved in the school's display
Silvani tends to the school
Silvani tends to the school's orchids

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Organization Information

Fundacion Paraguaya

Location: Asuncion, Central - Paraguay
Website: http:/​/​www.fundacionparaguaya.org.py
Project Leader:
Luis Sanabria
General Manager
Asuncion, Paraguay
$32,196 raised of $95,000 goal
555 donations
$62,804 to go
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