Help Poor Rural Girls in Paraguay go to University

by Fundacion Paraguaya
Students celebrate graduation day at CEM
Students celebrate graduation day at CEM

Saturday, December 17, the graduation ceremony of the Mbaracayú Educational Center was held, in which 31 young women from the area of the Mbaracayú Reserve received their Bachelor's degree in Environmental Sciences.

In rural areas, receiving a bachelor's degree is a challenge for young women, so this graduation means a very important achievement for the families and communities to which they belong, They now have environmental technical skills and stand out for their knowledge and leadership.

This is the sixth group of graduates from the school, which, since 2009, has been changing the lives of adolescents in an environment of vulnerability, affected by the gender inequality that is common in the area. To date, there are already 212 students who have graduated from CEM.

The event was held at 8 am at the Mbaracayú Educational Center (CEM) located in the Mbaracayú Forest Natural Reserve. Dozens of relatives and friends of the graduates accompanied the ceremony, in addition to the school staff and the Moisés Bertoni Foundation.

Yan Speranza, Executive Director of the FMB participated in the award ceremony; Enrique Dyck, Member of the Board of Directors; Daniel Jacquet, General Manager of the FMB; Sonnia Sanabria, Director of CEM and Professors Elizandro González and Maximina Ozuna, sponsors of the promotion.

From the Mbaracayú Educational Center and the Moisés Bertoni Foundation, we celebrate this achievement with our students and their families.


The 2016 CEM promotion participated in several competitions during the three years of middle school education, including the Poverty Stoplight Olympics, organized by Fundación Paraguaya, which consisted of facing challenges for the elimination of poverty.

In 2015, the students of the second course (sixth promotion) won the first prize of this contest, which gave them the opportunity to visit cities in Brazil.

They also participated in several fairs in which they exhibited outstanding works, with products and brands elaborated by them in the framework of their entrepreneurial education.

Ruth receiving her best employee certificate
Ruth receiving her best employee certificate

Ruth, a student who graduated in 2014 and who is from the Community of Yrybucua, Dept. Of San Pedro, was selected employee of the month and rewarded for her work and responsibility as the best employee in July this year in her place of work. Ruth is in her 2nd year of studying Human Ecology at the National University of Asuncion and in her free time, with big sacrifice, she works in a Fast Food restaurant company in Asunción to help their parents with the payment of her studies. Admission to the University has been an achievement for this young girl from a rural community, as well as for her family and her community. She has always excelled as a student with good grades with high levels of responsibility and leadership, and her completion of tourism studies at CEM, the Mbaracayú Lodge, has given her the necessary experience to excel in the work she has had to do. Congratulations to Ruth and we wish you continued success!

Astrid accepts Photography Prize
Astrid accepts Photography Prize

Astrid, a graduate of the Educative Center in Mbaracayu (Centro Educativo de Mbaracayu) (CEM), is completing her third year of Environmental Engineering with a scholarship at the National University of VIllarrica.  She was first place winner in the 2nd Edition of the Photography Contest, organized by Thomas Edison American Corner and the Image Institute, called “Interaction between Man and Nature,” held in commemoration of the Global Environment Day.   As part of her first place prize, Astrid received a full scholarship to study basic photography.  Thanks to her experience at CEM, she has expanded her goals and is realizing the exciting avenues in which she can become involved.

CEM Students speak on the radio
CEM Students speak on the radio

Third grade students traveled to Asunción to participate in the launching of the Poverty Stoplight Olympics 2016, where they shared their experiences as the winners of the previous year. They also participated on the Fundación Paraguaya radio program on Radio Ñandutí, invited for being the winners of the Poverty Stoplight Olympics of 2015, to tell about their experiences lived during the trip to Camboriu, Brazil. They also discussed about how the Education Center Mbaracayú operates and the activities that are taken place at the school.  The students were extremely excited to travel, as for most of them it was the first time leaving the country, and the first time they have seen the ocean.

Twenty nine students graduate from CEM in 2015
Twenty nine students graduate from CEM in 2015

On December 13 of 2015, twenty-nine students graduated as the Class of 2015 from the Centro Educativo Mbaracayú. This year’s graduation event was affected by weather conditions and the roads were nearly impossible to traverse, making it difficult for many parents to attend.  Despite the weather problems, a simple ceremony was held, which was still emotional and entertaining, with students, teachers and parents offering a toast to the graduates at the end.

One very emotional moment was when Esther Chenguygui, from the Aché community of Arroyo Bandera, was called to accept her degree as technician of environmental sciences.  Esther has now become the second woman in her family to finish at the school: her sister as well studied at CEM.


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Organization Information

Fundacion Paraguaya

Location: Asuncion, Central - Paraguay
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Luis Sanabria
General Manager
Asuncion, NA Paraguay

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