On Tuesday, founder and president of América Solidaria Benito Baranda held a presentation hosted by the Wilson Center and McLarty Associates: “Superando los ciclos de pobreza: Lecciones de Latinoamérica” (Overcoming Cycles of Poverty: Lessons from Latin America).
In his presentation, Baranda discussed the mission and goal of America Solidaria, and emphasized the importance of international and inter-hemispheric cooperation in the fight against childhood poverty. He also talked about civil society, explaining how communities all over the Americas have the capacity to work together to fight poverty in the most sustainable way.
Benito Baranda is one of the most influential community mobilizers and changemakers in Latin America, with a 35-year career dedicated to social impact. A Wendy Kopp or Sargent Shriver of Chile, Benito has helped foster a culture of purpose and social activism in his home country and the region, engaging in equal parts young people, business groups and community members. Before founding America Solidaria, an international service organization, Benito was the Director of Hogar de Cristo. He is known for his fearless public opinions, which often trend on social media. He talks about poverty based on deep personal knowledge: despite coming from an upper class family, he has chosen to call impoverished district La Pintana home for the last 25 years with his wife and their six adopted children. He has been a Fulbright Scholar and Gabriela Mistral awardee, and is an observer of the constitutional process in Chile, a role appointed directly by President Bachelet.
His decades of experience as a leading thinker in poverty alleviation and provocative call for the region to take responsibility for its own inequality make him a fascinating speaker.