Mariana Valarezo Zambrano

In 1975, when she volunteered as a facilitator for an Alfalit literacy class, Mariana Valarezo de López had no way of knowing that 26 years later, she would become the leader of Alfalit Ecuatoriano. Over the years, with literacy promotion as the goal, she has traveled to remote areas and the furthermost cities that other organizations could not or would not visit. Her long tenure with the organization exemplifies her deeply rooted desire to help youth and adults develop reading and writing skills. Mariana is particularly motivated to teach women to read and write to fulfill their dreams while providing a better life for their families. Alfalit, she believes, has enabled her to help many despairing people in Ecuador to find hope and opportunity.

Born in Chone, Province of Manabí, Mariana demonstrated a knack for teaching at a noticeably early age. In high school, she specialized in teaching and later attended Universidad de Guayaquil, also known locally as Estatal, to study educational psychology and receive a degree in Educational Administration and Supervision. She continues to attend workshops and other training on specific aspects of literacy, social work, and related areas. An experienced educator, Mariana taught 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders before coming to Alfalit Ecuatoriano.

The mother of three sons and grandmother of three granddaughters is married to the Reverend Estuardo López, her “favorite” volunteer. Collectively, they have served Alfalit for over 45 years. In her off-hours, she enjoys gardening and other agricultural activities. She is also a volunteer coordinator for the Union of Evangelical Women. Mariana is devout and praises God for giving her the passion and love for teaching and directing her to Alfalit.