Milagros Saturria Calzado De Bello

Executive Director of Alfalit Internacional De Republica Dominicana [“Alfalit International of Dominican Republic” “DR”] since 1999, Milagros Bello, was introduced to Alfalit when, in 1968, she attended seminars conducted by Alfalit’s founders, Justo and Luisa Gonzales, and current president emeritus, Reverend Roberto Pérez. She became a literacy program facilitator after being trained in Cost Rica, Panama, and Santo Domingo (DR).

Under Milagros’ leadership, the organization participated in literacy campaigns sponsored by now-former secretaries of education resulting in decades-long relationships that continue to exist. She ensured Alfalit’s inclusion in Quisqueya [“Mother of the Lands”] Aprende Contigo [“Learn with You”], a three-year national literacy campaign to educate 9,000 people in support of UNESCO1‘s worldwide goal of zero illiteracy. To date, she has founded 10 evangelical schools, constructed a school in San Juan de la Maguana, and established 25 Alfalit International preschool centers.

Milagros says she is a part of Alfalit because “How can [I] not love a program that has done so much good for thousands of Dominicans and us personally? …. [Alfalit] [has blessed] thousands of marginalized children, youth, and adults, with the bread of education.” The Alfalit International team knows that Milagros has an unwavering commitment to eradicating illiteracy and creating a culture that promotes the importance of education. She is particularly devoted to the preschool programs of Alfalit-DR because she believes teaching children early instills the importance of education. Thanks to her outreach, DR’s various churches and councils have volunteered, promoted programs, recruited students and teachers, and offered free classroom space. Visitors often describe Alfalit’s DR programs as excellent.

Before working with Alfalit, Milagros founded and directed the former Colegio Gamalier (Bonao). Her first public school teaching post was at El Bonito and she later taught at Elda Josefa Muñoz Primary Public School (San Luis) and Km. 25, Aut. Duarte (Cibao region). She was also co-director and professor at Central Biblical Seminary (Santo Domingo) and director of Colegio Evangélico la Trinidad (Quisqueya). She has been a co-pastor at Casa de Mi Padre Central Assemblies of God Church since 1971, but diligently presents Alfalit as interdenominational and welcoming to all.

Well educated, Milagros is a role model for women everywhere. She holds bachelor’s degrees in theology from both the Assemblies of God and Extension University of Springfield (Missouri); in Physical & Mathematical Sciences (María Auxiliadora Night School); and Education Sciences, with mention in philosophy and letters (Pedro Henríquez Ureña National University, “UMPHU”). Certified in Higher Studies with a mention in letters (UMPHU), she was trained by the offices of the former Secretary of Education, now the Ministry of Education, in distance learning. She has diplomas from various institutions in several specialty areas such as Management of Education Centers (Iberoamericana), Handling, Care, and Early Stimulation of Babies and Children (Institute of Psychosocial and Educational Services), and more. In addition, she has studied theology at a master’s level. A gifted writer, Milagros was a 3rd place winner in a contest sponsored by the Workshop for Writers in Santo Domingo.

Milagros is married to Silverio Manuel Bello V., and they are the parents of four adult children – two sons, one of whom is employed at Alfalit International headquarters, and two daughters – and have five grandsons. She is fluent in Spanish and is currently studying English.

 

1 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization