Local Team

Margaret Hebblethwaite, founder, and Sarah Clarkson, field officer, supervise the work of the Fund in Santa María de Fe. They are assisted in the English teaching by our indefatigable volunteers – those working at the present time are featured here, and former volunteers have their own section here.


Emi Del Puerto, who is the Director of the Institute, also assists Sarah and Margaret, in interviewing the students with scholarships and giving them the money they need month by month.



Margaret HebblethwaiteMargaret Hebblethwaite


The author, journalist and theologian founded the Santa Maria Education Fund in 2001 and ran it singlehandedly for many years. Gradually now she is handing over the local organisation to Sarah Clarkson, though will still be active in Santa María itself where she lives, and will continue to raise funds in the UK and elsewhere.

Sarah Clarkson 2016Sarah Clarkson, Field Officer


Sarah returned to Santa Maria in 2016 after originally coming as a volunteer in 2010-11. She graduated from the University of Durham in 2012 where she studied Classics and Spanish. She has also completed the Trinity Cert. TESOL English teaching course. From 2012 to 2015 she worked in Asuncion teaching both English and Maths. She got married to Felix, who is from San Ignacio (the town next to Santa Maria), in January 2016 and moved back to the area. She helps Margaret with the running of the Santa Maria Education Fund as well as teaching English. This is a permanent position and she has gradually taken over much of the administration and responsibilities from Margaret.


EmidelPuerto Emi del Puerto


Emi del Puerto is a qualified teacher for primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Her initial training was at the Instituto de Formación docente in San Juan, Misiones, and she later did a degree in education at the UniNorte university. She holds a diploma in educational management, and a certificate in university teaching from the Universidad Católica. She taught in the Santa María primary school until her retirement in 2008, and is now Director of the Instituto Técnico Superior, Santa María de Fe – a post which she exercises as a volunteer.