From left to right: Stephen Dunne, Mimi Stephens, Margaret Hebblethwaite, Kate Quartano Brown, Catherine Brady.
In June 2020 Jacob Pratt, who volunteered in Santa María in 2016, joined the Trustees to take on the role of Treasurer, replacing Suzie Hance who now steps down. Stephen Dunne remains as Trustee, and our profound thanks go to all three of them for their service past, present and to come – all three have been volunteers for SMEF and they bring a very particular engagement and understanding to their roles. Mimi Stephens resigned from the Trustees, but remains on the team, and we are very grateful to her for continuing to do all the hard work of printing and distributing the newsletters and Christmas Cards.
Margaret Hebblethwaite, Founder and Trustee (centre)
Margaret is an author, journalist and theologian, who moved to Santa María in 2000 and founded the Education Fund the next year. Margaret Hebblethwaite is an author, journalist and theologian, with experience in Ignatian retreat-giving, prison work, preaching to students, English teaching to the rural poor in Latin America, and travel-writing. From 1991 she was an assistant editor at the Tablet, until she gave up her job in 2000 to go and live in Santa María de Fe, Paraguay, as a sort of freelance missionary. She has written many books on theology for a general readership, and for ten years wrote the “From the South” column in The Tablet about life in Santa María. She is author of the Bradt Guide to Paraguay (2010) and From Santa María with Love (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2011).
She is a Delta qualified teacher of EFL, and runs a free English course for the rural poor with the help of volunteers from England and other English-speaking countries (Australia, Ireland, USA, Wales).
She also teaches Bible studies at the Institute in Santa María, where students from poor families receive a free tertiary-level education.
Kate Quartano Brown, Webmistress and Trustee
Kate is a theatre and opera director. She was at school with Margaret and helps now with the SMEF mailing list database, and the websites for SMEF, the Taller de Hermandad (the craft workshop), and the Santa María Hotel. She has her own website here: cockaigne.org.uk
Catherine Brady, Honorary Secretary and Trustee
All donations come first to Catherine, who writes thank-you letters and keeps in touch with our greatly appreciated donors.
Stephen Dunne, Trustee
Stephen first came to Santa María as a volunteer, teaching English during his year abroad while studying Spanish at Cambridge, and is now able to help us here in the UK.
Jacob Pratt, Trustee and Treasurer
Jacob volunteered in Santa Maria in 2016 to strengthen his Spanish after taking a First Class degree in Chemistry at Oxford. After that he took up a job in Bristol with PwC, one of the Big Four accounting firms. He now joins the trustee team as Treasurer, from June 2020.
Mimi Stephens, Mailing Secretary
Mimi and her husband Richard manage all the newsletter mailings and also handle the printing and sending out of the annual Christmas cards. To subscribe to our newsletter or for information about the Christmas cards, please email