From left to right: Stephen Dunne, Mimi Stephens, Margaret Hebblethwaite, Kate Quartano Brown, Catherine Brady.


Trustee news:

In August 2016 Suzie Hance, one of our former volunteers, joined the Trustees to take on the role of Treasurer. Stephen Dunne remains as Trustee, with our profound thanks for having acted as Treasurer for the past year. 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:

Catherine Brady, Hon Sec and Trustee
All donations come first to Catherine, who writes thank-you letters and keeps in touch with our greatly appreciated donors.

Suzie and MargaretSuzie Hance, Trustee and Treasurer

Suzie is a graduate in Spanish, Italian and European Studies from the University of Bath. She was a volunteer teacher in Santa María from February to July 2013, where she taught English as well as Italian and Singing. Since graduating in 2014 she has lived for five months in China studying Mandarin and singing in a Venezuelan band.

In 2016 she finished working at a large international NGO and she now works for a professional services firm and is currently studying for the accountancy qualification ACA.

Suzie is interested in improving access to education and gender equality and believes that SMEF addresses both of these issues.

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.

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