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Guadalupe Arizpe de De la Vega Awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award

Monday, July 1st, 2013 -- Guadalupe Arizpe de De La Vega was presented with the Public Service award by the Mexico Institute of The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. It is the first time the award is presented to a Mexican woman. The ceremony took place in Chihuahua, Chih. Mexico.

“Este premio le pertenece a todos aquellos en FEMAP que se han comprometido, durante 40 años, con sus esfuerzos y sus vidas a la promoción de un programa enraizado en la filosofía del respeto por la vida y la dignidad de las personas. Al aceptar esta distinción, lo hago en nombre de miles de personas que trabajan y se dedican día a día, a luchar por un ideal que es el corazón de la historia de FEMAP. FEMAP nació de una convicción y de un sueño. De la convicción de que es posible que las personas pueden cambiar sus circunstancias para poder realizar su potencial. Del sueño de que este cambio solo se puede lograr en el contexto de un absoluto respeto por la libertad y la dignidad de las personas.” This was the message Mrs. De la Vega gave upon receiving the award.

Through the years, Mrs. De la Vega has received various recognitions. Among them are: an Honorary Doctorate degree in Medicine from the University of St Lucia, the Margaret Sanger Award, the Hannah R. Solomon Award, the Paul Harris Award under Rotary International, and the Shining World Compassion Award 2010.

Her work was recognized internationally when Mrs. De la Vega was one of the ten CNN Heroes worldwide.

The Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service is given to individuals who have served with distinction in public life and have shown a special commitment to seeking out informed opinions and thoughtful views. Recipients of this award share Woodrow Wilson’s steadfast belief in public discourse, scholarship, and the extension of the benefits of knowledge in the United States and around the world. These leaders devote themselves to examining the historical background and long-term implications of important public policy issues while encouraging the free and open exchange of ideas that is the bedrock of our nation’s foundation.

Inspired by a vision to provide access to healthcare and education for future and expectant mothers in Ciudad Juárez, Guadalupe Arizpe de De la Vega founded Federación Mexicana de Asociaciones y Empresas Privadas (FEMAP) in 1973.

Over the years, FEMAP has grown to two full-service inpatient hospitals; a nursing school; and has implemented community based programs in the areas of health, the advancement of children and adolescent’s emotional and physical development and economic growth through the micro-finance program.

Today, nurtured by an army of volunteer health promoters that number over 1,000, FEMAP’s community programs are far-reaching and our mission has grown to encompass improving the overall quality of life of the individual, the family and society through education, research and service in our bi-national community.