In 1955, Abraham Reyes and Patricia García de Reyes donated part of their house so that the first school of Fe y Alegría could be created. Patricia is our inspiration to identify women –laics and religious- who generously and silently have given their hearts and souls to keep our educational movement strong. We have called them the Patricias of Fe y Alegría (Las Patricias de Fe y Alegría). Today we share with you her story:

Patricia: the blessing of Abraham Reyes

[María Patricia García de Reyes]
María Patricia García de Reyes was a noble woman who, together with her husband Abraham Reyes, decided to donate half of their house for the creation of the first school of Fe y Alegría. It was the year 1955 and they lived in the populous parish 23 de Enero in Caracas, Venezuela.

Although at the beginning, the glories of the founding of the educational movement were given to Abraham, with the passing of the years, Fe y Alegría took Patricia out of anonymity and recognized her generosity without limits, her simplicity and extraordinary kindness. Abraham himself always considered Patricia as the best thing that had happened in his life, and he lavished very beautiful words:

“That woman was a blessing to me. She helped me build the house. She loaded the water for the mixture from La Planicie –another area of the neighborhood- with a can on her head; she made mud and helped me lay the mud-bricks out. She was very humble. She has been a woman who has never complained, she helped me with her humility.”

We know from Patricia herself that when Abraham proposed to give away the house, she supported the idea without hesitation: “My husband asked me if we could give away the house [for the school]. I said yes and I was very happy. When one has had to fight hard in life, one feels very happy to have something to give to others.”

Patricia had 13 children and even one of them was born there, close to the bustle in the room above where children had been coming to their school-house for a month. Her generous gesture bore fruit in hundreds of thousands of children and young people of Fe y Alegría.

Thank you, Patricia!

May 30th is the Day of the Patricias, a day when we pay tribute to and thank the founding women of Fe y Alegría around the world. Our #PatriciasFyA.


Text and image courtesy of Fe y Alegría Venezuela