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Marcela Benitez

Founder, RESPONDE, Social & Economic Recovery of Rural Villages

Marcela Benitez, a geographer and sociologist by training, spent seven years travelling throughout Argentina as part of her work as a researcher for the National Research Council for Science and Technology. During this time, she observed the economic and social problems arising in small rural villages outside of Buenos Aires and throughout the country. After completing her degree, she began researching how these rural villages were slowly dying, and developed ideas on how to reverse the situation. Based on this, Marcela created RESPONDE, which has galvanized thousands of people, universities and companies to become involved in generating new opportunities for these villages. Her work has received multiple national and international awards, made possible through social responsibility programmes in conjunction with the private sector, such as American Express, LAN, Apache and the Cargill Foundation.