Retired Mexican businessman Daniel Chavez Moran announces the winners of the 2011 Vidanta Foundation Prize for “Contributions to the Reduction of Poverty and Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean,” cosponsored by the Organization of American States (OAS), the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) and the Vidanta Foundation, the nonprofit philanthropic organization founded by Daniel Chavez Moran.
- First place and $100,000 is awarded to Desarrollo Autogestionario, A. C. (AUGE), Mexico.
- Second place and $75,000 is awarded to CE-Mujer, Dominican Republic.
- Third place and $50,000 is awarded to Associação Para Valorização de Pessoas com Deficiência, (AVAPE), Brazil.
The Vidanta Foundation Prize winners were selected on August 26, 2011, from more than 200 applications from civic organizations throughout the Americas by an internationally respected jury including Mrs. Billie Miller (Barbados), Mr. Carmelo Angulo (Spain), Luis Maira (Chile), Esteban Moctezuma (Mexico) and Julio María Sanguinetti (Uruguay).
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Daniel Chavez Moran created Fundación Delia Moran A.C. in 2002 in honor of his mother, a dedicated and caring schoolteacher, to provide assistance to children ages 6 to 12 whose day-to-day life is a struggle to survive in a battle against poverty and ignorance.
Daniel Chavez Moran also salutes the work of WorldFund.org, founded by Luanne Zurlo after a nine-year career as a securities analyst on Wall Street “to minimize the education gap in Latin America by investing in high-quality and outcome-driven schools and education programs that serve impoverished children.”
Startling statistics from the WorldFund website:
- Latin Americans receive an average of six years of schooling, compared to nine-and-a-half years in the OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) countries.
- Nearly one-third of children in primary school in Latin America repeat a grade. The additional cost to the region’s education systems has been estimated at $4 billion per year.
- Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru rank behind Uganda, Zambia, Botswana and Burundi in the quality of their math and science education.
- In Mexico, only 13 percent of adults receive a high school diploma versus 87 percent of American adults.
- Over 50 percent of Mexican and Brazilian 15-year old youth are functionally illiterate and thus unable to compete in today’s economy.
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Retired luxury vacation real estate developer Daniel Chavez Moran is now focused on his philanthropic work through the non-profit Vidanta Foundation, but he recognizes that the global economy connects Mexico to Manhattan in the United States. Chavez Moran read with interest this Economist magazine article on Mexico’s economic rebound, excerpted below:
Making the desert bloom
…The financial crisis of 2008 began on the trading floors of Manhattan, but the biggest tremors were felt in the desert south of the Rio Grande. Mexico suffered the steepest recession of any country in the Americas…
The recession turned a reasonable decade for Mexico’s economy into a dreary one…
Yet Mexico’s economy is packed with potential. Thanks to the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and a string of bilateral deals, it trades more than Argentina and Brazil combined, and more per person than China. Last year it did $400 billion of business with the United States, more than any country bar Canada and China…
Though expatriates whinge about bureaucracy, the World Bank ranks Mexico the easiest place in Latin America to do business and the 35th-easiest in the world, ahead of Italy and Spain…
These strengths have helped Mexico to rebound smartly from its calamitous slump…
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Through his philanthropic work with the non-profit Vidanta Foundation, retired Mexican entrepreneur Daniel Chavez Moran remains dedicated to advancing democracy and economic opportunity in Latin America. Chavez Moran follows economic news of the peso rising in value as the U.S. economy improves as recently reported by Reuters news service:
RIO DE JANEIRO/MEXICO CITY, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Latin American currencies gained against the U.S. dollar on Monday, led by Mexico’s peso, after better-than-expected U.S. economic activity reduced concern that the world’s largest economy is entering another recession…
The United States is responsible for about 80 percent of Mexico’s export earnings and is the largest or second-largest trading partner of most Latin American countries. “When you get news of growth in the U.S., that’s better for the peso,” said Marcelo Salomon, chief economist for Brazil and Mexico at Barclay’s Capital in New York. “Concern about the United States going into recession would have been bad news not just for Mexico but for the rest of Latin America as well.”
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Daniel Chavez Moran, a retired businessman from Mexico and founder of the non-profit Vidanta Foundation, announces the “Latin America and Europe and its Global Relationships” international seminar will be hosted in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Sep. 13, 2011, at the Torcuato Di Tella University, an associated institution of the Vidanta Foundation. The seminar, cosponsored by the magazine Nueva Sociedad, will include participants and prominent figures from both Europe and Latin America.
About Torcuato Di Tella University:
“A non-profit private university…Located in the Belgrano neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina, it has an undergraduate enrollment of 1,200 students and a graduate enrollment of 1,300. The university is focused primarily on social sciences. The undergraduates majors available are economics, business administration, law, political science, international relations, history and more recently, architecture. The university also offers 28 graduate programs.
“Universidad Torcuato Di Tella was founded in 1991, with the mission of educating new generations of academics, and business, social and political leaders.”
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Mexican philanthropist Daniel Chavez Moran announces the keynote speaker of the Oct. 6-7, 2011, seminar titled “La Construcción de la Gobernabilidad Democrática” will be Bill Richardson, former two-term governor of New Mexico, U.S. The seminar sponsored by the non-profit Vidanta Foundation will take place in Washington, D.C., where the main findings of the Constructing Democratic Governance series, coordinated by Michael Shifter at the Inter-American Dialogue and Jorge Dominguez at Harvard University, will be discussed.
Gov. Richardson served as the 30th governor of New Mexico, and served in the administration of U.S. President Bill Clinton as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and as Energy Secretary. Richardson has also served as a U.S. Congressman.
The Constructing Democratic Governance project sponsored by the Vidanta Foundation is concerned with democratic institutions and practice in the Latin America. Scholarly publications resulting from the project have been cited frequently by policy specialists grappling with the complicated issues surrounding democratic progress in the region and are widely used in college and university classes.
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Philanthropist and retired businessman Daniel Chavez Moran followed the example of his mother, a great teacher who dedicated her life to helping children in Mexico combat ignorance and poverty, by founding the non-profit Vidanta Foundation, with the goal of promoting public policies that support democracy and economic development in Latin America as well as promote corporate social responsibility. The impact corporations can have is explained in a recent paper published by the Harvard Business Review, excerpted here:
Companies must take the lead in bringing business and society back together. The recognition is there among sophisticated business and thought leaders, and promising elements of a new model are emerging…
The solution lies in the principle of shared value, which involves creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges.
…The moment for a new conception of capitalism is now; society’s needs are large and growing, while customers, employees, and a new generation of young people are asking business to step up.
…The concept of shared value, in contrast, recognizes that societal needs, not just conventional economic needs, define markets. It also recognizes that social harms or weaknesses frequently create internal costs for firms—such as wasted energy or raw materials, costly accidents, and the need for remedial training to compensate for inadequacies in education. And addressing societal harms and constraints does not necessarily raise costs for firms, because they can innovate through using new technologies, operating methods, and management approaches—and as a result, increase their productivity and expand their markets.
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