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  • Venezuelan actress Patricia Velasquez named UNESCO Artist for Peace

    11-06-2003 12:00 am Venezuelan model and actress Patricia Velasquez was appointed UNESCO “Artist for Peace” on 11 June 2003 by Mr Ko´chiro Matsuura, the Director-General of UNESCO.

    Patricia Velasquez was born in La Guajira, one of the poorest regions in Venezuela.

    From a modest background, with schoolteacher parents, Patricia had planned to work in the oil industry when, by chance she was spotted by a model scout and launched into a modelling career.

    She then turned to films “The Jaguar”, “The Mummy”, “The Return of the Mummy”, and took advantage of her success to become involved in humanitarian projects.

    She founded the “Wayuu Taya Foundation” in 2003 to help the indigenous people of her region, to whom she is related through her mother.

    As she explains in a letter to Ko´chiro Matsuura, her Foundation has succeeded, in less than a year, in installing a water pump in a school that had no access to drinking water, and to take charge of a nutritional centre. “Our goal,” she goes on, “is to develop educational programs focused on nutrition, health care and basic job training.”

    The Foundation is also committed to helping native people preserve their cultural heritage.

    Patricia Velasquez was designated “UNESCO Artist for Peace” in the context of the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (1995-2004) in recognition of her devoted action for the preservation of the Way˙u Taya indigenous people in Latin America and for the safeguarding of their heritage, her efforts for the improvement of their education and living conditions and her dedication to the Organisation’s aims and ideals.

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    Updated:13-12-2004 11:46 am