Famous Philanthropists of Bolivia

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The following are some famous philanthropists in Bolivia. You can read about more famous Bolivians by visiting our Famous People from Bolivia home page where you'll find many other categories. You can ask questions about any famous Bolivian person or add another famous person from Bolivia.

Famous People from Bolivia - Philanthropists

Albina Rodríguez de Patiño
The wife of industrial miner Simón I. Patiño, she was born in Oruro in about 1860 to a family with a very long tradition of mining. She sold her jewelry so that her husband would have money enough to begin exploitation in his first mining venture. He became a billionaire and was, at one time, the wealthiest man in the world. She dedicated her time to philanthropy and headed the foundation that carries his name. She created children's hospitals in Cochabamba, among other donations.

Nicolás Castellanos
A priest and former Bishop, from Spain, he is another of Bolivia's famous philanthropists. For over 20 years he has dedicated his life to working for the common good in the poorest neighborhood of the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, where he arrived by surprise after renouncing the wealthy diocese for which he was a bishop in Spain. He created the Hombres Nuevos Foundation which is responsible for numerous social projects in Santa Cruz.

Sebastián Obermaier
A priest born in German, he has lived in the city of El Alto (La Paz), the poorest and most conflictive city in the country, for over 40 years. He has become known as a mediator during social conflicts, as a firm-handed priest, and for having participating in the reorganization of the chaotic city of El Alto where he was responsible for constructing dozens of pretty churches, with very high belfries that can be seen from afar. He also created the Cuerpo de Cristo Foundation, which operates in the city and rural municipalities of La Paz.

Alfredo Spiessberger
A priest born in Austria, he has lived in Bolivia for nearly half a century. He was responsible for creating homes for orphaned children and teens known as the Aldeas de Niños Padre Alfredo, the first of which was built in a rural area of Santa Cruz. Currently there are several in the urban area and in addition to providing shelter for the children, they are educated and given vocational training so they can work for themselves when they are of legal age. Padre Alfredo, despite his age, continues to head his projects.

Francisco María del Granado y Capriles
He is from Cochabamba, city in which he was born in 1895. He was a priest that rose to the position of Bishop and later Archbishop of La Plata (Sucre), and as such he worked in favour of the poorest segments of the population and the indigenous peoples, following the example of a Spanish ancestor that also was a renowned philanthropist. He founded several Church-sponsored charities and institutions as well as secular ones, for which he earned the respect of the lower classes, that gave him the affectionate nickname of “Tata Granado” (“Tata” is a native idiom for father). A great orator, he was also a poet, and his sermons became famous for the quality of his prose. After his death, the Bishopric started the process before the Vatican for his canonization in 1902, but it has stalled.

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