On this important day of recognition for women, I would like to honor and thank María Stella Cáceres, journalist and tireless defender of human rights.
She is the wife of Dr. Martín Almada, and I am blessed to count her as my beloved and respected friend.
I met María Stella in January 2012 when I first visited Dr. Almada in Asunción. Since then she has proved herself a formidable force in the fight for social justice.
Twenty-five years ago she was by Martín’s side when he discovered the Archives of Terror and changed history (a huge celebration of which is currently in the works).
Today she runs both the Museum of Memories in Asunción (having recently opened a branch in Concepción to the north) and the nonprofit Celestina Pérez de Almada Foundation (dedicated to alternative education, solar energy, and human rights), and has undertaken other projects including a video about the Aché, an indigenous (and terribly mistreated) tribe in Paraguay that she advocates for. She uses social media regularly to inform followers about dates and events relevant to her constant fight against impunity.
Honestly, I don’t know the half of what María Stella does! But I know she never takes a vacation, or even a break. How she does it I haven’t a clue.
She’s not only hardworking, but generous to a fault…when I found myself in Asunción in 2015 with nowhere to go over Christmas and New Year’s, she and Martín took me in, fed me lovely dinners, and spent the evenings with me. They couldn’t have been kinder.
So, on this International Women’s Day, think of a woman who has inspired you and thank her, whether in person or in your heart.