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Margarita Durán


Year Joined MKLM: 2017

Country: Brazil

City: São Paulo

Ministry: Centro da Integração do Imigrante, Comunidade Haiti e Comunidade Santo Expedito.
Art, English and physical education, health promotion, religious education.

Ministry Area: Education 

Goals of Ministry:

To build a safe platform for the children’s growth in faith, self-expression, creativity, personal development and social skills. Health and fitness activities for immigrant population to help them de-stress and improve their quality of life.


Ministry Context:

Children living in favelas and immigrant communities on the margins of São Paulo have little to no access to recreational activities or faith formation. Parents often work 12- to 18-hour shifts, and mothers rarely take breaks for themselves in between juggling work, kids, domestic chores etc.


Current Ministry:

Margarita teaches art, physical education, English and catechism to children. The children she teaches are immigrants (or children of immigrant parents), refugees and children from low-income families living on the margins of São Paulo who have little to no access to recreational activities or faith formation.

She also gives Zumba dance fitness classes to adults at the Migrant Integration Center and Community Haiti. Most of the participants are women who often juggle 12- to 18-hour work shifts, family, school and domestic chores, leaving little to no time for their personal well-being. Zumba dance serves as an outlet to experience an array of health benefits such as stress relief, weight loss, strength and confidence building, mental breaks etc. All the women who participate have expressed that the Zumba classes have helped boost their mood, distracted their anxious minds, and has helped them get better and deeper sleep at night.


Personal Data:

Margarita grew up in Tecate, Mexico, with the Maryknoll magazine in her home, and has always wanted to do mission work. She is thrilled to be serving in Brazil and is very interested in the languages and cultures of South America. As a teenager, Margarita often volunteered as a religious education teacher in her parish and also assisted with Vacation Bible School. She has led confirmation and youth group retreats.

Margarita has a bachelor’s degree in criminology and psychology from the University of New Mexico and has worked as a customer service representative and a kindergarten teacher’s assistant.