Conversations with Visionary Dr. Cecilia Uribe: Her Passion and the EMJ Center


The EMJ Center is born out of the initiative of Dr. Cecilia Uribe. She is a central figure and pediatrician based in El Alto, one of the fastest growing cities in Bolivia. Dr. Uribe works with Child Family Health International to help poverty-stricken young mothers and their children. She devotes her life to helping improve the lives of these young women and their babies through education and vocational training. Her goal is to protect these young women from ignorance and empower them to create better lives for themselves and their children.

About EMJ Center

The EMJ Center operates a facility in El Alto, Bolivia, staffed by doctors, nurses, administrators and volunteers, and puts young mothers on a path to success. It provides help to young women from all socio-economic backgrounds.  In South America, young mothers are often impoverished and socially isolated. They have little education. Understanding the importance of education and improving their self-value is key to mobilizing change. Because South American women are usually in charge of the family, they play a very important role in society. The EMJ Center hopes that through education, these empowered women will positively affect society at large.

Why El Alto?

Bolivia is a country with an emerging economy, with over half of the population living below the poverty level. Dr. Uribe’s work with the EMJ Center is in El Alto because of the need she has seen as a pediatrician in the hospital she currently works at in the city. La Paz has the highest rate of adolescent pregnancies in Bolivia. These young women are poor and have little education, and they come from families that do not empathize and/or support them. Dr. Uribe has set out to help these women find sustainable solutions and support.

The Vision

The EMJ Center in El Alto will be spacious and have diversified spaces. It will have a playroom with tables, chairs, toys for children. Another room will have cribs for the babies of mothers visiting the center. A third room will be quieter and have tables and chairs, for mothers who are there to study. The center also hopes to have an office for interviews with young mothers. A kitchen space will allow for cooking healthy meals, and provide opportunity to educate mothers about nutrition.

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