Her Excellency Lorena Castillo de Varela, First Lady of the Republic of Panama & UNAIDS Special Ambassador for AIDS in Latin America

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    Her Excellency Lorena Castillo de Varela, First Lady of the Republic of Panama & UNAIDS Special Ambassador for AIDS in Latin America
    First Lady of the Republic of Panama

Born in Panama City on 31, July 1968.  Parents Manuel J. Castillo and Moty Garcia.

In her education formation, Lorena Castillo de Varela, studied at the Secondary School Flint Hill Prep Oakton,VA.  Obtained  a BA degree in Journalism at the Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología, ULACIT. (Latin American University of Science and Technology).  Speaks English and French

Worked as journalist for 17 years. Between 1991 and 2009 was a presenter and co- producer of news in Telemetro Reporta.  In 2002 won the National Journalism Award given by the Forum of Journalists, with the report of Disabled Children in Cuba. In that same year was awarded as the Presenter of the Year with the Victoria Prize, given by the Santa Maria La Antigua University.  Was presenter of various Television programs, among them “The grandfather of my grandmother”.

In 2003 as Executive Secretary of the National Committee of the Centenary of the Republic of Panama, led the team responsible for organizing the celebrations of the Centenary of the Independencia of Panama. Worked as a News Correspondent at the White House, United Nations, the Organization of American States OAS, and the Vatican.

In the exercise of the profession, Mrs. Castillo de Varela, toured the country.  Experienced poverty closely and was able to help hundreds of families who changed their quality of life. In 2007 was the presenter of “Roofs of Hope”, a television program through which decent homes were build for the Panamanians who were forgotten by progress.

Committed on matters of humanitarian and social support, with The National Cancer Institute, Children and Santo Thomas Hospitals, and Nutre Hogar Foundation, a private organization created in l988 by Monsignor Rómulo Emiliani and a group of volunteers in order to recover and prevent severe malnutrition of children from the most impoverished communities in the country.

Genuine, natural, human, and charismatic, a woman committed to Panama, the Panamanians and the world.

In 1992 the First Lady married President Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez.  The Varela Castillo marriage have three children: Gian Carlo, Adrian y Stefan.  Castillo Varela has changed her professional career as a journalist, her role as mother, wife, and her vocation of social service. Devotes part of her life to strengthen social solidarity and to the integral development of families.

Mrs. Castillo Varela, is committed to develop programs to benefit, the most vulnerable sectors of the population and working to serve all Panamanians.

As First Lady assumes on 5 May, 2015 as Honorary President of the Panamanian Red Cross. Also chairs the National Council for Comprehensive Care for Early Childhood and the National Commission for the Prevention and Control of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (CONAVI).

On 12 June, 2015 participated in the High Level Panel: No to child labor Yes to quality education, as part of the 104 International Labor Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, where she highlighted that the Government of the Republic of Panama assumed the Regional Initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean free of child labor as a commitment of the countries of the region to accelerate the eradication of child labor.

On 15 April 2015 she participated in the Second Regional Forum of Migrant Children and Adolescents: “After the crisis actions undertaken and new challenges” held in Washington at the headquarters of the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB. The wife of President Juan Carlos Varela addressed with the First Ladies of Honduras, Guatemala and delegations of El Salvador and Mexico, humanitarian approach initiatives implemented in the countries of the region in response to the problem of migration of unaccompanied minors to the United States of America.

On 15 and 16 October 2014 participated in the Summit “Alliance for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, Central America and the Dominican Republic in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The First Ladies pledged to join efforts to promote strategies and measures aimed at preventing teenage pregnancy.

The 16 November 2015 was officially designated as Special Ambassadress for the Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS, UNAIDS for Latin America in a ceremony held at the Amphitheatre of the Presidency with the assistance of UNAIDS Executive Director recognized the commitment of the First Lady in promoting efforts to expand health coverage to HIV testing and bring health services to the population.