Alicia Avilés

Alicia Avilés is a Costa Rican educator and activist. Avilés worked for 12 years as an elementary school teacher in Nicaragua. After settling in La Carpio, she helped create an arts organization, Sistema Integral de Formación Artística para la Inclusión Social (SIFAIS). Avilés is the community director of SIFAIS.


Avilés was born in Managua.[1] She was educated at Lumen Christi and at Loyola High School.[1] She went on to become an elementary school teacher for 12 years.[1] Avilés left Nicaragua in the 1990s when she was persecuted for her involvement in a teachers' strike in that country.[2] She was also seeking a better economic opportunity in Costa Rica.[1] Avilés started working as a maid.[3]

Avilés has become the civic leader of the La Carpio neighborhood in, San José.[2] She is the community director of the Integrated System of Art Education for Social Inclusion (Sistema Integral de Formación Artística para la Inclusión Social SIFAIS).[1] Avilés helped create this organization along with Maris Stella Fernández in 2011.[4] Also in 2011, Avilés helped create a youth orchestra in the neighborhood.[5][3] This orchestra now plays throughout Costa Rica.[5] SIFAIS also provides classes in various other skills.[4]

In 2017, Avilés was honored in The Tico Times list of "Women of the Year."[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Meet Alicia Avilés, the perseverant immigrant leader of La Carpio's cultural growth". The Tico Times Costa Rica. 9 January 2017. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  2. ^ a b Semple, Kirk (2018-09-24). "La llegada masiva de nicaragüenses pone a prueba a Costa Rica". The New York Times (in Spanish). ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  3. ^ a b "Rebuilding the community of La Carpio through cultural education". The Tico Times Costa Rica. 6 January 2017. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  4. ^ a b Fernandez Gonzalez, Ana Beatriz (10 December 2014). "La Carpio: Una espiral virtuosa de luz". Semanario Universidad (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  5. ^ a b Hares, Sophie (2018-05-28). "Youth orchestra changes the tune for Costa Rica shantytown". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  6. ^ "Tico Times Women of the Year: leaders who inspired us in 2017". The Tico Times Costa Rica. Retrieved 2020-01-05.

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