Filomena Siles

Year Joined MKLM: 2016
Country: Bolivia
City: Cochabamba
Focus: Education and Rehabilitation
Project(s): Leer y Escribir con Alegría (Read with Joy)
Project Goal(s): Community based Rehabilitation and Reading Program for children and youth with disabilities.

Personal Data

“Filo” is married to Maryknoll Lay Missioner Joe Loney and they live in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Filo met her husband Joe when he was doing volunteer service at a center for the visually challenged when Filo was the Special Education teacher. Joe and Filo have two children, Benjamin and Pauline, both 13 years old. Filo also has two adult children, Mariel and Sergio, and grandchildren Isabella, Carlos, Manuel and Sophia.

She is a Licensed Grade School Teacher from the Universidad Católica of Bolivia and she has an advance certification in Special Education. She has focused her career on teaching the educationally challenged, including blind children and street children. She has worked with children with autism, children with vision disabilities, children who have suffered trauma and most recently with those who have learning disabilities.

Filo served as the founding Executive Director of the Archdiocesan Foundation Padre Ignacio Zalles, dedicated to the holistic care for blind children, youths and young adults.

Filo also likes to sing, dance, cook and gardening.

Current Ministry

Filo is a certified, special education teacher in Bolivia. She utilizes her skills and experience in two ministries. Leer y Escribir con Algeria is a project which helps children who need specialized, individualized attention to learn to read and write. The Bolivian Public Schools at all levels are overcrowded function without teacher aids and without remedial reading teachers. In just two to three months the children are reading at their grade level.

Filo also coordinates, alongside her husband Joe, a multi dimensional team that helps children and adults in two rural communities with visual and other disabilities so that they receive rehabilitation in their home communities; including educational support, teachings about their human rights, medical attention and workshops for their parents, local schools and government authorities so that inclusion, equality and opportunities can happen.

Filo, who was born in Bolivia, resides with her spouse and two children in the Village of Tiquipaya, just outside of the City of Cochabamba.