Transforming lives with a camera
Mario Enrique Palacio: a Quiero Estudiar donor and photographer for Los Andes who captures the joy of students who have recently graduated with his lens and contributes to others’ futures with his don
Mario Enrique Palacio’s camera has accompanied every graduation ceremony since 1986 to capture the graduates and their families’ best moments.
Mario Enrique has more than thirty-years’ experience and his lens has captured different generations of professionals who, after being awarded their degrees, have moved on to lead the country in diverse ways.
“You get to know the young people when they start university and you realize that many of them have a promising future as either ministers of important company executives. They are people who have not only excelled within Colombia, but also outside the country,” says Mario Enrique. He also claims to feel proud of having witnessed these decisive moments in so many people’s lives. He adds that, “it is warming to see the happiness of these people who one day had a dream and have now achieved it and are trying to construct a better country.”
With this happiness in mind and with the desire to help more young people achieve their dream of studying in Los Andes, Mario Enrique decided to look for a way of contributing. He stated that, “one day I found out about the Quiero Estudiar program, and I thought that it was a really noble cause. I believe that just as you are given help, it is important to give back, but it is not just about giving what is left over. It is necessary to support initiatives like this one.”
After donating for the first time to the Quiero Estudiar program and knowing that thanks to his contribution talented young people can study at Los Andes, Mario wanted more and so became a frequent contributor to the program. For him, “being able to give is really rewarding. I would like to give more (…) Investing in education is the best decision that you can make”.
In each ceremony that he immortalizes with his camera, Mario is witness to the beneficiaries of the Quiero Estudiar program who graduate thanks to his contribution. He comments with happiness and pride about how he has the opportunity to speak to the graduates and be thanked by them during the ceremonies. “They tell me that they also want to contribute so that others can achieve their goals. Their words make me extremely happy.”Mario Enrique is aware that every effort counts and that he knows there are still many talented people out there who do not have the economic resources available to access quality higher education. As such, he invites everyone, regardless of how much they earn to donate to programs such as Quiero Estudiar. “Even if it is just with COP$ 10,000, I invite you to donate and move this country forwards through education”, he concludes.