Maria de la Paz Zabala

WWO Latin America Facilitator

María (better known as Pachi) is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was adopted as a child, and her constant search for identity drove her to immerse herself in meeting with and supporting children, adolescents, and adults who have similar difficulties.  

Maria became a Christian at age 22 and became a lay minister of the Anglican Church, where she functions as part of the leadership and preaching team and also in the area of communication for her Anglican diocese.  

A kindergarten teacher by profession, Maria has also worked with preschool children. She received training from Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Argentina in areas related to childhood, adolescence, and family. She is studying theology at the International Baptist Seminary. In addition, Maria is a sports coach at River Plate, one of the most important soccer clubs in Argentina. Combining soccer and hospitality, she hosts and supports professional soccer players moving to Buenos Aires from the interior of the country who must face the challenges of the big city as well as economic and emotional challenges. Most of these athletes come from broken or absent families.  

Maria also began supporting girls age 14 to 27 following a one-year experience in Albania, where she served among the Muslim people by opening a soccer school for children in vulnerable situations. Currently, she is a WWO Latin America facilitator. Maria’s life story and example of personal development have equipped her to testify as to how holistic support of vulnerable children and youth can help transform lives. Together, she believes, we can make a difference in the world if we understand the purpose and love of God.