theoretical and practical courses taught by expert specialists. That
year the enrollment totaled EIGHT. Not to be discouraged by
this humble start, Mrs. Santolalla continued in her crusade to
better society in spite of incomprehension and financial burdens,
In its fourth year, the Institute has grown to an enrollment of
ioo young women, all of whom vouch for the importance of
the courses offered, placing above all others the one entitled
Characterology. This course was prepared and is taught by Mrs,
Santolalla herself, and explains traits of human beings and how
to live with oneself and one another in harmony, referring espe-
cially to man and wife.
Other courses at the Institute include: Spiritual Formation,
taught by a bishop; Family Education, by Mrs. Santolalla; So-
ciology, by a lawyer; Mental Hygiene, by a psychologist; Child
Training; Interior Decorating; Nutrition and Culinary Arts;
Needlework; and Nursing.
Besides devoting so much time and effort to the Institute,
Mrs. Santolalla is active in politics, leading the Peruvian femeni-
ne ele ment in its newly-won franchise; is a devoted wife, an
understanding mother and such a truly remarkable woman in
every sense of the word that she very justifiably was named
WOMAN OF THE AMERICAS for 1956.
TEACHER COLLEGE COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
NEW YORK 27, N. Y.
May 15, 1951
To Whom it May Concern,
It gives me a great deal of pleasure to have the opportunity
to express an opinion about an individual to whom I believe the
adjective unusual> can be applied.
Several years ago, Mrs. Irene Silva de Santolalla sent me her
book por la Felicidad de Nuestros Hijos. Though my Spanish
is far from being fluent, I read a considerable part of the book.
The soundness of her point of view in light of modern child
development and family relations and the effectivenesess with
which she wrote for parents who would not be acquainted with
this point of view, impressed me greatly.
For the last month or so, we, here at Teacehrs College, have
had the opportunity of really getting acquainted with Mrs. San-
tolalla as a professional colleague and as a person. She has parti-
cipated actively in our advanced problems course in Education
for Marriage and Family Life, she has attended other classes we
teach and she has been in our homes. The. more wiz see of her
the better we like her and the more respect, we have for her.
professional capacities. It is truly little short of remarkable that
a woman so cut off from those who have worked in the fields
of child development and family relationships, should have dev-
eloped in the way that she has. I still find it hard to believe were
it not for the very concrete evidence coming out of close contact
It is my hope that I shall have the opportunity of seeing
first hand the sort of thing she has done in her own country and
in other Latin American lands. One cannot but be convinced
that so charming and gracious a woman with the largely self-
developed insights and understandings she has in such abundant
measure must have been a real force with parents and educators.
Knowing that it is not an uncommon practice for those
writing about the qualifications of others to exagerate, I want to
emphasize that what I have said is said in the utmost of sinceraty.
Professor of Education.
Formerly President of the National Council
of Family Relations.
IMP. "EL. CONDOR" 30218
IRENE SILVA DE SANTOLALLA
1956'S WOMAN OF THE AMERICAS
Mary Louise Jahncke
Chosen by the United Women of America representing the
twenty-one American Republics, Mrs. Irene Silva de Santolalla
of Peru is 1956's Woman of the Americas, Mrs. Santolalla is
known internationally as a pioneer in the field of family educa-
tion, as a successful writer of books dealing with family relations,
and as an outstanding citizen of her country, not only socially
and morally, but also poliniall.
Irene Silva was born in Cajamarca, high in the Andes of
Peru. As oldest of thirteen children, she learned early in life that
the obligations of caring for a family are many-fold. Her sense
of responsibility, independence and good judgement were shown
when she took her first communion at the age of eight without
the knowledge of her parents stating that she felt prepared and
didn't see the necessity of material preparations. Later she also
preferred that her wedding to Fausto Santolalla be simple instead
of an elaborate ceremony that is customary in her country,
expressing the opinion that it wasn't the wedding dress and
trimmings that would make a happy marriage, but the love and
devotion and determination to form a successful Christian home.
Born of this union are four children. Irene, who is a specialist
in child education, now mother of the Santolalla's first grand-
child; Maria Teresa, graduate of the Catholic University of Peru
and the New York School of Interior Desing; Javier, who will
graduate this year from Engineering University; and Nelly, who
teaches in her mother's nursery school.
Convinced through her own exeprience that high school does,
not give a young girl exactly the type of instruction which
facilitates the fulfilling of her future role as wife and mother
as well as citizen, Mrs. Santolalla decided to launch a campaign
in favor of more adequate preparation for mother hood. Among
her first articles, published not only in her own country but in
neighboring countries as well, TO CORRECT THE CON-
DUCT OF ADULTS IS TO EDUCATE THE CHILD was
recognized by all to be the product of a fertile, intelligent mind,
inspired in her belief that society will improve only as families
headed by well prepared parents provide the world with
children successfully reared.
During this campaign to promote education for family life,
Mrs. Santolalla has written four books: FOR OUR CHIL-
DREN'S HAPPINESS, TOWARDS A BETTER WORLD,
PRE-MARITAL EDUCATION, and THE GREAT PRO-
BLEM. Innumerable articles and conferences were devoted to
stressing the importance of adequate preparation for marriage.
Noted specialists in the field of family relations expressed their
admiration of the intelligence, abnegation, and determination
shown by Mrs. Santolalla's work.
Dr. Paul Popenoe. The Secretary and General Director of
the American Institute of Family Relations; said:
with all your books,. Your Treatise.
tros hijosi is indeed monumental, and I hardly know which I
admire most, the detailed and practical treatment of the many
questions, or the soundness of judgment and up-to-date scientific
background which that treatment reveals,
invaluable piece of educational work, the influence of which is
certainly much more far-reaching and beneficial than you can
Mrs. Edward King, of the Staff of the American Institute
of Family Relations, who visited the Institute de Orientaci6n
Matrimonial v Familiar at Avenida 2 de Mayo, Miraflores, Lima
Perui said: This is the most important organization en Latin
America, in the field of marriage counseling and education for
Family Life. Directed by Irene Silva de Santolalla, an interna-
tionally known writer and lecturer. ,.
Family Service. Reverend Robert A. Ford wrote to Mrs. San-
Education. I have had several priests and Catholic Spanish social
workers go over it. As soon as we put something in print, I will
let you know. Meanwhile keep up the good work for the good
of the Church'.
As her publications and reputation became better known,
she was invited continually to offer conferences in other count-
ries, namely, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cu-
ba, Uruguay, and the United States, as well as to contribute arti-
cles for conventions not only in the Americas but in Europe as
Mrs. Santolalla's power of leadership, organization, and
sense of civic duty led her to the formation of such important
groups as the Peruvian Committee of the United Nations,
Fighting against indifference, inadequate financial backing and
incomprenhensi6n, she freely devoted her time, intellect, and
personal income toward the formation of this organization. Her
efforts were rewarded in 1949 when Peru became the first coun-
try in South America to establish a United Nations committee of
which she was president until September of 1955 at whichtime
other duties forced her too rising accept the title of Honorary
Another organization of which she is Honorary President
is the Peruvian Girl Guides, of which her daughter Maria Teresa
is national commissioner. Besides the many other honorary titles
held in Peru, she has earned countless distinctions in foreign
countries as well.
For three years Mrs. Santolalla taught a course on Family
Education which she introduced into the Catholic University of
Peru. However, feeling the need to provide young girls with a
wider education appropriate for future home-makers, she pro-
posed to the Peruvian Ministry of Education a plan for teacher
specialization in this field so that such courses could be included
in all high school curricula along with subjects of lesser impor-
The high-light of this drive to better society by strengthe-
ning homes was the formation of the Institute of Marital and
Family Orientation of Peru. This school, dedicated solely to the
c'lucilion of girls to become successful house-wives and mothers,
*iwes It~ existence entirely to that dynamic and determined
woman who felt the urge to help others through her own expe-
rience and knowledge. Financially and morally supported by Mrs.
Santolalla, the Institute opened its doors in 1952, offering ten,