writer and activist
"It is very strange to write one’s biography because it is just a list of dates, events, and achievements. In reality, the most important things about my life happened in the secret chambers of my heart and have no place in a biography. My most significant achievements are not my books, but the love I share with a few people—especially my family—and the ways in which I have tried to help others. When I was young, I often felt desperate: so much pain in the world and so little I could do to alleviate it! But now I look back at my life and feel satisfied because few days went by without me at least trying to make a difference." - Isabel Allende
Isabel Allende started The Isabel Allende Foundation on December 9, 1996 to pay homage to her daughter, Paula Frias. Paula's untimely death in 1992 broke her heart. She was only 28 years old when she died, a graceful and spiritual young woman, the light of our family.
During her short life, Paula worked as a volunteer in poor communities in Venezuela and Spain, offering her time, her total dedication and her skills as an educator and psychologist. She cared deeply for others. When in doubt, her motto was: What is the most generous thing to do? The Isabel Allende Foundation, based on her ideals of service and compassion, was created to continue her work.
Seed funding for the Foundation came from the income Isabel Allende received from Paula, a memoir she wrote after her death. To this day, she gets innumerable letters from people touched by Paula's spirit.
Since 1996, She has contributed to the foundation annually with income from other books from Isabel Allende.
It is a wonderful truth that the things we want most in life — a sense of purpose, happiness and hope — are most easily attained by giving them to others.