Maria didn’t have the easiest start in life.By the age of 9 – she’d lost both her birth mother and the mother who chose to take her in and raise her. Her experiences have made her incredibly compassionate, and she’s determined to deliver her absolute best to any job, task or challenge.
In 2003,became a flight attendant .Her work took her to Bangladesh in April 2005; when she witnessed the extreme poverty in Dhaka’s slums, she knew she had to make a difference. Three months later, after 101 families came forward to accept her help, she started a school.
The school was a huge success. In addition to educating children, it provided jobs for their parents, training for adults, daycare for the youngest children, and shops and services. Maria worked tirelessly to break the cycle of poverty for these families. In 2010, she arranged for a group of children from the slum to attend school in the UAE. They finished their schooling and are now gainfully employed or at university.
Everything came crashing down with the global recession. In 2013, the charity had to close; Maria was jobless, with 600 children in Dhaka depending on her. Many of us would have given up in light of the seemingly insurmountable challenges, but Maria sees setbacks as opportunities to aim even higher. She kept fighting, and found new ways to raise the money to get the children back into school.
In 2010, she started participating in extreme physical challenges. She had no prior interest in fitness, but it was a means of raising funds and awareness.
Since then, she has made history becoming the first Portuguese woman to complete an expedition to the North Pole and South Pole to summit Mount Everest. She has gained 8 Guinness World Records so far for Endurance Sports with challenges such as running consecutive Ultra Marathons, running a Marathon on each of the 7 Continents in 10 days and completing a full Ironman Triathlon 6 continents in 56 days. She has also received many awards for excellence for her inspiring work achievements.
Realizing that her story has the power to inspire, Maria speaks at events around the world to encourage people to pursue their own goals and dreams. Her talks always receive fantastic reviews.Book this speaker