Press Release: IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde Honors Latin America Essay Contest Finalists

October 8, 2014

Press Release No. 14/465
October 8, 2014

Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), honored today the eight finalists of the student essay contest “How to Build a Better Future for Latin America” during an awards ceremony at IMF headquarters. The event was held in conjunction with the IMF’s 2014 Annual Meetings and was the culmination of a competition that drew over 1,000 entries from graduate and undergraduate university students from 23 countries in Latin America.

“Our engagement with young people is a key component of our work, as they represent the hope for the next generation. This contest was an opportunity to learn more about the concerns and aspirations they have for Latin America. Their essays spoke forcefully and elegantly of the importance of access to quality education, the need to reduce inequality and poverty and to fight corruption to create better lives for themselves and future generations,” Ms. Lagarde said.

The winner of the essay competition was announced during the event. “Among all these high caliber essays, Lorena Rojas’s contribution stood out as an articulate and comprehensive account of the challenges facing Latin America’s youth today,” Ms. Lagarde noted.

The essay contest finalists were:

  • Lorena Rojas Castro, 29 , Colombian national, Universidad de Concepción, Chile - WINNER
  • Daniela Amórtegui Martínez, 19, Colombia, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia
  • Gonzalo Huertas, 26, Argentina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Luiz Guilherme de Brito Soares, age 24, Brazil, Universidade Católica de Pernambuco, Brazil
  • Mariana Montero Vega, 19, Costa Rica, Universidad de Costa Rica
  • Mauricio Rada Orellana, 19, Perú, Universidad del Pacífico, Perú
  • Monica Sodré Pires, 29, Brazil, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
  • Nabil López Hawa, 24, Dominican Republic, University of Michigan, USA

Essay Review Process:

The evaluation committee was comprised of senior IMF and Central Bank of Peru officials, and professors from InstitutoTecnológico Autónomo de México and Universidad de Chile. In reviewing the essays, the committee considered their purposefulness, originality, coherence, structure, and eloquence; as well as the countries of origin; gender; equal representation of public and private universities; and academic diversity of the participants. Peru’s Consorcio de Investigación Económica y Social (CIES) helped to coordinate the contest with the IMF.

For more information on the contest and to read the top eight essays selected by the judges, visit:


Media Relations
Phone: 202-623-7100