José María Vélaz was a Jesuitpriest from Chile who founded Fe y Alegria (Faith and Joy) in 1949. Fe y Alegria is a movement for popular integrated education, with a special mission to provide quality education for the poor. Following a proud tradition of Jesuit education, Vélaz believed that the best way to change society was through education. Vélaz died in 1985, having seen his organisation grow into one of the most important educational movements in the world.
By 2003 there were 1,232,140 people being formed in institution of Fe y Alegria, in 13 different countries throughout South and Central America. There were 2080 different institutions, employing almost 3500 people. The international federation publishes many books, and at a national level, Fe y Alegria publishes many academic journals, magazines and books.