|First Lady of Chile|
11 March 2010 – 11 March 2014
|Preceded by||Luisa Durán de la Fuente|
|Born||Cecilia Morel Montes
January 14, 1951
|Political party||National Renewal (before 2011)|
Cecilia Morel Montes (born January 14, 1951 in Santiago, Chile) is the wife of the former President of Chile Sebastián Piñera, and as such was the First Lady of Chile; she is also the Sociocultural Area Director of the Presidency, for her husband's presidency (2010-2014).
Cecilia is the fourth of seven children born to Eduardo Morel Chaigneau and Paulina Montes Brunet, the sister of Hugo Montes Brunet. She attended grade school at the College Jeanne d'Arc de Santiago de Chile, the same school where her mother and grandmother (Consuelo Brunet Bunster) studied.
At the age of 19, she began dating Sebastián Piñera, who was her neighbor in the Avenida Américo Vespucio, in the eastern sector of Santiago. They married in December 1973 and the couple later moved to the United States where he studied economics.
They have four children:
- Magdalena (1975), a History and Geography Teacher;
- Cecilia (1978), a Pediatrician;
- Sebastián (1982), a Commercial Engineer
- Cristóbal (1984), a Psychologist.
In 1972, she began to study nursing at the Catholic University of Chile, but put her studies on hold when she moved abroad with her husband. She resumed her studies when they returned to Chile, which she continued until the birth of her second daughter, Cecilia. She is short one semester of graduating.
She then entered the Instituto Profesional Carlos Casanueva, from which she graduated with a degree in family and youth counselor. She also holds a degree in family and human relations from the Universidad Mayor.
In 1989, together with professionals from the Instituto Carlos Casanueva (Enrique Cueto), founded what later became "La Casa de la Juventud", with the task of educating young Conchalí with growth workshops and personal development. Later, the Women Embark Foundation was derived from this project.
As First Lady, Cecilia Morel has been appointed chair of a number of Chilean organisations.
- Integra Foundation pre-school education network
- PRODEMU, The Foundation for the Advancement of Women
- Youth and Children Orchestras
- Mirador Interactive Museum
- Handicrafts of Chile
- Family Foundation.
She accompanied the President on a state visit to Spain in March 2011. President was granted the rank of Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic and his wife, the Dame Grand Cross of the same.
Copiapó mining accident
Following the 2010 Copiapó mining accident, Piñera and Morel gave a press conference before the start of the rescue operation on October 12, 2010. They were together the entire time at the site of the rescue of the Chilean miners, who were trapped deep underground.
When the first miner, Florencio Ávalos, was rescued, the miner's seven-year-old son burst into tears, as did the First Lady.
- "Noblesse et Royautes" (French), gala dinner - photos Getty Images : 1, 2
- Dirección Sociocultural de la Presidencia, Gobierno de Chile, 12 March 2010
- "First two of trapped Chilean miners rescued to surface, Pinera gives triumphant speech" - English.news.cn - October 13, 2010, Xinhua News Agency.