Cecilia Morel

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Cecilia Morel
Cecilia morel.jpg
Cecilia in 2019
First Lady of Chile
Assumed office
11 March 2018
PresidentSebastián Piñera
Preceded byHerself (2014)
In role
11 March 2010 – 11 March 2014
Preceded byLuisa Durán de la Fuente
Succeeded byHerself (2018)
Personal details
María Cecilia Morel Montes

(1954-01-14) January 14, 1954 (age 65)
Santiago, Chile
Political partyNational Renewal (before 2011)
  • Magdalena
  • Cecilia
  • Juan Sebastián
  • Cristóbal
OccupationFamily counselor

María Cecilia Morel Montes (born January 14, 1954) is the wife of the President of Chile Sebastián Piñera, and as such is the First Lady of Chile; she is also the Sociocultural Area Director of the Presidency, for her husband's presidency (2010-2014).

Family life[edit]

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 18 in 1972, she began dating Sebastián Piñera, who was her neighbor in the Avenida Américo Vespucio, in the eastern sector of Santiago. They married in 1973 and the couple moved to the United States in December 1974 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.[1]

Advanced studies and social work[edit]

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.[citation needed]

First Lady[edit]

As First Lady, Cecilia Morel has been appointed chair of a number of Chilean organisations.

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.[2]

In November 2011, she welcomed Felipe, Prince of Asturias and Princess Letizia of Spain at the opening of an exhibition of the work of the Spanish photographer Chema Madoz in Santiago.[3]

Copiapó mining accident[edit]

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.[4]

When the first miner, Florencio Ávalos, was rescued, the miner's seven-year-old son burst into tears, as did the First Lady.[5]


Foreign honours[edit]


External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Luisa Durán
First Lady of Chile
Vacant First Lady of Chile