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News 2 > Global Teacher Prize - Finalists > 2017 Finalists Global Teacher Prize > Ron Alvarez

Ron Alvarez

Ron Alvarez - Venezuela
Ron Alvarez - Venezuela

Ron didn’t originally know that he wanted to be a teacher. He came from one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods (favelas) in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. At the age of ten he entered the Venezuelan National System of Orchestras and Choirs for Children and Young People, known as El Sistema, where he was inspired by the inclusive, expressivist philosophy of the founder, the Venezuelan economist and musician José Antonio Abreu. Ron worked as a teacher trainer in Venezuela to promote the El Sistema teaching method, later becoming an international teacher trainer of El Sistema for many countries around the world.

Over the years Ron has made a difference to many individuals. When he was 16 years old he began giving violin classes to a boy called Richard Urbina three times a week at 5 a.m. Today Richard is the first violin of the Teresa Carreño Symphonic Orchestra, the second most important orchestra in Venezuela. Ron also set up the El Sistema Sweden Dream Orchestra in Gothenburg with young refugees of war and civil or social violence, aged between 11 and 17 years old, from countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Albania, Somalia and Eritrea. The objective has been to integrate them into Swedish society through music and inspire them to be global citizens.

Ron would like to use prize funds to create a foundation that could contribute to and support projects inspired by El Sistema, which currently operates in more than 65 countries. This would work in support of programs for orchestras and choirs with refugees and in refugee camps.

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