Adiós dear Philippe

On July 6, 2022, Philippe Berberat, our first and long-term President of the Local Committee of Fundación Educación, chapter Guatemala, passed away at the age of 69.

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In 2007, Philippe built up this education program, which became reality thanks to the generous donation of a famous and renowned Swiss entrepreneur. Soon this program became one of the most ambitious and strong-growing chapters of Fundación Educación.

Already in his early years, Philippe gathered vast experience with foundations, NGO’s as well as various national and international organizations, and dedicated more and more of his life to topics such as education, economic and social change as well as healthcare. Many of these activities led him from Switzerland to Africa and, finally, to Latin America.

In Guatemala, where he met his wife Mónica and founded a family, he soon recognized the high potential of our foundation. Henceforth, he and his team took on the task to select, mentor and coach young talents from low-income families so that these could study at the most renowned local universities. While doing so, Philippe combined enormous and unconditional passion with Swiss efficiency, thoroughness, and austerity. As a result, many of our scholarship holders from Guatemala not only became high achievers at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín (UFM) and the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG), but also main characters of outstanding success stories. Hence, we can truly say that Philippe «lived» the vision and mission of Fundación Educación with body and soul!

Despite the impressive track record of this chapter, Philippe always remained with both his feet firmly on the ground and lead his team and our «chicos» with great foresight and a good portion of humor. Thanks to his authentic and affectionate manner as well as his endearing laughter he was one of those persons you simply wanted to have as a friend – a true role model for life! Hence, it was clear to both Ueli Frei and me (from the Swiss Foundation Board) that we needed to visit Philippe in Guatemala in his last life span. We laughed, wept and revisited the past but discussed many future plans – plans and dreams that at that point where foreseeably not going to become reality during his lifetime, but which motivate us today to execute these in honor of him!

With the passing away of Philippe the «Gran Familia Fundación Educación» has lost a great friend. At the same time, his «spirit» will live on within all of us who had the privilege to have known him, to have worked with him, and who learned a lot from him!

We all miss you, Philippe – yet you will always be in our thoughts and hearts!


Ricardo Cordero, on behalf of the Gran Familia Fundación Educación

July 2022