About Us


To empower caring women in helping to conquer the towering social challenges that face Latin Americans in needy communities by bringing minds and hearts together, with needed resources, to foster positive change.


Women of America Developing Smiles seek to assist impoverished Latin American communities through leadership, volunteerism and fundraising activities.

Our Values

God. Our guide, inspiration, and the One who makes our work possible.

We are responsible for our actions and responsibility requires excellence.

Trustworthiness embodies the values of honesty, integrity, loyalty and the capacity to serve.

We respect our donors, collaborators and recipient organizations.

The principles and norms that promote human development are the heart of ethics. We act with courtesy and humility.  


Currently, AMERICA DEVELOPING SMILES consists of more than 300 trained volunteers, helps more than 3,152 children in Latin America, and works directly with 3 community outreach programs in South Florida, as well as 3 educational centers in Puerto Rico.


Our History At-A-Glance


Mary A. González, Mariangel González, Olguita Lesseur, Teresita Leañez and Alicia Santaella

In 1997, Mary A. González, Mariangel González, Olguita Lesseur, Teresita Leañez and Alicia Santaella, a group of Venezuelan-born women living in Miami, Florida, decided to engage in a new and exciting undertaking with one idea in mind: to bring a greater sense of hope and future to underprivileged Latin American children. These founders were inspired by the work and success of the non-profit organization Asociación Damas Salesianas and were motivated by its founder and chair, Father Miguel González, D.B.

America Developing Smiles was registered in Miami, Florida and then obtained a resolution from the IRS, as a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization.

Alicia Santaella, Alejandra Chiossoni, Mariangel González y Adriana Guinand
The first board was organized, and Mary A. Gonzalez was named first president of America Developing Smiles. Alicia Santaella became the treasurer, and Mariangel Gonzalez served as assistant to the president.
Mariangel Gonzalez
Mariangel González


Mariangel Gonzalez became ADS President and held this post through the year 2003. The organization organized its first “Seeds of Hope" event at the Grand Bay Club in Key Biscayne to support “La Dolorita” day care center located on the outskirts of Caracas, Venezuela. Under her leadership, ADS expanded its work to support educational centers in Venezuela, Colombia and Nicaragua and contributed to the organization's expansion to three chapters in South Florida.

Also, several programs community outreach programs were established in Dade County including the "All Aboard" program, "Sponsor a Smile" Sponsorship program and established new corporate alliances. During her tenure, the marketing and communications basis of the group were established including web positioning and e-commerce initiatives.

Graciela Lafée de Monroy

Cristina Schemidt


Thanks to a group of Nicaraguan-born female volunteers, America Developing Smiles began supporting an educational center in Masaya, Nicaragua, comprised of over 200 children.

Due to the growing number of Venezuelan immigrants to South Florida, America Developing Smiles expanded its mission and opened a new chapter in Weston. Under the leadership of Cristina Schemit and Graciela Monroy, America Developing Smiles began supporting two additional educational centers in Venezuela.

America Developing Smiles joins with Key for Colombia and during the spring, co-produces its first event to help ADS centers in Colombia and Venezuela.


Weston Chapter opened in 2001

Palm Beach Volunteers
Group Palm Beach Volunteers


In 2002, America Developing Smiles implemented its in-house scholarship program, ‘Sponsor a Smile', assisting with the education of many underprivileged children in Venezuela. The group chose a pilot school at which to implement the program, the ADS educational center, Gustavito Garcia Lujan, located in Hatillo, on the outskirts of Caracas, Venezuela.

America Developing Smiles expanded its mission and opened a new chapter in Boca Raton.


In 2003, America Developing Smiles expanded its work to include the support of several community outreach programs in South Florida.

America Developing Smiles volunteers worked together to support at-risk Hispanic families in South Florida and kicked off its “Smiles-on-Board” program, which works in conjunction with the “All-Aboard” program of the State of Florida’s Institute for the Child and Family Health, previously the Miami Psychiatric Children’s Center www.icfhinc.org.

Through “Angels of Hope,” America Developing Smiles volunteers began supporting the Caridad Health Clinic.

In 2003, America Developing Smiles began supporting an educational center in Rio Negro, Colombia, which provides education and basic health care services to over 70 kids.
Nelly Molinos



Nelly Molinos becomes President of America Developing Smiles Boca Raton Chapter. Several events were organized including the performances of the “BocaRatonas” gaitas group. Volunteers from this group began to support the “Caridad Health Clinic”.


Graciela Monroy
Graciela Monroy




Graciela Monroy becomes the third president of America Developing Smiles National Board, covering the period 2004-2007. During her tenure, Graciela was instrumental in leading the Broward Chapter, consolidated the work of the South Florida Chapters, and became the liaison and support of the international ADS organization. In 2007, during the XV Anniversary celebration of the Venezuelan journal “El Venezolano, Graciela received the Community Volunteer award.



Evelyn Villanueva
Evelyn Villanueva
Carolina Lucena Marcano
Carolina Lucena- Marcano


Evelyn Villanueva becomes President of America Developing Smiles Dade Chapter.

Carolina Lucena-Marcano was elected President of America Developing Smiles Broward Chapter.

America Developing Smiles continued its growth and expanded its work to Orlando.

Graciela Monroy, president, and Nelly Molinos visited the ADS Center “Nuestra Sra. De Los Angeles” in Bellflower, California.

America Developing Smiles’ Broward Chapter and the Venezuelan Golf Organization (VAGO) joined forces to organize the first Golf Tournament

ADS Puerto Rico Board 2007


America Developing Smiles celebrates its 10-year anniversary.

Under an initiative by Graciela Monroy, America Developing Smiles begins supporting the efforts of several ADS centers in Mexico. These include the Maria Auxiliadora School in Queretaro, and the Don Bosco Center in Puebla, which provide schooling to over 100 kids.

Under the leadership of Mariangel Gonzalez, America Developing Smiles installs a new chapter in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and registers under the Department of State in Puerto Rico.

Carolina Lucena-Marcano

Ana Maria Basalo


Carolina Lucena-Marcano becomes the fourth president of America Developing Smiles for the tenure 2008-2011.

Carolina Ponce becomes President of the Broward Chapter.

And, Ana Maria Basalo becomes Vicepresident of America Developing Smiles National Board.

During the year 2008, America Developing Smiles holds its first National Assembly and the first Regional Conference (CIR) is organized. Also, the organization held its first retreat on October 2008.

Carolina Ponce


America Developing Smiles 2008 National Assembly.
ADS Broward Chapter Volunteers

ADS Broward Chapter Volunteers

James Howell, M.D., M.P.H., Chair of the Department of Rural Medicine at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and Carmen Peñaloza.


On December America Developing Smiles and Nova Southeastern University gathered to consolidate an alliance between the two organizations.

America Developing Smiles organizes its first Tennis Tournament

Dr. Schillinger NSU, Dermatologist, performing a biopsy.

Maria Elena Guinand y Evelyn Villanueva.


Alicia Salazar     Mary Renzi


NSU representatives visit ADS Centers in Dominican Republic and Peru.

The first two missions of NSU students and physicians travel to the medical facilities of ADS in the Dominican Republic and Peru.

Evelyn Villanueva and Maria Elena Guinand continue their labor as President and Vice president of ADS Dade Chapter.

Alicia Salazar becomes President of ADS Broward Chapter and Mary Renzi Vice-president



America Developing Smiles holds its second National Assembly and a new Board of Directors is appointed.

Carolina Lucena-Marcano is reelected as President and Chair of the Board.


Carmen Peñaloza

Carmen Peñaloza becomes Vice-president of America Developing Smiles National Board

America Developing Smiles is selected by the Professional Golf Asociation (PGA ) as one of it beneficiaries in their program “ Tickets fore Charity”  for the WGC-Cadillac Championship.


America Developing Smiles holds its Third National Assembly and a new Board of Directors is appointed.

Carmen Penaloza

Carmen Peñaloza

Ana Maria Basalo

Ana Basalo

Mariana Finol

Mariana Finol


Carmen Peñalosa is elected as President and Chair of the Board.

Ana Basalo Dade Chapter President

Mariana Finol Broward Chapter President



America Developing Smiles • US Chapter of Asociacion de Damas Salesianas
©2008 America Developing Smiles • Design & Development: Logos Corp. C.A. • Latest Update September 2009

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