Martha Verdejo Bigliani (at left) with friends in the United States in 1955. Courtesy of the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs (AFS Archives.) This photograph cannot be reproduced outside the guidelines of United States Fair Use (17 U.S.C., Section 107) without advance permission from the AFS Archives.

AFS Argentina is one of several AFS countries celebrating a 60th anniversary this year! AFS Argentina sent its first six students, including Martha Verdejo Bigliani, to the United States in 1955.

This photograph shows Martha (at left) with a group of friends during her AFS exchange year in Maitland, Florida in 1955.  Martha met Stephen Galatti, the founder of the post-war exchange programs, during her stay in the United States.  Galatti later asked Martha personally to start an official AFS program in Argentina. She first became an overseas representative and then the national director of AFS Argentina, a position she held from 1959 to 1977.  After her work experience with AFS, she continued spreading the benefits of student exchanges by becoming the head of Youth for Understanding (YFU) in Argentina in the early 1980s. In 2010, she was one of the recipients of the President’s Award of AFS International for her extraordinary commitment to AFS over the years.