The Instituto Sócrates Guanaes started as the Center for Sócrates Guanaes Studies and Research (CEPESG) in July 2000. In reality it started well before that, in 1933, when Socrates Guanaes, the 10th son of a cowboy was born, in the northeast region of Brazil and one of the its least developed areas. Born in an unprivileged family and in an unequal and unjust society, contrary to all odds, this young man ascended
socially with dignity. With persistence and dedication, he got his M. D. degree from Federal University of Bahia and a specialization in Pulmonology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He went even further and got a specialization in Immunology and Allergy at the University of London and fellowship in Pulmonology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Although he had a short life of only 45 years, very early is his career, Dr Guanaes stood out as a doctor, teacher and entrepreneur, and left his example of enthusiasm wherever he passed. He strongly believed and often said that “education is the only alternative to a dignified survival, whatever the current political and economic system.”
It was in this context of strong family influence that, at the age of 39, Dr. André Guanaes, son of Dr. Socrates, founded in 2000 the initially called Centro de Estudos e Pesquisa Sócrates Guanaes (CEPESG), a non-profit civil association that, in 2004, would be called Instituto Sócrates Guanaes. The inspiration of the Institute is to be able to encourage many other underprivileged kids to defy their odds and achieve their full potential through education.
In addition to the family context and the varied experience as a doctor in the public and private sectors, two experiences at the beginning of his career influenced Dr. André to become interested and to dedicate himself to the social services sector and, thus, contribute to the promotion of a more dignified and humanized healthcare to the general public. The rich period of learnings from the days at Sister Dulce Social Works and, later, at the José Silveira Foundation. Both are recognized references of philanthropic institutions and were determinant in his humanistic formation.
In 2004 the center expanded its spectrum of activity and became called Instituto Sócrates Guanaes (ISG), maintaining its philosophy – “promoting health through education” – and with the mission of “Caring and Saving Lives”. Among the Institute strongest values, two of them has its origin in Dr. Sócrates’ history: “healthcare is a priority” and “education is fundamental”.