Most people know the highly popular Shakira. You may even know that she is from Colombia, but fewer people are familiar with her rise to stardom, her music from the early years, her work with the children of Colombia, or her work promoting global access to education.

Shakira was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, and started performing at a young age. By the time she was 14, she had recorded her first album. Actually, her first 2 albums had limited success in Colombia. But, in 1995, she released her first HIT album which was made in Colombia and promoted throughout Latin America. It was called Pies Descalzos (Barefeet).

I can highly recommend it for anyone’s collection. You can purchase the whole album or your favorite songs here:

If you want to get a flavor for the first album, here are a couple of videos from it –she was a lot more tame back in the mid-nineties.

I really love the song, ANTOLOGIA.

Today, Shakira sees herself as more than just a pop star. When she made it big, back in 1995, she began giving back to Colombia. She formed the PIES DESCALZOS FOUNDATION – a non-profit, NGO – that works to provide education, nutrition, medical services, and emotional and psychological support to poor children and those who have been displaced by the violence in Colombia.

Learn more about the foundation and learn how you can help at the website:

Last year, Shakira was in Washington D.C. to lobby Congress to support the “Education for All” act. Learn more by listening to her interview on NPR.


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