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Anita Figueredo



Dr. Anita Figueredo (1916-2010) was the first woman doctor from Costa Rica. She attended Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart on full scholarship and, after graduating, was one for only four women admitted to Long Island Medical College in 1936. Most notably, Anita was the first female surgeon in San Diego and a close friend of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She was also a fierce proponent of women's higher education and was a founding member of the board of trustees of San Diego College for Women, later the University of San Diego, and served in that capacity for forty years. Anita's great passion in life, aside from medicine and her family, was humanitarianism, a calling that produced a four-decade-long friendship with Mother Teresa, who called her "The Smiling Apostle of Charity." In 1982, Dr. Figueredo founded a charity of her own, Friends of the Poor, originally devoted to the needy residents of Tijuana and San Diego, and which now spans three continents. Anita's dedication to lending a hand to those in need and her philanthropic spirit lend insight into why she was inducted, posthumously, into the San Diego Women's Hall of Fame as a Trailblazer.

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