Isabel Martín

The inspiration of a life at the service of the most vulnerable.

Isabel Martín was born in Guijuelo, Salamanca, in 1926. She spent her childhood there and decided to train as a nurse. Shortly after, she realised her vocation, which arose from a conversation with a Franciscan missionary.

At the age of 18 she joined the Missionaries of Jesus Christ in Javier, Navarre, and in 1955 she was appointed to India.

This is where Isabel committed herself to the most vulnerable and excluded. She was first assigned to Cheshire Home, a home for disabled people.

Years later, in 1975, she became a teacher for new novices, and trained young sisters for eight years. In 1984, Isabel started to visit the women of the Slums, the poorest neighbourhoods in India, and realized everything she could do to provide them with a stable livelihood which could allow them to be self-sufficient.

This is how Creative Handicrafts, was born in 1985, a Fair Trade organization which currently consists of 13 cooperatives where more than 800 women work.

In 2010 Isabel's commitment to those most in need and her vocation for service was acknowledged and she was awarded the Principe de Viana Prize for Solidarity by the Spanish Government.

Isabel died on March 17, 2013 in Bombay, India.

Her life

Go through all the milestones in the life of Isabel Martin, visiting the years in her timeline.


Isabel is born in Guijuelo, Salamanca.
She spends her childhood there and she studies nursery and later she decides to become a sister.