Meet Maria-Paz Echenique-Johnson, Greenwich Mom of 4, True Citizen of the World

Meet Maria-Paz Echenique-Johnson, Greenwich Mom of 4, True Citizen of the World

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What do you love to do with your children? How old are they? And what is your greatest wish for them?

I like to go to their events: their school concerts and sports games.  I like to celebrate their birthdays and go to church all together.  I love to spend time with them and go on vacation together.  Lucas is 16, Max is 15, Thomas is 8 and Olivia is 6.

My greatest wish is for them to develop strong and solid values that can help them throughout their lives. 

When and where are you the happiest?

I am happiest when my whole family is together, which is not very often.  My Mom, Dad, brother, sister, nephews and niece and all my extended family live in Chile.  We keep in touch through Facebook. 

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? 

I would go to Chile to visit my family.  I would also love to visit Jerusalem and Egypt. 

Who has had the biggest influence upon you? And what quality do you most admire in a mother?

My parents.  They have been married for almost 50 years.  They taught us how to love and commit to family and friends.  They each possess a terrific sense of humor and joie de vivre.

I admire a mother’s commitment and loyalty to her family.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love going to the theater.  I was lucky enough to study acting in New York City with Uta Hagen.  The theater is one of my passions.

What is one of your favorite books? Movies? 

My favorite books would be Les Miserables and The Brothers Karamazov.  My favorite movie is Lawrence of Arabia. 

Besides motherhood, what other careers/opportunities have you enjoyed? What are your strongest qualities? 

I am lucky to have lived in many countries from a very early age, because my father was a career diplomat and served as Chile’s ambassador to UNESCO in Paris.  I was born in Santiago, Chile.  We moved to Geneva when I was 2.  Then we were subsequently posted to Lima, New Delhi, Greenwich, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires.  My brother was born in Geneva and my sister in Lima.  Later we lived at The Hague and Budapest.  I attended French schools until we moved to the USA.  When my family moved to Greenwich in 1985, I attended Greenwich High School where I met my future husband, Dave Johnson.  We have been married for 21 years.

Now I am very happy to be working at the Greenwich Christian Preschool, a wonderful new preschool in town. 

I love bringing people together for special occasions.  I am also fortunate to be able to speak and write in Spanish, French and English.

What is your favorite type of food and what do you love to cook? 

I love French food and Indian food.  I don’t love to cook, but I do like to bake with my kids.

What is your favorite time of the day and why? 

Night time, when I can relax. 

Where is your favorite place to Party with Moms and what’s your favorite drink?

I love to entertain at home.  I also love to go out to lunch or dinner with my girlfriends.  My favorite drink is coffee!