In 2005, when Maria visited a slum and a hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh, she realized the desperate struggle against poverty that the people faced. She spent two weeks in the tin neighborhoods, starting what would later become the Maria Cristina Foundation. This foundation has already provided education to more than 600 children, but funding has been a constant struggle. Maria began to take desperate steps to raise awareness and raise public awareness.
She climbed Kilimanjaro, took a hike to the North Pole, and ran 7 marathons in 7 days. In 2013 she became the first, and so far only, Portuguese woman to climb Mount Everest. She ran 7 ultra-marathons on 7 continents in 6 weeks, 7 ultra-marathons in 7 days, and 7 marathons on 7 continents in 11 days. Maria is the holder of 3 Guinness records.
She received great recognition for her work, as European
Union Woman Innovators Award, Emirates Humanitarian Woman
of the year, Most Inspiring Woman of the Gulf Cooperation Council,