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María Belón

The Real Protagonist of the film "The Impossible", an amazing story of fight for survival

María Belón is a Spanish physician and survivor of the tsunami that devastated the Southeast Asian coast in 2004, becoming an inspiring figure worldwide. Currently, she gives lectures to encourage and motivate learning and action.

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María Belón's videos

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María’s speaking themes

Languages: 

  • English
  • Spanish
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María Belón's 2024 biography

About María Belón

When Spanish film director J.A. Boyona proposed María Belón to bring to the big screen her survival story in the 2004 tsunami, she thought it was “a joke”.

In December of that year, María Belón was in Thailand with her husband and her three sons when they were swept away by a massive wall of water in the Indian Ocean. Her husband and her sons were in the pool meanwhile she was in one of the showers, when the tsunami swallowed the hotel. A devastating phenomenon that also took whole cities away, and buried them under water and mud.

“You and I are not going to die”, that was the first phrase that María Belón said to calm down her oldest child, 10 years old boy who was in panic, when both found themselves alone after the wall of water of the tsunami made them go through, between bruises, the first floor of the hotel where they were staying.

To honor the victims of the biggest natural disaster of our times and to honor all the tsunamis that life presents us, “The Impossible” became a reality in 2012. For more than four years, María Belón worked in this super film production with actors Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, and with the rest of the film team, to gather the experience she lived with her family during those days.

Medical Doctor as a profession, María Belón has also been a coach and facilitator of the program “Lead”, Human Resources professor at ESADE, as well as analyst and consultant of big companies like HAY Group or Pepsico, but especially, María has become an example of overcoming the turmoil she experienced, and a brave, frank, direct, open mother that was able to build an unstoppable family.

Nowadays she lectures all over the world where she narrates how she and her husband Enrique and their three sons, managed to survive this terrible event.

She tries to pass on her vital and essential learning that this difficult experience of the tsunami gave them. “Like you, I am also a tsunami survival; I have decided that it would become an experience full of learning and opportunities instead of regrets and excuses”.

María Belón's 2024 talks & topics

Prepare for the unpredictable: be prepared for the next wave arrives.

Facing fear: the importance of remembering past & looking to the future.

The Impossible: a story of survival and hope.

María Belón's 2024 speaking fees

María travels from:
  • Spain

Specific fees fall within the ranges shown. These are presented as a guide only and are subject to change without notice.

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