Loly immigrated to Canada with her husband and their children to escape political repression in El Salvador in 1990.

Through her experience as a refugee, she became acutely aware of the obstacles encountered by refugees and was determined to assist other refugee women escaping violence.

In 1991, Loly and her husband, Francisco Rico-Martinez, in collaboration with the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus, founded the FCJ Refugee Centre, which helps uprooted people overcome the challenges of rebuilding their lives in Canadian society.

Most recently, Loly played a significant role in building the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network. Under her leadership, the Network works closely with the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario to further the anti-trafficking strategy adopted by both governments. Loly is also the President of the Canadian Council for Refugees, and past President of the Ontario Coalition of Agencies Serving Immigrants.

Loly’s dedication to human rights and social justice is recognized through her numerous awards. In 2004, she received the Constance E. Hamilton Award for her unflinching contribution to women’s rights. She is also the recipient of the YMCA Peace Medallion, the Canadian Centre for the Victims of Torture’s Trevor Bartram Award, and the Community Leadership Award from the Salvadorian Canadian Association of Toronto.

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