Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Human Rights Retreat

Last year (2016) the human rights program of IELCO along with the Lutheran School of Theology hosted a series of video forums titled: Cries of Creation (Gritos de la Creación, in Spanish), where once a month we would watch a documentary that helped shine light on the interconnections between human rights, poverty and the environment.  A steady group of interested people began to form as we discussed these documentaries from a theological perspective as well as the possible ways local congregations can become involved in the issue of each documentary (consumerism, GMOs, fair trade, indigenous peoples’ rights, climate change, etc.).

To kick off this year with this same group, we planned a retreat into the Iguaque national park in the mountains of the Boyacá region of Colombia. It was a time to strengthen the group, to continue in learning about the issues, and to celebrate together the accomplishments during the forming of the group.  The retreat included training for each member to host workshops in their local communities, discussions and debates on the issues, distribution of toolkits, as well as good food, positive time together, and a hike up to a beautiful lake at the top of the nearby mountain.

Some members of the group after recieving their toolkits for leading workshops and discussions on the issues of the videoforos. Left to right: Sergio Lara, Javier Mora, Marian Coy, Mauricio Chala, Jairo Suarez Preciado, Liria Suarez Preciado. Photo by Curtis.

In the middle of an activity debating globalization and a focus on supporting local economies. Looking at the camera: Liria Suarez Preciado, Jairo Suarez Preciado, and Mauricio Chala. Photo by Curtis.
Just as we reached the summit. Curtis with Jenny and Cate Franco, and Jairo Suarez Preciado. Photo by Liria Suarez Preciado.