Day 3: Latin America & the Caribbean symposium

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On the last day we kicked off with a reflection on the power of water, with the help of Mayan spirituality.  The imagery of water, soft and flexible but which can carve rock and change the landscape, helped the group focus on the final step of the Symposium, the creation of an action plan to implement the commitments expressed by the group.


Some of the actions proposed included using existing experience, learning, capacity and networks: consolidating and strengthening them; respecting different rhythms and capacities;  working more with young people and men; replicating the symposium at national or binational level;  work more with existing women’s groups; work with a human rights focus; production, sharing , translation of education, policy and campaigning material; interreligious dialogue; adopting a clear, prophetic message on gender, so that we attract new audiences and resources.


The symposium then appointed a Latin America & the Caribbean coordination group, with representatives Pasteur Clement Joseph (Caribbean), Blanca Cortez (Mesoamerica), Esther Lisboa and Father Alberto Franco (South America) and Mara Luz (Regional Coordinator on behalf of WCC LAC, CLAI, CREAS and AA). The group also agreed on a Declaration of Commitment  including all the context analysis, concerns, and commitments of the symposium.


For Side by Side Co-Chair Geoff Daintree, “the participants at this regional workshop have provided excellent input to Side by Side, the Faith Movement for Gender Justice. Sharing experiences from around the region we identified many issues that need to change and made positive commitments to work together to bring about the necessary changes”. Said our special guest from the Episcopal Church of Scotland, Elspeth Davies: “valued the openness, the honesty and the trust of all those who participated. The welcome to people from other faiths and spiritualities is to be applauded. The methodology used and the values and principles which were agreed shall be taken back to Scotland where hopefully we can learn from the rich experience at the Symposium”. Anglican Alliance Reverend Elizabeth Cepeda from the “Receiving and Sharing Ministry” added “it has been very important to realise the richness of our spiritualities in LAC. The experiences and hope I received from the participants will strongly enhance my religious testimony with the migrants in the very complex context of the Mexico – USA border”.


As a final celebration, the group read a passage from the Bible, Judges 4:5-9, about the power of Deborah and then committed to implement and take forth the message of Gender Justice for all women and men in the region.


Read Latin America & the Caribbean’s Declaration of Commitment: português, español, français, English.


Find out more about the Latin America & the Caribbean regional coalition




Mara Luz: Side by Side Regional Coordinator for Latin America & the Caribbean, Christian Aid.

Posted by: Side By Side | Thursday, November 26th, 2015
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