Populorum Progressio: Focus on Indigenous Communities

The administrative council of the Populorum Progressio Foundation is due to meet from 19 to 22 July at the monastery of the Transfiguration at Castanhal
by VIS | Source: VIS

The administrative council of the Populorum Progressio Foundation is due to meet from 19 to 22 July at the monastery of the Transfiguration at Castanhal, near the Brazilian city of Belem do Para, to deliberate on the financing of projects in support of poor indigenous, mixed race and African-American communities of Latin America and the Caribbean. Populorum Progressio was founded in 1992 and is part of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".

  The administrative council is composed of the following members: Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the foundation and of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum"; Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez, archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico and president of the administrative council; Archbishop Edmundo Luis Abastoflor Montero of La Paz, Bolivia; Archbishop Alberto Taveira Correa of Belem do Para, Brazil; Archbishop Antonio Arregui Yarza of Guayaquil, Ecuador; Bishop Jose Luis Astigarraga Lizarralde C.P., apostolic vicar of Yurimaguas, Peru; and Msgr. Segundo Tejado Munoz, representative of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum". The Foundation receives it principal financial support from the Italian Episcopal Conference's committee for charitable initiatives in favour of the Third World.

  A communique made public today notes that, since this year's meeting is being held in Brazil, "interest will focus particularly on indigenous peoples, ... and on the poorest strata of the population. Special attention will also be given to the pastoral guidelines that emerged from the Fifth General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean, guidelines which the Foundation has already sought to put into effect".
  On 19 July the meeting will examine the socio-political and ecclesial situation in the various countries of Latin America in order to seek a better understandings of the needs which the projects financed by the Foundation are called to meet. On the same day, at the invitation of Bishop Carlo Verzeletti, a solemn celebration will be held in the new cathedral of Castanhal. On 20 and 21 July the projects presented by bishops in the various countries will be examined in detail.

  The communique notes that 216 projects have been presented this year, involving 19 countries and a total value of USD 2,980,470. The number of projects presented by country are: Colombia (50), Brazil (43), Peru (23), Ecuador (18), El Salvador (13), Haiti (12), Guatemala (10), Argentina (8), Bolivia (8), Paraguay (6), Chile (5), Cuba (5), Costa Rica (3), Venezuela (3), Mexico (3), Nicaragua (2), Dominican Republic (2), Honduras (1) and Uruguay (1). "It is to be hoped", the communique says, "that projects will also be forthcoming from countries with indigenous communities living in difficult situations of marginalisation, on the outskirts of large cities or in particularly isolated and inaccessible areas".

  The projects aim to tend to needs in various areas: production (agriculture, livestock, handcrafts, small businesses); communal infrastructure (potable water, latrines, community centres); education (training, school resources, publications); health (preventative campaigns, clinic resources); and construction (educational and health centres).

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