Learning To Care For The Environment

Learning To Care For The Environment

Laureano Jacobo, director of La Semilla in Honduras, is working with his son Patricio to promote sustainable resilient agriculture in Honduras. They have expanded the program’s outreach to 9 new communities in an exceptionally poor area of the country. As moral reinforcement for their teaching, they have found a great partner in Pope Francis. Pope Francis has written Care For Our Common Home, an encyclical on creation care which gives the Biblical and scientific background for the sustainable farming and soil and water conservation practices that La Semilla teaches.

Introducing the Pope’s teachings alongside practical conservation actions has been so successful in Honduras, that EPIC said, “Let’s multiply it!”. EPIC then brought Laureano and Patricio to Guatemala to give workshops with 3 other EPIC programs:

1. FUNDAMARCOS hosted a 2-day workshop on Care for Our Common Home in the Achí Maya area of Baja Verapaz. It had broad participation by Maya leaders: men, women, and youth. Each leader received a 10 page summary of the encyclical which EPIC produced, plus a spiral notebook of lessen plans written by Tony Brun. This will enable them to give classes to their own groups, thus greatly multiplying the workshop’s impact.

2. The Maya Cultural Center’s conference on the Pope’s environmental encyclical brought together a diverse group of persons who would seldom have had such an opportunity to jointly discuss their environmental concerns. For a whole day, young and old, Maya and Ladino, persons internationally known and villagers from rural Guatemala, shared their thoughts on environmental issues.

3. Mujeres en Acción is a micro-credit organization of Maya women. They hosted the third workshop, inviting the leaders of their micro-credit groups, plus leaders of other non- profit organizations. The women in these photos demonstrates the interest and active participation all felt. As with the other workshops, the partici-pants received the 10 page summary of the Pope’s encyclical, plus the teaching curriculum to help them give classes on what they had studied.