On June 29th, 2020, we (URI AL&C, the region of Latin America & the Caribbean) received the results of the electoral process of URI Global Trustees who will serve over the period of 2020-2023.
In our region, the elected Trustees were Salette Aquino, Rosadelia Quizpe and Francisco Morales. Starting from September 10, 2020, they will be the representative voice of the 59 Cooperation Circles of Latinoamerica.
Salette Aquino, from Brazil, is a retired university teacher. She is a member of the Cooperation Circle (URI member group) CC Brasilia, and current Trustee for the period 2016-2020. Salette says, "When the URI Letter of Principles came to me, it was 'love at first reading.' I traveled from Campinas to São Paulo, 100 km, to the event where, for the first time, the Charter would be signed in Brazil, it was in the year 2000. This event lasted a whole weekend with many dynamics and the first was the knowledge of the participants. I saw about 60 people in the room, dressed in their religious robes.
For the Appreciative Inquiry question, "What is peace for you?" I chose a Candomblé priestess, an African religion. I had never spoken to almost anyone about a religion that was Non-Christian. The response the priestess gave me sealed the commitment that I would have forever with the beauty of appreciating the religions of others.
That's what I work for: to spread the word that we are all children of the same Creator, we are all brothers. And you want to know what the priestess's response was?
'I experience peace when a brother comes to me and needs food and I can offer him. I experience peace when he needs medicine and I have it to share with him. And if he thirsts for words and I can comfort him, I experience peace.' I am convinced that the purpose of religions is to exercise brotherhood, because it links us to divinity."
Rosadelia Quizpe, from Ecuador, is a primary education teacher. She speaks Spanish and Kichwa, and is of the Indigenous people - Kichwa SARAGURO. She holds a Masters degree in Bilingual Education, and is a member of the URI member group CC Samay.
Rosadelia shares her ideas for URI AL&C: “Start from a new dawn and PERSEVERE from the cleanliness and positive changes that we have experienced living in this time of the PANDEMIC-Coronavirus since March 2020, in which, the whole of humanity has put on the table the spiritual, material and economic aspect.
GENERATE actions for the responsible care of the ENVIRONMENT and good coexistence with the beings of Mother Earth, starting from each of its spaces.
STRENGTHEN Harmony and peace for the world, starting from the person or from himself- the family, community- People and the world.
EXERCISE AND PRACTICE inter-religious coexistence and in harmony achieve consensus for actions for the good of our represented.”
Francisco Morales is a sociologist, writer, and member of the URI member group CC Cosmic Community of Argentina.
Francisco shares his ideas for URI AL&C: “This new global context is both social and cultural, and therefore spiritual and religious traditions run through this experience. Perhaps from this point of view, it is that today we need a more sincere and concrete dialogue that allows all peoples to be understood and respected. From my experience in the field of interreligious dialogue that began in 2008, I feel that it is time to change the matrixes of our societies and take a step towards ways of life in harmony with our Mother Earth.
As Indigenous people of this beautiful land of Latin America, I think we can make a good team since URI has the tools and the experience to grow our traditions. For this we must make the decisions and the courage to move forward together. There is great cultural and human wealth in our America, we just have to work together, all men and women with good hearts. Jayaya jayaya!”