Living Letters Solidarity Visit to Uruguay and Bolivia

on Aug 7th, 2009 and filed under News, World News.

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Odair Mateus (left) and the other members of the Living Letters team are welcomed to the Instituto de Buena Voluntad in El Cerro by its director Margot Birriel (right).

GENEVA: A team of church representatives from Europe, Latin America and Africa will pay a solidarity visit to churches, ecumenical organizations and civil society movements in Uruguay and Bolivia from 9 to 16 July 2009. The team is traveling as “Living Letters” on behalf of the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Although located in the same region, Uruguay and Bolivia are extremely different in terms of their economic, cultural, ethnic, social and political profiles. The situations of violence range from the wounds left by a military dictatorship in Uruguay to conflicts over a political change process under first nations’ leadership in Bolivia.

In Uruguay, the team will learn about initiatives against domestic violence and violence against women, as well as youth violence, exclusion and drug abuse. The agenda of the 9-11 July 2009 visit includes encounters with women’s movements and visits to church-related youth projects in Barrio Borro and El Cerro, two suburbs of Montevideo that have become hotspots for conflict and violence.

In Bolivia, 13-16 July 2009, the team will visit Santa Cruz and its vast, poor suburb Plan 3000 with almost 300,000 inhabitants mostly of Aymara, Quechua, and Guarani descent, as well as La Paz with its predominantly indigenous neighbouring city El Alto, and Copacabana in the north-west of the country.

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