The Pan-amazonian Synod and the challenge of education in the Amazon

31 de Octubre de 2019

[Por: P. Pablo Mora, S.J.]

The Pan-Amazonian Synod is a "kairos" in the Church, a manifestation of the power of the Spirit who wants to guide the Church of the Pan-Amazonian region through new paths. Education has always played a central role in the mission of the Church. Does it also need new roads in the Amazon region? And once found, how and with whom to travel them? 


In Part I, I approach this topic with a reflection on the mentality of both the migrant populations of the Amazon and that of the aboriginal peoples of this region. This is important because education can transform a mentality, a way of thinking and confronting oneself before others and before the natural environment that surrounds us. In this sense, Laudato Si and the proposal of integral ecology offer the Church a horizon of new paths in its educational work. 


However, this proposal must overcome the challenges presented by the educational centers where students are trained, some challenges of a structural nature and others that arise from a region with characteristics specific to the Amazon. In this search for a more contextualized education, what would be the Church's contribution to travel these new paths? 


In Part II I take up again an educational an educational project but from the perspective of Fe y Alegría (“Faith an Joy”), an educational model in the Pan-Amazonian region, the concrete challenges for an intercultural, bilingual education and care for the natural environment in primary and secondary schools. On the basis of the results of this experience, I will consider some avenues that illuminate the possibility of a configuration of a broader ecclesial educational project, taking into consideration the role and the decisive importance that consecrated life has in the education of the peoples of Panamazonia. 


In the Amazon we urgently need to respond to the appeal made to us by Pope Francis to become a Church “which goes forth|,”2 a Church that goes out to the geographical, cultural and social frontiers, to the peripheries of the cities, that gets into the boat and goes to meet those Amazonian and indigenous faces of the riverside and native peoples. Only through an education in integral ecology that reaches everyone can we hope to achieve the "serene future"3 that this region deserves.



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