Vatican City, 23 June 2015 (VIS) The management board of the “Populorum Progressio” Foundation for Latin America will hold its annual council meeting from 22 to 25 June in Guayaquil, Ecuador, to discuss the funding of projects in favour of indigenous mestizo, Afro-American and rural communities in Latin America and the Caribbean during the year 2015. Over one hundred projects were presented this year.
Since its institution by St. John Paul II in 1992, the Foundation was entrusted to the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” and the members of its management board are the archbishops Edmundo Luis Flavio Abastoflor Montero of La Paz, Bolivia, president; Antonio Arregui Yarza of Guayaquil, Ecuador, deputy president; Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, cardinal archbishop of Santo Domingo; Oscar Urbina Ortega of Villavicencio, Colombia; Murilo Sebastiao Ramos Krieger of Sao Salvador de Bahia, Brazil; Javier Augusto Del Rio Alba of Arequipa, Peru; and Msgr. Segundo Tajado Munoz, under secretary of “Cor Unum”.
The meeting provided an opportunity to study the most effective methods of implementing the Foundation's mandate, especially in favour of Indios, peasant farmers and Afro-American communities. Indeed, the Encyclical “Laudato si'”, while aimed at encouraging a more responsible attitude to the defence of creation, also proposes a model for the full development of the person, within the framework of human ecology, or rather in rapport with the surrounding environment. The Foundation works in this way and evaluates projects that are, in particular, able to link human development with the natural environment of the territories in which they are to be realised.
So far more than four thousand projects have been implemented by the Foundation, with a total of more than 35 million dollars assigned to them. They typically promote the participation of local communities and involve different sectors: agriculture and livestock farming, craft and micro-businesses, infrastructure for drinking water, education and school equipment, health, and construction, among others.
The Italian Episcopal Conference is among the major contributors to the “Populorum Progressio” Foundation.