Ecuador. From 14 to 16 May 2021, more than 250 children, teenagers, and young people, belonging to groups of Associations and Student Councils of the works of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Sacred Heart Province (ECU), participated in the 1st National Meeting of Salesian Youth Animation, in virtual mode, on the theme “To you I entrust our village of life”.
The meeting was organized by the FMA Salesian Network for Pastoral Education (REPSA), in the context of preparation for the 150th of Foundation of the FMA Institute and for the 120th anniversary of the arrival of the FMA in Ecuador.
In the opening message, the Provincial Sr. Cruz María Piña stressed, “A Salesian environment is a village of life, where active participation allows one to progressively be formed to be protagonists in the ecclesial and socio-cultural reality for the common good.”
Over the course of the days, the young people worked in small life groups addressing the issues in workshops starting with some questions: “What is a village of life?, Who am I?, How do I relate to others?, How do I relate to nature? ” and “I build my village with Jesus”.
The meeting took place in an atmosphere of youth protagonism, creativity, and familiarity. Through videos, the creation of symbols, the elaboration of stories and drawings, group dances and music, the young participants learned the importance of loving and caring for the world. They identified the ‘villages of life’ with the communities, built solid foundations of love, hope, and fraternity, which help the person to recognize self as a citizen of the world, inserted in a place, and with a mission.
Salesian cheerfulness characterized the ‘Night of Joy’ in which the choreographies of the hymn of the event were taught and, divided into virtual rooms, the different groups challenged each other in games and tests. The virtual mode did not diminish the enthusiasm of the dance, to which some family members of the participants also joined in.
The Network of Young Salesian Communicators (RJSC), made up of animators who deal with the communication of events through social networks, developed a video-synthesis of the First National Meeting of Salesian Youth Animation.