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Saturday, 17 October 2015 00:00

Educating in Difficult Times

A Seminar organized by the Socio-Educational group of the Teresian Association in America, Educating in Difficult Times, was held in Guatemala City, from October 8-11. Among the participants were: twenty representatives from ten countries of the Americas, members of the SEP Commission, members of InteRed, of IEPS, and of the Critical Edition of the writings of Pedro Poveda. Josefina Espaillat writes about the experience.

1015-1After thirteen years carrying out the Socio-Educational Proposal of the Teresian Association in America (SEP), from October 8-11, in Guatemala City, 25 people from 10 countries of the continent, besides those who form the SEP commission; members of InteRed, of the Institute of Pedagogical Studies Somosaguas (IEPS) and of the team working on the Critical Edition of the writings of Pedro Poveda gathered together.  At the meeting the reflections previously developed in different countries and other contributions helped deepen the proposal Educating in Difficult Times.

The welcoming was done using kites as symbols that meant communication with oneself and with the diverse, party, unity, and harmony in diversity.

1015-4Later, a prayer- ceremony taken from the Mayan worldview, "making God Father Mother present who accompanies us at all times, and includes us, nature and all living things.  Also life and death, and 'grandmothers'. Colored candles represented the East, West, South and North. Following the rhythm of a dance energy and desires were transmitted. The ceremony was framed in a Christ-centered reflection, enriched and inculturated, which brought to mind that which identifies us and forms part of our roots."

The objective of the seminar was "to analyze the development of SEP, noting the most significant aspects and challenges for the future, based on current educational settings."

  • During the first two days we reviewed what SEP has accomplished so far, the contributions of each country and groups. The main themes were:
  • The most relevant educational issues at this time.
  • The most significant and converging aspects of the development of SEP in different countries.
  • Challenges for the future taking into account current educational settings and significant Povedan contributions from to the SEP.

Work was done collaboratively in groups. Some priority areas identified were: pedagogy, formation of educators, impact on public policy, reflection on the public school, the strengthening of the Socio-Educational Movement, management of the program, strengthening the Socio-Educational Movement, institutional management, information and communication technology, and other emerging issues.


We had the opportunity to visit Guatemala’s Social Project Xajanaj Kahalepana, share with ACIT and PA members, friends and participants of the Socio Education Movement. The vitality, commitment, and collaboration of each and everyone to develop the Teresian Association in these lands were contagious.


We watched a video on Guatemala’s Project to celebrate its ten years of existence.  We shared about the experience of the Summer School in the Diocese of Holguín, Cuba, to train educators; the forthcoming publication of a book with selected educational articles from Nuevamérica; the launching of the Institute of Socio Educational Studies Pedro Poveda in the Dominican Republic that will offer masters and specializations; Radio CEPJA, Cochabamba, Bolivia, and its social impact.

They were days of an intense experience of fraternity and teamwork, aimed at further progress the development of SEP Educating in Difficult Times. We thank the community of Guatemala for their generous and warm welcome and support at all times.

Cecilia Villalba, Vera Maria Candau ,and Josefina Espaillat