Manaus - "Young people are the key to change. They have to realize that they are today's leaders, not tomorrow's. We must have the courage to live and witness the Gospel of Christ. To save Mother Earth and all of us from destruction, we young people should first of all be aware of our situation in Amazonia and then we can make a difference". This was reported to Agenzia Fides by Leah Casimero, a member of the Wapichan people of Guyana, a graduate in business administration. Leah, engaged in a regional Wapichan-English bilingual education program, recently took part in a one-week training for the promotion of cultures and the biodiversity of the Amazon with 31 young leaders from Bolivia, Colombia, Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil. Coordinated by the educational sector and youth pastoral of the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network , the seminar "Amazon Paths of Formation" took place at the Archdiocesan Marombā center of Manaus . The theoretical-practical, interactive and dynamic lessons, in the light of the encyclical Laudato Si', dealt with themes related to the local, cultural, social and religious reality of the Amazon. Young people were able to learn more about the structure of Repam: expressions like "Gospel of Creation" and "Eco-theology" are now familiar.
Deivisson Souza, a young Brazilian agronomist engineer points out: "I understood the specific contribution I can make as a youth leader". "I am not alone in this mission. Friendship relations are really strong, based on our common love for the Amazon and for the path of Jesus Master", he concluded. Omar Alvarado, a student of Colombian architecture, emphasizes: "We have come to Manaus saddened by the ecological damage we see in our countries. Sharing our cultures and our paths of evangelical spirituality and action has encouraged us and has renewed our confidence that we can change the face of our respective countries". >>