On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of its establishment, the Populorum Progressio Foundation for Latin America, on 12 December 2017, will hold a conference in Rome at the Hotel “Il Cantico” entitled “25 years of service for integral human development, looking to the future”. Entrusted, since its establishment at the behest of Saint John Paul II on 13 February 1992 to the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Foundation is now part of the pastoral mission of the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
In the inaugural session of the conference, after introductory greetings from Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery and president of the Foundation, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, will introduce some elements of the Synod dedicated to the Amazon and to indigenous peoples, scheduled for 2019. Some reflections from the Latin American Bishops present will also be heard. Professor Guzmán Carriquiry, who will present features of Latin American reality today, will also speak, among others.
The annual meeting of the Foundation’s Board of Directors will take place on 13 December, during which members will debate the funding of projects in favour of indigenous, mestizo, African-American and peasant communities of Latin America and the Caribbean for the year 2018. The meeting will also provide an opportunity to reflect on the best ways to implement the Foundation’s mandate. The following day an Audience with the Holy Father is scheduled to take place.
The members of the board are: H.E. Msgr. Edmundo Luis Flavio Abastoflor Montero, archbishop of La Paz, Bolivia, chairman of the Board of Directors; H.E. Msgr. Antonio Arregui Yarza, archbishop emeritus of Guayaquil, Ecuador, vice-president; His Eminence Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, archbishop emeritus of Santo Domingo; H.E. Msgr. Óscar Urbina Ortega, archbishop of Villavicencio, Colombia; H.E. Msgr. Murilo Sebastião Ramos Krieger, archbishop of São Salvador de Bahia, Brazil; H.E. Msgr. Javier Augusto Del Río Alba, archbishop of Arequipa, Peru; H.E. Msgr. José Luis Azuaje, bishop of Barinas, Venezuela; H.E. Msgr. Segundo Tejado Muñoz, under- secretary of the Department for Promoting Integral Human Development.
During these 25 years the Foundation has implemented more than 4,300 projects, to which a total of over 41 million dollars of funds have been allocated. The projects involve local communities and are targeted at various sectors, including agriculture, livestock, crafts and micro-enterprises, drinking water infrastructure, training and educational facilities, health and construction. Among the main supporters of the Populorum Progressio Foundation, in addition to individual participations, the Italian Episcopal Conference is particularly important.