Latin America – Solidarity with indigenous peoples

Ten Jesuit provinces in Latin America undertake social justice work in partnership with indigenous communities. These programs in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela aim to appreciate indigenous traditions, cultures and worldviews and to integrate indigenous peoples as active stakeholders in the economy and society of the region.

Collaboration between the Jesuit provinces and indigenous communities in this work takes place through the Network of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples (Red de Apostolado y Solidaridad con los Pueblos Indígenas). The Network is committed to indigenous identity, autonomy, indigenous knowledge, social justice and empowerment. It has the full support of the Jesuit Conference of Latin American Provincials (CPAL).

The Network of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples holds a conference every two years. Each conference has specific themes to guide the conversations, reflections and exchange of experiences. Past themes have included: mobility and migration; identity and cultural change; community and leadership.

Recently, youth engagement has become a key focus of the Network. A series of regional meetings has been planned to bring indigenous young people together to celebrate, build community, share knowledge and plan for the future. In 2017, for example, a Mesoamerica regional meeting took place in Guatemala, with young people from the Rarámuri, Tzeltal, Choles, Zoque, Miskito and Maya first nations. It is possible that future meetings will also include indigenous young people from Canada.

CJI supports the work of the Network of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples, including that of indigenous youth engagement.

To support the Network of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples and its work with youth in Latin America, please 

(Banner photo by Vico Warishi SJ: Young indigenous women at a meeting in Guatemala)