rural start-up projects in South America
annual meeting of the Board of Administration of the Populorum Progressio Foundation took place from 7
to 12 July in Sucre and La Paz, Bolivia.
Foundation was created by Pope John Paul II on 13 February 1992, during
the Fifth Centenary of the beginning of Evangelization of Latin America,
when the Fourth General Assembly of CELAM was also celebrated.
Progressio Foundation aims to be a sign and witness of Christian
main purpose is to promote the integral development of the rural
communities of the campesinos of Latin America and the Caribbean, the
Indigenous, Mestizo and African-American peoples, and to be a sign and a
witness of Christian brotherhood and authentic solidarity. Its
headquarters are at the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum". The
President and legal representative,
Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, was present throughout the meeting.
Board of Adminstration supervises the application of the Foundation's
Statutes, then studies and approves the projects submitted for integral
development during the year. The Board is made up of seven members, six
of whom are Bishops of different Latin American countries and one who is
a member of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".
the meeting this year 223 projects out of the 270 submitted were
approved for a sum totalling $1,895,300 U.S. This sum will be sent to
those in charge of the projects in August. This year Colombia, Peru and
Bolivia will receive extra help.
Antilles, Cuba and Honduras submitted the fewest requests.
the projects approved, 36.67% concern production, either stock-breeding,
craft work and mini-businesses or community farms; 27.78% concern the
municipal infrastructure, drinking water, sewage, fencing, and community
halls; the third sector, 15.92%
the approved projects, concern education: training, staff,
communications and publishing; 12.59% concern the construction of
health-care centres, schools and housing; and 7.04% concern health care:
training and staff. Including this year's projects, in the 10 years
since Populorum Progressio was founded, 1,820 projects have been
approved overall, for a total of just over 1.5 million U.S. dollars.
anniversary of the Church of La Plata, today Sucre
the meeting in the city of Sucre, the Foundation joins in the joyful
celebrations for the 450th anniversary of the Particular Church of La
Plata, today Sucre. On 27 June 1552, with the Bull Super specula,
Pope Julius III canonically established the Diocese of La Plata, at the
request of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, King Charles I of Spain and
Archduke of Austria, which prepared the ground for the subsequent
establishment of many other particular Churches in Argentina, Bolivia,
Chile and Peru. La Plata became an Archdiocese on 20 July 1609. In 1924,
it was renamed Sucre to include the whole Department of Chuquisaca.
Bolivia, the country hosting this meeting, is one of the American
countries that has submitted the most projects to the Papal Foundation
in the past ten years. In absolute terms, it comes third after Colombia
and Peru; in relation to the number of inhabitants, it comes first, with
179 projects approved and funding allocated for a million and a half
dollars. The Foundation, aware of the high proportion of Indigenous
peoples who live there, has always given special consideration to this
country: out of a population of almost 8 million, Indigenous peoples
account for 71%, according to the March 2002 edition of the Brazilian
journal, Mensageiro; or, according to the Microsoft Encarta Atlas of
1996, Indigenous account for 55%, in addition to 30% who are
Francisco Azcona San Martín
of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum"