NewsMediaLatin-American youth promote transformative communications

Latin-American youth promote transformative communications

Young-SIGNIS is an essential part of SIGNIS Latin America and the Caribbean (ALC). With more than 70 members between the ages of 18 and 30 years old, coming from 14 Latin American countries, these young communicators have unique stories, as well as leadership skills, and most of all, charisma. They have an instinct for solidarity-based communication that builds bridges and generates peace—they promote communication that can transform lives and even societies.

Created in 2017 to form young communicators who would also be responsible for developing the program in their area, Young-SIGNIS generated an important synergy within SIGNIS ALC by opening individual membership to young people in some places which formerly accepted only institutional members. In turn, membership numbers increased, and some young people now occupy leadership roles in their SIGNIS organizations. Members of Young-SIGNIS ALC also generate local activities and are able to launch national projects while promoting and participating in region-wide ones.

All the initiatives carried out by Young-SIGNIS aim to have specific local impact. An example of this is the launch of “Laudato Si’ Ambassadors” in April 2021. This formation program, “Advanced Studies in Spirituality and Social Communication Ministry from an Ecological Perspective,” is in collaboration with the School of Theology of the Catholic University Andres Bello (UCAB) and the Religious Institute of Theology for Religious (ITER) in Venezuela. The programme gives 15 credits within seven areas of study, to be completed in two semesters within one year.

Thirty young people were chosen to participate in this initiative, which was based on the ideas of three Young- SIGNIS associates: Solange Didiego, coordinator of Young-SIGNIS Argentina; Ricardo Alvarenga, coordinator of Young-SIGNIS Brazil; and Andres Gonzalez, coordinator of Young-SIGNIS Costa Rica. Solange recalls the initial stages of the proposal: “SIGNIS has helped us tremendously with our formation and has offered us transformative experiences. Upon finishing the initial stage of the formation program, after our encounter in Panama, we started to reflect with Andres and Ricardo the possibility of developing a project in which we could give back and share some of what we learned.” She recalls that while the initial proposal was being crafted, she was offered the opportunity to participate in the Communication and Compassion program in India along with eight other young SIGNIS members. Since a requirement of the program was an individual project, she decided to work on the proposal that she had already started with Andres and Ricardo geared to Latin American youth. Thanks to the ongoing support of SIGNIS ALC and SIGNIS Venezuela, and networking opportunities with other organizations, they were able to consolidate the proposal for a post-graduate degree through the UCAB and the ITER.

For Cristian Corral of Young-SIGNIS Ecuador, Laudato Si’ Ambassadors captures the natural harmony of creation through communication. Paulina Jami, a young communicator, also from SIGNIS Ecuador, feels that Laudato Si’ Ambassadors fills her with the strength to continue with her plan to implement the Sumak Kawsay, which could be translated as the philosophy of living well. “As an indigenous woman, I continue to fight for the care of the environment. This formation initiative is a great opportunity to learn and practice communications, just as my colleagues, Delfin Jamarillo from Panama and Pedro Gil from the Dominican Republic, have indicated.” The new Ambassadors proposal is one of many already implemented by Young-SIGNIS ALC. Other efforts include the first formation program for young Latin American leaders in communication (2017 – 2019); a continent-wide communications campaign, “My Amazonia is…” to support the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region (2019); and a formation proposal in digital communications, implemented in collaboration with Google Colombia in 2020.

Again, projects can originate from Young-SIGNIS at both the region-wide and local levels. On March 22, 2021, Young-SIGNIS Ecuador started a new training cycle for Spanish-speaking communicators that will conclude in October of this year.

For Fernando Rueda, coordinator of Young-SIGNIS Colombia, Young-SIGNIS ALC is where life, our cultures, the richness of our continent, and our passion for communication all converge. “This passion is, without a doubt, the vocation that SIGNIS members have been called to.”

Joaquin Ruiz, part of the coordinating team for Young- SIGNIS Dominican Republic, says: “To belong to Young-SIGNIS means to belong to a family in which community is the priority.”

Young-SIGNIS ALC aims to be an open space for young communicators around the world who dream about and work tirelessly to develop a new form of communication. Would you like to be part of it?

More information:

Contact: [email protected]

Majo Centurion,

Vice-president, SIGNIS ALC

Coordinator, Young-SIGNIS ALC


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