Questions and answers | Table 2 - Educational Session, CUMIPAZ 2017

Questions and answers | Table 2 - Educational Session, CUMIPAZ 2017


Dr. Patricio Alfredo Rosende Lynch

We want to open a space to exchange opinions, questions, consultations. I do not know (to the organizers) how much time we have. Five minutes! But that is not even enough to ask a question! No no; a little more.


I am Carlos Viteri Gualinga,  Assemblyman from Ecuador. I congratulate all the speakers for the presentations they have made, thank you very much. I loved the reflections of Dr. Sonia Brito. Yes, education must be for the present.

I have two questions. A question for Dr. José Alfonso Fuentes and for Dr. Vivian González.

I think that what better than Guatemala or the educational experience of Guatemala for peace, to tell us about their experience. In Guatemala, between 1960 and 1996, there was an act of genocide recognized by the United Nations in its report, The Voices of Silence; and I would like to know what was the role of the university in that period of atrocious genocide that the world knows? And from that, what has been the role of the university in the consolidation of a peaceful and harmonious coexistence, where the worst part has been for the indigenous peoples in Guatemala? First question.

The second question is for Dr. Vivian: Congratulations for that very interesting experience. I would like you to expand your explanation, because there is a clear absence of the State. It is very important for democracies to strengthen institutions and, obviously, to strengthen the role of the State, which is its mission: public policies for an education of excellence and free; and with a sense of affirmative action, mainly for the most excluded, precisely to create conditions of justice.

Do you have any kind of agreement? He spoke of CONAI, which is obviously an entity created for indigenous peoples, but what about the Ministry, what about the State? What is the response of the State to initiatives like yours? Are there State policies that coincide online?, so that it does not turn out to be a private initiative that, although it has very good intentions (it seems very interesting to me), but that the State must assume it in definitive accounts. Thank you very much.


Dr. Jose Alfonso Fuentes

Thank you for the question. Actually the role of the university has been historic, it has a lot of acceptance by the population; in fact, it was the only bastion where proposals were made and issues of national character were discussed. There were from disappearances to deaths of people, kidnappings etc., because…  to give you an example:

During the last three dictatorships of Estrada Cabrera, Lázaro Chacón and Ubico;  the study of Humanities in Guatemala was prohibited. Miguel Ángel Asturias (known by all of you), José Rolvened*, someone who… very distinguished people, could not study philosophy or humanities. Only technical people were required, they did not want people who would question or enter the bottom of - at the root of the problems. And it was after the revolution of 44 that the Faculty of Humanities was created and there was an important takeoff.

The university has always been uncomfortable for tyrants and for those who promote peace, but it played a very important role in the peace process (it happened to me 90-94) we did all the work of including civil society, coordinating the work so that it would make proposals for the negotiation table; model that was only the United Nations, the guerrilla and the Government.

Then it turns out that civil society was oblivious to a process that was going to affect or favor it; then the university has always been a critical reserve for the nation, it has been an obstacle for people who do not want peace; and the first thing he did was survive, contribute to the peace process and contribute to the consolidation in a complicated environment, which required a lot of effort, but it has been an indefatigable effort; and currently the university has, by constitutional rank, has participation in a series of spaces: in the Monetary Board, in Social Security, in the Constitutional Court; in short, in all the spaces that there are, by character, because it has been earned by hand and with participation that is especially recognized by civil society.


Dr. Vivian González

Thank you, thank you for the question. Very quickly, due to the weather. CEPI, which is the Continuing Education Program for Indigenous people, I believe that it must have 260 in the training program (indigenous), and about 25 in the official program with university degrees.

PAMA, which is the Senior Adult Program must have at this time, dispersed, but about 40 older adults, even a 94 year old, receiving classes with us.

EPRIL*, which is the Private of Freedom, must have about 45 inmates in the program that we are giving.

Why do I tell you those numbers? I am going to be very daring and I am going to give advice: Do not wait for the State to move, do not wait. If we wait for the State we will self-destruct. The State, on the contrary, rather than coming to knock on the door and say: “here I am.” But I do not want to tell sad stories, but to be on one side and another side, to all the places we have gone, we said: "We do not come to ask for a five, we do not need money, we are going to see how we are going to invent it; but we put them to their order and we want to make known what we are doing, the important thing is that they know it.” The moment you want to join, the State has all the space in the world to join.

But my strong advice, as a woman and as a professional woman: Do not wait for anyone, walk forward and do everything you can; join forces from all places. It is the only way that minorities can come out with the same conditions as the others.

Costa Rica has made several important efforts, it is a country that signed the ILO Convention 169. In the year 98, President Miguel Ángel Rodríguez made the identification process for indigenous people. Very important work has been done in the process of rescue or definition by the landmarks of the Earth. And there have been other important processes: the Ministry of Education has done a very important job, reaching the last corners with schools, but with their big mistakes, right? There's no time for that, to talk about that.

But when you tell me: and where is the State in this project? The project is walking and the State is becoming aware; the difference is that every four years changes, and four years: it changes, and four years: it changes; So, while walking here, we try to take a parallel to that side. I do not know if he is satisfied with the answer, or if not, I am ready.


We keep offering the word…


[Native language] Natalia Ojeda Weitra, Chilean Mapuche. I have two questions for Mrs. Vivian González: What is the percentage of real benefit that the fashion industry returns from its profits to indigenous communities for the use of their designs?

And also for Mrs. Sonia Brito (Chile): Will the curricular meshes of the colleges, universities, etc., at some point be seen on the subject of the language of the native peoples, such as a Mapuche vision (not only as a workshop)? At some point, will they give the real weight to our elders, to our wise and not demand that they have a professional title (be our communities, our people who endorse them)?

That’s it, thank you.


Dr. Vivian González

Thank you for the question. Well, I did not manage to develop the Comprehensive Training Plan with one intention: to ask me. No, those who would like to know can get in touch with me later, it is also on the university’s page. It is a very interesting comprehensive training program, which is not only a pose, but has to do with deep convictions that the university has and that, of course, I share.

First, I would like to tell you that I am a person who respects diversity. I think what we are trying to achieve is equality in differences. And that, in some areas, is called equity.

What we do in the Comprehensive Training Plan is to have a group of curricular activities that respond to this civic training that we have been talking about, to personal and transcendent training. And what do we do? That the academics who intend to propose certain curricular activities, postulate. We have migration subjects, there was also an intercultural bilingual program (we are not quite done).

I believe, and it is what I talked about a little, we are static “to be.” The academic must have a Master's degree. I'm going to say it here in Panama, do not let it leave Panama: There is such an academic tyranny that I think we have to ... (I'll say it like that) countercultural; and somehow we in our university are trying to do it; we are still in debt, and it must be because we are ignorant, maybe we need… I really invite you to talk about it and let's see how we move towards that topic so you can teach me.


Dr. Sonia Brito

Thank you for the question. To get the answer, we put the word “indigenous business.” The indigenous business (the idea is that it generates income for the indigenous) as such has not started. The strategic plans, the marketing plans, the environmental management plans, the risk plans, the occupational health plans, are all being developed to put them in what is called the business portfolio.

Then they are being given knowledge to become managers of their own businesses. And the idea is that the business is theirs, they are being taught so that they become the owners of their own businesses. We are talking about 100%. With advice.

A Coaching development is also being mounted to always be there, which is called Distance Counseling, hand in hand. The idea is that there is self-sustainability but that is not what is given the resource and at the end of accounts we ate the chickens or we ate each other. That is one.

The other is very interesting: we are trying to form a corporation of corporations, something that does not exist. So, here are the Cabécar, in the Cabécar there are:

The chicken project

The fashion project

The feeding project

The housing project

Here are the Bribri. There the project is… (the same).

And here are the others.

So here is the Cabécar corporation, because it is a corporation of companies; the Brunca corporation, which is a corporation of companies.

But “chicken, with chicken, with chicken,” in the end they are going to form a corporation of corporations. So that in unison, when saying 1, 2, 3: we go out to the market, not with a little bit of chicken, but with chicken that hits the market.

But how is that achieved? With slow release, with a lot of patience, with a lot of love; and then that is going to do - it is simply that of actually returning to our origin the satisfaction that we in fact do have an origin.

As we put it in that figure, it is running out, right? If we do not move quickly in Costa Rica… it is not one, there are already several ethnic groups that have come to disappear; but then that is it.

If the answer I have to give it with a number I could almost believe that it is 100%.


Thank you very much. The organizers have asked me to make a small interruption in this round of questions (which we will continue with) to listen to two people who are here, who are from the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, of La Paz, Bolivia; who have a very successful experience in culture for peace, they are:

María Eugenia Pareja, who is dean of the Faculty of Humanities, of that university; and Dr. Mirka Rodríguez, vice-dean of the same Faculty of Humanities.

If that is alright with you, we are going to listen to them for a few minutes. Go ahead.


Dr. María Eugenia Pareja

Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, La Paz, Bolivia

Well, thank you. Good afternoon. I am the dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education Sciences of the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés. We have been in this activity for 2 years now, along with the ALIUP in Paraguay, when we were also there and I was an exhibitor of education.

Regarding what it means to talk about experiences in this passage of time (which we have already been several years), I would like to begin by speaking (although we were in another Table; well, now we came here, right? We were talking about tools)... I would like to talk about a country that was once invisible, today it rises with all its strength, with all its impetus, with all its joy; our indigenous peoples, who were long ago with their heads down, like moles, now they are our leaders, now they participate in Parliament, now we feel that every day we are within that framework of respect; not of themes simply related to what is peace in the abstract, but a peace with social justice, with coexistence; and there it plays its important role in the university.

Talking about peace, about happiness, raises many questions. Peace without social justice is very difficult to achieve; peace where there is hunger, where there is poverty is very difficult to achieve; but nevertheless, in my country, which now we are proud to be from that country and be from that university (also the largest in the country with 80,000 students, it was founded in 1830, we have 13 faculties, 54 careers, doctoral programs , postdoctoral, all our teachers already have graduate degrees...); then we are in that lift that gives us the action, what would be the act of being happy.

However, I would like to speak a little today… refer to what Freud is in the sense of the causes of human suffering; one of the biggest is the hyperpower of nature; this nature, sometimes unforgiving, where we humans are frightened in front of her; initially because of all the strength it exerts. However, the one who is mother, is life, is strength, is respect. And that is what interests us in the work we have been doing.

We have seen the side ⏤as Freud said⏤ that one of the…, before the cause of suffering of the superpower of nature, appears as a flash, that which means an act of being happy. It is when the human being is able to control her but, at the same time, to know how to love her, in this duality, in that which is love, which implies our land, our origins, where we feel ⏤as I said⏤ extremely satisfied, happy; and that is where we are talking about this happiness, which is a state outside of hatred and envy; a state of equality and social justice. That university life also allows us to manage an ethic tinged with love, which is fundamental to enter that, of the creation, of what that powerful weapon that is education, in front of what causes us pain. The human lives in a vacuum, lives in its existential vacuum in itself. But it is so important to be filled with peace and love, with joy and happiness.


Dr. Mirka Rodríguez

Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, La Paz, Bolivia

Well, in this context we are working within the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés also seeing the knowledge of the indigenous peoples. We have this close interrelation that the Bolivian has with Mother Earth, with peace as well, when he offers just tables to thank and show respect and consideration; a consideration that has to do with this of the chaya and the huata that is offered.

Faced with this situation, where land is being depredated, roads are being opened through virgin territories, we have logging, with the sole objective of generating more money. We have the construction of dams just to sell, without taking into account the ecological damage done to Mother Earth.

When we consider that Mother Earth is a living being, from the vision that is held in the indigenous peoples: Mother Earth and everything that exists on Earth has life; and this way, Mother Earth is crying out to us,  with the different events and catastrophes that we have had these days. When we must consider that the Earth is a place ⎼and this is already confirmed⎼ that it is the only place that can give us life, a life where human beings can live together.

Thus, the university, through the Faculty of Humanities has presented various programs that have to do with this "Guardians of Mother Earth", which has just emerged based on the participation we had in the ALIUP and also in the previous Summit, CUMIPAZ in Paraguay.

We have the “Children’s Circle”, which was created within the university to precisely avoid the academic abandonment of the students, with whom we are working since childhood for the care of Mother Earth, with different activities that have to do with what we have in the university.

We are working with an Intergenerational Program that also has to do with the Integral Center of Equine Therapies, with different activities that they have… they are promoting the care of Mother Earth.

We also work with older adults contributing to the education of boys and girls; an interrelation of respect between what is the children’s circle: children, adolescents and the elderly.

I would like (since we have so little time) that we present the video now, please (we do not have much time left).

There is much more to be explained because they are different activities that are carried out from each of the groups. They have to do with activities like: recycling, interactions, marches in defense of water, in defense of Mother Earth, elaboration of posters; awareness of children, to be able to take care of children and this of Mother Earth with the participation of parents, who are precisely the students of the university; construction of musical instruments, which is recycling.


Well, they were four but now, we know that time is running. Thank you very much for allowing us, for giving us this space. We wanted to bring our word and our work; because since we entered it, we are producing - since we entered the ALIUP, and it is the Faculty of Humanities that is in charge of carrying out what this peace building is.

And this is the family, this is our house. Here we are, Latin American brothers, here we are to carry forward and build that beautiful word that means “peace” and try to be happy in all the daily acts of our lives, respecting ourselves, being in solidarity, seeking social justice; and believing that differences must be respected here; they are not inclusions, they are respects to each one of the parts of the difference.

Thank you very much, colleagues.


Thank you very much for sharing the experience with us.

Thank you very much to everyone for attending. To our speakers for their interesting presentations, and we will see each other in the afternoon in the Plenary.

Thank you very much.