21 May, 2008

Our History

     

Times of revolution and change.  Times of urgencies and emergencies.  Pope Paulo VI says at the opening of the Second Latin American Episcopal conference, held in Medellin in 1968: “We cannot stand in solidarity with systems and structures which cover and favour grave and oppressive inequalities between the classes and the citizens of the same country”.  Paulo Freire in 1970: “Now nobody educates anybody, just as nobody educates themselves: people educate each other together, influenced by the world”. 

The Ministry of Education at a World Congress in 1971: “Peru is at one of the most important and decisive moments in its history [...] we are committed to a liberating education and to the mission to create a new society”.  Agrarian reform, industrial nationalisation, social mobilisation, the need to know the laws and the roots of such.   

John Metcalf, English Priest nationalised as a Peruvian, accompanies the countrymen of Cajamarca in their thirst for knowledge and the means to continue learning.  Leaflets, magazines and newspaper cuttings, novels are passed from one to another and the eagerness fuels itself: beneath each hat the arrogance always resident in the written word is steadily defeated.  A spade can be used to plough furrows or dig graves; the book, source of foreign aggression, emerges as another well from which to drink.  Like this bulls were tamed, wheat was domesticated, the harp was recreated and horses broken in.  The communities struck down by the book nurture those pages to continue strengthening  themselves.                 
        

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