On April 28th, Miguel de Cervantes School in Punta Arenas signed a cooperation agreement with the Chilean Universitas Albertiana, as part of the celebrations being held to mark the 15th anniversary of the first presentation of the Letter of Peace addressed to the UN. The representative of the Letter of Peace Foundation in Chile, Elisabet Juanola was present at the ceremony, along with the school’s head teacher, Mrs. Maria Angelica Mimica Carcamo.
The event was held in the grounds of the school and Eugenia Valentina Manilla Macias, the mayor of Magallanes and the Chilean Antarctic regions was there. Also present was the bishop of Punta Arenas, Mons. Bernardo Bastres, representatives from the Argentine consulate in Punta Arenas, civil and military authorities from the region and Letter of Peace volunteers in Argentina, Marcela Benitez and Alfredo Fernandez, who had travelled from Río Gallegos.
The main event was the signing of the agreement with Miguel de Cervantes School. Both members of the school community- students, parents and carers, and members of the wider community had been told about the event. In this way, the Letter of Peace will hopefully be disseminated at large within Punta Arenas.
Highlights of the activities organised by the school management were; the talk that Elisabet Juanola and Alfredo Fernandez gave to the students on issues relating to the Letter of Peace, the planting of a cinnamon tree (this is a holy tree for the Mapuche Indians) and the signing of the agreement. Punto Arenas press representatives were also invited to attend the event (1).
Students from the primary school read an adaptation of the Letter of Peace, in the form of a poem about signing for peace written by the Mexican author Efrain Huerta at the end of the Second World War.
This however is not the first event of its kind. For years Miguel de Cervantes School in Punta Arenas has carried out joint sporting events with the aim of fostering integration between Chile and Argentina. In doing so they aim to achieve the following goals:
- Reinforce young people’s commitment to peace and to uniting all people through sport, thereby overcoming all differences.
- Integrate young people in the region.
- Show the community that young people live healthily, and are removed from the many things that threaten to destroy them.
- Share the joy, fraternity and happy moments that sport brings about.
The school made the decision to cooperate with the Letter of Peace in order to promote the contents of the document, using different means. One of them is the “mural diary” and another is by promoting the educational resources available at the website www.cartadelapaz.org. One of the teachers at the school, Mr. Cristian Muñoz took on the role of explaining the objectives and functions of the Letter of Peace, its didactic applications and the importance of this agreement between the school and the foundation.
Throughout its 22 years of existence, Miguel de Cervantes School in Punta Arenas has continually tried to open up fraternal dialogue to build peace, especially between the Chileans and the Argentines, who both live in Patagonia, a natural geographical area located in the south of the American continent.
(1) The signing of the Letter Peace at Miguel de Cervantes School in Punta Arenas was reported on in the following media.