By: Maria Alejandra Ramírez – Participant AlaPAZ 2019-I
May 24 th – 2018
Today is a very special day for all those present here, the 42 graduates and their companions, the board of directors presided by Dr. Juan Manuel Santos, Dr. María Margarita Zuleta and Dr. Diana Betancourt, the ambassadors, the media, and other attendees; I welcome you and extend my warmest greetings.
We express our eternal gratitude to the members of Compaz Foundation, to the School of Government “Alberto Lleras Camargo” of the Universidad de los Andes, to the ALAPAZ Leadership for Peace Academy, to the facilitators, monitors and to Maite Careaga who, although we were not fortunate enough to meet her, we carry her in our hearts.
It is an honor for me to transmit to you the feelings of my 42 companions of AlaPAZ, coming from different regions of Colombia. From the pearl of the pacific embraced by the barbacoanos forests, from the hardened strength of the indigenous people of Cauca and Valle del Cauca, from the peasants of the largest páramo in the world, from where the green sea of Colombia is found and counterbalanced by the sound of the harps, from the land of the Cundinamarca cliffs, from the stone corralito, from the macarena, from the musical capital of Colombia, from the beaches from where you can see the birth of whales, from the land that saw the birth of the beetles, from the region where the bamboos resound and the city that has us 2. 600 meters closer to the stars.
When we arrived here last May 16, we had many questions and were full of uncertainty, but we also came with our hearts open to learn how to continue building peace from our communities. As the days went by, and with the effort of the facilitators and monitors, we understood that what they were really looking for, was to accompany us to discover and explore our essence in order to strengthen our spirit, to understand that feelings are fundamental in our work as leaders and guardians of the territory in peace. With each tool they gave us, they led us to travel to the depths of our being, discovering emotions that many times we pass unnoticed in our daily lives. Here we were able to laugh, cry, scream, hug, sing, dance, love, look into each other’s eyes and be able to reflect in those of others and understand that I am you and you are me.
We were also reminded that in every human being there is something that we have, that does not change, that does not go away, and that lasts in our being regardless of the pains that left traces in our heart. We were taught to recognize, forgive, and transform pain. We learned so much, that we were able to concentrate enough energy to touch the sky, push mountains and smile with our hearts.
We learned to love ourselves and accept ourselves as we are. We have learned that we must first find our inner peace in order to conquer an outer peace, the feminine power that moves the world. We have learned to recognize ourselves in our humanity and how from there we can weave networks to build an integral and peaceful society, to know ourselves as leaders in order to project and know in depth each one of the members of our community.
We will never forget what characterizes the facilitators and monitors of AlaPAZ, their empathy, their tranquility, their sweetness, their smiles, their tears, their sensitivity, their poems, their spontaneity, their affection, their love, their tenderness, their creativity, their efficiency, their experiments, their humanity and above all the angel that is in each of them. Thank you infinitely, the experience you allowed us to live here changed our lives.
We are not the same people who arrived last week, we leave with a great responsibility towards our territories. Above all, we celebrate the birth of the collaborative network formed by stories as unique as the different regions of Colombia, the purpose is the convergence of hearts in search of the common good summarized in one word, PEACE.
Here we recognize ourselves as diverse expressions, educators, public and community managers, ancestral pluralities of defenders of the territory (Indigenous, peasants, and Afro-descendents), agents of reconciliation transcending the label of victim and victimizer who in the end build that desire that we call PEACE.
Similarly, it is necessary to highlight the legacy of women in each of the victories of humanity, claiming their rights from the need for a comprehensive transformation, here not only empowered women in the importance of their role, but also raised awareness among men to value the role that women have in society, questioning the patriarchal system and getting closer to our essence, our true humanity.
One of the most beautiful experiences is the creation of the peace mural, where we reflect and represent our regions, our diversity, our thoughts and feelings, putting into practice values such as coherence, equanimity, human dignity, forgiveness and compassion, thus understanding that we are interdependent beings and that we must be in harmony with our mother earth and with the universe. We must return to the origin remembering that we are a cosmic family finding the divine love, and equally, discovering that the greatest power that human beings have is to give meaning to things, therefore we decide what meaning we give to the things that happen to us.
We hope to leave in you as a legacy our joy, our tumbao, our tears and the meaning of our ancestral culture that in these days we managed to bring it out without fear, and we understood that the harnessing in our pacific is synonymous of joy.
Today we return to our territories with the strong conviction to continue working, but now more determined, to explore without fear, to experiment from different perspectives. We return to put into practice the spiral of conscious leadership that helps us to mark more clearly the route we must take to achieve the change we so desire and to understand that from the smallest actions we can generate significant changes.
Again, THANK YOU, we hope that with our energy and infinite love the doors will open to more leaders of our country, this is our moment, and we must work together to achieve peace with social and environmental justice.
Dear family, here you have in soul, body and heart, the guardians of peace, ready to assume this great challenge.
Peace leaders – AlaPAZ 2019-I