While on lockdown, I recently learned about an area of international collaboration that has me fascinated. I’m referring to mangrove conservation and restoration efforts. Of course, first, I learned about mangroves. I never cease to marvel at how rich they are for our planet. Among other benefits, they protect coastlines from extreme weather events, support local communities, are home to many species, and have an impressive ability to sequester carbon dioxide. I invite you to do some research on the subject because there is much to learn, and there are ways we can support these efforts.
Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si that the collaboration of the human family is an essential element of caring for our common home (LS, 13).
The Pope also tells us that it is from our culture, experience, initiative, and capacity that we collaborate as God’s instruments to care for creation (LS, 14). I think that today, in the face of the ecological reality, we need to go beyond what we already know and prepare ourselves more, confront our culture and seek ways to increase our capacity for action. One of them is through collaboration that enriches us with talents, resources, and knowledge.
On different occasions, the young people have been offered as an example by the Pope as agents committed to our land, urging us to change our schemes that stopped working many years ago. Youth and children have been pointed out as inspiration when thinking about what we are giving them as a home.
Today, it is with great joy that I invite you to participate in the SÚMATE contest, which offers an opportunity to collaborate to continue forming an awareness of the care and commitment to our home. The contest’s first edition gave us experiences of collaboration, friendship, learning between generations, outings, reflection, and more. We are looking for teams of young people to put their energy, joy, and creativity to work in favor of our common home, hand in hand with vulnerable populations. We hope that participation in this contest will be a seed that motivates them to continue deepening their call as instruments of God to transform the environment.
For now, I have to discern what to do with the seed planted in me on behalf of our mangroves.
By Sister Adriana Calzada, CCVI.