What is your job as the "referent"?
In concrete terms, it consists of animating the territorial teams that guide the schools of the Salesian Family throughout the Americas. It is a group that includes those realities of the Salesian Family that animate schools: Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, in Colombia, the Daughters of the Divine Savior, who are present in Central America and Venezuela, the "Damas Salesianas", and also some Salesian Past Pupils who run schools along Salesian guidelines and which are part of the "Salesian School in America" (ESA, the acronym in Spanish).
How is the "Salesian School in America" structured?
There are four zones: the "Cimac-Mesoamerica" which covers North America, Central America and the Antilles; the "Cinab-Andina" area, which includes Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela; the "Brazilian zone", unique for the whole country, and the "Cicsa-SEPSur" area, which includes Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. With the managers of each of zone, we meet once a year to follow the processes of the ESA in its continental congresses. The last one took place in May 2017: "ESA IV - With the Youth, Sign of Hope and Proposal of the Future".
What work or process guidelines emerged from this last meeting?
The first guideline is the focus to the educational needs of the students of Salesian schools; the second is the ongoing formation of the people involved in the Pastoral Educational Community in Salesian schools; the third concerns the qualification of the Pastoral Educational Proposal in Salesian schools, and the fourth concerns the institutional management of schools and vocational training centers in relation to sustainability and their significance.
What is your relationship with the Youth Ministry Department in Rome?
I find myself with the dicastery team to share and receive indications to continue the work.
What are the educational guidelines in the current context on the continent?
There is a great diversity in the schools on the American continent due to the contexts and situations of each country. There are different needs in the educational field, but our priority as Salesians is fundamentally to work in the formation of young people. We are constantly asking ourselves a question: what kind of people are we educating and what kind of world are we training for? The answer is not easy, but we are working to train good Christians and honest citizens.