The opening session was attended by Fr. Juan Cárdenas, Rector of the University; Mario Olmos, Coordinator of the IUSs of America and Rector of the "Universidad Don Bosco" in El Salvador; Ángela Flores, Academic Vice-Rector; María Sol Villagómez, Vice-Rector of the Quito campus; Fernando Moscoso, Vice-Rector of the Cuenca campus; Daniel Llanos, Director of Education and coordinator of the congress; as well as other university authorities connecting online.
As for the keynote lectures, Jorge Baeza, from the Catholic University "Silva Henríquez" of Chile, presented the theme "The Necessary Path of Youth Associativism, from an Exclusionary We to an Inclusive We." Pedro Núñez, from the FLACSO Research Institute for Latin America, referred to the educational challenges facing the new forms of sociability of youth itineraries; while María Elena Ortiz, from the Amphitryon University, presented her research on "Coeducation, a space for learning, coexistence, and cooperation."
The other magisterial lectures were "The quality of interactive processes in virtual environments" by Pablo Farfán and Francisco Botelho; and "Youth and student participation - online and offline formats," by Liliana Mayer.
The Salesian University's "Abya Yala" bookstore was another venue for book presentations, including "Communicating and Educating in the Digital World" by Fr. Cárdenas and Andrea De Santis, commented on by Fr. Gildasio Mendes, General Counselor for Social Communication; Fr. Fabio Pasqualetti, Dean of the Faculty of Social Communication Sciences at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome; and Katherine Huamán, coauthor of the article "'El Gris,' the Radio."
The text "Contemporary Educational Challenges: Salesian Education for Innovation and Participation in Crisis Contexts" was presented by Prof. Villagómez, one of its authors; Katia Papic, from the University "Silva Henríquez"; and Roberto do Nascimento, from Brazil's "UNISAL."
Also presented was the publication "Photographic Memory: Andean Missions 1979 - 1990" by Fr. Felipe Mayordomo, which collects historical and unpublished images of the Salesian presence in the highlands and the eastern part of the country, taken by the author during his pastoral work. The volume was commented on by Fernando Garcés, Director of the Graduate Program in Anthropology at the Salesian Polytechnic University.
A large number of people attended the presentation of the books "Salesian Youth Movement in Ecuador. A Way of Life. An Expression of the Salesian Educational Model," by Fr. Cárdenas and José E. Juncosa; and "Don Bosco Dialogues with the Arts and Sciences," by Fr. Cárdenas, Fernando Pesántez, Vice Chancellor General of the Salesian Polytechnic University, and Ángel Torres Tourkoumidis.
During the days of the congress, there were panel discussions on the topics of educational challenges, digital transformations, forms of association and youth participation, and the reality of children and youth, with several presentations by the authors and speakers present. Members of the cultural groups that make up the Salesian University Association (ASU) performed in the Don Bosco courtyard and shared their joy and artistic talents with those in attendance.
In the closing ceremony, Fr. Cardenas invited participants to the VI Salesian Educational Congress, which will focus on the theme of interculturality and will be held in 2024.