The ADS celebrates its 50th anniversary as a worldwide institution and for the occasion a great celebration was held in Bolivia, together with members of the local Salesian Family.
Fr Miguel González, Salesian missionary in Cuba and founder of this group of the Salesian Family, while receiving the Missionary Cross from Fr Pietro Ricaldone in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, heard this message from the Successor of Don Bosco: "When you are a priest, work tirelessly." This was, indeed, his life project throughout his years of service in Cuba and in Venezuela.
Fr González arrived in Venezuela in 1961, assigned to the city of Valera, where he formed the Committee of Social Action (CAS) in order to convoke the community to organize and follow the mission of his life: work for the weakest and evangelize through human promotion. Thus, on May 13, 1968, he decided to establish the group "Damas Salesianas", or Salesian Ladies, which later also spread abroad. In Bolivia, ADS is present today in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.
The activities of the ADS focus on health and education. They develop programs to provide support to people with limited resources, offer vocational training and full assistance to children, young people and women, from a perspective of human promotion and evangelizing action.
The association's 50th anniversary celebration was attended by Fr Javier Ortiz, Provincial of the Salesians of Bolivia; of various Salesians, including Fr Telián Corona, spiritual advisor of the ADS, and other members of the Salesian Family.
Currently the "Damas Salesianas" carry out their mission through 141 centers spread across 27 countries in America, Asia and Europe.