The chapters of the Latin American countries have mobilized to raise awareness among their members of the importance of biodiversity.  Multiple initiatives and creative activities are being carried out to collect signatures for the “Healthy Planet, Healthy People” petition

In Colombia, one initiative has encouraged supporters of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ to sign the Healthy Planet, Healthy People petition and take action. “The signatures are not going to provide shade,” they commented, encouraging the planting of trees.

The Wax Palm, Colombia’s national tree, was chosen for one planting as a motivation for signing the petition. Organizers also struck an agreement with Corporación Vida Andina to plant a tree for every 100 signatures gathered. In addition, leading Catholic influencers were called upon to help publicize the campaign.

“What we have learned in this campaign is to listen, to understand what others expect from us as a movement. As leaders of this initiative, [we have learned] to do what makes us feel uncomfortable as we seek to add more signatures, to be creative, to look for other alternatives if the plans do not work, and to know how to give testimony when people do not agree with what we are sharing,” said Lina Sedano, coordinator of the Colombian chapter.

Meanwhile, in Argentina, congresses and pilgrimages were used as an opportunity for the massive collection of signatures. “We want to show the Pope that the Catholics of the world are accompanying him,” said Verónica Galindez, Animator of Animators of Argentina.

Laudato Si’ Movement members did the same at the traditional Pilgrimage on Foot to Luján, hosting an informational booth that helped raise awareness among pilgrims. “We want to show the Pope that the Catholics of the world are accompanying him,” said Verónica Galindez, a Animator of Laudato Si’ Animators in Argentina.

“The collection of signatures also served to call for reflection to people who do not know Laudato Si’ or do not fully understand the climate crisis or the importance of how it can affect us,” she said. “Thanks to the work of many people and [Laudato Si’] Animators who were promoting the petition, there was much understanding of the situation we are in, and that it is something that affects us and challenges us all.”

Many other people all over the world, including the faithful in Venezuela and Vietnam, are also gathering petition signatures, attentive to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.

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