Grace Pilgrimage 2010 Colombia

Stepping out of the system of violence, creating models for peace

Together with the peace village San José de Apartadó and Padre Javier Giraldo, Sabine Lichtenfels will lead a pilgrimage in Bogotá from the 1st to the 9th of November 2010. The pilgrimage will travel through power places and places of conflict in the surroundings of the capital, in order to unite peace iniatives from around the world and to give a signal of hope for Colombia. The peace village San José de Apartadó is a seed of hope for the whole country and could become a model for reconciliation in South America. However, the peace community is still relatively unknown within the country. One of the goals of this pilgrimage is to help changing this, as well as being an experience of reconciliation and reflection, as every Grace Pilgrimage has been.
South America – a region where the extremes are closer together than in almost any other region in the world: the suffering and the strength to break through, the cruelty and the longing for reconciliation, the natural wealth and nature exploitation. In countries like Bolivia the rights of Patcha Mamma – Mother Earth – even got embodied in the constitution. Nevertheless, uncounted people are still being kidnapped, tortured and cruelly murdered. There are only few places where confidence and security are possible, due to the drug mafia, paramilitary, guerilla and corrupt governments. However there is hope, which, as a seed of a peace force, could kindle a revolution of love. In Colombia we got to know such an example: San José de Apartadó, a small community, which has worked to establish a peace model for over 13 years. They laid down all weapons, and despite constant murder threat, despite being displaced and living under the most difficult life circumstances, they have stayed true to their decision for non-violence and forgiveness.They do not co-operate with any violent conflict group and created their own community rules, rules of solidarity and mutual support.They say: „Because we wanted to stop the murders in the country, we had to step out of the system of violence.”Transparency in the community, no drugs, no co-operation with armed groups and no weapons – these are the conditions for all who want to become members of the community. We got to know the peace village San José de Apartadó intensely. We have been working together with them for five years to develop the Global Campus.

“Step out of the system of violence, create models for peace” is our common motto. This is valid for all of South America and could become a source of strength for a non-violent revolution.But exactly this community, which becomes ever more known internationally and has received many peace prices, is called a terrorist group within Colombia itself, and is depicted as a threat to peace. The community needs protection by international companions and by being known within the own country.For this reason we organise this Grace Pilgrimage: It will take place from 1 to 9 November. It is intended to be a planetary pilgrimage, where people from all over the earth who are threatened in a similar way, can join in. International peace iniatives will accompany and protect them. Sabine Lichtenfels and Padre Javier Giraldo will lead the pilgrimage.

Sabine Lichtenfels: „Our humanitarian goal is the unison of spiritual and political consciousness. We do not fight against a system, instead we draw attention to alternatives by artistic and spiritual means. We do not take part in the globalization of violence and we refuse the abuse of energy resources of Mother Earth. We work all over the world to build models for a self-sufficient life, where the human basic values become reality: Love, truth and trust, mutual support, co-operation with nature, and a new way of energy production. It is the same longing for life which is calling in all of us. We work to establish the Global Campus, where we can study and realise the building of such models together.”

Such a model is currently being developped in the middle of the Colombian rain forest: the village Mulatos, which belongs to the peace community San José de Apartadó. This place is to become a planetary center for Peace training.

We invite all engaged and courageous people: Help to make such models become known internationally and receive the protection they need. And through a financial contribution you can help to enable people from crisis zones, such as Tibet, Palestine and India, to take part in the pilgrimage 2010 in Bogotá. Give your support, in order that they are not exposed to false murder threats and slander. Together, let us turn „the miracle of Mulatos “ into a model for a new hope in South America, so that other communities can also receive the means and the knowledge, needed to step out of the cycle of murders and violence.