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URUGUAY: Forest project gives legacy for school’s future generations

Salesian St. Isidore School celebrates 140th anniversary with launch of Forest of Hope


(MissionNewswire) The Salesian St. Isidore School, located in Las Piedras, Uruguay, launched a Forest of Hope in celebration of its 140 years in operation. A celebratory event kicked off the project at Héctor Ellis Park and was attended by Father Alfonso Bauer, Salesian provincial of Uruguay, departmental authorities, representatives of the Heritage Committee, inspectors for the primary school, and delegations from local, public and private educational institutions.

At the event, students taking the agronomy course explained how they are carrying out the project which they consider a legacy for future generations of school students. They thanked the school’s principal, teachers, staff, students, and past pupils who motivated and supported them in the project’s development.

Father Andrés Boone, principal of St. Isidore School, said, “I didn’t want another plaque on the school wall. I had wanted the current generations of the school to leave something for future generations, for the world of tomorrow and for the city of Las Piedras. I called this dream ‘The Forest’ and later it was called the Forest of Hope. We have also joined the Don Bosco Green Alliance.”

Don Bosco Green Alliance members work to create an environment that is safe and caring for all life on the planet while building up a new generation of environmentally committed citizens and leaders. The organization’s priorities are combating pollution, reducing global warming and eliminating disposable plastics.

Fr. Boone added, “It is necessary to create an awareness of ecological citizenship, which goes beyond teaching. It is about developing ecological habits, attitudes and an ecological lifestyle.”

Event attendees were invited to visit the forest and plant trees wherever they wished. The students at the school will be responsible for the upkeep of the forest and for planting new trees.

Salesian missionaries offer many programs in Uruguay including shelters, primary and secondary schools, and technical and vocational education centers that help youth prepare for the future and learn the skills to be independent.

Uruguay has managed to decrease its poverty rate by almost half since 2007. Today, the poverty rate is close to 10 percent with the majority of poor residents concentrated in rural towns and villages.

Most rural citizens in the country do not have the financial resources or education and training necessary to find and maintain stable employment. Running a profitable business venture or maintaining a small farm with access to the national and international markets is increasingly competitive and remains largely out of reach, especially in households run by women. The majority of rural poor are those most often engaged in non-agricultural activities.

In addition to a lack of education and employment opportunities, access to affordable housing is a concern for many poor families in Uruguay. Many do not have the resources to purchase homes or land to build on, and schools are often so far away children cannot attend.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

ANS – Uruguay – “Forest of Hope” to celebrate St Isidore school’s 140th anniversary

Salesian Missions – Uruguay

World Bank – Uruguay