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URUGUAY: New degree focuses on environmental impact

Salesian-run St. Francis de Sales High School and College launches a bachelor’s degree in integral ecological education


(MissionNewswire) The Salesian-run  St. Francis de Sales High School and College, located in Montevideo, Uruguay, is launching a bachelor’s degree in integral ecological education this school term. The objective is to help youth understand environmental impact and their role in helping to preserve the environment.

The course of study was developed in response to Pope Francis’ 2020 Laudato Si’, which has as its theme “Good Christians and Upright Citizens.” Pope Francis underlined the importance of education and training that will help youth shape a lifestyle and foster environmental responsibility. Rector Major Father Ángel Fernández Artime also noted the importance of concrete initiatives in the care of the environment. The first objective is encouraging the environmental commitment of youth.

The curriculum of the bachelor’s degree is structured around care for the person and quality of life, care for others, and care for our planet. The activities proposed will allow the exchange between young students and reality so that they can acquire the necessary skills to take care of their lives and the planet.

St. Francis de Sales has been in operation for 114 years. Four years ago, it developed an initiative known as “Bumerang” aimed at strengthening environmental awareness among students and educators. In addition to workshops to raise awareness, the initiative also focused on waste separation.

“Salesian organizations in more than 130 countries have a focus on the environment,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesians, staff and students are working 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.”

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 – St. Francis de Sales College and Secondary School inaugurates its “Integral Ecological Baccalaureate”, declared of interest by Environment Ministry

Salesian Missions – Uruguay

World Bank – Uruguay