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Living in harmony with the earth in Bolivia

25 August 2023

Mario and Violeta work for CAFOD’s partner organisation Caritas Bolivia. Communities in Bolivia suffer from pollution, a lack of water in cities, loss of biodiversity and the effects of climate change. The challenges are huge.

Caritas Bolivia works to raise awareness within the country of these problems and how they can be addressed. Crucially, the work of the organisation is grounded in Pope Francis’ letter to the world, Laudato Si’, and the importance of caring for our common home – the earth.

Mario and Violeta work with indigenous communities and rural farmers. Mario describes how the outlook of the indigenous people is different:

“They don’t possess an individualistic, materialistic concept of things. In their practices and customs, their culture, they have a concept of living as a family, sharing things in common. That’s where their sense of place, their spirituality, comes from. They see their rights as being something they have in common, something for everyone. Benefit isn’t individual, it’s for all."

Mario from Caritas Bolivia

Mario works for Caritas Bolivia

"In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis shows us that everything is interconnected; all the issues relating to the environmental relate to everything, especially human beings; we’re all the more responsible, because in one way and another we have an impact everything that’s going on in our common home, we’re the administrators, we’re the ones who’re entrusted through faith, through religion, to be custodians. And we live this day by day.”

Violeta works for Caritas Bolivia

Violeta works for Caritas Bolivia

As Violeta says, "Integral ecology is the relationship that exists between humans and every other living being, not just animals or plants, but everything. We're like guardians, like administrators of all of the gifts the Lord has given us. That's how to understand integral ecology. Respect, working as a community, working together with these gifts."