Latin America Is it possible to develop peace through tourism?

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article from Aleteia

Latin American cities will meet to discuss strategies for the generation of peace. The meeting of the Latin American Congress of Tourist Cities will be held with the theme “Building peace from tourism” in the Colombian city of Cartagena de Indias in October.

Between the 25th and 27th of that month, representatives of several countries of the region, united in the Latin American Federation of Tourist Cities – presided over by Paraguay until the year 2020 – will have as an objective to generate a space of integration between the tourist cities of Latin America .

The goal will be “the collective construction of strategies for the generation of peace through tourism based on the socialization of their experiences and good practices”, according to the website of the congress . It will be an instance of reflection from the cultures of the Latin American peoples to establish what they can do to rediscover themselves based on identity and tradition.

This federation, which was born in 2011 in the Peruvian city of Arequipa, includes the countries of Chile, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay.

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Question related to this article:

How can tourism promote a culture of peace?

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The country where these aims will be discussed in the near future is nothing more or less than Colombia, a place in the region where the word peace has been resonating for a long time due to various events such as those linked to the peace pact with the guerrillas and the award to its president Juan Manuel Santos of the Nobel Peace Prize.

In addition, this place, shortly before, will be one of the cities that will host Pope Francisco during his visit to the country in September this year.

In this regard, the Vatican recently spoke on the subject of sustainable tourism giving its clear support for the first time in the framework of the Church’s message for the 2017 World Tourism Day. The Church promotes initiatives that put tourism at the service of the integral development of the person. This is in line with its contribution to peace.

Nor is the religious aspect exempt from the projects of this federation. For example, in the early days of August, the Latin American Symposium on Local Religious History was held in Valparaíso, Chile, where an initiative called “Ruta de la Fe” was discussed, an idea that seeks to integrate religious tourism destinations in Latin America.

The Congress scheduled for October comes at a time when in several cities of the world there is talk of violence and hatred against tourists. This happens in several countries like Mexico, Germany and Spain.

For example, in Barcelona masked youth punctured the wheels of a tourist bus, and in the district of Kreuzberg (Berlin) some bars hang a sign in the door: “No service to tourists” according to a recent report by Macelo López Cambronero to Aleteia.

At this time the reflection on the construction of peace from tourism appears especially timely and healthy.

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