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A Hartford Community Project Promotes Culture of Peace
an article by Roxanne Tonn

This week I took a college course called Cultural and Global Perspectives. The theme of the class was the culture of peace, human rights, and preserving the earth’s ecological system for future generations. To learn more about what people are doing to promote peace our teacher introduced us to a number of different speakers who are doing their part. All of the speakers were very engaging but one person really stood out. His name is Luis Edgardo Cotto, and he and his sisters own the La Paloma Sabanera café in Hartford, CT.

The La Paloma Sabanera café is a coffee shop and bookstore in the heart of Hartford. Nothing too amazing, right? What is amazing about this place is the people who run it, and the work they are trying to do in their community. Through their little coffee shop they are working to bring a community together.

During our visit to the café Luis talked about growing up in Hartford. He told us about the many different cultures within the town of Hartford, and how through the years the people have interacted with one another. Luis talked about how the town is split into sections according to race or ethnicity. Due to prejudices this town has been anything but peaceful with culture fighting against culture.

Luis’s idea to bring peace and brotherhood to his community is by bringing his community together. He is accomplishing this through his café. He is doing this by inviting the community to evening gatherings at his café. People of the community join Luis and his family for potluck dinners where everyone brings a dish from their culture. The evening is one of exchanging information, and fellowship with one another. Luis has even been able to encourage the owners of the shops around him to join in the festivities.

Besides engaging the adults of the community in fellowship, Luis is also engaging the children. He has started an after school gathering for school age children. It is a place for children to gather together to do homework, read, or just interact with one another. What better place to make change than with the children? If you would like to learn more about La Paloma Sabanera and the work they are doing you can check out their website at:


Question(s) related to this article:

How important is community development for a culture of peace?,

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Latest reader comment:

Community plays a important role in developing culture peace. We should promote our cultural values by interacting with each other and making these values part of our daily lives. A good example of this would be raising our children according to beliefs and values which are important for us and our cultural peace. We can also promote cultural peace by making small commuinties within big community and share different ideas and bring new ones in.

This report was posted on January 15, 2005.