Peace and Prosperity Conference a Fabulous Success!

By Tom Schneider

Over 120 people attended the long-planned Peace and Prosperity Conference on April 25, and 80 percent were Mexican. The conference was packed full of hope and substance!

Keynote speaker Paty de Obeso from the Economics and Peace organization gave a detailed statistical view of exactly what had improved in Mexico in the last two years and what still needed work. Statistics from Guanajuato were featured and compared to other states in Mexico. The economic cost of violence was discussed in detail as well as specific actions that could be taken to improve our peace index.

Several of the business people attending took notes on how making peace a priority in San Miguel could make their businesses more profitable. Students enjoyed the specifics too, and were uplifted by this hope. The Camino de la Paz Facebook page will continue to post and answer questions posed to the Peace Panel with input by all four speakers. Please join us there.

Speaker Patricia Ann Talley, who is on the Board of the International Cities of Peace, reviewed the exact steps needed to have San Miguel de Allende join Zihuatanejo, Mexico’s first International City of Peace, and the growing number of International Cities of Peace around the world. There are currently about 100 and the organization hopes for 1,000 cities to receive this honor by 2020. See the Camino de la Paz Facebook page for a list of the exact requirements.

Speaker Wendy Coulson, San Miguel’s first Rotary Peace Fellow, talked about the support she received from the local and national Rotary organizations. She encouraged students to apply for the fellowship, so we can increase the number of Rotary Peace Fellows in Mexico, which is now only 10.  She also talked about her desires to teach a peace curriculum in San Miguel and around Mexico. This New-Gen Peace Program is featured at Rotary’s International Peace Symposium in early June in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Speaker Jean Paul Peretz talked about the Peace Education Program he facilitates in San Miguel. The Prem Rawat videos he showed focused on the how peace needs to be a priority like air, water, and food. Only then will our neighborhood, our city, and the world be a more peaceful place. Prem Rawat feels peace is an individual thing people feel in their hearts.

Camino de la Paz and the Rotary Clubs of San Miguel were delighted that the conference attracted so many quality people. With simultaneous translation offered through headphones, everyone could participate fully. Videos were taken of some of the speakers, and we hope they will be offered through YouTube. Check for links and more discussions by the Peace Panel on the Camino de la Paz Facebook page. Next peace event: UN International Day of Peace on September 21.

For more information: Tom Schneider or 415 109-7688.


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