The entrance to the famous Cathedral of Salt
It was a fantastic conference, with several life changing moments, exciting cultural experiences, spiritual moments and warm hospitality in Colombia. Maybe one of the real highlights was yesterday morning in the plenary when three young professionals from Bogota presented on Challenges for Latin American Youth. 35 years of age, in top positions, and all three related closely to the YMCA in Colombia. They painted a picture of the situation for young people, which concluded with using language as The Lost Generation. I knew pretty much all what they were sharing, but their passion and intensity again opened my heart and my head and increased the motivation I have abundantly, the motivation to tell the Untold Story of Injustice Towards Young People. They ended by sharing the news about the three murdered students in Mexico and we all stood for a minute of silence in honor of their memory.Here the three presenters with Antonio from LACA as number 2 from the left.
Gerard from Togo shared about the famous YMCA programme for young prisoners in Lome, Togo. I have visited that prison, and the YMCA programme to release unlawfully imprisoned young people made a deep and lasting impression on me.Stephen Dupon presented on video games for young people – new approaches and very constructive and enlightening. Stephen and I had several inspired moments together as we were stuck in traffic inside a bus.
My old friend, Jan Pate, from Boulder YMCA in USA presented on the new YMCA in Kosovo, and did it very well. She is named Mammy of YMCA Kosovo!
Late night we took the cable car up to the famous monastery Monserrate high above Bogota, 3150 m and we really felt the altitude up there, Estes Park was only the beginning!
The view over Bogota was breathtaking, or was it the altitude?
The next evening we spent in Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, an amazing construction deep under the surface of our earth. A cathedral was carved out of the salt, and the Stations of the Cross was carved out beautifully as we walked deep inside the mountain. It was for all of us also a moment of deep spirituality in the darkness inside the mountain.
Being on my way to the 50th anniversary celebration of Bogota YMCA in a few minutes, I have to find my white shirt and black suit, and I apologize for the briefness of this blogpost. Tomorrow I fly on to Medellin where they celebrate 40 years anniversary, and we are going to have a few days in Medellin, also an important city of Colombia.
Please enjoy the photos from the Cathedral of Salt, as I quickly look for spelling mistakes in the text above.
The creation of Adam, Colombian version!
Alveiro, my good friend and National General Secretary of Colombia YMCA, took this photo as we were having the deepest cup of Colombian coffee this week. Thank you Gloria! Thank you Alveiro! Thank you all good friends from Colombia! Onwards!