Quito, Ecuador, October 26th, 2017 (SIGNIS ALC). "Intense ". It is by this word that the president of SIGNIS-ALC, Carlos Ferraro, summarizes what happened during the first year of the new board of directors of the Catholic Communication Association of Latin America and the Caribbean, which was celebrated at the beginning of October.

It was a year of tireless work to promote "this transformative and supportive communication that nourishes hope, defends life, nature and the most excluded from our societies," added María José Centurión, vice -president of the organization.

Carlos Ferraro did an evaluation of this first year of management, and the first thing that stands out is the creation of a working team with a "dynamic of participation based on dialogue", which allowed a solid integration and a communion to fulfill the mandates established by the Continental Assembly held in Asunción, Paraguay on October 10 and 11, 2016, during which he accepted this position.

María José Centurión emphasizes that during this first year of work, the main objective of the association was clearly defined: "to work tirelessly to promote a communication that can reach the fullness of our countries".

Several meetings between the national members of the association were organized, which facilitated the dialogue.

A lot of work has been done to comply with the mandate of the October 2016 Continental Assembly, which can be summed up in four strategic points: “a communication based on Laudato Si, media education, membership building and the revitalization of young people of SIGNIS ALC”, underline the directors.

Everything was not easy. "It is not easy to go against, to propose and promote this solidarity communication, when there is an impressive pressure from different sectors of the world to promote individualistic communication".

There were also internal difficulties, such as time differences or different professional commitments. However, Carlos Ferraro points out that despite these difficulties, "the spirit of cohesion and belonging, essential in an organization like ours and seeking to grow in community" was the fuel that allowed the smooth operation of SIGNIS ALC.

A work that never stops

Dialogue, unity, commitment and action are highlighted by the President and Vice President of SIGNIS ALC; four words that are one in the work of the organization of Catholic communicators, since the main objective of this year has been to strengthen links and collaboration between members.

"Another key activity of this first year was the work with the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network (REPAM)" and "the presence of SIGNIS ALC in the VIII Pan-Amazonian Social Forum (FOSPA) which allowed a dialogue and a debate on 'Panamanian communication for life' ", emphasizes María José.

The best is yet to come

It's not just an advertising slogan. This is the materialization of a whole plan of action that is ongoing and will continue in the coming years, thanks to a good collaboration between experience and youth.

"For the next year, two very important projects will be developed, namely 'Innovative Practices for Communication and Livelihood', which aims to improve the educational and evangelizing communication strategies of popular communicators and pastoral communication agents by systematizing various experiences of communication that promote and accompany social processes of change; and the second is a project to strengthen the youth of SIGNIS ALC, through the training of young leaders communicators of the national partners of Latin America and the Caribbean ", comments Carlos Ferraro.

"In parallel with the implementation of these projects, SIGNIS ALC is considering other initiatives to be undertaken jointly with national partners. We cannot stand still; the world demands more and more hopeful proposals and a profound change in communication. As communicators, we must contribute to making this reality a different reality, positively influencing public policies, promoting more engaged and ethical communication that promotes more citizenship. We have many challenges as Catholic Communicators members of SIGNIS ALC, "concludes María José Centurión.

Finally, Carlos Ferraro states that "what matters is that all our commitment, in its various aspects, take the impulse of the faith and the thought of our Pope Francis, who knows both the historical suffering of the Latin American people and the richness of their culture and their faith. "