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Brings peace to Mexico jails, Brazilian police, drug addicts, Senators, businessmen.
BENGALURU, December 19: Spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar toured as many as 13 cities across eight nations in Latin America as part of his ongoing efforts to usher peace in world’s most violent regions in South and Central America. Some of the world’s top publications, including the Paris-based Le Monde, described the effort as “breathtakingly fresh in a region where no one wanted to look forward”.
From being invited to ‘Change the Rose of Peace’ at the Cultural Palace of Guatemala City by the Ministry of Culture to being given the rarest honour of opening the Miraflores Locks (Panama Canal Gates) in Panama, Sri Sri was acknowledged as a leader who can influence mind sets for positive social transformation.
Guatemala-Gurudev was invited to ‘Change the Rose of Peace’ event in Guatemala City by the Ministry of Culture-an honor accorded previously only to peacemakers like the Pope and Mother Teresa
Panama is one of the wonders of the world. Panama has created a channel between the Pacific and the Atlantic. Similarly a channel needs to be created between cultures and individuals.
Sri Sri and the Pope are the only spiritual leaders to have been given the honor of opening the gates of the Panama Canal. He was also h o noured as “Distinguished Guest” by Governor of Province of Panama and conferred the highest civilian award in Recife, Brazil.
Gurudev being conferred with a certificate for being a distinguished visitor to Guatemala City by the Mayor of Guatemala City, Alvaro Arzu.
Gurudev being presented Ambassador of Peace Award, an award that has only been presented to three people by the state so far
At Guerrera, one of Mexico’s most violent states, he was welcomed with a massive public reception by Governor Hector Astudillo. The Governor also conferred the Ambassador of Peace recognition on him, an honour given to three people so far.
Indian ambassadors in many of these countries welcomed Sri Sri whose wellness programs have gained credence across India and the world, including strife-torn Iraq and Syria.
Mexico-Gurudev addresses inmates of the second largest prison in Mexico City, Reclusorio Varonil Norte
In Mexico, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar sought holistic ways for tackling the widespread violence in the country, arising from drug wars and gang fights. He also visited two of Mexico’s largest prisons filled with hardened criminals and drug lords – Santa Marta Acatitla and Reclusorio Varonil Norte and a drug rehab Center where incidenc es of violence have reduced drastically after the introduction of Art of Living’s prisoner rehabilitation program.
At Guerrera, the governor appealed for his support to end the war of the cartels in this strategic region of drug production and trafficking with an average of six killings per day.
During his 20-day peace mission to 8 nations in the South American continent, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar travelled to Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica and Brazil. He was warmly welcomed as an ambassador of peace by heads of governments, legislators, decision makers, businessmen, academicians and the masses, demonstrating a deep resonance with holistic approach to peace building.
Brazil- Thousands meditate at Salvador, Brazil with Gurudev
His public programs in San Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama and Brazil were packed to capacity.
Here are the other highlights of the tour:
- In war-scarred Colombia Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was the keynote speaker at Reconciliation Colombia along with speakers like Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. The spiritual leader also led a mass meditation program outside the Colombian parliament at Bolivar Square, where the famous Latin American band Aterciapelodas joined in Sanskrit chanting and meditations.
- In Costa Rica, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar signed an MOU with President Luis Guillermo Solis to work for peace and non-violence in the country.
- In Panama he had a discussion with the vice president Isabel Alvarado de Saint-Malo on initiatives to foster peace and combat violence.
- In Brazil Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had discussions with key leaders including Brazilian President Michel Temer, Minister of Education Mendonca Filo and the Health Minister and President of Human Rights Commission Padre Joao. Sri Sri also signed an important partnership with the government of Bahia in Brazil to bring Art of Living program to all the 32000 personnel of the police force in the state.
- San Salvador honoured him for his contribution to peace and humanitarian work.
- The three-week tour of Latin America concluded on an enthusiastic note at Rio de Janero in Brazil where over 15000 people turned up for a an evening of music and meditation with Sri Sri.
From November 29 to December 19 Sri Sri also launched volunteer campaigns across many cities and urged people to put in one hour a day in the service of society. The campaigns will take up projects in the areas of improving protection of women, fighting corruption and reducing crime among others.
Cali-Gurudev met Joshua Mittroti, Director of Colombian Agency for Reconciliation & Henry Acosta, Peace Process Mediator in Cali
Brazil-Gurudev signs an MOU with Governor of Bahia, Brazil- Rui Costa to extend Art of Lviing programs for police officers and public schools
Art of Living has been working in the South American continent for 18 years now. During the visit Sri Sri sealed agreements for extending Art of Living programs for prison officials, public schools, rehabilitating slum children and de addiction programs.
Concluded the Latin American tour in Rio de Janeiro with huge enthusiasm! Started Volunteer for a Better Brazil & four new centres in Rio! pic.twitter.com/5ByhpcPX1H
— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (@SriSri) December 18, 2016