On Saturday the 16th of March this year, the first seminar: Active Nonviolence, was held at the UNED University Center in San Vito de Coto Brus. The activity was attended by people from different community organizations in the area.

This seminar was an initiative of the Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED) and the organization Mundo sin Guerras y sin Violencia (World without Wars and Violence). It was carried out by the Programa de Gestión Local (PGL). This activity is part of the initiatives being developed to promote the Third World March for Peace and Nonviolence.

It was carried out in person with a methodological proposal focused on group analysis based on individual and group experiences as a tool for transforming social conditions that generate suffering and violence against human beings (Manual of Personal Formation for Members of the Humanist Movement, 2012).

This activity focused on the theme of Active Nonviolence as a tool for understanding structured violence and its different manifestations at the individual and social levels and its impact on the reality we live in every day.

The seminar created a very valuable space for dialogue in which the main problems of violence and its multifactorial causes were presented to the participants.

However, the most important thing about this activity was to see people’s concern for the problems of their communities and their interest in articulating possible solutions or proposals that we can mention:

  • Assertive communication, creating spaces for dialogue.
  • Being an agent of change (change must be initiated by oneself).
  • Working to raise people’s awareness of non-violence (persuading, not imposing).
  • Play an active role in our communities.
  • Not to justify violence as a systemic way of ensuring “peace”.
  • To work on these issues in the family.
  • To deal with problems in time and to report them if necessary.
  • Investigate the parties involved in the conflict.
  • Work on the themes of ethics, empathy, tolerance, and coexistence.

To work on these proposals, it was decided to form a core group of all the participants, representatives of the UNED student union, and officials from the PGL and the university administration.

Among the agreements reached by the group were:

  • The group will be constituted in the Territorial Promotion Team of San Vito to develop cantonal actions in favor of the Third World March for Peace and Nonviolence.
  • Creation of a WhatsApp chat to be used as a means of communication.
  • The PGL will make a craft to show the work done in the seminar by the participants and the spaces.
  • The group will request a space in the municipality of Coto Brus to present the proposal to the CCCI and the municipal council, to ask for support and the declaration of cantonal interest for the march.

On the other hand, they will propose to take the seminar to different municipalities of the Canton of Coto Brus, where all the participants will support each other in its realization.

Based on this first experience, lines of work will be defined in this community and the methodology will be improved to enrich the work on the next dates when the seminar will be held.