Pedro Walpole SJ
When the encyclical letter Laudato Si’ came out, the youth leaders of Balay Laudato Si’ (BLS) were surprised to find themselves able to identify deeply with the message of Pope Francis. Recognizing the role of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in making a difference in the world is a great consolation and affirmation, especially for the indigenous youth who are not always heard.
For the BLS youth, part of the synodal experience in 2022 is the opportunity to express their concerns, fears, and dreams creatively. These artistic reflections of the Laudato Si’ goals convey their sense of relationships with others, the gaup, and their culture. These also reflect their dreams and journeys to engage and take action in greater solidarity with other youth and indigenous communities.
Gino has been planting trees and enjoying the arts in the Dalēpaan for the last decade and has accompanied many youth here.
Gino identified with the Cry of the Earth and expounded his drawing as managing the conflicts and finding a way of life to get things in balance. People prepare the land in traditional ways, but they are surrounded by others using chemicals and polluting the waters, shooting the wildlife, cutting the trees, and using bulldozers for the roads. Yet, in the painting of the bright valley ahead, there is still the community of forest vegetation, freshwater, and wildlife to be cared for.