It’s funny how most of the coolest experiences of my life had happened since I joined WYA. I’m about to tell you one of the most incredible adventures I have had so far.
I will briefly tell you about the trip I just made to Rio de Janeiro. You may wonder what I’m doing here (because, yes, I´m still here), and I will answer that my partner Kateri and me are here because of the World Youth Day (WYD).
World Youth Day is a celebration that brings people from around the world to celebrate not only the universal values of the Catholic Church, but also the remarkable young people that live according to them. It was a great opportunity to find young leaders that share WYA’s perspective on human dignity and life. World Youth Day is an opportunity to let them know that WYA has its arms open for them.
The official first day of WYD Rio 2013 was this Tuesday, but the party began before that. We were reunited with friends and members of WYA, and also met many other people as well. We learned about their diverse backgrounds and deepened our understanding of the human person.
To join in on this once in a lifetime experience, WYA members from all Latin America decided to Celebrate Life with all the young people attending WYD. This was our campaign, and while getting the smiles and the support of many, there is one response to our campaign that stands out: “I celebrate life everyday.”
These great examples of unity create such an environment that no matter your religion, country, or culture, you cannot stay immune to the air of happiness that fills the streets of Rio de Janeiro.
From the bus to the lunch line, these young pilgrims are eager to know other cultures and share their own, building friendships every second. At WYD, the world is being much more connected in solidarity as they all the participants find out that even though there are language barriers, they all see in each other a young person trying to serve and improve their surroundings in any way they can.
Now you have heard the brief story, you understand better the importance of unity and all the good World Youth Day promotes. Join the celebration of life, what are you waiting for? We are looking forward to seeing you celebrating the most precious gift nature could give us, life itself. Let’s protect it and enjoy it.
By: Jessica Baptista, Regional Director at WYA Latin America