On September 2nd, América Solidaria officially introduced its work in Uruguay during an event at the Spanish Cultural Center. Former president of Uruguay, José Mujica; former president of the Inter-American Development Bank and Secretary General of the SEGIB, Enrique Iglesias, a representative of Luis Almagro and Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Porto; other international organizations and government authorities as well as the founder of América Solidaria, Benito Baranda were all in attendance.
Former president Mujica highlighted the role of volunteerism and solidarity in the present social context; “if we are surrounded by selfishness everywhere then we are going to create, in general terms, selfish children and people. If we have a culture that is open and supportive, then the people we create will be much more different”, expressed Mujica. He added, “solidarity has created much more than altruism throughout history”.
For Mujica, volunteer work “is a direct way, of not restricting what the state has to do, but rather facilitating it.” With regard to the work that América Solidaria does, Mujica said: “I find it very positive, for what it does, what it creates, and what can be gotten from it”.
In Uruguay, América Solidaria actions start at the end of the year when a group of professionals accept the challenge of promoting the principles of the organization. This launch event coincides with the arrival of the first two international professional fellows (Chilean psychologist, Carolina Vidal and Peruvian psychologist, George Auccaille) who are working on an educational project in El Dorado, a town deemed one of the main areas of social emergency by the Ministry of Social Development of Uruguay in 2013.