The Words of the Cadano Family

Paraguay Providence -- In Jin Nim in Paraguay

Allan Cadano
August 27, 2010

Father Moon's foundation in Paraguay was not known to many. Here is a historical background for you to know and understand deeper.

Developments in the Paraguay Providence

Paraguay, sometimes referred to as Heart of America, is located in the southern central part of the South American continent. As one of the two landlocked countries (the other being Bolivia), Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River and is bordered by Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia. The Founder invested his heart and mind in Paraguay because of his vision for the unification of the Christianity in Northern and Southern American hemispheres. In 2000, investments are made in the region known as the "Chaco." The area is sparsely populated and its ecosystem, known as the Pantanal, is one of most diverse pristine wetlands in the world. There are two large blocks of land -- the largest piece of land, with the town of Puerto Casado as its epicenter, totals 580,000 hectares, and the other property, centered on the town of Puerto Leda, is 80,000 hectares. Both pieces have extensive frontage along the Paraguay River. The two properties are almost completely undeveloped.

Challenges Mount

Despite the grand vision of the Founder, from very early on, the movement's work in Paraguay was marred by severe difficulties and formidable obstacles. Due to the sheer size of the property and the lack of corresponding resource management and leadership capabilities, the management soon became overwhelmed and strings of insurmountable problems ensued ever since. Properties were neglected, financial and people resources were mismanaged, and some of the top management was even resorting to corruption and violence. As a result, the reputation of the Unification movement fell to its lowest point due to strained relations with the local people, the media, politicians and leaders of the country. There were squatters (poor and often homeless people) organized by leftist activists, who invaded and took over the land, factories, fish farms and houses designated for religious use. Many of the material assets were stolen. Remote parts of the property were continuously being illegally occupied and tied up in lawsuits by opportunists trying to claim them.

On the national level, the Paraguayan government passed a law which ordered a large portion of the land (52,000 hectares) to be expropriated and given to the local population which was represented by the same leftist group ("Pro-Tierra") that was influencing the local people against the movement. The mismanagement and misfortune hit the peak in April, 2007, when the ransom-seeking armed kidnappers took the Japanese church representative, Mr. Hirokazu Ota, and three others, holding them hostage for nineteen days, until their eventual release. Throughout these tumultuous times, the national media characterized the movement's activities and intentions in Paraguay in the worst possible ways. The government also offered very little in terms of support or cooperation.

Turning the Tide

It was during such time that the Founder urged UCI [Unification Church International] and its Chairman, Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, to intervene and resolve the problems that were plaguing the movement in Paraguay as well as to take responsibility over the work in Latin America. As a result, starting from late 2006, UCI and Dr. Moon initiated an aggressive and professional campaign aimed at stabilizing the downward spiraling situation. In short order, a team of experts and professionals was formed, and they were given the task of identifying the problems at hand, devising workable recommendations for a turnaround, and ultimately helping to implement those recommended plans.

The work continued throughout 2007, during which time the situation drastically improved. The new management team, as represented by Victoria Paraguay, was put in place, financial and legal audit was conducted, new budget and resource planning system was implemented, and outreach and education efforts were initiated, all of which eventually helped to turn the tide of negative sentiment by the country and the public. In the early 2008, Dr. Moon began the first of many visits to Paraguay and further laid the groundwork for not only clearing up the problems faced by the movement but for the national-level conscience awakening and spiritual revival through the vision of "One Family Under God."

Working in the trenches, UCI and Dr. Moon held numerous internal meetings with the leadership as well as industry and business leaders to formulate the winning strategy. Furthermore, high level summits and leadership conferences were held throughout, which played a decisive role in setting the stage to change the hearts and perceptions of the national leaders, including the sitting president who was at the forefront of the opposition. Dr. Moon's private meetings with President Nicanor as well as other cabinet members and leaders of Congress turned out to be a great success, all of whom after initial misgivings were left full of excitement and hopeful for the national revival. This was also the moment when Dr. Moon announced that Paraguay would be the first country to hold the Global Peace Festival, scheduled for July 2008. The people most surprised by this announcement were the church leadership, and in particular, the continental director for Latin America, Rev. Jung-Soon Cho, since they were intimately aware of the movement's seemingly bleak and impossible situation in Paraguay.

However, Dr. Moon firmly believed that not only the country but the region would rise and benefit immensely from GPF, and that the values that it espouses will ultimately help to realize the Founder's dream of unified Christianity and harmony between the North and South Americas.

As the situation was turning around and optimism continued to rise, numerous activities were held and shared with the national leaders in the areas of politics, business, and non-profits under the theme of coming together under the vision of "One Family Under God." For example, in June, 2008, Dr. Moon initiated and led a 150 kilometer (93 mile) cattle drive through the wild and impoverished region of Chaco. He was accompanied by a group of second-generation children belonging to the nation's most influential leaders. Through this, he was able to instill a pioneering spirit and principle-centered values in the hearts and minds of these young future leaders, as well as to move the hearts of the local people. Because the Global Peace Festival turned out to be such a huge national success, it rapidly restored the image and reputation of the movement. Deeply moved by the vision and contents of the event, the Minister of Education signed an agreement to include Principle-based character education in the nationwide curriculum. This is a program that continues to this day. He also promised to mobilize 200,000 students from all over the country at the time of the GPF in 2010.


One cannot discuss the foundation in Paraguay without talking about Puerto Leda and the dedicated group of Japanese National Messiahs and missionaries working there. This 80,000-hectare property is a part of the Pantanal, in the far-northern area of Paraguay. Setting their feet in Leda for the first time in 2000, the Japanese missionaries began their course of dedication and commitment to revitalizing and elevating the spiritual as well as material wellbeing of the region. Dr. Moon made it a point to visit Leda to not only encourage the missionaries but also to help bring their many years of dedication to fruition by establishing the Leda foundation as the model for the entire country. He was especially impressed by the victorious foundation established through their sincere efforts and dedication in building an experimental farming system and a first-class conference center. The Japanese National Messiahs and Dr. Moon warmly embraced one another, sharing deeply, laughing and crying together. Because it is vitally necessary to have a stepping stone of substantial dedication to uplift the nation and the continent, these members have demonstrated and maintained the spirit of true ownership .

The Leda site is an oasis in one of the most remote areas of the world. Even most Paraguayans are unaware of its existence. Dr. Moon invited the then-President of Congress, Mr. Oscar Salomon, together with other members of the National Assembly, to share with them about God's dream, His providence and the vision of building One Family Under God. He emphasized that what the people of Paraguay need most is education based on God-centered core values and principles. Congressman Salomon was so moved by the vision and substantial foundation built in Leda that he promised to work together with Dr. Moon to uplift the nation of Paraguay, both spiritually and socio-economically. Since then, many other congressmen and leaders from all areas of Paraguayan society have come to Leda to attend seminars and to be inspired.


Due to many years of dedication made by the members in Paraguay, UCI, and Dr. Moon, the foundation in Paraguay is stronger than ever. The business enterprises are run successfully by a professional and committed team of managers, and are poised to generate profits that will help the local and regional economy. The Paraguayan people and the media are supportive of Victoria and the work of the Unification movement at large. The various levels of government support for GPF is unparalleled and their willingness to partner with GPF is a testament to the hope that they have for the brighter future. While more challenges are still ahead, UCI is grateful to Japanese missionaries, Paraguayan members, and various partners for their support and dedication for making Paraguay a success story. 

Table of Contents

Tparents Home

Moon Family Page

Unification Library