The Words of the Tanimura Family

Education for Peace in Honduras: Play Soccer, Make Peace

Maki Tanimura
December 14, 2008
UPF - Honduras

La Paz, Honduras - On December 13-14, 60 young people participated in a weekend of intense sports and education in La Paz, or the City of Peace, the capital city of one of the largest of 18 departmental regions of Honduras, the department of La Paz.

The key sports event was the soccer competition between two local teams pitted against two teams from nearby Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. The competition was held in a court adjacent to the Bethlehem House of Elders, a Catholic order. The residing Father of this order, Ambassador for Peace Abel del Pilar, together with several families, covered all the expenses of transporting and feeding the soccer players, and Father Abel del Pilar officiated at the opening of the competition. Soccer uniforms were donated by the National Institute of Youth through the generous advocacy of Minister Lic. Gustavo Caceres Flores.

The educational component of this event sought to promote teaching and learning strategies that can succeed in creating truly global citizens. To become global citizens, young people must be encouraged to adopt attitudes and lifestyles based on respect for human rights, the practice of tolerance, and the living observance of social justice in everything they do. A strong and loving family life is the key to teaching children the values of family unity, national cooperation, and global solidarity -- all of which underlie the establishment of world peace. Only when these values are properly cherished and realized will we begin to effectively combat the age-old problems of war, poverty, sickness, and illiteracy.

Thus, the soccer tournaments, that have been sponsored annually since 2004, are recognized, not just as new sporting events for the entertainment of the masses, but rather as a method for teaching sportsmanship and as promoting education for young people in preserving health and working toward peace on all levels. 

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