Aparecida 58 – The Challenge of Urbanization

Paragraph 58 treats what the bishops see as a major challenge to the cultures of Latin America – urbanization.

The growing urbanization of Latin American brings major cultural challenges, in particular as people move in from the countryside to the cities seeking jobs. In the last decades Latin American populations have become significantly urban. Honduras is one of the few countries where the majority of people still live in the countryside – and that is changing swiftly.

 Urban culture is hybrid, dynamic, and changing, because it combines multiple forms, values, and lifestyles, and affects all groups. Peripheral-urban culture is the result of the huge migrations of generally poor people who settled around cities in peripheries of extreme poverty. In these cultures, the problems of identity and belonging, relationship, living space and home are increasingly complex.

Even though people may live in poverty in the countryside, they often still have a sense of identity – this is where my parents grew and where my extended family still lives. Though the house may be poor, there is always the opportunity to go outside and be in nature.

The anonymity of the cities and the lack of personal and social space are thus major challenges to maintain a culture that nurtures the lives of people.

Here is the USCCB translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

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About John Donaghy

lay missioner with the Catholic diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras, since June 2007, helping in the parish of Dulce Nombre de María.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization, Guest Writers, John Donaghy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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