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Together for Justice #8 : Meet the Visitors

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Introducing Visitors from Bolivia

We are taking a break from postings about the 2012 Joining Hands Together for Justice International Gathering to tell you about what will be happening after the conference.

Following the Gathering our friends from Bolivia will journey briefly to visit our partners in Cascades Presbytery, Oregon and then come to the Bay Area on Thursday, August 23. There will be opportunities to meet them for each of the ensuing four days. To learn more about the specific events, visit the Montclair Presbyterian Church Events page. Click here. But for now, we just want to introduce you to our visitors:

Chenoa Stock, UMAVIDA Companionship Facilitator

Chenoa Stock, native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and daughter of two retired Presbyterian pastors, began her interest in mission as a Young Adult Volunteer in Kerala, India in 2004-2005. She has been a mission co-worker for PC (USA) since 2006, where she helped to establish and build the Sri Lankan Joining Hands network, serving as Companionship Facilitator for four years. In 2011, Chenoa began her role as Companionship Facilitator for the Bolivian Joining Hands Network, UMAVIDA (Joining Hands for Life), walking with them in solidarity, as they create and develop programs for environmental justice and promote campaigns for water rights. As she continues down this path for the care of God’s creation, she is eternally grateful for the wider Presbyterian family that supports PC (USA) mission around the world, in the recognition that we are all God’s people and our call for justice for those who have no voice.

Clotilde Loza Quispe, UMAVIDA Coordinator

Cleo, as she is called, was born in a province of La Paz with Aymaran parents who migrated after a drought in the community.  After receiving her degree for Social Communication from university, she worked for a year, editing the magazine, United with the Presbyterian Korean Mission. She then dedicated her time working on the gender theme with women and youth in the Center for the Promotion of Women, Gregoria Apaza for six years. Through this work, she became connected to the UMAVIDA network in 2003. In 2007 she began to help more in the network, whose actions in taking a position for the defense of life above all, left a mark in her life. In 2009 she assumed the Coordinator position for UMAVIDA and from this year she has been promoting campaigns for the water issue and the planned actions of UMAVIDA. She has been married for ten years, and her husband and she have two sons and a daughter. She works on the consolidation and growth of her family – in the love and faith that God has taught them. She likes to confront new challenges and is very sensitive before injustices. She dreams for a different world.

Cleo recently contributed to the PC(USA) blog, “Dallas II”, in an article entitled Addressing the Structural Causes of Spiritual Poverty. Click here to view.

Wilhelm Piérola Iturralde, UMAVIDA President

Wilhelm is a Bolivian of Italian, German, and Vasco descent of the third generation.  He is the second son of 5 siblings. He was born more than 50 years ago in the mining capital and the world’s highest city, Potosi, Bolivia.  He is married and has two daughters. He carried out his primary and secondary education with Franciscan fathers for 13 years. He graduated as a civil engineer at the end of the 70s from Tomás Frias University. He worked for 5 years in one of the most important development organizations where he had a rapid ascent in position, becoming a manager his third year and being made Director of UNICEF projects his fourth year. He was able to participate in the most important development projects of those time. Starting in 1986 he dedicated his time to creating a Non-Government Organization (NGO), Center for Regional Development, where he worked to complete the objectives of benefitting the community and mining families. During this time he also worked in various countries of Central and South America, living with the most important movements of the time, such as the May Grandmothers, and many others. In 2000 Wilhelm began his involvement with UMAVIDA and is currently its President.