Earlier this year we told you about a group of our youth traveling to Panama in January to attend World Youth Day with Pope Francis. It was an experience that changed their lives, and they came back energized and motivated to make a difference in their neighborhoods.
One of the takeaways was on caring for the earth. It stems from Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudate Si, where he writes, “our common home is falling into serious disrepair.” The young people were challenged to figure out practical ways that they could help care for the environment.
So our youth gathered their friends and decided to start by picking up litter that lines the streets where they live. They have worked hard in the summer heat, combing the roads for trash and collecting plastic water bottles to recycle. “There is so much trash! We never realized how much,” they remarked. One of the adults helping said, “They are going to think twice now before throwing litter in the streets since they have worked so hard cleaning it up.”
They also wanted to beautify our youth center, so armed with rollers and donated paint, the teens have been covering the grey cinder blocks and making the whole area look clean and bright. “This is our home, and we want to take better care of it from now on.”