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In Tapes (Brazil, January 2005) a historic event occurred for the Latin American and Caribbean continent: for the first time a concrete alliance between a revolutionary government and social movements to begin to make a path by walking for the defense of life and humanity . Thus was the birth of the Institute of Latin American Agroecology "Paulo Freire", the first peasant, indigenous and Afro-descendant university that made it possible to study the Engineering career in Agroecology.
This visionary dream of the supreme commander Hugo Chávez and La Via Campesina Internacional, is synthesized in the depths of the Bolivarian spirit: "the inestimable good of the union is the objective."
It is time to merge into a true continental brotherhood to actively honor the liberators, men and women who globalize their struggles and hope for land, water, seeds, for food sovereignty, for the defense of the territory; it is the continuation of the struggles for a definitive independence. Bolívar's great teacher, the popular educator Simón Rodríguez, foresaw and characterized our historical tragedy like no one else, saying that we are "miserable in the midst of abundance."
Ten years after the founding of IALA, it is propitious to convey our greatest gratitude and congratulations to all the men and women who are unfinished and aware of their inconclusion who bet on this fertile dawn of our American identities. It is time to always continue with that revolutionary mystique, sowing agroecology as a rebellion of knowledge, identity and heritage of indigenous peoples, peasants and Afro-descendants at the service of humanity, undoubtedly as commander Fidel Castro affirmed in his last reflections: "the human species has an uncertain destiny".
The quality and characteristic that always identify IALA is that of breaking western paradigms, it is a space for the decolonization of knowledge, a true education for social transformation to create and recreate continuously, no education is neutral, an education will always be for press or to release. Agroecology also in the XXI century is in fashion due to the civilizational crisis and opens the same possibility, it can convert to oppression or to liberation.
There is a clear interest in technocratic co-optation to serve only the logic of the market and continue to oppress and exclude with the same food system imposed by the multinationals. Faced with this threat, the continent's social movements face great challenges such as continuing to consolidate the IALA Network as an authentic space for liberation.
This space for agroecological training from its beginnings was characterized as a community of farm workers, coming from a wide cultural diversity, organizational experiences (from their movements), histories with distinctions and the like regarding the process of colonization and exploitation of our communities. countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. These elements make us different but equal, unique, and consistent with the construction of the unity of our peoples.
So, in October and November 2006, and January 2007, they began to group together as militant learners of the rural social organizations, articulated in La Via Campesina Internacional. In this way, he decidedly advanced the great dream of millions of excluded workers in the countryside. Social organizations from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, and the host country, Venezuela, participated in the founding process of this agroecological university.
Thanks to this emblematic project of the Bolivarian Revolution hand in hand with the peasant and peasant movements of La Via Campesina International, at the end of this year the students of the second cohort in the Agroecology Engineering career will graduate at this Institute.
Likewise, IALA continues to break borders on the continent with the multiplication of experience in other sister countries: the IALA Network is located in Brazil (IALA Amazónico), Paraguay (IALA Guaraní), Chile (IALA Mujeres) as well as in Colombia, Haiti , Nicaragua, among others.
This is also why this 10th anniversary of IALA Paulo Freire serves to reflect on the historical moment facing the continent, of rise and fall, of dispute and consensus, of conquest and defeat, and to outline the path of actions to follow.
At the 10th anniversary of IALA Paulo Freire, we ratify that only the struggles of organized peoples will continue to be the engines to guarantee the great historical transformations in the world.
Let's globalize the struggles, let's globalize the hopes!
United America continues to fight!
"There is no true word that is not an unbreakable union between action and reflection, that is not praxis. Hence, saying the true word is transforming the world." (Paulo Freire)