The World March for Peace and Nonviolence passes through Cuenca on Friday, Dec. 18, on its way to a conclusion in northern Argentina, Jan. 2, and local organizers are asking the community to join in.
The march began in New Zealand Oct. 2, and has passed through more than 90 countries. It arrived in North America Nov. 30 and, following stopovers in New York, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, entered Mexico and Central America. The Oct. 2 march start date coincides with the 140th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.
With a slogan “World Without War,” the march has enlisted dozens of heads of state, including those from every country in Latin America, and hundreds of celebrities during its 160,000 kilometer journey. Among participants and sponsors are Desmonde Tutu, Isabel Allende, Jimmy Carter, Michelle Bachelete Juanes, Silo (Mario Rodriguez), Philip Glass, Noam Chomsky, Martin Sheen, the Dalai Lama and Penelope Cruz.
In Cuenca, Mayor Paul Granda and members of the city government have announced their support for the march and several members of the municipal administration will participate.
Cuenca march coordinator Graciela Quinde has been recruiting marchers at local schools and universities and expects a large turnout. “As we talk to people, we discover that most of them support the ideals behind the march. We invite everyone who believes in solving international problems through non-violent methods to join us.” She added: “I especially want to encourage our expatriate friends to participate. This is truly an international effort, involving millions of people from all over the world, and it would be wonderful if the foreign residents of Cuenca can help us demonstrate this fact.”
Expat organizations sponsoring the march are Villa Nova Inn on the Barranco and CuencaRealEstate.com. Villa Nova is providing lodging for several march "base team" members who have participated in the march since New Zealand. CuencaRealEstate has contributed office space and advertising.
The Cuenca march steps off at about 9:30 a.m. at the San Blas Plaza, Calles Simon Bolivar and Tomas Ordonez, and proceeds up Bolivar, turning at Benigno Malo and concluding on Av. Salano. There will be speakers and entertainment at the conclusion of the march.
Photo captions: Cuenca March organizers at a Wednesday press conference; More than 10,000 joined the World March in Mexico city two weeks ago.