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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

Enriching Voyage: Central America offers a Course for the Formation of Formators

By: Florencia Couto

As Joseph Joubert said, “To teach is to learn twice” and we can add that what is learned and shared is learned a thousand times. The exchange of techniques, concepts, methodologies, ideas and experiences that took place in the course “Formation of Formators Schoenstatt 2023”, offered for Central America, has generated a transforming impact on the participants.

Schoenstatt is a Movement “of education and educators”, in the words of Father Joseph Kentenich. Inspired by the founder, the course led by Erika Cedeño Cobeña, an expert in educational technology and leader in international operations at Monterrey Tech, has transcended borders. This program was aimed at educators from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador. “We are proud of this project that crosses borders. Thank you for accompanying us, for having given yourselves this opportunity to believe in Formation of Formators,” said Erika Cedeño. Her energy, enthusiasm and gratitude towards participants and colleagues reflect the commitment and passion that have distinguished the course.

Modernizing my Branch

The innovative nature of the program, which includes andragogical learning foundations and teaches the use of educational technology, enables skills to teach adults in this century. “It has been a challenging, enriching and productive experience. I am already applying what I have learned in my work, and I will also put it into practice in order to bring the Ladies’ Branch up to date,” said Elisa Velasquez, one of the participants.

The course was structured in four modules, each one focused on the educational process. From the foundations of learning, through course design, to the integration of digital technologies and an understanding of general instructions, the facilitators offered a comprehensive view of modern education. Felipe Font, part of a couple from Costa Rica who are educators and lay advisors, explained that “this course has given us the tools to adapt to the new generations, since 60% of the Family Branch is made up of young couples. There is much that we can incorporate into workshops, sessions, both at the Schoenstatt level as well as at the workplace”.

Graduation Ceremony

The didactic technique and challenge-based learning, combined with synchronous and asynchronous sessions, provided a self-directed and collaborative educational experience. This is how Fernando and Linda, from Schoenstatt Ecuador, described it. “It was an immense joy when Father Felipe Rios presented the course at the post ICOF (International Congress of the Schoenstatt Movement of Families, Paraguay 2023). It gives us great joy and pride that from Ecuador it has already transcended to the Covenant brothers and sisters of Central America. We are capable instruments, in the hands of Mary and Jesus, ready to share this and give it to others. Thus, we can carry out the grace of apostolic sending forth that Mary offers us in the Shrine”, the couple shared.

The course concluded with a series of challenges, a final project, and a graduation ceremony on November 30th where Father Felipe Rios, director of the Movement in Ecuador and Continental Coordinator in America, was also present. With emotion, he emphasized the importance of taking advantage of technological tools: “At this moment we are connected by Zoom from several countries. Undoubtedly, andragogical learning will help us to persevere with enthusiasm to continue forming the formators”.

Looking to the future

The true heart of the course was a combination of the diversity of participants, the charisma and the expertise of the facilitators. Thanks to God, the Father and to Mary for allowing us to be an instrument of their love and to Father Kentenich for being the educator who inspires. “All the glory belongs to God the Father,” shared Erika. “Without you it would not be possible, someone has to want this project. It would be impossible without the expertise of my amazing colleagues and friends Adriana Espinoza, Gisela Loya and Deyra Charles,” continued Erika.

“The course experience does not end with graduation; it is an ongoing commitment to apply and share the knowledge acquired,” added Adriana Espinoza, who ended her presentation with Marcel Proust’s motivational phrase that says: “Although nothing changes, if I change, everything changes.”

Undoubtedly, this course has not only been an achievement for the more than 30 participants, but also for the entire Central American region, which will reap the rewards. The excellence achieved, the strengthened ties and the bonds between the participants from the different countries are testimony to the educational project. The joy and gratitude expressed by all those who have inspired and participated in the project reflect the words of our founder: “To educate means to serve unselfishly the uniqueness and originality of another…. This fundamental attitude must be translated into deeds….”.

Sidebar:

If you want to know more information or be part of this course in its next editions:

https://bit.ly/formadoresschoenstatt

schformaciondeformadores@gmail.com

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