Focus 2023

Bolivia - BOL27-03-2023

Inauguration of Salesian presence in Cobija

On Friday, March 10, 2023, the Salesian Community House and the Multipurpose Sports Field were officially handed over and blessed, works on which the new presence of the Salesians of Don Bosco in the department of Pando, in the municipality of Cobija, in the Bolivian Amazon region, is being configured and consolidated for the benefit of the children and youth of the place.

The event was attended by the following dignitaries: Ana Lucia Reis, Mayor of Cobija; Msgr. Eugenio Coter, Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Pando; Msgr. Tito Solari, SDB, Archbishop Emeritus of Cochabamba; Fr. Líder Justiniano, SDB, Provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Bolivia; Fr. Juan Elías Siripi, Parish Pastor of "Our Lady of Pilar" Parish; Dr. Marco Asbun, Executive Vice President of "Banco BISA"; Fr. Pedro Nishizawa, SDB, member of the Salesian community in Cobija; and Soraya Zampieri, President of the "OTB Roberto Rojas" Neighborhood Council.

On this occasion, Fr. Líder Justiniano, the Provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco, pointed out that the presence of the Salesians in Bolivia goes back more than 100 years (1896); at the same time, he reviewed the steps taken to consolidate the Salesian presence in Cobija; "In Bolivia, the Salesians are in Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, La Paz, and Sucre, and we just needed to get out in this central axis; that's why my confrere and predecessor as Provincial, Fr. Javier Ortíz, thought of Cobija. And as the saying goes, some sow and some reap."

For his part, the representative of "Banco BISA," Marco Asbun, sent a warm greeting to Bishop Tito Solari, on behalf of Julio León Prado, president of the Banco: "We are happy to have supported the construction of this Multifunctional Sports Center; we know that it will be very useful and will have a multiplier effect for the youth of Cobija; Mr. Julio has always told us that we have to live to the fullest, facing multiple challenges. Therefore, as Banco BISA, we are grateful to you for allowing us to participate in this challenge." Then, he concluded with enthusiasm and gratitude, "Having said that, I would like to ask you to give a round of applause for the Salesian community and to thank God for all your gifts! Thank you indeed!"

In turn, the mayor of Cobija thanked the invited authorities, especially the Salesians of Don Bosco and Bishop Eugenio Coter, for their work on behalf of the local youth. "This is a very important work, which comes from the Salesians to provide spaces for communion among all the youth and children who will practice sports in these beautiful environments; for Cobija and the municipality, this is a work of great importance and benefit. We ask God to bless this work, which will be of great benefit to local residents. I also want to reiterate to you, as a municipality, as mayor, my commitment to support these spaces with whatever is necessary, to give the best possible attention to our people."

The ceremony concluded with the blessing of the halls and a toast of honor, which was attended by the authorities and guests in attendance, including representatives of the Neighborhood Council.