Over 60 participants from a number of countries in Central and South America (from Chile to Mexico) took part in the well prepared workshop. The meeting took place in the small town of Cieneguilla, not far from the capital, Lima. This town lies at the edge of the mountains, a stony desert that rarely sees a drop of rain, but at the same time is filled with a great variety of plants and animals (wonderful birds of all colours) in the gardens, which are irrigated with river water. The immense importance of water for life on earth could be sensed first hand: an unbelievable and very moving experience!
The positive working mood of the meeting was proof of the commitment of all the participants: a successful mix of serious work (with a full programme), a flexibility that enabled the spontaneous addition of new elements and a spiritual attitude without any trace of dogmatism. Through observation exercises and the study of different relationships between the human being and the earth, the sky and the earth, and plants and animals, it was evident that the biodynamic approach offers a totally non-dogmatic way to consciously regain suppressed cultural roots. A strong similarity was also discovered between the polarity of cosmic and earthly forces, as taught in biodynamic agriculture, and the three worlds of the Pachamama. It was also interesting to combine Rudolf Steiner's goetheanistic approach with that of the South American teachers such as Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed) or Maturana. These kind of discoveries engender enthusiasm and provide energy and inspiration for our own practical work. Another highlight was the presentation of all the training initiatives on the continent: a very impressive array of all that is being done!
The workshop participants were very engaged and thankful for the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas. In South America, which is characterised by dictatorships, education and training are an important instrument for liberation and enablement. The trainers have a great need to make the biodynamic principles a practical experience. So it is worthwhile to continue to train our own perceptive faculty and to sharpen the senses by means of observation exercises so that the biodynamic approach can be understood and experienced.