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Centro Gumilla is a center for research and social action of the Society of Jesus in Venezuela. It was founded in 1968, the first of such Jesuit centers in Latin America, inspired by the Superior General Pedro Arrupe, S.J., and by the pioneering work of other Jesuits in the region. Similar centres now exist around Latin America: CINEP (Colombia), Bonó (Dominican Republic), FCIAS (Argentina), Ibrades, (Brazil), CERAS, (France), and the Centre for Social Action (Mexico).
Inspired by Christian faith, the Center accompanied coffee farmers in the process of forming cooperatives in Lara state in the late 1960s, and later worked with grassroots organizations, combining social work with reflection on the politics of the country. The Center maintains links with the peasant sector but in recent decades has expanded its work to suburban areas in the capital cities of the country.
The center hosts the publication of the SIC journal, the country's longest active magazine (since 1938), dedicated to the analysis of the economy, politics, and society. It also edits Communications, which since 1975 has presented research on communication and culture in Venezuela and more widely in Latin America. By the twenty-first century, Centro Gumilla was publishing books, magazines, and brochures, and also maintaining training programs on public policy, community organization, and good governance in eight regions of the country. Publication includes national impact research in areas such as school violence, valuations of democracy, and social organizations. Other issues treated include trade unionism, the theology of liberation, and implementation of the Catholic church’s social teaching in Latin American.
The Center serves as a think tank, and hosts conferences for large groups of writers and professionals from the academia, business, and civil society. One of the efforts of the Center is to devise viable alternatives for sustainable development, political democracy, and social justice, from the perspective of the impoverished majority. In pursuit of this, most of its members, lay and religious, facilitate grass-roots learning and organization. Coordinates:
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