From 30th July to 5th August 2003, 355 young people and Augustinians who work with them in Augustinian schools, colleges and parishes from 22 countries have had the opportunity of attend this great Youth International Encounter.
It was held at the Fincha (conference centre) Fray Luis de León which is located near Guadarrama at the foot of the mountains near Madrid, Spain.
The countries represented were: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Slovakia, Spain, United Kingdom and United States of America.
In this friendly living together in tents, young adults were invited to discover Augustinian Christian values, and to speak about the problems and the solutions for the world.
Right from the beginning there was the warm welcoming from the volunteers, and funny and enjoyable moments in the wonderful swimming pool that helped us to cope with the extremely hot summer weather.
In the official opening ceremony, a high moment came when everybody learned to song and dance the encounter song, "Making Better Times Together".
The Irish dressed as clowns and led us in "ice breaker" activities to make us meet each other and to make us laugh.
Other activities included the Italians with their mimics, and talks by an Augustinian missionary bishop and by an Augustinian missionary priest from Colombia. These talks were possible because there was a simultaneous translation system in use.
In meetings of the major language groups represented, the young adults and invited Augustinians gave prepared talks on contemporary Human Rights themes, including Third World poverty, globalisation, bioethics, sexual morality, abortion, vocation and the Augustinian Family, ecology, terrorism, death penalty, immigration, and ecumenism.
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