Lillian Vega Ortiz, of the Guatemalan Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), will speak at the Lopez Library Meeting Room on Thursday, July 1, at 7 p.m.
Ortiz has worked with Friends Peace Teams’ Peacebuilding in the Americas Initiative in Central America and is traveling throughout the U.S. this summer. The event is sponsored by the Lopez Island Quaker Worship Group.
In her talk, Ortiz will tell how the civil war and the resulting culture of violence affected the culture and people of Guatemala and how the Alternatives to Violence Project serves as a peaceful response to that violence. Ortiz will share her own personal experience as well as stories of others who have taken the workshops.
“It gives me great hope to hear the stories of how the Alternatives to Violence Project Workshops have transformed fear, pain and anger into love, forgiveness and compassion,” says Linda Ellsworth, a member of the Lopez Quaker Worship Group and one of the event organizers. “That’s why I was so eager to bring Lillian here to tell her story.”
Ortiz currently facilitates integral growth workshops and formative theological-pastoral studies. “These various disciplines, together with my life experiences, have formed a base in my life that comes together in my work with the Alternatives to Violence Project,” says Ortiz.
“I believe that, difficult as they’ve been, my experiences never took place to paralyze me, even though I have been a victim. Instead, they have given me strength to go forward and prepare myself to help others find their own values and find the support systems so that change can take place. I know that this society, full of adversity, needs the efforts of valiant and optimistic people, now more than ever.”
The Lopez Island Quaker Worship Group also sponsors a radio show on KLOI. Spirit in Action, Lopez Edition, airs Sundays at 5 p.m. and Thursdays at noon.