RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Latin American Jewish officials honored Guatemala’s education minister for promoting studies about the Holocaust in schools.
Both the Latin American Jewish Congress and the country’s Jewish community recognized Oscar Hugo Lopez’s efforts to promote programs aimed at disseminating and sensitizing the impact of the Holocaust through education, as well as for eradicating violence in schools.
“Just a few days away from International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we come to recognize the recent work that the Ministry of Education has done, which will allow, through the study of the Shoah, to educate the children of Guatemala about diversity, non-discrimination and the prevention of genocides,” said Ariel Seidler of the World Jewish Congress’ regional branch. Shoah is the Hebrew word for the Holocaust.
In accepting the recognition, Lopez confirmed his ministry’s intention to continue implementing the project, which seeks to empower young people through education to raise their voices against all forms of violence. The WJC also praised Receba Permuth, a member of the local Jewish community, who was in charge of coordinating the program.
Since 2014, several activities have been held at schools following the letter of understanding signed with the local government during a ceremony attended by the Israeli ambassador and a Holocaust survivor.
In July, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales honored the outgoing Israeli ambassador, Moshe Bachar, with the Order of Quetzal on the Grand Cross degree, the country’s highest honor, in recognition of his cooperation in strengthening the political dialogue between the Central American nation and the Jewish state.