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Maracaibo (Venezuela) -- A university gathering

From August 9 to 15, fifty students from various cities in Venezuela and from Trinidad & Tobago took part in a gathering held in the Portones Center in the town of Mara. The aim of the conference was to analyze the theme of the upcoming UNIV 2008 Congress, “To be, to seem, to communicate,” under the perspective of happiness and good humor.

The well-known Venezuelan humorist Laureano Marquez and the composer Luigi Castillo offered their reflections on what true happiness means for each person, and the way of communicating it in one’s family and social circle.

Students had the opportunity to learn about techniques of audiovisual communication. Sessions were held on the creation and presentation of the content of television entertainment, stressing the unity between being, seeming and communicating. The conclusion they arrived at was that, when one possesses a value and truly believes in it, it becomes easy to reflect that value and communicate it to others.

During these days the students also carried out service projects for the benefit of the Wayúu ethnic group living in Mara. They also visited a state geriatric institute and provided the patients with the benefit of their smile and company.

At the end, various students put their experiences into writing. Many of them expressed their gratitude for having had the opportunity to put into practice the exhortations of Benedict XVI in his encyclical Deus Caritas Est, to communicate Christ through their ordinary life.

Romana, No. 45, July-December 2007, p. 319-320.