José Antonio González: “I want young people to be heard like never before”

As part of the Latin American tour of “Scholas Ciudadanías”, we interviewed José Antonio González, mayor of the Municipality of Mariño in Venezuela, and participant in the “International Meeting of Eco-Educational Cities” organized by Scholas and CAF.

The experience in Porlamar in the month of September was Scholas' first in the Latin American country. The problem selected by young Venezuelans during the “Citizenship” was the absence of commitment of the representatives in the upbringing of children.


1) How was your experience during the activities with Scholas at the Rome Meeting? 

It was very positive, it gave us the opportunity to learn about other life experiences of mayors from other countries and exchange ideas with them, about improving the development of public policies in our municipalities. It also gave us the opportunity to feel and recognize the pain within ourselves and share it with other fellow mayors and governors. I found it healing and at the same time, representing it through art allowed us to express it in a liberating way and allowed us to see things from another perspective.

2) What did you feel when you met the Pope?

Meeting His Holiness in person was an inexplicable and very peaceful feeling. When you hear him speak, he transmits a very great and beautiful spiritual energy. It was very enriching for me to be able to listen to him in person and of great learning in each of his words on all the topics he addressed.

3) Why do you think Scholas can help in Venezuela?

I believe that everything that comes from the hand of God will bear fruit anywhere. In the case of my country, we are experiencing a significant loss of values in our society for many reasons and these leadership and citizenship programs that we are starting with will raise great awareness for our young people and thus transform their pain into real solutions.

4) How do you see current education in the world?

I see education in the world as eager for principles and values that are the basis for building a country. I am convinced that the problems and pain faced by young people worldwide are repeated in different countries despite their cultural differences, beliefs and socioeconomic conditions.

5) What would you like to change about the world?

The spiritual and material poverty of society, the lack of empathy with others and, above all, the abuse of children and young people.

6) What hurts you?

The helplessness of not having control over solving so many aberrations that occur in the world.

7)What is your passion?

Serve others

8) What expectations do you have from the experience at Porlamar?

An opening of conscience in our young people of the Municipality who came to be transformed in this experience and that they can be heard like never before in the resolution of their pain and that they are a fundamental part of that change and that solution.


We thank José Antonio González for sharing his reflections and experiences with us.