THE COUNTRY | MANIZALES
“I thought this was going to be good, but not that good!” This is how the priest Diego Rivera Álvarez reacted to the tribute paid to him by the San Juan Bautista de La Salle Educational Institution, which he founded 37 years ago.
Between bombs, white flags, costumes and music, by the school’s symphonic band, students and teachers received the priest and benefactors with the purpose of starting Lasallian Week, which is celebrated every year.
The Institution opened its doors for the first time on February 4, 1985, in the former José Celestino Mutis School, with 62 students. The first academic baccalaureates came out in 1990 and the first for social promotion in 1995. In the midst of the public, the priest Diego Rivera mentioned those times, which he said he remembered with joy. “With work we seek to move forward and be better every day,” he noted.
The motto of being ‘Always better’ continues in the classrooms of the school, accompanied by the human and Christian formation provided by the Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Manizales.
“Our purpose is to continue believing in youth; to bet that through our academic and complementary training processes they move away from vice and become good people,” said the priest Héctor Adrián Gaviria, administrative director of La Salle.
He also commented that the celebration is a recognition of the people who have been part of the institution to express gratitude and enhance the role of so many men and women who have passed through the school.
Ana Sofía Acevedo, an eleventh grade student, highlighted the religious’s work: “Very few people have turned their gaze to these peripheral neighborhoods, usually they focus on the center of the city, on the beauty of Manizales. So , without the father this community would not be as it is, which has evidenced the evolution of dozens of generations”.
María Inés Rivera Álvarez, benefactor
I support education because I know the quality of the headquarters and the school’s proposals. Everything is excellent.
Ana Sofia Acevedo Lopez
The father has the willingness to want to serve the community and to do so without asking for anything in return, which is why he has been a great pillar for the construction of the institution and the neighborhoods.
What the father did in the Educational Institution seems very valuable to us. Thanks to that we are here. The school helps the community a lot because the father also instilled in us values and traditions that are still preserved. I am very grateful to the father.
I thank Father Diego because thanks to him I have the opportunity to study here and have a better education. Children who cannot study in a private school, who do not have economic possibilities, can come to study at this school which, thanks to their father, is very good.
It is better to do the acknowledgments in life and take advantage of the fact that the father still has energy to thank him for all the good he has done.
Alba Liliana Gallego, teacher
The students demonstrate in their work what Father Diego Rivera has cemented in the community. I have seen the evolution in young people in their reading and writing skills and another type of teaching has been promoted, which makes them express their thoughts in a more humane way.