Barcelona, Spain—Supporters of two organizations affiliated with UPF hiked to the top of a hill overlooking Barcelona.
The Peace Road event was held on October 16, 2022, as a joint effort of two organizations affiliated with UPF: the Spanish chapter of Youth and Students for Peace (YSP), led by Rodrigo López; and the Barcelona chapter of Women’s Federation for Peace (WFWP), led by Dulce Balil and Hector Macías.
The event was supported by several religious leaders who actively participate in interreligious dialogue groups in Barcelona.
It consisted of a 2-kilometer peace march from the town of Vallvidrera to the top of the Tibidabo hill and the Expiatory Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
At the meeting point in Vallvidrera, the participants listened to a short talk about the meaning of UPF’s Peace Road initiative from YSP leader Rodrigo López and received T-shirts with the Peace Road logo.
They then walked up the hill, using a side path to the road. The top of the hill is the highest point of the Collserola mountain range, and there are wonderful views of Barcelona.
Father Joan Codina i Giol, a Salesian priest who is the director of the Expiatory Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, welcomed the participants joyfully and spoke briefly about the meaning of peace in the gospel of Jesus.
Emilio Egea, a representative of the Baháʼí Faith; Anna Constant of Drukpa, a Buddhist group from the Himalayas; and Marta Matarín, the director of Brahma Kumaris of Barcelona all offered words of inspiration from their respective faiths.
A psalm sent by Father Alfonso of the I. Orthodox Church of Antioch, who could not attend, was read aloud by YSP leader Rodrigo López, and a phrase from Noemí Cortés, a representative of the I. Evangelical Church, was read by Esi Beshaj from YSP.
Artur Beshaj, the leader of the Barcelona chapter of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), another organization affiliated with UPF, offered a final message with great enthusiasm.
Afterward, the participants sang the Hebrew song “Abenu Shalom Alejem,” offered a cheer for peace, and released 21 white balloons before taking a group photo with the Peace Road banner.