by David Werner
First International Assembly of the People's Health Movement—Latin America Cuenca, Ecuador, October 2013.

The Dream of Inclusion for All

The First International Assembly of the People’s Health Movement, Latin America – held in Cuenca, Ecuador, from October 7-12, 2013–was primarily about inclusion: inclusion in the broadest sense, from personal to ecological to cosmic. In a spectrum of interrelated sessions, participants from many countries looked at the role that we human beings play individually, collectively, historically and currently–as a mindful but troubled species on this magnificent but imperiled planet. We looked at Health in terms of connectivity–or unity through diversity–within the web of life that sustains us all. And from this perspective, we began to reformulate our long-elusive goal of “Health for All” in terms of the wholeness and unity that binds together every element of the universe, with all its intricate and endless variety, as a cosmic living being in which every element, from microbe to moonbeam, plays a role as a sacred and integral part. In essence, this is the holistic vision of the original peoples of the Americas: that which the inhabitants of the Ecuadorian jungles called Sumac Kausay (Buen Vivir or Living Well).