RELEASE: New Advocacy Training for Latin American Leaders


Nyack’s Center for Scholarship and Global Engagement and Paz y Esperanza International Form Academic Partnership

NYACK, NY—An inter-institutional agreement between Nyack College and Paz y Esperanza International has been established to strengthen Christian leadership development in Latin America by offering online advocacy training programs.

The Paz y Esperanza Institute and Nyack College’s Center for Scholarship and Global Engagement will develop courses for Christian leaders, pastors, and outreach workers in Latin America that will include topics such as Advocacy for Children’s Rights, Integral Mission, and Pastoral Care. The agreement was signed by Dr. David Turk, provost and vice president for academic affairs and Mr. Alfonso Wieland, co-director of Paz y Esperanza International.

Nyack College will endorse these advocacy programs by providing academic support to the Institute’s roster of courses. An inaugural course, “Advocacy Efforts on Children’s and Adolescent’s Rights in Latin America,” will teach students analytical skills and practical tools to protect and promote the rights of children and teenagers. The online courses will be facilitated by professional staff of the Paz y Esperanza Institute and the Movimiento Juntos con la Niñez y la Juventud (“Working Together with Children and Youth Movement”). 

According to Mr. Wieland, “This partnership will open up further opportunities for Christian organizations around the world to unite for the purpose of encouraging advocacy work within the Church.” 

Dr. Vilma “Nina” Balmaceda, director of Nyack College’s Center for Scholarship and Global Engagement, who will oversee the partnership with Paz y Esperanza, expressed her enthusiasm for what this partnership represents. “This has the potential to lead to more North-South connections and meaningful cooperation, which can boost effective social action in today’s Christian communities,” she said.


Nyack College was founded in 1882 by Dr. Albert Benjamin Simpson.  In addition to its residential campus in Nyack, NY and a new location for its Manhattan campus in historic Battery Park, an extension site is also in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Nyack is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York. For more information, visit

Paz y Esperanza is an international human rights organization whose mission is to promote justice for people and communities who suffer injustice and poverty. Paz y Esperanza is comprised of independent organizations in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom that share a common mission. Peace and Hope International is the international headquarters for Paz y Esperanza with staff and offices in Minneapolis, USA and Lima, Peru. For more information, visit