Piero Gayozzo is the director of the Secular Humanist Society of Peru and a member of the Peruvian Association of Atheists.
This 2023 the Peruvian Association of Atheists (APERAT) awarded a grant to organize face-to-face meetings in Lima as part of the 2023 Humanist Project Grants by Humanists International. Thanks to this international cooperation opportunity, APERAT will be able to strengthen its community in Lima and other Peruvian cities.
Peru is a very conservative and religious country. Its Constitution has not declared it a Secular State at all and religious education and values are still present in public institutions and influencing the way in which policies are made. Since its foundation, APERAT has tried to reunite non-believers and humanists in order to act for secularism. Right now, under the presidency of Henry Llanos, APERAT has gotten close to some secularist politicians to put the Secular State goal on the agenda.
In regard to its community activities, during the last holy week, APERAT decided to organize its yearly and traditional meeting called Heretic Barbecue. Since its first edition, it has been a moment to meet and greet new atheists and to offer a place for those non-believers who have a non-friendly environment to their perspective.
Thanks to Humanists International, this year the event was greater than other times and APERAT was able to rent a local and share food with everyone. More than 60 people met and shared their experiences as nonreligious people. This time, many new faces joined and it was a good time to exchange ideas and perspectives about the growth of the humanist community. Listening to others is the best way to improve ourselves.
After the dinner, our president gave a speech about the projects that APERAT has been driving through the last few years and invited them to join. There was also a moment to explain how humanism works around the world and tell them that we were not alone and that Humanist International is doing its best to consolidate an international movement.
This first meeting at the beginning of the project has been successful. There are many months to achieve the goals we set and many more Peruvian non-believers waiting to be part of our community. Thus, we recommend our followers to take a look at our fans page because many news and future meetings will be announced there.
Besides, being an atheist in Lima is easy because it is the capital city and almost all the social and charity progressive projects are based in here. However, Lima is not Peru and the fight to achieve a Secular State and a humanist society shall include other cities, their interests, and their help. That is why this grant will cover the organization of inter-regional communities too. So, we hope to take a look of Humanists International and APERAT flags waving in other Peruvian cities soon too.