This individual is not a direct affiliate of the Berkley Center.
Laura Vargas, born in the Peruvian Andes, saw her native home polluted and desecrated by the giant La Oroya copper smelting plant. She was the former executive secretary of the Peruvian bishops' social action commission (CEAS) and was a member of the Presidential Commission of the Ministry of Justice and Human rights. She serves as official of the Social Doctrine program of the Church of CEAS. A former nun and current socioenvironmental activist, she is part of the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative (IRI). The IRI hopes to leverage the voices and votes of millions of people of faith in five tropical nations — Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Colombia and Peru — in order to slow rapidly spreading deforestation, the destruction of biodiversity, and oppression of indigenous peoples. Vargas’ passion and energy is devoted to “caring for God’s creation” which encompasses all of nature, including humanity, and especially children. She has a degree in education from the Pontificia University of Peru and in religious studies from the Catholic University of Santiago de Chile.