Joy at kickoff cultural events for #LightTheWorld in South America

Latter-day Saints in Colombia and Ecuador launched their #LightTheWorld initiatives with songs and dances representing their countries’ cultures

Balloons, lights and decorations filled the Pantano de Vargas, a historic site in Paipa, Colombia, on Dec. 3 for a musical Christmas program to launch the Light the World initiative in the country.

Hundreds of people participated and watched — members of the Boyacá Colombia Stake, the Colombia Bogotá North Mission, families, friends and neighbors.

The cultural show lasted four hours and featured Colombian folk dances and songs, and a special missionary choir. Artists danced and sang to the sound of different Colombian rhythms, reported the Church’s Colombia Newsroom.

Then, members of the Church joined their voices in a large choir of approximately 500 people including children, adults and young people who sang traditional hymns and Christmas carols. 

Elder Yan Carlos Vega, an Area Seventy, participated in the program with a message on how everyone can “light the world” and remember the Savior at Christmastime. Attendees from various religious denominations and government guests also attended the event. 

Hours of rehearsals for months ahead of time preceded the event, with members of several wards striving to make the program a reality. 

A cultural event of song and dance to launch the Light the World initiative in Paipa, Colombia
Hundreds of people brave the rain to watch a cultural event of song and dance to launch the Light the World initiative in Paipa, Colombia, Dec. 3, 2022. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Ecuador Light the World event

Songs, dances, colors, emotions and “a beautiful reddish moon in the sky” were a part of the Light the World event at the Crystal Palace in Guayaquil, reported the Church’s Ecuador Newsroom.

The program on Dec. 9 included orchestra performances, a choir of Guayaquil Central Institute students, an Episcopal children’s choir and singing from members of the Baptist church. Wards from Guayaquil, Durán and Samborondón participated in a choir as well.

Traditions and cultures of the different regions of Ecuador were represented through folkloric dances. Various music and dance companies participated, such as the Folkloric Ballet of the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, the Intyguayas group and the dance company Nuestras Raíces.

New Light the World music video

Guayaquil was also the setting for a new Light the World music video from the Church’s South America Northwest Area. Notable filming sites included the Santo Domingo De Guzmán steps, Las Cruces alley, Francisco de Orellana square, Pedro Carbo and Juan Montalvo.

In the video, Dominican singer Ysaac Martinez sings the official song of the Christmas initiative, titled “Ilumina el Mundo con Tu Luz” (“Illuminate the World With Your Light”). 

The video shows a musician who is discouraged as he struggles to write a new song. But as he shares his light and helps others, everything begins to flow positively for himself and those around him, explained the Church’s Ecuador Newsroom.

Members of the Church and missionaries from the Ecuador Guayaquil North and Ecuador Guayaquil West missions helped with the filming, in front of the camera and behind it. The missionaries spoke about how they hoped members of the Church would light the path towards the Savior, and said the video has a message of peace, hope and happiness from the light of Christ.

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed