Rita Marie Johnson founded the Rasur Foundation in Costa Rica in 1997 with the mission of strengthening the country’s peace model. By demonstrating a practical way to put an end to violence, Costa Rica will inspire other countries to replicate
Rasur’s Story of Peace Unfolding in Costa Rica.
The Rasur Foundation was named after the prophetic poem, Rasur or The Week of Splendor, written by the Costa Rican poet and educator, Roberto Brenes Mesén.
Click here to read Rasur poem in English. This poem tells the story of a master teacher who comes to the village of Quizur and silently calls the children deep into a mountain. There he teaches them about the wisdom within their hearts, their connection to nature and how to live in peace with one another. When the children return to the village, they joyfully share this knowledge with their parents, who then awaken to the significance of Rasur’s teachings. Soon Quizur is alive with creativity and has been transformed into a culture of peace.
Today, the concepts in this epic poem are called “social and emotional intelligence” but their impact is the same. Without social and emotional skills, peace is an impossible dream. With them, human beings can exercise the wisdom needed for peace to become a way of life.
Where do we start if we want to build a society that possesses social and emotional intelligence? We start with the teachers. The master teacher Rasur provides an extraordinary model for teachers to emulate and pays homage to this most important of professions. Teachers who know how to educate the hearts of their students are a powerful solution to breaking generational cycles of violent behavior. Society will change when teachers are provided with first-class training in how to “feel peace” and “speak peace” in their classrooms so students can learn by their example.
Teacher, Paula Castro, and children from the School of Rasur.
This is the aim of Rasur Foundation initiatives, which teach peace skills at the grassroots level while establishing government infrastructure for the ongoing promotion of peace. However, there is no time to spare. Our world is crying out for wisdom in how we treat each other, how we protect our environment and how we use our technology. All these aspects of life need to be newly guided by the north star of peace.
Costa Rica is meant to lead us to that star. After the mythical Rasur visited Quizur, the parents said, “From now on, all shall be planned in the light of a unique experience that is seldom offered to other nations of this world. True culture shall …come out from the inner light.” These words were written in 1946, two years before the army was unexpectedly abolished. This mysterious prophecy of Costa Rica as a model culture of peace has been unfolding ever since.
As the Rasur Foundation motto says, “Before directing the lightning in the sky, we must first harness the storms in our own hearts.” Let us each practice the proven methods that quell those storms and wholeheartedly join Costa Rica in its efforts to write a new story; a story of hope for the world. For a progress report on the Rasur Foundation’s activities click here.
For information on highlights of the Rasur Foundation’s history since 1997, click here.
Passing the skills of “feeling peace” and
from generation to generation.