MONTEVIDEO – A yoga practice for convicts at the Punta de Rieles prison on the outskirts of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, will open as part of a project sponsored by the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, or IIHR, officials said on Thursday.
The goal is to expand the project, which is “unique in the region,” to other Uruguayan penitentiaries and abroad, IIHR representative for South America Soledad Garcia told EFE.
“This is quite an innovative initiative, needed to think about education on human rights,” Garcia said.
The IIHR, created in 1980 under an agreement between the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and Costa Rica, operates as an international and autonomous academic institution that focuses on teaching, research and promoting human rights.
The yoga practice, “hopefully, will become a test project” for the region and the world, Garcia said.
The IIHR is evaluating the impact of yoga practice among men and women serving prison sentences, and the initial results are “very positive,” the IIHR official said.
The project will be implemented by the Espacio OmBijan yoga school, which is run by Pamela Martinez.
“We seek good people and to cultivate the human qualities that each of these individuals has and who, for different reasons in the course of their lives, they have not been able to cultivate,” Martinez said.