Putting integral ecology into practice: the story of Dulcineia Carvalho – CIDSE

Putting integral ecology into practice: the story of Dulcineia Carvalho

Dulcineia Carvalho, a volunteer at Associação Casa Velha – Ecologia e Espiritualidade in Portugal, reminds us of the power of small actions to enhance change by caring for each other and by taking small, concrete steps in our everyday lives to preserve the environment.


Dulcineia Carvalho a librarian and a passionate volunteer. She has a contagious joy, always sensitive to others, to nature and its rhythms, as well as the musical rhythms that make her dance spontaneously in any situation. Born in the small island on the equator, São Tomé and Príncipe, she came to Lisbon 8 years ago, where she graduated in Philosophy. Her concern with the world and her role in it led her to a master’s degree in Culture and Development, a dimension that goes deeper into different areas of her life. From early on in Lisbon, she joined the project of Gambozinos (a non-profit Catholic youth association working on social cohesion in different neighborhoods of the country with the Society of Jesus) and she’s been participating already 4 years  in the volunteer group “Atravessados” (“crossed”) that once a month meets a weekend at the Association Casa Velha -. Ecology and Spirituality. As Atravessada, she began to deepen the challenge of Caring for the Common Home (of People and the Earth), experiencing other rhythms of life, towards a simpler, shared, communal and service life. In the present, she is one of the members of a reading and reflection group of the Encyclical Laudato Si, which has been meeting for a year in Lisbon.

She currently works as a Librarian at Pedro Arrupe College, where she arrives every morning on a bicycle, a habit she adopted from her husband, Du. In fact, the bicycle became her means of transport.
Dulcineia challenges us to think sustainability from simplicity and our relationship with others, with whom we are more and more interdependent. Being able to live well and with a constant good disposition and openness to others, is probably be her secret to a healthy and sustainable life, deepened by an increasing critical awareness, responsible and coherent criteria and habits of living, which,with her joy, she challenges us to undertake.

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